What to Expect …
You read that correctly… don’t worry about the hospital bag you’ll have to pack in preparation of delivery… and definitely don’t stress to the point of an ulcer.
On March 6, I was due to give birth to my first child. I work for a local newspaper, therefore research the minutae of everything before diving in, and my pregnancy was no different. I read that first time moms usually eclipse their due dates, as my mother had with both my sister and myself. When I went into labor February 6—a month early to the day—I was shocked, to say the least, but also wildly unprepared.
We recently moved, so I didn’t have the nursery even started yet (and let’s be honest…I still don’t). I missed the baby shower my friends at work were throwing me by one day. And forget about the hospital bag—packing that sucker hadn’t crossed my mind for months. I have a well-intentioned pin on my pregnancy board on Pinterest about what to pack; but packing a bag, or expecting my husband to in a rush, was out of the question. I was in the process of scheduling my maternity photo shoot, in addition to newborn photos. Neither of these happened.
I had thought I would have more time. I simply didn’t get these things accomplished…and I survived.
My faint memories of the “what to pack for the hospital” pin included things like: fresh underwear, toiletries, and comfortable clothes. Oh, and baby’s outfit to come home in.
All I had with me was my purse (apparently a hospital no-no, but my purse survived) – my glasses and contacts case were at home – and my comfy non-hospital-gown clothing/
Though I didn’t have it all together, it went smoothly – a situation that should have been chaotic mayhem, was fine.
I had my beautiful baby boy that afternoon, exactly a month early to the day. My husband was there with me. We were both healthy and fine, even without a hospital bag packed, or maternity photos, or newborn photos.
For any moms who have babies unexpectedly fast—if you don’t have a bag packed, or your maternity session photos done, or your nursery perfected—it’s going to be okay. If you don’t have your whole act together, you will be okay. The disposable underwear provided by the hospital are not that bad, and they do have things like toothpaste and soap—and what they don’t have, in a pinch can be purchased at a nearby dollar store. There should be one near the hospital, and surely your family will help you out. My husband got me comfy pants, oversized shirts, fresh undies and a toothbrush.
My only photos showing off my belly are candids, and the last photo taken of me still pregnant was with my dog, Daisy.
The first professional portraits we got of him were at seven months old, but believe me, the child’s life has been documented photographically. In a month, he turns a year old, and hopefully I’ll have my act together enough to get one-year photos—but if I don’t, I’m not going to beat myself up over it.
And, well, I’ve given up trying for a nursery. His bed is in our room, and his stuff is in boxes. I’ll get to it eventually.
The most important thing is that he is here, and he is healthy, and he is very happy, and so are his father and I. And Daisy, too.
So if you don’t ever get that stinkin’ hospital bag packed, even if you go over your due date, don’t stress. You will survive.
By: Sarah ‘1st Time Mama’ Pearce