Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Hospital

So a few of you are going to poop out your kid pretty quick here!

Congrats.  You must be thrilled, anxious, excited, scared, nervous, constipated.

Always constipated.  It comes with everything during pregnancy.  Like ranch dressing.

I digress...

The act of packing the bag for the hospital can be a stressful one.  No matter how many lists you have from friends, pregnancy books, Internet sites, you will always forget something.

So just recognize that now, and come to terms with it.  Realize that women used to give birth in the weeds, and place their baby on a dirt bed before going back outside to finish plowing the field. 

No doulas, midwives, witch doctors, labor coaches, guided imagery, inflatable tubs or birthing balls.


So, you will be fine.  Even if you forget your electric toothbrush and your lucky underwear.

Things I'm glad we brought:

1.  My own pillow
2.  Camcorder
3.  Camera

Things we didn't need:

1.  Fully packed diaper bag with 6 outfit changes for every possible temperature range.  One outfit will do, and they are wrapped in 6 layers of blankets all the time, so you don't even see it anyway.
2.  Books (Ha. Time to read and relax...what?  Maybe for L & D.)
3.  Blow dryer (So naive, was I.)

Things I wish we would have brought:

1. The Boppy (I thought it was too big and annoying to pack for the 2 days we would be there, but it would have been nice while trying to get the hang of breastfeeding.  Instead I just used piles of hospital blankets.  Annoying.)

Things I wish someone would have told me before I went:

1.  Your baby will look like an alien.  To everyone, but you.

2.  You are not a bad parent if you don't buy 50 prints and 100 wallet sized photos of the stock hospital picture they will take of your baby alien.

3.  You are not a bad mother if you look at the nurse who comes to whisk your baby off to the nursery as an Angel of Mercy.  You are tired, sore, tired, bleeding and tired. 

4.  Nothing is free in the hospital.

5.  Your baby isn't starving.  Even if Nurse Ratched makes you think so.  When she comes storming into your room at 3 am demanding to see your baby's urination log, you CAN tell her to piss off.

6.  Have an idea of what your wishes are and make them known.  Be flexible enough to realize when what you want just isn't going to work, and you need to go to Plan B.

7.  Parenthood is one big Plan B.

8.  It is okay to feel overwhelmed, and think, "What the hell have we done," the first night in the hospital.

9.  Everything will get better.  And then worse.  And then better...etc.  Until your alien goes to college and moves out.  And probably even then the cycle will continue. 

10.  Somewhere someone is doing the exact same thing you are and having the same exact thoughts.  You are not alone. 

My baby alien.

Don't worry, your alien will look decidedly more human in a few months.

Don't forget to pat yourself on the back.  You grew a human inside your body.

Go you.

By the way, I know it kind of looks that way, but Henry doesn't wear a toupee.

All the time.


  1. You posted this just in the nick of time for me! I'm 35 weeks and starting to stress about packing for the hospital...So far I have my laptop and an outfit for baby. I suck at packing. Did momma Emily have a birthplan?? Debating on making one...

  2. Good post, Emily!

    Jenny, you can make a birth plan but it NEVER goes the way you plan it. If you go in with no expectations its less stressful...the only outcome that matters is the healthy baby! You will do GREAT!

  3. Jenny,
    I totally agree with Hayley. I didn't go in with a plan. I knew I wanted to enjoy the experience and I was just going to go with the flow. If I was in pain then I was going to get an epidural, and I definitely wasn't going to beat myself up about it. My doctor knew I really didn't want to have them use the vaccuum or forceps unless it was absolutely neccessary, but that was really the only thing I went in with. I had to be more flexible when it came to breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. Be flexible and enjoy seeing your sweet pea's face for the first time. It sure is an experience!

  4. Thanks gals!! Great advice. I feel pretty laid back about what to expect...I am pretty sure I'll get an epidural, want to breastfeed and am requesting to have no student doctors/nurses in the room. I guess it doesn't really take a birth plan to say those three things :) Hearing the experiences of my peers is the best advice! Thanks!

  5. Yeah well I did pack the boppy. Then I had to return to the hospital several days after discharge to pick it up...I left it! You see I did not have anybody around me to warn me about mommy brain, when it would hit and how FUNNY it would be!!!!!