The light at the end of the birth canal.

My wife is as round as a beach ball. In just a few weeks we’ll be making that fateful trip to the hospital, where she’ll attempt to squeeze something the rough shape and size of a Cabbage Patch Doll out through a hole the circumference of a Valencia orange, and all I can say is “better her than me!”

I know there’s a lot of parents out there that read this blog, so I want to know: what are those “must have” items to bring with us and what are the things we should keep in mind when it’s time?  Yes, we’ve been going to our birth preparedness classes for weeks now, and we’ve got all the handouts from the hospital that tell us what we should be prepared to bring and to do, but there’s nothing like actual real-world experience – so I’m harnessing the power of the interwebs in order to enlist the help of all of you.

This is of course because I’m lazy and can’t deal with reading our copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  That god damned book terrifies me.

So let’s have it: what did you learn, both mothers and fathers, about the whole labor/delivery process, and what little pieces of wisdom are you willing to share with me and my wife as we try our best to prepare for the one event in our lives that no amount of preparation can compare to real-world experience?

Thank god I have a penis.

So glad I’m a man right now.

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16 thoughts on “The light at the end of the birth canal.

  1. Must haves: slippers/socks and nursing pads. nothing more embarassing than people visiting and have milk stains suddenly appear :/

  2. ~ Comfy PJs that you can put on ASAP. A few different ones cuz stuff can get messy.
    ~ Second the slippers/socks. I got those hard soled slippers that I could just slip on and they were fab.
    ~ A pillow from home because much like hotels, hospital pillows suck donkey. A nursing pillow like a boppy or my breast friend pillow (although that’s not entirely necessary, just nice to have)
    ~ Maxi pads – overnight heavy flow ones — the ones they have in the hospital suck donkey and you gotta double them up and it feels like you’re wearing a rolled up hand towel.
    ~ Stuff to do. A kindle or a tablet or something… sometimes, especially at night when the husband is booted out, it can get lonely and boring especially if the wee just wants to sleep and you’re finding it impossible to do so because its a hospital and they are annoying.

    Granted, all of mine have been surgical, so I had the added issue of having to be there for 4-5 days and they never leave you alone, so your milage may vary.

  3. For Dave, bring something to keep you awake (5 hour energy) and occupied (tablet). Also, definitely bring a change of clothes. When I was at Kira’s birth, all the amniotic fluid and such came out in a wave when she came out, and washed over me so I was covered in horrible. Thankfully everything came out in the wash (since I was wearing my only FNM shirt), so it wasn’t too bad, but driving home in it kinda sucked. Bring an extra pillow for you as well, in case they let you stay over, and have a blanket too, since hospital blankets suck as much as their pillows. Finally, bring some sustenance, like power bars and some drinks. The kitchen in the hospital isn’t always open, and the vending machines suck. I know this sounds like you’ll be loaded up with her royal highness’ matched luggage, but it’s really not so bad since the pillows and blanket won’t come out until later, and the rest can fit in a small backpack.

  4. Best advice I can come up with:

    1: Don’t take it personally when she blames you for EVERYTHING; this most likely will happen during transition. Maybe before, even. Maybe even the WHOLE labor. And In rare cases, AFTER as well. Could last for years.

    2: see # 1.

    Good luck! Hehehe

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