Listen to this episode HERE.

Krista: [00:00:00] First question, Hilary, is I would love for you to share just a brief birth story of your kiddos. You have three, so I don't know how brief or not brief you want to be, but however much or little you would want to share about any or all of those.

Hilary: Baby arrivals. So by my last baby, I had been a labor nurse for eight years so I was I was on it and I Didn't want them. I was like hesitant for every single thing. They wanted they were like I want to break your water and I was like no and they were like I want to Like check your cervix and I was like no and I was 12 days over Finally my doctor talked me into an induction I was just so resistant Finally, when I let him break my water, she came within.

I don't know, an hour or two, 12 days older. Honestly, I just don't think my body would have had her without them breaking my water. But I was like, once you break my water, I'm committed to this induction. I might end up having a C section. And I wish I had just been [00:01:00] sure, like. As a labor nurse, I get excited when people, refuse what the doctor wants sometimes.

A lot of times the doctors have a lot of experience and we should just go with it instead of being like, I'm smarter and I, you know, I had residents at my hospital, so I really was smarter than them in a lot of ways. But... They were impartial, unlike me, who was sitting there still pregnant.

Anyway, so that's my biggest, and, and prior to this, I cried for like a full day about this induction. I was 12 days older. My pelvis had split. I had glucose intolerance. I was miserable. Why was I crying? Why wasn't I jumping for joy that I could get that baby out and move on with my life? So anyway, it was just a lot of resistance that I wish I hadn't had.

Needless, needless resistance. 

Krista: And yeah, coming, coming from a labor and delivery nurse. And that was your third one. So tell, tell our listeners, I know we talked about this before we started recording, but how many kiddos [00:02:00] you have and their ages? So we know the playing 

Hilary: field here.

Yeah. So I'm an, I'm an older mom. Well, I mean, I had my kids young, but my oldest is 23, and then I have a 19 year old, and I have a 14 year old. 

Krista: So, we're going to be learning lots today, friends, coming from, your host being the mom of a 5 year old. Still to learn. Lots I've learned in those five years, but lots ahead.

I know. Well, Hillary, what is something that nobody told you about being a mom? 

Hilary: I just think how much of yourself you would have to relinquish. I I just wasn't prepared for how the baby was gonna to dictate my sleep, how, now that I had a baby, it was so, like, I couldn't hook in the car seat. We lived on the third floor, so trying to get the car seat down and then hook it into the car, I just didn't leave our apartment.

There were like all these things that suddenly I had a baby and they just dictated so much of what I [00:03:00] did. And I don't think I was prepared for that. And honestly, I don't know who could have prepared me for that, but I wish they had. Yeah. 

Krista: Yeah. Cause they don't come with instructions, right? There's no, that's the whole tagline of my podcast because babies don't come with.

And it's all just 

Hilary: figuring it out. Yeah. My capstone project in labor and delivery in college was a little thing that kids, that babies were supposed to, like, you were supposed to take home after you had a baby. So I thought, and I was married, hadn't had a kid at that point in time. I was 21 and I was like, I have got it.

I'm going to save a copy of this for when I have my baby. I'm going to be. So good, because I know everything about babies after my, what, four weeks in labor and delivery. Turns out, turns out I did not. 

Krista: Well, every experience is different. There's so many variables that come into play from just our bodies to their little bodies, to just [00:04:00] environment.

I mean, yeah, 

Hilary: you know, you know all of that. Yeah, and why is every kid different? That's not fair. Once I have a policy on the first kid, it should translate to every other child as well, right? 

Krista: 100%. Everything should be exactly the same. Wouldn't that just make it all so much easier? 

Hilary: Right. But so boring, Hilary.

But so boring. I'm up for boring. As a mom of a 19 year old, I am here for boring. 

Krista: What is a piece of baby or kid gear that has been a lifesaver 

Hilary: for you? Oh my gosh, kid gear. I loved, especially on my third, so I had a five and an eight year old, almost nine, nine ish the front pack.

I loved my ergo. So hauling her, I didn't love an ergo with a newborn. I think they've changed it, but hauling her to school pickup was so much easier in a front pack than hauling the stroller, just because you have all the other kids that you're like trying to navigate. So [00:05:00] I loved my ergo. And because my kids are small, I think I used it like.

