In preparing a friend of mine for her first hospital childbirth experience, I warned her of the entourage that typically barrages a new mother — nurses in and out checking bleeding and other bodily fluids, taking temperatures, administering pain relief pills, and monitoring baby. In between the medical staff's necessary and appreciated visits, I was surprised by the other people who came a-knockin' on my door. When it wasn't the nurses, it was the birth certificate people, official hospital baby photographer, housekeeping, room service, and other visitors peeping in. Parents expecting to rest after an arduous labor may need to reevaluate their situation.

Baby number two, however, was a different story. Perhaps the photo people assumed a second-time mom wouldn't care to have her every move documented so they never showed up. It wasn't until weeks after leaving the hospital that we realized the birth certificate people also never bothered to swing by the room, so we ended up filing for it on our own. As for visitors, there were very few. If I had my druthers, I'd opt for the second round every time as it allowed us more bonding time with our son and more sleep for beat up mum.