Sunday, December 19, 2010

Packing for the hospital the second time around

As I neared the end of week 37 and still hadn’t packed my hospital bag, I thought I should at least get started with a list of what to pack. So I looked in my files to see if I could find the list I’d made when heading to the hospital to deliver River.

Looking it over made me laugh, even more so than my oh-so-sincere birth plan, as though I could actually control those things.

“Do you think I need a nice nightgown and pink fuzzy slippers?” I asked Mark.

“No. You just get things bloody there anyway, so you might as well use the hospital gown.”

That’s what I was thinking.

“How about the rice-filled sock or the scented lotions and oil?” I laughed.

“Yah right,” he said. “You were definitely more….I don’t know what the word is, but you were more that way last time.” I think he was looking for the word anal.

“I have apple cider on my list last time. What was that for?”

“I don’t know. I don’t remember drinking it.”

I think it was sparkling cider, meant to celebrate the birth. I also had on my list to label it with my name and to have it put in the refrigerator when we arrived. I might actually leave that one on there. I never would have thought of it again if I hadn’t seen it on the first list, but why not be rewarded with some bubbly?

We don’t have the car seat installed and I’m not the slightest bit anxious about it. Mark said he was thinking of putting it in this weekend. I said I didn’t care either way. We live six blocks from the hospital. I didn’t use the carseat when taking River home, and I doubt I will for this baby.

Neither the bassinet nor the swing are ready. None of the clothes are out. I figure Mark can pull that stuff out when I’m in the hospital. No need to take up extra space now. I haven’t prepared a bunch of extra food. We’re thinking of indulging in a meal service this time, and I can make that call when I get home. I realize that I can order any supplies I may have forgotten from Amazon, if not from other stores, and it will be here within two days. It’s not the end of the world if I haven’t purchased everything in advance.

It’s funny to go through this process a second time and see how my perspective has changed. Of course, that’s to be expected. I don’t think a first-time mother can really have any idea of what giving birth is like, unless she has perhaps been there while a close relative is giving birth.

This time I’m less concerned with all the details, I’m less concerned with being in control. My main priorities are to minimize pain and injury, to minimize the stress on everyone involved, and to come out with a healthy baby and mother.

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