Until she was five, we would go on a hike and I'd be like, just get in this ergo. You still fit the weight requirements. So I loved my ergo. I had a McLaren stroller back in, that I bought him back in 2003 that I loved. But I don't know if McLaren's, they're not on people's list anymore, but I loved my McLaren because it, it folded up tight and didn't take up my whole trunk so I could still get groceries.

All about that maximum 

Krista: capacity, maximizing the space for sure. Well, so let's really now get into the meat of what you do, your specialty. Let's talk about birth plans. So what is a birth plan and how can it help parents have a smoother 

Hilary: birth experience? A birth plan just explains kind of what you want during your, your birth.

And they come in all shapes and forms. I saw a lot from the bump, which is like a check [00:06:00] on, check off. I want my baby to have a pacifier. I don't want my baby to have a pacifier. I plan on breastfeeding, that kind of a thing. And I would see that I've had patients who every paragraph was in a different color of marker and they had stickers.

And I was like, this is a patient for me. I am. I'm like a washi tape sticker girl. So all the other nurses rolled their eyes and I was like, hand her to me. I'm so excited to meet her. And we were best friends, but it really just tells us what you want for your birth. And a lot of people think that it's like doctor's orders, right?

Like, because I get a set of orders from the doctor and as a nurse, that's what I have to carry out. So if your doctor says she can't eat, that's what I have to carry out as a nurse. That's my job. Is to carry out doctor's orders. So basically I can't give you food. But I'm not gonna like knock your trail mix out of your hand.

Because we're all adults in that room. Hopefully. But a birth plan is not like doctor's orders, because you might say on your birth plan, I want to breastfeed. But you get to the point where you're so tired or [00:07:00] whatever, and you end up saying like, I want a bottle. I'm not going to be like, now Sharon, on your birth plan, it said that you only wanted a breastfeed, and so I'm really going to stick to that plan for you.

And of course, I'm going to adjust with it. People a lot of times say they don't want to have an epidural. So, it mostly shows me the exciting thing for me about birth plans is that you've at least thought about what the heck's even gonna happen in the labor room because so many people come in and they're just like, Oh, I need a pediatrician.

Oh, breastfeeding like I haven't even thought of breastfeeding. At least I know that you've like, I don't know, you've at least thought about it. So I'm like hip hip hurray for that. Yes, it 

Krista: really I felt like In my experience, it just more so put me in the driver's seat. In a sense, there's only so much you can plan and prepare for, but there are just lots of decisions to be made throughout that whole process.

And it's your, it's your pregnancy, it's your birth, it's your delivery, and you are the keeper [00:08:00] of this baby, so why be at the whim of other... People, or like, why be put in that, in what is already such a stressful time, typically be put in that position to be making decisions. That's why I really appreciated having a birth plan, even though it really got turned upside down, but having the birth plan so you all knew, okay, here's 

Hilary: what she wants.

Right. Or even if you go to a c section, you've put on there, I would love to go skin to skin, but you get out of surgery and you're loopy. I can be like, oh, Betty wanted to do skin to skin. Let's make that happen, even though you're loopy, right? Because I can make a lot of things happen. Skin to skin in general, there are a few random cases, but in general, the nurse can make that happen for you.

Even if you're asleep, I will hold that baby on your breast, on your chest. Just so baby and you can be together or I'll hand it to your partner and they can do skin to skin. But there are a few things on there that we really can make happen. If we know that's your preference, [00:09:00] something that's important to you that I like knowing that because there are things that I can make happen.

Now I can't make you not have a C section unfortunately. I mean I would love to do that, but a lot of people come in with a birth plan where they're like absolutely no Pitocin, absolutely no C section, absolutely no episiotomy. And I'm like, well, you're going to probably end up with two or three of those.

I don't know because I feel like when you go, because then I got into the law of manifesting, you know, cause I own my own business and you can't, you can't run your own business without manifesting being shoved down your throat in many places. But I was like, how can these people who really want specific things, why are they not manifesting?

