Kristine & I met in Coronado at an event I was speaking at. I liked her right away.
She came right up to me & her energy was super real & straight to the point. She was beautiful & one of the first people who was really vulnerable & raw about motherhood to me. She was very authentic in sharing her experience & didn’t sugarcoat anything.
She has been a very supportive TSC reader who has now become my friend. After one of my events we went to a Mexican restaurant & while we had skinny margs, chips & salsa, she told me about her idea to start a blog. I thought it was great idea because she has such a unique perspective on motherhood. She’s my favorite kind of girl because she EXECUTED !! Her blog will be up & running soon so be sure to check out theticklespot.com.
Since I love her approach on motherhood, I wanted her to come on the blog to tell us all her no bullshit take on what it’s really like in the hospital & what you’ll need to bring with you.
Let’s get right into Kristine’s tips.
Hello TSC Community!
IT’S SUCH A PLEASURE for me to be able to share some of my tips & tricks with you all!! As a longgg time reader, huge supporter & friend of The Skinny Confidential, I am just SO SO SO HONORED to be here!! Now in true Lauryn fashion, let’s jump right in shall we?!
My name is Kristine & I absolutely adore The Skinny Confidential! The team is just the sweetest group of ladies. Lauryn has built such an incredible community, & an endless library of tips & tricks for the modern chick ( it’s no wonder that her name means beauty… wink-wink!). & like all of us do, I can totally relate & benefit from all of the knowledge she dishes!
It was early 2014 when I discovered a TSC bookmark ( I think?! Maybe it was a biz card ) at a coffee shop in San Diego. It was super cute & 100% my vibe, so I couldn’t wait to check it out- & basically, the rest is history! I loved her platform & her blogs because of her no-nonsense writing. I’m a pretty picky pickle if you know what I mean, so I’ve gotta be really intrigued to get into someone’s content. I’m the kind of girl that’s all about quality over quantity, ya know?
So anyway, a couple years had gone by & I had read Lauryn’s book, followed along on Insta + YouTube + beyond ++, & eventually into the secret Facebook group when she first created it, in early 2017. That Spring I went to an event on Coronado Island for Brides & Friends where Lauryn was appearing for a live Q&A session.
( Backtrack real quick- I moved to San Diego from Lake Tahoe in 2003 & have been in the F&B / Catering & Events Industry ever since. I graduated from cosmetology school in 2006 & obtained my CA license, so I’ve been lucky enough to incorporate all of my beauty & wellness passions into my career. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside some of the industries best Chefs & top professionals. Needless to say, Lauryn & I have similar obsessions when it comes to ingredients in products, the perfectly balanced buzz, detecting bullshit& the art of the hustle. )
Lauryn & I met right after the Q&A session in Coronado & hit it off with a glass of champagne ( so on brand, right?! ). We chatted for a bit & eventually went our separate ways but exchanged info before we left, & still stay close today. Lauryn inspires others because she is such a bright, intuitive soul. I’m grateful to know her. She really is even more amazing in real life ( if you can even imagine )!
As a Wife + Mom of two ( Max: practically 8 yo boy / Ellie: practically 5 yo girl), I always told Lauryn to WAIT TO HAVE KIDS! Lol!! Michael Bosstick has been eager for babies since Lauryn spoke to him for the very first time. Not joking ( NO SURPRISE! ). And I personally planned on being a glorified Aunt- never a Mom ( SURPRISE, lol!!! ). I dreamed of being the kind of Aunt that’s like a fucking fairy godmother, ya know? They stop in, bring you stickers, pink sparkly tutus, nail polish & twirl your hair, then let you jump on the bed & eat candy way too late… that was going to be me.
BUT THEN- a few too many micheladas one Sunday morning long ago, & here we are! So it will come as no surprise that the first time I met Michael & Lauryn all the questions were about babies, babies, babies! I gave them the most honest, realest shit ever- I told Lauryn DON’T DO IT!!! This was a few years back, & her career was MASSIVELY TAKING OFF ( quite obviously! )- & I did not want to see her put it on the back burner. So I suggested they wait & think about it & wait some more & then wait a little longer.. until it felt right.
