Saturday, August 25, 2012

Michael Reduces Our Packing for the Hospital By 90 Percent!

Well, I've been sadly over-ruled.

I was hoping that Michael wouldn't notice what I packed for the hospital until moments before we departed for it.  I figured that, while between contractions, if I just yelled, "Grab those bags there!" that there would be no time for him to question my packing decisions and that the nervous, first-time father jitters would just kick in and he'd go with it.

But, unfortunately, this didn't happen.

Sometime this week, unbeknown to me, his eyes caught sight of my hospital stash in the basement and he raised a suspicious eyebrow.  He brought it up to me at dinner last night.

"Are those TWO rolling suitcases that you've packed for the hospital, plus a large shoulder bag and a large shopping bag?" he asked, in between spoonfuls of peas.

Embarrassed, at first I thought I was just going to have to admit that, unlike the pretty pictures of the Vera Bradley bags in my previous blog entry, the harsh reality was that, yes, I was using two rolling suitcases, one shoulder bag, and one shopping bag instead.  Only one item was an actual Vera Bradley.

But it wasn't the brand of bags that he was concerned about.  It was the girth and quantity of them.

Caught, there was nothing I could say or do to decrease their size, not in his mind nor in reality.  Uh-oh.

I braced myself.

And he began this long soliloquy, explaining the impossibility of his arms dragging two rolling suitcases, plus a large shoulder bag and a large shopping bag into the hospital, while simultaneously filling out paperwork and being responsible for the laboring version of ME.  His hands were sure to be more than full.

He was right.  I surrendered.  I agreed that, on the following night, he could open the bags and help me sort through them.  And tonight I watched as he eliminated the bag contents by a whopping 90%.

Now I can understand why he felt that I didn't need five differently-sized frozen ice packs, one dozen electronic candles, and lavender room spray.  I can also see that I probably won't have time to read my current library book, let alone re-read inspirational pages from Bloom.  He's right that I needn't have five bottles of spring water.  And, most likely, they will supply us with tissues, a complimentary pair of socks, and several washcloths.

But these other things seemed kinda harsh, in my opinion.

Nursing bras and pads aren't needed, he figured.  He didn't even think I ought to pack an extra pair of underwear, explaining that I'll probably be put in granny diapers or something.  No clothing would be needed for our child, he rationalized, so not a single onesie, diaper, sock, or receiving blanket made the cut.  All books, notes, and pamphlets would go by the wayside, as he explained that he'd have no desire to read and review while I'm in the midst of labor.  The baby book would be filled out after we got home, so only a few sheets of paper would go in its place for the stamping of baby's feet, which we could later cut out and place in the book anyhow.  Lots of other things fell by the wayside, too.  Goodness.

I fought for that extra pair of underwear, though.  And I insisted on my lightweight bathrobe.  And I wouldn't part with any of the items in my toiletry bag.  And the two-tennis-balls-in-a-sock device simply had to come.  And I demanded constant access to at least two granola bars and two little cans of grapefruit juice, just in case.  Truce.

The multiple meals to microwave were reduced by 50%, but there would still be plenty to eat, thankfully (although it's not like we'd have any plasticware to eat them with).  And he was still on-board with the iPad, of course.  And, thank God, the black pen made the cut.

And so it is that now our hospital packing is reduced to what feels like nothing more than little plastic Ziplock baggie of supplies!  Good thing the hospital is only 5 minutes away from our house.  :)