It's interesting. I do find that patients who are married to this birth plan, absolute, when they're like, absolutely no. You know, then we're going to be, [00:10:00] we're going to absolutely do that. Just check that one off. Just prep the O. R., guys. I don't know. And so many people will yell at labor nurses for being like, it's you that's causing that.

And I'm like, no, I am 100 percent on her team. I'm on team no C section. Honestly, every nurse is on team no C section because it is more work for us in general. So we're, we're up for a vaginal delivery. Like just stuff happens. It's not like we're shoving you towards that C section. So I don't know.

Those are my thoughts on birth plans. They're varied. They're varied. 

Krista: Yes. And I won't get into all of the specifics of my birth story, because that's another episode for another day, but I did really appreciate that the doctors, because I wanted to have a, an all natural birth center birth. And when that clearly was not in the cards, we started there, but when that was not in the cards, and I get to the hospital, I really appreciated that my doula came and that the nurses.

And the doctors, they are [00:11:00] really tried to give me that experience as much as possible and truly a C section. Is what it ultimately resulted in, but I could tell that was their last resort. They were really trying to, make my plan happen. But at the end of the day, you can't, it is what it is.

Her heart rate's dipping at the end of the day. I want a healthy baby. 

Hilary: Yeah. And thank goodness for C sections. I mean, so many people are like, Oh, they're horrible. And I'm like, thank goodness for C sections. There's a lot of babies who would be dead. That's what happened on the planes, guys. Do we want to be back on the planes?


Krista: right. Are there any? Misconceptions about birth plans that you think might be important to talk through. 

Hilary: I, I just think people are like, if you're, your nurses are bugged by birth plans because we, we don't like to take orders.

And I'm like, guys, that is literally our main job is to take doctor's orders. So the fact that that's coming from a patient that we like versus a doctor who we may or may not like, I'm up [00:12:00] for it. And I think all nurses are like, I'm excited to see your birth plan. Some seasoned nurses who are doing it a long time are kind of annoyed a little bit by them because most of them are pretty much the same.

You know, I don't want a piziotomy. I don't want that for you either. I would prefer not to have Pitocin. I hope you talked with your doctor about that in advance. Cause a lot of doctors like to just throw in Pitocin randomly, even though you're contracting on your own, and a lot of it, sometimes they just like throw it at us at the last minute and they're like, I don't want an IV.

And I'm like, did you talk to your doctor about this during your pregnancy? And they're like, no. And I'm like, okay, yeah, there's a lot of education now. Okay. Let's start having this conversation that I wish you would have had a 28 weeks with your provider. Yeah, 

Krista: now it's like past the mark, past the mark now.

Well, so let's talk postpartum. So we've talked a little bit about pre- birth plans. Let's talk about postpartum planning because we know that that can often be overlooked. I feel like I overlooked it a bit on my side in my experience. What aspects of [00:13:00] postpartum planning do you think are essential for new parents and why is it crucial to plan ahead for 

Hilary: that period?

So baby Hillary back in 2001 when I had my first child he Or 2000. I was like, how is he 23? 2000. I had my first baby. I went to a prenatal class and they were just like, baby comes out and then it's just sunshine and rainbows for the rest of eternity. And I was like, sweet, cool, cool. I wrote that manual.

I am so ready for this. I was not ready for that. Breastfeeding did not work well. I didn't, I knew the basics of like. How to know breastfeeding wasn't working, but I was so tired that all of a sudden I was like, I don't think I've changed a diaper all day. You know, like it was just a big fat mess. My husband and I hadn't really talked about how we were gonna manage it.

I had read Baby Wise, 'cause that was pretty much the only baby book back then. And I, a very scheduled person, so a portion of that book worked really well for me and that helped me out. But we've just, like, we, we were like, we have a crib and a room. [00:14:00] We hadn't talked if he would ever sleep in our room, although that wasn't as much of a thing back then.

We definitely had bumpers. Hello, losers. But we just weren't ready. So, I, when I started my prenatal class, well, first when I started teaching for the hospital, again, theirs were like, these are pads. You will wear them after you have your baby. And then you'll go home. And I was like, well, that is not helpful at all to these ladies.

