So I have a post about Motherisk in my drafts that has been rewritten about 12 times, but I can't quite get myself to hit publish. I'm scared; just a big ass chicken shit even though I pretend to be a big ass brave chick, no shit to be seen.
So today I'm going to tell you all about my way of handling stress instead. You know all that one day at a time, prepare for the worst, hope for the best, zen, magical thinking be damned, sheer force of will, trust in fate/God/Doctors/the universe, cliche-o-rama I discuss? Chortle, yes I did make a joke about trust, har har.
Not even sure if it all works, but in the absence of a written guarantee I will continue to prepare for the worst and hope for the best and part of that is packing a bag.
A hospital bag.
I know, the rules of magical thinking say that we're only supposed to pack a bag for the hospital when we are about to deliver a live baby. That happy ritual is reserved for the normals, not the dead baby ladies like me.
And the result of that kind of thinking is that when we go into labour prematurely, or we get suddenly admitted to hospital, or we notice we are bleeding profusely, or we get a terrible ultrasound report, we are stuck depending on the kindness of others and the presence of mind of our spouses. And ladies, I have rarely if ever experienced kindness from others while a baby dies, and my husband? Poor darling has an absence of mind while grief stricken; I can hardly blame him. As a result, I have ended up during past hospital stays with no contact lens solution, a full makeup bag, some pantyhose, a floor length slip, and pretty much absolutely nothing I actually need like always pads, spare clothes, camera, emergency list of numbers, deodorant.
I'm 12.5 weeks, and at this point, no matter how this baby comes out in the next 27.5 weeks, dead or alive, there will be a hospital involved and I will be a patient in it. So I'm packing a bag, now. It will stay in the house, unless we go to the Doctor, or I get really really paranoid, and then I'll keep it in the car. My husband and close friends will know where it is, (the front hall) so if I don't have it in an emergency, they can come get it.
I've spoken to various relatives and close friends and warned them they are expected to help out if we suddenly call and need them to stay evenings or overnight with the kids in an emergency. I've warned the kids teachers and principal a while back that there might be an emergency phone call and I expect them to step up to the plate and take care of my kids when they burst into tears in class or worry about their mom or the baby.
I need to get our routines written out and posted on the fridge, and some more emergency meals in the freezer, and a hell of lot more house preparedness done. Time for a Costco trip, and I need to get the rest of my Christmas shopping done. I can't be worrying about groceries and laundry during any potential crisis. I just don't have enough ram to grieve and make lunches.
So far the bag has in it:
travel sizes of:
cetaphil face and body wash
contact lens solution and case
(Toiletries won't save a baby, but they definitely make me feel less skeevy in a dry, less ventilated hospital.)
In my purse, I always carry my health card, my hospital card, a camera, a cell phone, most of my phone numbers, and a list of medications I'm on, if not the actual meds. I need to photocopy the paper stuff in case my purse doesn't come with me, and do up a one page medical history (she thinks she has a one page medical history - hardy har har) in case an ambulance takes me to some other stupid hospital. (If we go to any other hospital besides the two downtown ones, the baby will die, so I may pack a taser as well in case I need to force an ambulance to take me to the right hospital that can save this pregnancy, emergency room status be damned, momma's gonna taser anyone who tries to give dinkypie substandard medical care.)
Things still to put in the hospital bag:
2 pillows - covered in waterproof, but not plasticky cover (blood and icky stuff is hard to wash out, and the pillows at hospitals ALWAYS suck)
slippers (cold germy floors)
shower shoes (MSRA, athlete's foot, etc....blech-need I say more?)
bathrobe (it can get cold in there, and the flimsy robes aren't enough)
extra underwear (do I have to explain this?)
always pads - ultra days with wings and ultra overnight with wings (I am not riding the bulky cheap cotton pony just because of goddamn budget cuts, I want dryweave dammit!)
eyemask (in case the curtains aren't quite room darkening)
spare baggy shirt, bra, and pants (maternity maybe, definitely not skinny-style, I'll still be swollen from the extra IV fluids I always seem to be gifted with)
travel size containers of shampoo, conditioner, & leave-in spray
spare glasses and set of contacts
A couple of good books, non-pregnancy related for distraction
A couple of books about pregnancy after loss and labour after loss
Web-enabled phone, hopefully with built in MP3 player, (so I can email and blog and listen to music)
sitz bath (for the hemorrhoids my peeps, the piley bastards are already lurking)
plastic pitcher for water and cups
protein bars, granola bars, restaurant to go menu (hospital food sucks in EVERY country)
cash for take out food, magazines, and to order phone for room and cable for TV
paper and pencil/pen (just in case I can't talk after intubation again)
updated Ontario power of attorney for personal care (so I don't get left to to mercy of some junior resident's ethics practicum)
phone number of medical litigation firm (in case I get the shitty anesthesiologist again, of course, in that case, I'll be dead, and unable to make that phone call, soooo never mind)
On second thought, make list of Docs and nurses who do not have consent to treat me under any circumstances, then deliver said list to hospital lawyers and CEO and my OB. That will truly relax me.
As time goes on, and weeks pass, I'll add a set of quick dry clay for recording hand and feet impressions for newborns (or stillborns as the case may be), a nice blanket to wrap a very very tiny baby in, a set of preemie clothes, and eventually a newborn size outfit. At 12.5 weeks, Dinkypie is too small to dress, but eventually it will be different, and I need to be prepared. I'm also going to pack a few breastfeeding books, and a few baby care items, just in case hope wins out over despair. Cause hey, you never know, I just may get an actual live baby out of this adventure!
Sooooo, any other ideas on what I should pack?
What did you all need in the hospital? What do you wish you had? What do you regret bringing?