The Things We Think About During Labor and Delivery

5 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

My sister calls her husband back who has finally found my hospital list. I feel bad, because I know it's going to take him a while to pack my bag. Let me explain. Last night, when I was experiencing leaking, I started getting my things together. What I mean by that is I began throwing things that I might need into a suitcase, without much thought behind how much I was packing. Before I knew it, the suitcase was overflowing...and yes, I knew I would only be in the hospital a couple of days, but I wanted to be prepared. The same thing would plague me as it does when I go on any trip....it would depend on what I was in the mood to wear (yes, I didn't realize that I would be in the mood to wear...oh wait, I was in the who-the-heck-cares-what-I'm-wearing-be-glad-I-have-clothes-on kind of mood.) It was my first birth, what do you expect?!

I had a couple maternity pants packed as well as a few pre-pregnancy pants (yes for only two days). Little did I know getting into those was only in my imagination (even months later).

I was also packing two other suitcases (one of me and one for my son), simultaneously with the hospital bag, to stay with my mom for a month after the birth. Because I did know one thing...I wouldn't be in the mood to pack those after giving birth. This morning, before going to my mom's, I had to find something in the hospital suitcase. Since I was in a hurry leaving today, I had tossed the contents of the suitcase out....over my left shoulder, to my right side, trying to find what I was looking for, obviously not knowing I'd be at the hospital hours later. So things were tossed everywhere in my room...well, in the immediate vicinity of the suitcase but not in it. I knew my brother-in-law had his work cut out for himself.

He went down the list as my sister relayed it to me and I would answer:

She says, "Undergarments?"

I reply, "Already in the suitcase." Good thing, because I'm sure he would not want to get those.

She pauses in relaying the list to say, "Whole butt underwear."

"Yes, those should be in the suitcase."

I think back to the long discussion she and I had a few months ago about whole butt underwear...you know underwear that covers your whole butt. She said, "You need whole butt underwear."

"What do I need that for? I can't tell you the last time I wore those."

"Because you'll be bleeding for several weeks after."

"What? Are you serious?"

"Yes, what did you think it would be like?"

"I thought you would just bleed for the delivery and that was it. What the heck? I don't want to bleed for weeks."

"Well, no one wants to."

"What do I need whole butt underwear for?"

"Um, to wear (she says it as though I'm a complete moron). How are you going to wear a pad with a thong?"

"Yeah, I guess that's a good point. Didn't think of that."

"Yeah, I figured as much...Clueless."

"Well, that's what I have you for."

I struggled with the decision in buying them...no in the fact to buy them but in the decision of where to go for them and which ones to buy. I knew I wouldn't wear them after the bleeding stopped, so I didn't want to spend much money on them...So Wallie here I come.

She continues relaying the list to me, "Shampoo and conditioner? Do you really need this?"

"Um yes, what kind of question is that? Have you seen my hair today?"

"Can't you use the little ones they give you?"

"Well for one, I didn't know they provided that. And for two, I'm sure it's not quality shampoo."

"Fine."

"No, that's okay. I guess one time won't hurt."

My brother-in-law must have took pity on a leaking-pregnant-woman-whose-look-like-I've-been-through-HELL appearance is not acceptable to this can-be-semi-high-maintenance-who-thinks-she's-low-maintenance woman. He just went with it...thankfully.

"Toothbrush, does he need the charger?"

"Bring it just in case."

"Phone charger."

"Under my bed on the, 'Wait, what's it called?' A power cord. No, not a power cord. The strip thing. Do you know what I'm talking about? The thing you can plug multiple cords into."

"Yeah, but I forget the name."

"Power strip...yeah, a power strip."

A minute passes, "He can't reach it without moving the bedside table."

"Yes, he can. Just kneel down and reach under the bed toward the front of it."

"He moved the table."

"Okay, that's fine."

The list continues, shoes, flip flops for the shower, hair brush, toothpaste....

"Straightener? Are you really going to use this?"

"Have you seen me?"

