Our Luciana was born April first.
The short story is: I labored for almost 48 hours (pre-labor stuff, really), labored hard for a few hours and the last part was quick and dirty. I had a some meds in the beginning in an attempt to let me rest a bit (pre-labor=48 hours on nearly no sleep) and then I wanted meds desperately in the minutes before she emerged. They don't do that though.
I learned a lot with Rosanna as an infant. Well, let's be honest, the learning hasn't stopped just because she's no longer a human blob of neediness. That learning came in handy this time 'round in the form of: I don't need all the things I was sure I needed. There is a stigma that having an infant=having tons of extra stuff. Not only that, but you need to carry this stuff with you all the time. There's a long list of items I believed I needed as a new mom with Ro, and for the most part I got them. So very much of it turned out to be unnecessary. That's why I nearly snorted in disbelief as I sat next to a pregnant mom at the Babies'R'Us registry counter and listened to the clerk advise that her registry have a minimum of 200 items on it.
So here's my list of can't-do-withouts and items I'd 'pass' on. My suggestion is to register for the things you are really certain you need and ask for gift cards. That way all of the other stuff you can get when you discover you could really use it, instead of assuming. Because having a baby is like no other experience you can even imagine, so why do we think we'll know what we need to deal with it?
PASS: (these are biggies don't get freaked out)
Diaper Genie - Seems like a good idea. We used ours, but in reality the regular trash works just as well.
Crib - For our family it was used maybe 5 times. We're co-sleepers through and through.
Bottles - Our kid never took to them and my boobs were much less work.
CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT:
Nipple Shield - Saved my breast feeding experience. It's hard at first and it hurts like a motha (well, it did both times for me). I would've given up if not for them.
Swaddlers - My babies went into a coma when swaddled. Hooray! And no, it's not because I swaddled them too tight.
Boppy Pillow - I'm sure other breastfeeding pillows are good too, but I've only had a Boppy. Saves my arms & my back when nursing or even just holding her while she sleeps. Love it.
Pacifier - I didn't want to go there, I really really didn't. I saw using one as a cop-out, a weakness in my parenting abilities. Then I had a kid and got over it. I know not all kiddos will take one, but both mine have and it's kept me sane a time or two.
Ring - I switch it back and forth to remind me which side I nursed on last.
So, for reals, I keep a nipple shield, swaddler, boppy and pacifier with me at all times. I don't actually take the Boppy out of the house, but it moves from room to room with me. Aside from the obvious diapers and clothes, there is nothing else we've dug out and used for Luci. It's pretty awesome.
Do you have anything you'd add to these lists?