I spent a lot of time thinking about what I should bring to the hospital when I went into labor. I packed and re-packed my go bag, leaving it next to our front door and then putting it in the car. You know, just in case things were hectic when the moment finally came. With as much time I had spent thinking about my own bag, it's pretty funny that it was actually the things in my partner's hospital bag that made the biggest difference when it came to how I handled childbirth, and how he was able to adequately support me during labor and delivery. Who knew, right?!
My partner didn't think of everything, of course, but the little things — like my favorite peppermint foot lotion and a geeky Adventure Time "bacon pancakes" t-shirt that's an inside joke between us — made me smile and brought me joy during labor. And for the record, when you're pushing another human being out of your body it's not easy to feel "joyful." My partner also brought a ridiculous amount of electronic devices that allowed him to stay connected with work and with family, and two chargers for every device. He also brought snacks, which ended up being important to both of us when it came to maintaining our strength and avoid getting cranky during the entire ordeal.
In the end my husband brought everything he needed to be comfortable while I was in labor and that, in turn, helped me get comfortable, too. Often times it's the little things that make a big difference, and thankfully my man knew exactly what to pack for the big day.
No one can feel their best when they are hungry, especially when they are also tired and stressed out. I am so glad my husband brought snacks with us to the hospital. Not only did it keep his energy and spirits up, but he shared those damn snacks with me so I could have the energy to push our child into the world.
Believe it or not, I wasn't upset that my husband brought his work laptop along to the hospital when I was admitted for an induction. Even though he didn't use it much, the ability to address work concerns if he needed to helped him stay calm and focused during my labor. Plus, we had a lot of down time to endure before the main event.
This is entirely self-serving, but it was so sweet for my husband to bring lotion along to the hospital so he could give me a foot massage while I was in labor. I mean, honestly, it's the least he could do, right?
During my first labor, my now ex-husband actually forgot his wallet. Guys, that makes things pretty damn difficult when you're trying to check in and out of a hospital. Your wallet also comes in handy when you take a trip to get coffee or extra food at the cafeteria. In other words, don't forget your damn wallet, people.
A phone is a must, not only to keep people updated about labor progress, but also to fight boredom, post-birth announcements, and take priceless photographs. I had my oldest before smart phones, and I can tell you that my partner's iPhone made a big difference.
A cellphone is just an expensive paper weight without a charger. My husband brought two for each of us, just in case.
My husband totally napped when I was in labor, but I honestly wanted him to. You guys, we were both exhausted. There's no way he could have been present when I needed him to be if he didn't get some rest. Caffeine can only do so much, and I wanted him to have as much strength as possible so I could lean on him when I needed him most.
As a mom with undersupply, I was seriously stressed out about delivering at a Baby Friendly hospital. So you can imagine how relieved I was when I learned that my husband had brought along our feeding plan to share with the nurses and doctors. They all knew that I had planned and wanted to supplement with formula, and I didn't have to worry.
Change Of Clothes
I am glad that my husband packed a change of clothes for multiple reasons. It was nice that he could be comfortable while he tried to keep me comfortable (or as comfortable as you can be in labor and after childbirth). It was also fun when he brought out a geeky t-shirt; an inside joke related to what we had decided to name our baby. It kept me focused and made me smile.