Friday, May 14, 2010

That Bag

I’ve started to assemble things for my hospital bag.

The hospital bag is that bag your husband grabs in a moment of OH SHIT THE BABY IS COMING as you waddle and contraction your way to the car wondering what the hell is taking him so long.

That bag.

I’ve heard that you should have this bag ready to go around week 36. Well, I’m a little bit of an organizer, a planner and since my world is about to be turned completely upside down I would like to at least maintain the illusion of being prepared by having the freakin’ bag ready.

The other night, I made a trip to Target to gather some things for the bag.

I didn’t get very far.

Only because I didn’t really know where to start. I remember reading a few things in books and the only things that stood out to me were: chapstick and toothpaste.

Have you tried buying chapstick lately? Don’t. It’s the paradox of choice. There were so many choices I just wanted to not choose at all. In the end, I picked the purple stuff. Because I like purple which is always the best reason.

The toiletries were next. I couldn’t decide which soap would make me the happiest so I picked three different kinds. I like things to be clean (yes, I know, that with a baby in my world I’m going to be….screwed) so I admit I have a soap problem. I also know that if I have to wash my hands with hospital soap I will spend the entire time smelling my hands in medicinal horror and probably won’t be able to deliver the child because how can I welcome him into the world with these hands!?

I cruised down the aisle of feminine hygiene. There’s an oxymoron when we’re talking about delivery. I have a feeling I’m going to see things come out of me that I wish I didn’t. I’ve heard those things keep coming out of you for much longer than you want long after delivery. So I grabbed a package of the most absorbant giant pads I could find. These will be a party in my pants.

(though I’ve since learned that Depends makes pregnancy diapers – I might be getting them)

And what to put those pads in? You guessed it. Those hip hugging wretched granny underwear. I have no shame, I bought them from Target. I’m not about to spend any more than 3 bucks on something I’ll probably wear once and ruin. And if I don’t ruin them, after this whole experience I will be burning them along with my maternity pants.

Everyone keeps telling me to bring sweatpants but I don’t own a pair. I just can’t. Something about sweatpants screams middle-aged man wearing white Reeboks to me. I settle on pajama pants but I have to confess – none of mine fit. And the only pair that Target had was bright pink with tea kettles on it.

I almost bought it knowing that I’ll need some comic relief. Me + pink + tea kettles….THNK ABOUT IT.

When I got home I realized that I didn’t get very far with packing my bag. So, I did what anyone does when they are seeking valuable advice – I posted the question on Facebook. What do I need to pack in the bag that I bring to the hospital. Immediately I got oodles of responses from the once pregnant, now pregnant and never been pregnant but always have something to say.

But the most brilliant was from a man: “BRING CHRIS!”

I had to laugh when someone suggested we bring the XBox. I’ll give Chris the choice – either he OR the Xbox can come to the hospital. Not both. I cannot stand the XBox. It never used to bother me because he had it in the basement and I don’t really care what goes on in the man cave. It’s his subterranean hangout where he can drink beer, get chain grease on the walls, bring out his electronic level or play XBox. Then one day I came home and found it in the living room.

What is that doing here?

Turns out he needed to be near the internet so he could play a game connected to the rest of the world. And this explains why I found my husband on the couch, wearing a headset talking to other grown adult men about a….video game.

This went on for weeks. Every night. He would occasionally say something to the guy. I got used to the sounds of him shooting, the sound of the video game man talking, the sound of the game ending every time he died. And I realized he was dying a lot.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.

You really suck at that game.


Then why do you keep playing it?

I DON'T KNOW! I need to turn it off.

Went on like this for weeks.

Back to packing my bag. It occurred to me that I needed to make a list: bring comfortable clothes, clothes for baby, blanket for baby, toiletries, books, nightgown…wait a minute…nightgown (?) (this is what happens when your mom is on Facebook), laptop, make up, the Boppy, lollipops, socks, snacks, your own pillow, a much larger than you think you’ll need nursing bra, snacks, cell phone charger, slippers and lanolin.

After reading all of the things I needed to bring, I realized that I didn’t need a bag, I needed one of those giant suitcases with wheels. A few of them. And a large burly man to carry them.

What about clothes for me? I’ve heard that you still look 5 months pregnant after delivery. What the heck am I going to wear? What will fit me? Forget me – what about the baby!?! Now we already have a going home outfit for Max but then I thought to myself – what if it doesn’t fit? What if he doesn’t like it? Should I bring something else? Then I worried I didn’t have enough swaddling blankets. What if he poops through one of them? What if I don’t get to do laundry for weeks? What then? I added more blankets to my list.

Then I made a list of things I need in the house – frozen peas to ice the hooha (please, if you ever come to my house DO NOT EAT THE FROZEN PEAS), ibuprofen, birth control for the next 18 years, baby toiletries. Oh my god – what kind of toiletries do babies need? What if Max has my obsession with soap? How am I going to afford two soap freaks in the house?!

