Monday, June 6, 2011

The Expectant Dad's Hospital Bag

Okay, time to pack the damn hospital bag.  I’ve done this twice now – you’d think I’d just perpetually keep a bag ready to go by the door. 

But, no, truth be told, I’m actually pretty bad at packing for this kind of thing.  The first time I remembered my gameboy, but didn’t bring a change of clothes.  Smelly Dad is Smelly.  The second time I brought half my closet and forgot a camera.  Stupid Dad is Stupid.

So, let’s prep.  Courtesy, once again, of a list I found somewhere on the world wide web, here are some ideas for The Expectant Dad’s Hospital Bag:

A change of clothes: this goes back to the seven kajillion contingencies for Maeve and Addie.  I’d like to stay overnight with Lisa and Baby #3, but we’ll have to see where the girls end up.

Toiletries: The concierge isn’t exactly helpful if you’ve forgotten deodorant.

Camera, film and batteries if you want to take pictures of the labor and delivery: I do not.  No one wants that.  What will be nice is a picture of the baby soon AFTER labor and delivery, once he/she has been cleaned up a bit, and I discovery the real reason dads should have a change of clothes packed.

Snacks to eat while you are waiting:  this isn’t a bad idea, but the way it’s worded made me laugh.  Like this e-list is trying to subtly hint to expectant dads that they’ll have to calm the eff down if things don’t happen immediately.  “And maybe you, expectant dad, should bring along something to nosh on, just in case, you know, you get a teensy-weensy bit bored while your wife is selfishly wasting your time.”

Cell phone and a phone list to contact friends and family: unless you have one of those new fangled phones that actually holds the “phone list” for you.

Games, books or magazines. You could also carry handouts from your childbirth classes and go through them while you wait:  I’d make fun of the continued implication that I need to be entertained (“Um, I’m a dad in labor and delivery, not a three year old at church.”), but the truth is that I do entirely intend to bring my Nintendo DS again.  Also, yes.  Yes, I should absolutely bring the “handouts” from the “childbirth classes” that I “went to” so that I can “go through them” while I “wait”. 

Medications that you or your wife may need. Perhaps some pain relievers for headaches:  this is code for champagne.

Massage oil if your partner wants you to give her a massage during labor: the one and only time Lisa ever swore at me was when I tried to gently caress her hair as she was giving birth to Maeve.  Massage oil will not be on my list, unless I decide to take some token to chillingly remind me not to touch her.

Music for labor and a tape or CD player: oh, I’m a king at making mixes.  Or, at least, I was before I got lame.  Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

A pen, paper and a watch: a what, a what and a what now?  Oh, for contractions, right.  Not, I assume, for playing MASH and checking to see how many more hours of sheer ennui he has to endure.

Okay, not bad, internets.  It’s a starting point. While I’ve been writing this, lisa and I have been emailing back and forth, though, and we’ve decided the following is my responsibility:

One change of clothes for me, an extra pair of socks
My toiletries
Money (change for the vending machine and cash for take-out)
Insurance info, hospital forms
Phones and cords
Camera and charger
Laptop and cord

Huh.  Dial the technology back 15 years and this is almost exactly what I moved to college with.

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