Birthing Rules

The Violinist, you’re getting close, so I thought I’d give you some interesting tips on the labor, the delivery, the hospital.


Rule #1 Make sure the car is gassed up from here on out.  This seems logical to you and I, but it doesn’t make any sense to many husbands.  My grandfather’s truck was on empty the night that his eldest child was born.  He hustled his wife into the truck, turned it on to see the gas gauge was on E.   He sped to the nearest gas station, where the attendant took his time.  My grandfather asked if they guy could hurry it up because his wife was in labor.  The attendant’s jaw dropped, pulled the nozzle out, and told my grandfather to go, go, go! 


Rule #2 Have everything you want to take in a bag next to the door.  Don’t forget shoes or a toothbrush.  It was only after Sean was born, bathed, fed, sleeping that I needed to go to the bathroom.  It was then that I realized I had run out of the house without shoes.  It was at this point I realized I didn’t brush my teeth or brought a toothbrush.  


Rule #3 It’s ok not to feel brave.  In my first labor, I stoically kept my verbal complaints to a moan.  The second, I screamed F*** so loud Evan started crying.  Due to my verbal complaints, I scared the first timers in the elevator, who allowed me out first.  Suckers.  I got the last single room.


Rule #4 Get the single room.  I know I have gone over this point a lot, but it’s so important.  Recovering from birth is hard, so it’s nice to have the peace of a single room.  Your husband can stay the night.  You can bring in a whole troop of family with pizza.  You won’t feel self conscious as you try to breastfeed because you’ll have to whip out the whole boob at first.


Rule #5 Use the nurses.  First timers are shy; they don’t want to impose.  I remember meekly asking the nurses office if I can have my son back from testing; while I was there, I watched a mom roll her baby in, tell the nurses she was taking a shower, and come back a half an hour all put together.  I learned my lesson with Sean.


Rule #6 It will be hard.  Labor is hard.  Birthing is hard.  Breastfeeding is hard.  But you can do it.


Rule #7 Enjoy it.  Your baby will sleep, and you can relax.  If you need help with the baby, the nurses will be happy to help.  If you need more diapers or pads, the nurses will go get them for you.  If you need help breastfeeding and latching, they’ll show you over and over and over.  (Or were Evan and I just slow learners?)  You won’t have to clean or cook.  In the end, you’ll get free stuff.


Suggestion #1 Try to remember to bring something for your nurses.  They are totally awesome, and you will fall in love with them. 


Suggestion #2 Remember within 24 hours you’ll forget all the pain and discomfort of labor.


So anyone else have anything to add?

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