Of course all of this is me thinking and worrying ahead. And why not. It’s getting damn close. Still far away but here’s the deal about babies…they can come at any time. I have this fear of him deciding at 36 weeks that enough is enough. If he’s anything like me, he’ll get bored with waiting and take action for himself. Tunnel his way out of the cervix and shout to the world: I’M READY. The other night at 11:17 pm he started kicking me like he wanted out (and in my half sleepy state I had this fear of what if he kicks his way out!)

So…I’m not really sleeping much lately.

There are times in pregnancy when you start thinking ahead. You realize this is not something that lasts forever. Assembling the hospital bag is one of those times. It has to be done. Which means this will come to an end. It’s almost easier to be pregnant. The baby has everything it needs inside of you. And you can maintain some semblance of normal life. But as it gets closer, it gets more real. As it gets more real, I get more scared. But that’s a good thing. A little fear keeps us honest and present.

But just in case I probably should pack my confident eyes and my big girl pants.


Marit C-L said... I've never been pregnant, I can't help you on that one. But I totally agree about the chap stick. It's OUT OF CONTROL. As for the video talking on headsets unless they are doing ACTUAL military missions should be banned back to the basement. It's never a good thing when you carry on a conversation with him, only to realize he's been on xbox the entire time :)

I'm excited for you!!

Sara said...

it's the frozen pea & carrot mixed vegetable medley that you do not eat at our house. Seriously, that bag has iced a number of places on my body but who really eats that stuff anyway?

Coach Ian said...

I am a father of 2 girls, now mind you they are all grown. I love this post, you are a great write. When I helped my wife pack her bag, I said to her, if the world was going to end, what 5 things will you take with you to escape?

I was not one of the 5!

Take what will make you comfortable, and clothes for the baby. Hopefully, if everything goes well, you will not be there that long. Also, some of athletes that I coach have had babies, and they got back into shape very quickly, with wonderful babies.

Good luck with everything, and get sweat pants! :0)

MtngirlinCali said...

After just going through this, the only things I used in my labor bag were 2 massive jugs of Gatorade (they only let you drink in labor, not eat, and you are ravenous AND thirsty, so lots of calories there)and a blue sports bra that I wore underneath my hospital gown.

We got home from the hospital and laughed at the packing list we had posted on the board in his nursery. I guess everyone is different, but I didn't use too much! (I did put on makeup, flat-ironed my hair, and wore my maternity clothes on the last swelled from all the IV fluids that even the maternity jeans were a little snug) Anyway, sounds like you are ahead of the curve here. :)

kat said...

It's 10 days until my c-section, and I just started packing last night. I started...but have not finished! :) (Do I admit that I think I'm ok w/wearing hospital gowns and they're oh-so-sexy mesh panties while I'm there?!)

My husband - forget about it. I know he hasn't even thought about what he needs to bring for himself!

Sparklinglady said...

i love your blog and find your whole experience a lot of fun to follow, however I don't see any mention of bringing a pony tail holder with you. Somehow I lost mine while giving birth to my first baby and spent the whole time with out of control, always in my face hair and it was horrible. for the 2nd baby i packed a ton plus had one on each wrist.

Terri said...

OK - you don't need all that stuff in the bag. Let's think about the baby going home - how far is it to your house from the hospital? One outfit should suffice and one blanket. Anything else the baby needs in the hospital will be provided. Take those things that you want with you and think you need - pillow, chapstick, soap, pj pants or loose fitting running pants - whatever is comfortable. You shouldn't be there long and if for some reason you are there more than 2 days (at most), then Chris can bring you what you need. Ok now breathe....

Running and living said...

OK, so the post preggo bleeding can be minor, really. Don't look down there for a week, then things will be almost back to normal. The most shocking thing for me was seeing my post preggo belly - it was like a deflated basketball, I could push it in, and than it would bounce back. Weird! But, you will have a flat stomach in 2 weeks, you will see (bc you exercise!). It is hard to believe now, but the body bounces back quickly when you are fit. The breasts, well, that is another story!

Alicia Parr said...

Eventually, the discomfort of pregnancy becomes so great that any anxieties about birth and the new responsibilities of parenting pale in comparison. That, and after your nesting instinct kicks in (think hyperactive cleaning compulsion), you'll be kind of pissed if the little guy drags his feet too long after that hurricane of activity. So, no, you never really feel ready, but eventually you'll be ready enough by virtue of extreme readiness to NOT BE PREGNANT.

Michelle said...

As others have already mentioned, OMG, you SO don't need all that stuff!!!!! You aren't moving into the hospital, Chris can run out to get something if you desperately need it, and the hospital gives you everything you REALLY need (and those mesh panties they have are seriously the only thing you are going to want to wear for your hospital stay). I can't think of a single thing I packed in my bag that I used, and I barely packed anything to begin with! Oh, yes, we used the tennis ball - that thing was magic on my lower back during labor. So, there you go. A tennis ball, a camera, and clothes to go home in (stretchy yoga pants will fit you and they are super comfy). There's my list suggestions. :)

Catching up with Jessica said...

After a fat and depressing day for me, I purposely sat my fat butt down to read YOUR blog. My husband said, I love to hear you laugh, that was the first time all day. Thank you! Chapstick is huge for me...I like Burt's bees and hair ties. This is the biggest race of our lives...we must have our essentials!