So I’m working on packing my hospital bag. Well, okay, so I’m working on packing my hospital bag in between some other marginally useful things, like making decorative clothespins and alphabetizing the refrigerator magnets and contemplating making a batch of cookies that I have all the ingredients for except that I made a batch of those same cookies last year and they turned out something TERRIBLE, so I don’t exactly know why I feel the need for a do-over except that perhaps I have some sort of Something To Prove neurosis going on, in which case MAYBE THAT’S ALSO WHY I’M HAVING A SECOND CHILD. (Actually, no. The first one is pretty decent, so it can’t be that.)
Anyway, it would seem that someone who put together The World’s Biggest Hospital Packing List and then officially delivered a child in a hospital where she stayed for five entire days would have some idea what she should put in her bag. And I do, actually. Except it turns out that now I remember why I never packed my bag the LAST time I was pregnant, and the reason is because I’m CURRENTLY USING EVERYTHING I PLAN TO TAKE WITH ME. Everything except the baby clothes, because there is no baby here on which to put them. DUH.
I can’t pack my ACTUAL toiletries, because I suspect that sometime in the next four weeks I’m going to be needing them. I don’t know, maybe it would be nice to smell like BO at the Christmas Eve service? But I decided that out of everything I SHOULD pack in the event that I go into labor early or (GOD FORBID) am sent directly from a doctor’s appointment to the hospital, toiletries are the most difficult to round up or send a husband home for, since there are so many different little things I need to bring, so I invested in some travel sizes today at Target. One thing I do remember from the last time I was in the hospital was that I had so much difficulty just standing upright at the sink to brush my teeth that I didn’t care whether I was using my FAVORITE brand of toothpaste or not, only that I wasn’t brushing them with dish soap or zit cream. Ditto for my shampoo and conditioner and face wash and WHATEVER ELSE: I was in a lot of pain, and yet I was also disgustingly greasy, and so the only two things I really cared about were 1) getting all the necessary cleansing processes over with so that 2) I could get back in my Craftmatic adjustable bed and comfort myself by cramming another sleeve of Ritz crackers into my mouth. (I had to dust Asher’s head off a lot, because of all the Ritz fallout. They’re very crumbly, you know.)
So I’ve got toiletries covered, except that I want to buy two new toothbrushes, because… well, I don’t really know, exactly, except that having a shiny new toothbrush sounds like a nice thing to have in the hospital. (The second toothbrush is for Dave, because I am thoughtful.) Beyond toiletries, I’ll need some clothes to come home in. Which will be maternity clothes, because I will still be very, very fat, and very incisiony, and possibly swollen to the size of a parade balloon. But again, maternity clothes JUST SO HAPPEN to be the kinds of clothes I am wearing RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT, since I am at the tail end of this thing they call PREGNANCY, and I am down to exactly two pairs of pants, three t-shirts and a sweater. Frankly, I am not sure which of those I should be putting into a bag at this point, because what the hell am I going to put on myself if I cram 50 percent of my wardrobe into a suitcase? A suitcase that just sits there?
And then there are things that fall into the category of OTHER. Camera? USING IT. Cell phone? USING IT. Cell phone charger? USING IT (sometimes). Pillow? Laptop? Slippers? ALL UNPACKABLE AT CURRENT MOMENT, thank you for asking.
Really, other than socks, nursing/non-underwire bras, a bath towel and snacks for Dave and myself after delivery, there is absolutely NOTHING ELSE I can pack until either my water breaks (HA! unlikely) or until the night before my surgery, which I don’t want to really talk about yet, because the anxiety I feel about the night BEFORE surgery could make for an extensive post all by itself. (HOW DO PEOPLE SLEEP THE NIGHT BEFORE THEY KNOW THEY’RE HAVING A BABY? HUH HUH HUH HUH???)
I mean, honestly. When they tell us to pack a bag, what exactly do they want us to put in it? I am being COMPLETELY SERIOUS here. I honestly cannot imagine being able to pack a bag and have it ready to go without a moment’s hesitation. I need to use almost everything I need to put in it. Doesn’t everyone else?