Preparing for the hospital
Preparing for baby’s arrival is an exciting and overwhelming time no matter whether it’s your first baby or your fourth! With due date looming, there’s a lot to think about. From your birth plan, to what to bring to the hospital, to the reality of bringing baby home a few days later, new parents can feel like they’re being thrown in the deep end, but breaking it down can make this transition nearly as smooth as your new baby’s bottom.
Creating a birth plan – or not
A lot of people suggested creating a birth plan to me when I was pregnant, but to be honest, I thought that could just set me up for disappointment if it didn’t eventuate. What if I had wanted a water bath with Enya playing while I floated around like a sexy mermaid goddess until baby just slid out smiling, when in reality I lost control of my bowels and screamed profanities at the midwives, set the curtains alight with my scented candle and broke my husband’s hand from squeezing it too tightly?
All I knew was that I wanted a healthy and happy baby and however I needed to get there, so be it.
In the end, I had two quite different birthing experiences with my daughters. My first labour was about six hours long and I had all the pain meds that were on offer, which made me extremely sick. Once she was born, my daughter screamed for four hours straight too, which was a real treat.
The second time around, my daughter was born three days early and almost in the car on the way to the hospital. She arrived naturally just seven minutes after we made it into the birthing suite. It was a wonderful whirlwind and I never expected it to be so quick or simple.
So, whether you decide to create a birthing plan or not, make sure you keep an open mind in case things don’t quite go the way you had hoped! Afterall, sexy mermaid goddesses in labour rarely exist…
What to pack
Even before the birth of my second daughter, I packed and re-packed my hospital bag around 10 times. I just kept adding and then removing things to suit my mood – one day it was like I was off to the Bahamas for a beach holiday and one day I was packing daggy tracksuits. By the time due date was approaching I could barely even remember what I had packed and I’m pretty sure after each birth I still sent my husband home with a list of things I actually really needed, like more undies.
These are the things that I found most helpful, and the things I certainly didn’t:
Not so useful:
Packing your hospital bag starts to make things feel very real, so enjoy the process and get excited about what’s ahead! Your greatest adventure awaits.
You can’t plan for everything in birth, but you certainly can plan what goes into your bag – you got this!