So I adjusted their plan for the postpartum section. And then when I created my own prenatal class for my website, I now have two full chapters on postpartum. So I talk about what to expect in the hospital, how to get the most out of your hospital stay. Cause a lot of people are just like, Oh, those nurses are bugging me so much.

When in reality, that nurse is such a fountain of baby knowledge. You should be milking her. For that knowledge, that sounds bad for a postpartum nurse, but you should be milking her for knowledge while you're in the hospital. So I explained how to do that, what to expect to the hospital, why we're doing certain things.

And then we have a whole chapter on what to do when you go home. And I have a whole [00:15:00] list of questions for parents to talk about together because that is the point where your partner really comes into play. Like the one I stress a lot is how are you going to work to get four hours of complete sleep each of you every night?

Because studies are showing that if you could just get that four hours, you can cope with having a baby. Whereas these people that are just getting like two, one, two, your body just never gets that sleep that allows you to like turn into a human being. So, talking about those things in advance, are you going to pump?

Are they going to give a bottle? Are you just going to cross your fingers that baby doesn't wake up during those four hours that they're in charge, so I, I cannot stress postpartum planning enough. And also when people talk about getting a doula, I'm like, I mean, I love a labor doula, but if I had the monies, I would get me a postpartum doula a hundred percent, because I can't imagine how amazing it would be to have somebody who like knew all the baby things.

Even from someone who knows all the baby things to have somebody come in an objective person again, who just like, no, that's it. We know [00:16:00] this is normal, Hilary. And I'm like, okay, yeah, that's normal. Okay. We're good. 

Krista: Seriously. So I had a labor doula, but I did. I don't know that I really knew that a postpartum doula existed at that time.

So tell us your definition. What is a postpartum doula doing? 

Hilary: She just comes in and does whatever the heck you want. I follow a few online. I honestly had not heard a lot. I did have patients in the hospital ask about if I would postpartum doula for them. And I was like, I don't think I can, and I don't think that sounds like fun, but there are people out there who love babies.

They're fine to stay up with your baby at night. So most often they come during the night, or they could come during the day. Most of them are lactation, at least counselors, they have some lactation experience. Again, a doula does not have to have any specific training. So Joe Schmo off the street could be like, Hey buddy, I'm a doula.

So you want to get references. From lots of different people, you want to see that they've done this in lots of different homes. They just come in, a [00:17:00] lot of times they'll like wash the baby clothes while they're asleep. They'll make you some breakfast to be like a breakfast casserole. They'll just get up with baby.

They'll give baby a bath. They'll even cut the baby's fingernails, which is like one of my least favorite activities. People would ask me in the hospital, Can you cut their fingernails? I was like, no. That's, no, immediately no. I'm having to get one of those electric files. Yeah, that wasn't, yeah. Because I cut her one time.


Krista: that's all we had. And I was like, and I made my baby bleed, so I have to get an electric file. And was using it until about two years ago, quite 

Hilary: honestly. She's like 12 getting a manicure and you're like in there with your electric file. So they just come in and they help you out with baby. They mostly get up with baby during the night and they are either going to like wake you up to pump maybe so they'll let you get those four hours of sleep and then help you get up and pump.

They'll wash all your parts for you. They're just going to help you get some sleep in reality and they're going to do it however you want. So if you're just like, just give baby a bottle. I [00:18:00] don't want to see, I don't want to see light the entire time you are here. I'm going to put on my sleep mask and my sound machine.

Go to sleep. You can do that. Or if they, if you want to get up and feed the baby in the middle or something like that, they will hold baby off. They will, they will work to make it, it's a great way to get your four hours of sleep, although kind of expensive. So I'm not sure what a postpartum doula runs.

I know it would vary a lot depending on where you were and the pricing there, but I've got to think, you know, you're thinking hundreds for the night. Yeah. But it 

Krista: does sound quite amazing. 

Hilary: Especially if you have great resource or like. References. Yes. Because obviously you'd want, or if your friend had used one.

