Baby Monday: Readiness

Tara and I had a bit of a scare on Friday morning that landed us in the triage unit at the hospital. The end result is that Mom and Baby are fine, but the whole experience served as an eye opener; we’re not prepared for the delivery.

We have the baby’s room setup, we have enough clothes(at least, I think we do) and we have enough of the various things that the baby would need in his first few weeks. That was all started ages ago. What we don’t have is the bag for the hospital. Which, I guess, make sense. After all, he isn’t due for another two months(give or take) so why worry about it now? Well, Friday morning told us otherwise.

Before leaving, we threw together what we thought would be helpful, in the bag that Tara brought up(she had planned on making it soonish anyway) and off we went. I learned a few things that I probably read somewhere:

  • Flip flops are terrible footwear.  They’re not so bad when you’re just taking your time, and for short periods of time, but if you need to make a few trips to/from the car, forget it. The comfy shoes are going in my bag
  • Snacks! Oh we needed snacks. We were admitted at 3am, and Second Cup opened at 7am. That’s a long time to go when you’re tired and kinda grumpy. Maybe some decent instant coffee for daddy.
  • Distractions. We could really have used that. I stuffed an MP3 player into my pocket before I left, and while I didn’t use it, I’m glad I packed it. That and books or something else to distract me or Tara is a must. Wonder if we can pack the Wii?
  • Change of clothes. Tara thought ahead and snagged a nice warm robe, and she’s very glad she did. I didn’t do anything of the sort. Fair enough, I was there for all of, well, 10 hours, but still, a change of undies would have been nice I think. Or more comfortable pants.
  • Work. Maybe sure everything can be handed off at the last second. While this isn’t something that I can bring with me, it’s something that I need to do. Someone covered for me while I was out, but they even mentioned that not everything was up to date. And since I’m dealing with customers all day, they would feel better knowing that we didn’t drop the ball. So I think a new daily routine is in order. Not like I’ll stick to it, but still….

With all of this, I think we’ll be packing at least two bags. One for Tara, one for me. Mind you, mine will be full of junk that’ll never get used, but that’s just the kind of guy I am 😉

But, as I mentioned, the whole thing opened our eyes a little. While it was fair of us to not be completely ready, we’re also a little more aware that it could happen any time now really.  Not that we want it to, obviously, but we should plan for the worst(as such).

Since I have some new followers that are Dad’s, what would you say is the most important thing you packed in your hospital bag?


  1. Matt


    I can’t say that I ever packed a hospital bag…

    I’ve been assured that I’m odd that I didn’t eat/drink/leave Robin during labour (whether it was 12, 8+ or (thankfully) 2 hours on the last go).

    If I had packed something, I’d have gone for something shared (music? comics/cartoons? etc.)… But something you can ditch at a moments notice if labour comes on hard, a nurse (or nurses) need at the mountain of equipment, or anything else that crops up.

    Water and or snacks are a good idea (BGH supplies ice chips for the mother-to-be, but I’m sure something else might come in handy).

    Lastly, I’d say a camera or something to capture the event (probably following a cleanup of sorts). It’s also great for snapping a picture of the delivery card that lists the length, weight, etc. (which will be the most asked question for many a day).

    I do recall having a phone list of all the telephone numbers I’d need to call people after the event too. I suppose with cell phones, it’s not as big a necessity, but make sure you have your family numbers and hers.

    Other than that, you’ll be too amped/busy to do much else. It’ll be great, and over before you know it.

    Also line up a good place to crash when things are all done. You’ll be in better shape than Tara to be sure, but you’ll want to rest up for all the good new things to come!

    Here’s hoping all goes well, and according to plan (and schedule)!

  2. Matt

    Fair enough, Robin also reminds me that some Dad’s stay overnight.

    If that’s the case and you’ve got private coverage and/or semi-private, they probably have a spot to crash.

    If you’re packing for that…

    No idea.

    Advil/Tylenol/Aspirin for joints after they get crabby from being in weird positions all day?

    Cash for parking, food, and paying off the nurses for the good Jell-O?

  3. Dave from your College Class of '98

    Having done this twice now, a camera is #1. I have pictures from the delivery room that I’d never want to be without.

    Second, something that can serve as a pillow, and a blanket to put on the floor. I slept on the floor in a sleeping bag my mother in law brought me for our first child. They have chairs that convert for Dad’s, but they run out. So unless you can sleep in a rocking chair…

    Third, comfortable clothing. You’re not getting much sleep, so you my as well be comfortable. Expect to spend a big chunk of the night in a rocking chair pushing the clear plastic container they’ll put the baby in back and forth so your wife can sleep. When you’re not doing that, you’ll be helping your wife (encouraging her) while she’s working on breastfeeding, or sleeping on the floor (pull-out chair if you’re lucky).

    Also on this topic:

    She’s going to do the hard work, but you’re in it for the long grind too. She’s going to need extra effort at the beginning and it’s going to wear on you. Be prepared for this – the psychological drain is significant. And all those people who tell you to just call if you need anything – call them. They volunteered, assume they all mean it.

    Sleep every second you can. Don’t get up together to feed the baby because you’re caught up in it. Ok, maybe the first few times, but stop fast or it will kill you.

    Black poop is very sticky. Use vaseline – trust me.

    You’ve been in the delivery theatre for 10 hours, it’s 3am. You’re exhausted, your wife is beat, the baby is well, and all you want to do is rest. This is when the nurses feel it’s a good idea to give you a 40 minute talk on how to take care of your baby. It’s awful. Stupid. And very inconsiderate. And there’s not a damned thing you can do about it except know that it’s coming, and leave your .357 at home so they don’t ask you to leave after you redecorate.

    If your wife breastfeeds, pump as much as you can so you can alternate feedings at night. Being up 2-3 times is tough, but it beats the shit out of her being up 4-6 times.

    Last, but not least. I know it’s cliché, but sleep now. It’s been almost 5 years since I’ve regularly enjoyed sleep on my terms.

    It’s all worth it.

  4. Jim

    Well Stef had a suitcase packed with everything she would need. You may want some.. umm… pads in case the “water breaks”. Some loose pants / underwear in the event of c-section (for her, obvio; you may want some too).

    Oh and a sharpie!!v=RJdQ8LO6bcQ

  5. denise

    i would say from recent experience that you’ll need a change of cloths. slippers, a robe ( the hospital will tell you to put cloths on they dont alow you to walk around in your underwear, apparently it can be distracting to other people and offensive. learned that the hard way)
    camera and video cam too! tooth brush. food!
    what she needs…. that a long list that i will tell her tomorow!
    most helpful! a picture of you ultrsound framed so that you dont get scared of your wild ride ahead, to remember what your really there for. and many many women do this every day to have there children and because when you see that squishy little face finally in person. it’s nice to remember what you have been staring all those hours


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.