Because the truth is no one is ever ‘prepared’ for pregnancy, child birth or motherhood & the truckloads of unexpectedness that it tows. It’s something you have to embrace & balance. Because when you finally realize it’s the universe’s way of conditioning you for this whole thing, you can’t go back. So no matter when it happens, if it’s meant to be, it will be. We’re not all aspiring to be soccer moms in mini vans- & that’s OK! One thing Lauryn said to me that has always stuck with me, is that I don’t lead with being a Mom- I take that as such a compliment. Because before I was/am a Mom, I’m ME. I’ve always been ME. & it’s SO EASY to forget when you are giving all of yourself to someone else. You’re still YOU, & you need to feel like you!
Like I said, I never planned on having children, so it took a HUGE adjustment & level of acceptance for me to really embrace it. We know everyone’s adventure is different. Clearly, my journey into motherhood was not all lollipops & rainbows. But at the end of the day, it’s truly a miracle & such a heart-filling experience, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Of course there are so many joyous moments- & there are so many more challenging ones. But I hope this series of ’10 tips through motherhood & how to be a real mom’ help provide a little perspective & shed a little light onto some of the things I knew nothing about ( & wish I had! ). I hope this also acts as a little reminder that you’re not alone- millions of moms ( & their s/o, friends, & family ) feel just like you!
So, with that- grab a cocktail ( or a mocktail ) & cozy up for this one, it’s a doozy! CHEERS!! I hope you enjoy it & find a few takeaways.
10 Real Life Tips On Prepping For Birth
♡ The No-Plan Plan:
A girlfriend of mine once told me, before I had children, that there is a meditative practice you can exercise during childbirth that creates an orgasm. And recently, it’s been redefined as a ‘birthgasm’. No joke- whattoexpect.com even did an article on it! ( check it out here ) & so sorry to burst your bubble, but no, unfortunately this did not happen to me. The complete opposite actually, so I can’t speak on it– but what I can say after 8 years of experience as a Mom having gone through two completely different deliveries, is that no matter how many birth plans & back up birth plans you have; your baby has a birth plan, & it wins.
Of course it’s important to be prepared for decisions during delivery– but it’s quite another to bawl hysterically because you have a c-section & not a vaginal birth, ‘as planned.’ I think one of the most liberating things about motherhood is embracing that we cannot control it all. What we can do, is control our reactions & words to reflect our best intentions. So no matter how your baby enters this world through your body, it will be amazing, wonderful and exactly as they intend. So don’t stress too much, & don’t set unnecessary expectations. AND don’t skip the hospital tour! Just go with the flow. <3
♡ Labor Essentials:
Hee-hee. Hoo-hoo. Hee-hee. Hoo-hoo. Always reminds me of Look Who’s Talking! So the breathing exercises are great & all, but sometimes a girl needs a martini, ya know?!! Luckily, there are lots of ways to ease the pains of labor & it all depends on how natural you’re willing to go. Starting with simple things to get through the initial labor pains are some main homies you need to hang with in your 3rd trimester anyhow, so bring these ones along to the hospital:
+ birthing ball ( this one is amazing )
+ lower back & foot massage
+ bath w/ eucalyptus & essential oils
In addition to the 4 listed, getting “upright” can help majorly. Standing, walking, slow dancing ( wink, wink Michael Bosstick! ), & squatting, all allow gravity to help move the baby down. Obviously when the time comes you can opt for the good ol’ epidural too, just be sure you consult your doctor. The timing of it, specifically- because if you take it too early it can become incredibly counter productive. ( Just trust me here! )
♡ Stretch your Vagina:
OK- SO! THIS IS MY FAVORITE TIP!! I had a lot of difficulty with my first delivery, & my second was a breeze ( by comparison ONLY! ), & I believe this is largely to do with my Doula. I did not have a Doula the first round with my son, & man-oh-man WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! Even if you don’t have one throughout your entire pregnancy, to have a nurse trained as a Doula or even experienced is a game changer. And here’s why: they STRETCH YOUR VAGINA!
