The garment I had was like a big waist binder. It was kind of heavy-duty elastic with velcro and I needed someone to help me put it on at first to make sure it was snug enough.

I don't think I even bothered with underwear the first few days, but later I ended up wearing big, loose panties (I wore my old pregnancy/post c-section underwear...they will get blood-stained from the incision and drainage tubes). I specifically remember not wanting to wear anything with a waist-band for a very long time (between the swelling, the garment and the incision). I wore old maternity shorts and later I wore waistless dresses to work.

The first week or two I did sleep propped up in a semi-sitting position (either in bed or on the couch)with tons of pillows around me. I think you can eat normally as soon as you have an appetite, but I remember living on saltines and Sprite for the first few days (I hate anesthesia and how it makes me feel). I remember they said I could take a shower right away, but it didn't seem right (pain and incision), so I waited a couple of days.

Finally, no, I didn't recommend hiring a professional nurse, just make sure you have someone there to help you out and who can tolerate blood without being grossed out...I had a friend help me and she was wonderful. You will need help with EVERYTHING at first...moving, sitting, standing, walking, bathroom, dressing changes, emptying drainage tubes, etc.