Christina's Baby Journey: Tips from a mother of 10
(WEAR) - Expectant mothers get all sorts of advice. They get tips from blogs, doctors, and "well-meaning" friends. Channel 3's Christina Leavenworth sought out the ultimate advice from someone who knows better than really anyone - a mother with 10 kids.
To say things are often hectic at Laura O'Brien's house is an understatement. She has nine kids and a tenth on the way.
She said, "I call them the wrong name all the time, whatever your name is. Sometimes at the pharmacy, they ask for date of birth and I'm like 'whoops I dont know.'"
Her kids range in age from 22 to still in utero. She's due in December.
She said, "five boys, four girls, about to even the odds, and make it five and five."
Three of her children are adopted, but the other six she delivered - some with epidurals, others all natural.
"Once my water breaks, the baby seems to just walk out at the point cause I've had so many, catch it like a football," O'Brien said.
This will be her seventh time giving birth. Her story is incredible. Four of her children have special needs. She works full time while her husband is gone half the year working off shore. She is definitely a super mom. I had so many questions for her, so I started with simple ones. "What do you even pack for the hospital? "
She said, "the first thing is don't over pack. Hospital does provide a lot like diapers and wipes. They have blankets and stuff there, even onesies."
She said to definitely bring along some cute baby outfits and a phone charger so you can take plenty of good pictures.
As far as labor and delivery, she said to bring a birth plan, but remember things can always change.
"What you plan for may not happen, so keep your mind mentally prepared for anything to happen. Also while it is painful, try not to scare yourself too much. One tip, look at all the people in the world and it can't be as bad as people have in their head or people would quit having babies."
What about coming home with the new baby? She says to get ready for sleep deprivation and dads need to step in and help.
She said, " couples as a team need to decide who is going to wake up on each feeding and when mom is going to get sleep. Just because mom is 'the mom', it doesn't mean dad shouldn't do a few feedings, so share the duties so the stress isn't just on mom."
She said new parents will figure it out. Her biggest advice is something she tells herself everyday.
"Enjoy your children, they will grow faster than you know, it seems like yesterday my 23 year old was born."