YES. When you give birth you dilate & expand. Depending on the nature of your birth, you may tear. You may not. BUT if you have a Doula lube you up & stretch your vagina like mine did, you will be smooth sailing all the way! I was so thankful for my Doula, I called her my Fairy Doula with the magic lube wand ( *keep in mind I was also induced & on meds sooo, ya know… ). If I had to do my first all over again, honestly- I would ask my nurses on duty to lube up a wand with some special magic & get to stretching!
♡ BYO Snacks:
You forget how bad hospital food is until you’re there. And you’re hormonal. And you want, what you want. So HAVE IT. Make a master dream list in your third trimester of all the things & have your S/O or support person, pack & deliver. I would suggest quality over quantity when creating this list because the hospital rooms are tiny, so pick your absolute faves. If you have a special Postmates order saved ( for instance, a highly micro-managed smoothie, hh-hhhmmm Lauryn! ), send these to your person in advance, so when the cravings hit there’s no hesitation or added stress.
♡ Pack your house:
GET COMFY! Like, THIS- IS- IT!! You should have your Barefoot Dreams leopard blanket, ice cold Hydro Flask within reach ( you’ll need it, it’s a journey ), teas of choice nearby, snacks on demand, cozie jammies & big panties ( like 5 big pairs lol ) & pillows & slippers. ALL OF IT. ALLLLL. OF IT. You are going to be in the hospital for at least 2-3 nights-ish ( or more ) so bring your essentials to make it feel as comfy & soothing as possible.
The softest pair of pajamas ever are these. They’re worth the splurge because you will be living in them for the next few weeks/months. Opt for a little or no elastic on the waist. A thick waistline, tie or push buttons are ideal here.
Same goes for bringing your own pillow. The hospital beds & pillows aren’t from Nordstrom. Bring yours- again, you’ll be in recovery mode & in the hospital for at least a couple of nights, so this one is not to be forgotten! If you do forget your pillow in the heat of the moment, send someone to get it for you! You will feel SO much better during your stay. And in turn, so will bebe.
A few things I would bring; salt rock plug in lamp, fave candles, noise machine, iPads ( w/ downloaded shows + movies), books, magazines, humidifier, sage, face wash + routine, & cute scrunchies. Full shower program & baby washcloths & towels for you too! Also- chances are there’s a photographer in the hospital, or you’ve hired one, or friends &, family are camera happy so keep your survival pack close by & hopefully Glamsquad is in the area!
*HOT TIP: If you have a scheduled delivery, spray tan & Drybar the day before. You will feel SO much better in photos. If your baby makes the unplanned grand entrance, don’t worry, you can still edit anything!
♡ Delegate the Room:
This one is important. You need to make sure your concerns are heard & addressed. Don’t let anyone else make decisions for your body or your environment. This is a sensitive, wonderful time, so any additional &/or unwelcome stress should be eliminated on arrival. It’s really only YOU + BABY in these moments that need to connect & focus to make it happen. Listen to your heart & intuition & instruct your nurses, S/O as necessary. YOU run the show.
*HOT TIP FROM my husband: As the S/O have an iPad or phone or device in place to capture the babies first sounds. Even if you don’t film the actual ‘event,’ the sounds of your baby for the first time is irreplaceable & so special to be able to look & listen back on. They grow so fast, & the first coos are the most precious.
♡ Pain Management:
I didn’t realize how all of it would go, until it happened. And for me, the first time was less than desirable to put it politely. I overheard a conversation between my nurse & my doctor, who was taking their dog on a walk on the beach, while I was not dilating to desired levels. Blah blah blah, we’re all healthy & fine, but the point is, after the second round I discovered how much better it can go- SO, I recommend prompting the important convo with your OB/GYN about your delivery, specifically.