And I think if your friend group gets, like, Nosodula, what a great baby shower gift. Especially on your second baby where you have a lot of the crap already. Yes. Let me sleep because now I have two monsters. I don't know when I'm ever going to sleep again. Absolutely. So, what are five 

Krista: must [00:19:00] haves every new mom needs when she 

Hilary: gets home with baby?

Let me, let me pull up my list because I made a list. Big pads, including Depends. nobody talked about that when I had my babies. Why didn't they? Why weren't, why haven't we been using Depends? I knew they were around because I worked nursing home when I had my first baby. We were using them on the old people.

Why did I not grab a stash to use on myself? Because when you stand up. Especially in the hospital, you sometimes don't have full use of your bladder yet either. So you've squished your bladder as you pushed out the baby. So you've got pee, you've got blood, because as you lay in bed, it pools and then it dumps out.

So I would just say a small pack of Depends is going to make your life so much easier. It's going to be so nice to just chuck that in the trash. Then you want your overnight pads. Just having pads, I think, is so important. Sometimes you talk to moms and they're like, pads? And they have to run by the hospital and grab them on their way home.

And I will say that the hospital, I mean, it depends on the hospital, but some of our pads just suck. Like we gave moms three Depends, like we had a pack that was made by some company, three [00:20:00] Depends, like five big pads. And then we were like onto the. Menstrual pads of the 1970s that my mom used to use. I don't need like they're sticky didn't even work We just tried to shove them in the mesh.

So you may even want to bring them to the hospital that could be something you ask on a hospital tour. The next thing I recommend is cut up fruits and veggies This is a great thing for people to bring you maybe you're not up for meals who knows but I think having cut up fruits and vegetables in the fridge is such a great option because You're running on a 24 hour clock, so you don't really eat meals the same way.

So having something in the fridge that's good for you and is going to keep you hydrated and healthy is going to be a win because you are automatically going to grab for donuts, if that's your other option, or crackers. Like, if you have something, you just need something really super available, right?

That doesn't mean don't get the casseroles too. But during the day, you'll want the fruits and the veggies. I, this might, there might be some haters out there, but I recommend that every family has at least one bottle and some [00:21:00] formula in their home, just in case. Because you don't need to be like, this isn't working and my baby's starving and everything's closed or I don't, I had to break into CVS.

I don't know what you would do, but I recommend, and back in the day you used to get all those things with your baby packs. They would give you a tiny bottle, which is great for a newborn. You would get little bits of formula. So I would encourage people to probably sign up on those formula pages.

They will send you formula still. They just aren't as available at the doctor's office like they used to be. I also recommend. The other thing, which is not really a thing, but the plan to get four hours of sleep at night. I, I pushed that a lot with my pregnant mamas, which we've already talked about.

And then also easy clothes. I don't think I realized what my body was going to look like after I had a baby. And I remember we were going to a friend's house, which was a big deal anyway. But I just like put on jeans and went to their house. And I fit in my jeans, my waist fit in my jeans, but my lady bits [00:22:00] were so uncomfortable in those jeans, I thought I was going to die.

So, there's just a lot to think about easy clothes. So, leggings, when you get home from the hospital, you're probably going to be five to six months pregnant still, like your body will be because your uterus is still big. So, nightgowns, Wear your moomoos, ladies. Just let, let there be so much air circulation wherever your baby has come out, be it C section or in your downtown, because you're also going to have those night sweats and stuff.

Like your body's just a mess. Don't provide it clothes that it hates. 

Krista: 100%. Like the sleep 

Hilary: dresses 

Krista: are amazing. Downs, like what? If you can wear something to bed that you can get up and be like, this is comfortable and still, who's going to see me? I mean, quite honestly, right? Taking care of the baby.

Like, you just want to be comfortable to your point. Let the air circulate all about the gowns and. Still actually enjoy it. Just 

Hilary: a good, flowy dress. Amen. [00:23:00] Amen. I feel like my grandma, but I don't, I just don't care. It reminds me of my grandma and I'm like, she was a pretty great lady. All right, let's do this.

She, she knew. Yeah, she knew. She knew. 

Krista: So, I've been snooping on you, of course. So, all of your organizational strategery and all of that. I love it. And so, maybe this is the direction you will go with this question, but you can go wherever.