"No one cares what you look like."

"I do. I look like Hell."

"No one even notices."

"I do. Yes, bring it!"

He gathers all of the stuff from the list, and my sister asks me, "Does he need all the stuff on the floor?"

"I'm not sure what that means, but I'd say, 'Yes,' it should be around the suitcase."

"Does he need the turquoise outfit?

"Yes."

"What about the jeans?"

"Yes."

I have no doubt the poor guy was about to kill me 30 minutes ago. I can only imagine how he's feeling now. Luckily, his daughter fell asleep in the meantime. He does a mental check off of each item and finally finishes. My sister hangs up with him and says, "He's on his way."

"It's a good thing we gave him my key. That would have sucked for him to come all the way here to get it."

"Definitely."

It's two a.m., and I'm tired. I know I won't be able to sleep, even though my nurse told me to catch some rest. There's nothing on TV as my sister and I chat waiting for her husband to arrive.

The lovely nurse comes in and approaches the bed. She holds an oxygen mask over me, as if I should know what she's doing. I look at her with a confused expression that says, "What the heck?"

As though reading my mind, she says, "You need to wear this. The baby isn't getting enough oxygen, so we need you to be taking more in."

"What? Is he okay?"

"Yes, he's fine. He just needs more oxygen."

That explains everything! Call me crazy but if he's fine, he should need more oxygen...

I guess that will just add to my looking-like-heck appearance right now. It's for my boy, so of course, I have no problem doing it. Everything else today has gone exactly how I planned. Why not add one more thing to the mix?!

The nurse leaves, and as my sister and I talk, I realize this oxygen mask is just an inconvenience. I find myself pulling it away from my mouth just to understand myself talk. I ask my sister, "Is this common?"

"Well it's not uncommon."

What a vague, let-me-not-really-answer answer. Yet I know what she means. "I hope it's not because I didn't come in last night and that's hurting him."

"No, the OB doctor said he was fine."

"Yeah but now I wish I would have...instead of being concerned about the insurance not covering it and money. It was only money, and not my son's health. Stupid."

I look toward her, and she says, "I will only say this once," Oh Lord, I know what she's about to say....She smirks as she finishes, "I was right. You should have listened to me."

Yep, I knew it....That's definitely more of a "me" statement than it is hers, but in this case, she deserves to say it.

"Yeah, yeah. I was waiting for that one. I can't believe it took you so long to say it."

We both laugh....

She goes downstairs to help her husband with her daughter and my suitcase. I have a few minutes alone for the first time since I arrived.

I hope I haven't hurt him. I can't believe I was worried about money. How does that compare with my son's health or him getting infections? That's just so stupid that I was concerned about that. Then again, I didn't know. Usually when I'm worried about something, it turns out to be nothing. I just didn't think it was anything...obviously. Next time, I'll listen to the people who know something about it. I can't do anything about it now, so stop dwelling on it. It makes me sad to think I did that. I hope he is okay. He HAS to be okay. There's nothing you can do about it now. Just breathe and think of something else.

As if they could hear me say it, my sister and her husband walk in. I greet him, "Hey. Thanks so much for doing that. I know it was a pain in the butt."

He replies, "No problem."

"Too bad it didn't happen yesterday, I was more prepared."

My sister answers, "We were all more prepared."

"Of course, that's why it didn't happen. It could never be THAT easy."

"No kidding."

I ask, "How's my girl (their daughter)?"

My sister replies, "She's asleep."

They go behind a curtain that separates my bed from a pull out couch and pumps for her daughter's next feeding. We chat a little through the curtain.

I know we are all exhausted, but I really feel for her husband. He didn't volunteer for any of this, but I guess that's what it means to be married...doing things you don't sign up for. When my sister goes to get a drink and walks him out about 330, it's finally time....time for me. Time for me to get it done. Time for me to do what I've wanted to do since I've arrived. She doesn't need to know. She will just roll her eyes at me. But it's a must. I have to do it, and now is the perfect time!

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