Questions I wish I would’ve asked:
+ If they are out of town, who is in charge- really?
I got a spiel about ‘out of town conduct’ when I first met my doctor, but didn’t get full disclosure, ya know? Definitely DO! If your doctor is not part of a group ( which means they likely have a doctor on call rotating at the local hospital ) ask what protocol is in place.
+ Can I request a specific nurse or Doula?
This is specific to each practice & hospital, so you’ll have to consult within. But I truly wish I would’ve known that this was a service at my hospital & with my group of doctors the first time!
+ How do I prevent tearing?
Again, I didn’t ask this question the first time, but I made certain I was prepared the second. It’s all about what you know.. ya know! 😉
Ask for options if your birth plan cannot be achieved, so it’s not shocking or disappointing if it ends up becoming the reality of the situation. OVER ASK. ALL THE THINGS. This is the time, so don’t be shy. There are no stupid questions.
♡ Meet your Latch Consultant:
So this was a NEW TERM for me! I hadn’t heard of this until I had given birth & felt like my nipples had been drug through hot gravel while simply attempting to breast feed. Don’t squander this opportunity! I cannot recommend it enough.
I didn’t know there was a difference between a proper latch, poor latch, or barracuda feeder! Milk comes in differently for everyone, & the new C Word in your life: COLOSTRUM, can be a real b* in some cases. So these magical Latch Consultants are here for you. They are incredibly helpful & most of them volunteer their time, so I highly recommend soaking up their suggestions. They are THE breast feeding pros. Even if you’re not adamant about breast feeding, they have great knowledge & resources for all feeding styles & types. You can inquire with your hospital ahead of time to see which services are available for you.
♡ Push Playlist:
Get in your GRROOOVVEEE! This is it. The big show. Whether it’s just a solo act, you & your s/o, or you invite an audience- this is it. Feel good in your zone. Make a light, fun, soothing playlist with some of your favorite music. Think of things you’d like to wake up to, since these are the first things your baby will hear. This is also a fun project to connect with your s/o on to help them feel more included in the moment.
For me, it’s the soundtrack to We Bought a Zoo by Jonsi +/ Sigur Ros. ( On Spotify- here. )
♡ Help at Home:
Arrange for help at home with baby for the first few days if you can. Meal prep, laundry, humidifiers, laundry, errands, laundry & LOTS & LOTS OF HANDS! All are required duties at home with a newborn. Planning for this in advance will help you set up for a stress-free arrival home from the hospital & hopefully a punch-drunk ease into the first few days/weeks with baby.
I was fortunate enough to have a family member, my mom, make preparations for us both times coming home. I cannot begin to tell you how BEYOND helpful it is to come home to a house prepared just the way you want & full of love for baby & MOMMY! This also means, REST & RELAXATION which is ultimate! If you get to have help at home then it’s wise to follow the old wives tale- sleep when baby sleeps! <3
♡ THE ONE THING YOU CANNOT FORGET !
These will bring more comfort to your perineum than you could ever image. I promise.
+ Tucks Medicated Cool Pads
these are the real deal ones you’ll want to get asap.
+ Frida Mom Perineal Medicated Witch Hazel Cooling Pad Liners
these are cute & pink & ones you can use when you’re able to wear real undies again.
If you enjoyed reading this piece, please follow along & lmk on my latest instagram post @tinikristini for a fun giveaway! I’m working on my NEW website/blog: theticklespot.com ! It looks like a butthole right now, but just you wait! It’s going to be amazing.. a stimulating resource for the BFF’s ( beauties. foodies. fashionistas. & beyond ). Lots of fun stuff will be coming to the site early 2020.
Hope you loved this post & thank you to Lauryn & The Skinny Confidential community for having me!
If you guys have anything to add to this hospital list let me know in the comment below.
+ scope these tips on keeping it together in motherhood.
++ 10 things I’ve experienced in pregnancy so far.