…is like getting ready for the world’s worst vacation.

This epiphany came to me last night while I started to organize my labor and delivery bag. Let’s explore:

1. Disposable maternity briefs. (And you thought granny panties were bad.)

2. Maternity sanitary pads. Or shall I say, aerodynamic adult diapers.

3. Nipple cream. Two kinds, because you can never have enough lotion for those boob juice dispensers, apparently.

4. An old, baggy shirt or nightdress. The cute British website said it’ll get “messy.” They mean, “covered in urine, feces, amniotic fluid, and placenta blood.”

5. Snacks. I’m a fan of snacks for any vacation, but these should be easy to digest because they’ll likely come right back up a few hours later.

6. Breast pads. These sound great – like a super-bra – but it’s just for all the leaking milk I’ll produce once my supply comes in. Which is supposed to be very painful. Oh joy.

7. Pajamas or “jim-jams,” as the Brits say. These are less for cozying up to my husband in bed than pacing the stark hospital corridors waiting for my contractions to get even worse.

8. A playlist of calming music. This means I’m going to be so stressed and in such agony I need every little bit of help I can get. Maybe I should just accept my fate and download death metal hits?

9. Massage oil. My husband will be on please-counteract-the-contraction-pain-by-massaging-various-body-parts duty and there’s nothing worse than surprise rug burn. Unless I decide I want zero contact, in which case I will throw things at him if he even breathes on me.

10. Maternity clothes. Wait, but didn’t you just have a baby? Yes, world, but the female form doesn’t just “snap back” into shape. The uterus, that magical muscle, takes months to shrink back down. I’m already steeling myself for the question I’ll be asked when I walk down the street a few weeks later: “So, when’s the baby due?”

I’m gonna need a bigger bag.

One thought on “Packing for the Hospital

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