Sunday, March 8, 2009

Labor (?) and Delivery

I had planned (ha!) to go into labor at home in the evening or on a weekend so I could be certain to get everything we needed. It would be a nice, orderly procession to the hospital. It would surely be after my due date, but definitely before Christmas - it was my first, you know. I would be in charge.

In reality, our girly arrived via an un-planned, semi-emergent cesarean section at 38 weeks. In the middle of the work day. On a Wednesday!

I had hemmed and hawed for weeks about what to pack for the hospital - Googling for THE PERFECT list. In the end, it was all for not as our bag laid empty on the floor of our bedroom when the call came. My husband, bless his heart, was able to follow my chicken scratch notes from the described Googling and gathered most everything we needed in record time.

While all you really NEED is yourself and your significant other, there are quite a few things that make the experience a little nicer. I started with this and this and added or subtracted as I saw fit.

Some highlights:
- Your own pjs - pants and a top for breastfeeding
- Your own underwear and pads - the ones they give you at the hospital seem like ones from the 1950's and you probably will want something different
- Nursing bra or tank top (I like these the best)
- A robe for walking the halls
- Bring chapstick - you will need it
- A camera, of course, and our laptop was nice to have. We brought our iPod, but didn't really listen to it as I didn't spend a lot (or any) time in labor.
-Some lists say to bring snacks, but our hospital had a room full of all kinds of snacks and drinks for new parents
- Going home clothes for baby (newborn size unless you are having a giant)
- Pillows for you and Dad
- Comfy clothes (and a change of clothes) for Dad
- Good smelling shampoo and soap
- Warm socks with anti-slip bottoms
- Going home clothes for Mom - try to buy something new that is stretchy and will accommodate your post-delivery belly, but at the same time is not the dreaded maternity clothes

Also, my two cents on delivering a baby: There is no trophy at the end. Whichever way that baby gets out, you have a BABY at the end and that is what is important. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own wishes about having that baby. While my mother and I may have had a tiny disagreement about epidurals, I will say that my nurse in L&D asked about my thoughts on pain management and I told her I wanted an epidural and she said "Good for you - it is the only civilized way!"

Further, regarding birth plans, BAH! As my doctor eloquently stated, "The plan is to have a healthy baby and a healthy mother". I agreed. Surprisingly, being one who loves lists and planning, I never saw the need for a birth plan. Good thing, as it would have been a waste of my time.

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