Hilary: How do you keep it all together? You don't. I mean, you. You keep a facade, right? I remember after my third baby, my husband went back to work. My mom went home and I was just sitting there crying and I was like, I don't know how these other moms do it. I don't know how I'm going to get the kids to school and like, and like, look like a human on the playground as we watch them after school and all those different kinds of things.

And I finally realized that it was just a facade. Nobody had it together. So that, that made me feel a lot better. I mean, some days I do have it together and I probably look like I have it together more now, right? Cause [00:24:00] nobody lives at my house besides a 14 year old. It makes it a lot easier to look like I have it together because no one is spitting up on me in general.

So. I mean, I just, I don't plan on having it together, doing, plan on being happy, doing what makes you happy, and feeling like you're, you're making some success in your life, that's all that I recommend. That being said, if you're losing your mind because of how your house is, which I don't do well in a house that's full of clutter, then I do think you're gonna feel better if you take on some organizing projects instead of other things.

That being said, when you have a baby, it's not the time to do the organizing projects. It's the time to get the four hours of sleep. So baby steps, times and seasons. I can't tell you so much. Times and seasons. All my friends were like, Oh, I could never go to Disneyland. Cause I go to Disneyland with friends a couple of times a year.

And I'm like so many years where there was absolutely, that.[00:25:00] 

Krista: Okay, final question. What is one tip, trick, or piece of advice that you would share with another mama 

Hilary: right now? Just that nobody has it together. Stop, stop comparing like, oh, Betty down the street has it together. No, she doesn't. If there, there are going, if you walk into Betty's house and you lived her life, there would be areas where you'd be like, she don't, she don't got that together, right?

And as a nurse, you get a very intimate view of how people are living their lives. And so when moms are like, oh, I'm the biggest failure, I'm like, okay, you're not a meth head. We are at least trying to put our babies first as much as we can, and we're doing our best.

Now, that being said, probably the meth head is also doing her best, and I should be less judgmental, And I don't know who's setting up this ideal that it has to look like XYZ. I don't know where that all came from. Because if you talk to the moms at the high school, we're all just like, [00:26:00] girl, I got you.

It is so hard, because nobody has any expectations besides not killing them, right? When they're in high school. You're just like, Yeah, these teenagers are rough. I want to cry a lot. They're mean to me. They don't listen. You know, none of us are like, well, my baby sleep. My baby's only breastfed. No one's doing that at the high school.

Maybe there are some moms that are like my kid has a 4. 0, but in reality, even the 4. 0 kids are mouthy and rude and don't have enough. Like they're there. You're like, get out of the house. Go see your friends. Stop studying. You know, it is nice because older moms. Moms of older kids are much less judgmental because there is no standard that we're all trying to keep at this point in time.

We are literally just like, Oh man, this really is hard. And why are we not that way with newborns? Why can't we be less judgmental and be like, Oh, are you breastfeeding? Are you feeding? Is your baby growing? 

Krista: Is your baby [00:27:00] sheltered, fed, clothed, 

Hilary: right? Or even clothes. I mean a baby in a diaper is adorable as long as it's not freezing outside.

I live in Arizona. You could keep your baby in a diaper half the year here. So 100%. I 

Krista: believe that after having now been to Arizona for my first time, I get that. It's hot. 

Hilary: It's hot here. 

Krista: Is there anything that we did not cover that feel you feel like? based on the fact that babies don't come with instructions and you are one amazing, awesome labor and delivery nurse with three kiddos who are older.

So, for those of us mamas who have younger kiddos, is there anything we have not covered that you 

Hilary: feel is important? Lower, lower your expectations, have, like, lower your, lower your birth room expectations. Of course, make the plan, but lower what you think's going to happen. Lower your expectations on how a family vacation's going to go.

Lower your expectations of how kids are going to be in high school. Just [00:28:00] lower your expectations of yourself, your kids, your life, and you're just going to be a lot happier because then, like, good things will happen. I'm not saying that we don't have goals and plans, but you can't, day to day, you're just like, we're just going to make it through.

We are going to make it through this day, and it's going to be amazing. 


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