During a childbirth education class, there were hours spent when the preggo women in the room were instructed to try out the many different positions that might be recommended during labor.
"Go ahead and try this one...get comfortable...make sure your partner knows his/her role."
That first line of instruction had me staring blankly at my husband. That one line of direction felt too close to a common pregnancy statement that I loathe which is when the non-pregnant person makes the statement "We are pregnant." No, we are most certainly not.
To tell me that I need to find a position that's "comfortable" (relative to pushing a human out of my body) and to make sure my partner has a role. Not happening. Here's my partners role: Worship me, care for me, tolerate me and don't repeat back to me (or anyone...ever) anything I said or did that wasn't AMAZING during labor. That's my partners role.
So everyone is on a ball or on their hands and knees and partners are rubbing shoulders, holding hair, etc. I looked at my husband while I unenthusiastically sat on a yoga ball and said "Don't touch me." The teacher overheard me, as did several nearby participants. Apparently I wasn't being productive.
"We really need you to take this seriously or we'll have to ask you to leave."
"I am taking this seriously. I seriously don't want him to touch me while I'm in labor."
We stared at each other, the teacher knowing better than to mess with a pregnant woman with a strong POV. We broke for lunch. My husband and I didn't return to the class.
With that in mind, it's then no surprise that when I read "What to Pack for the Hospital" on the What to Expect website, that I laughed. And laughed. And laughed a bit more. It's not that it's funny, and in fact I offer my apologies to those offended by my reaction to the list, but if you know me...you'll understand.
- "Pen and pad for taking notes, or the What to Expect Pregnancy Organizer"
- No. I'm not taking notes. Someone else can take notes, but what I want to remember is that women who have gone before me swear that I'll forget everything that happens. (exception being the amazing moment when you meet your child)
- "Your birth plan (several copies, so all staff, on all shifts, can get one)"
- Unless you go for a natural, non-medicated birth, isn't the plan DRUGS + evicting "tenant" upon conclusion of his/her 40-week stay?
- "Stopwatch to time contractions"
- Aren't you in the hospital? Pretty sure they've got this one covered for you.
- "Massage oils or lotions"
- Ah yes, oh how I want to be massaged while in labor. The thought of having my husband gingerly massage me as if to relieve the pain and anxiety that a human is about to walk out of my V...pass. Do. Not. Touch. Me.
- "A tennis ball or plastic rolling pin — both make excellent back rub tools — or an actual massager."
- How about "a tennis ball for throwing at everyone who tells you to "bear down" and yet can't actually describe to you what that means.
- A rolling pin to use as a weapon for anyone who tries to give you a back rub.
- "Your favorite pillow"
- This is just mean. Yes, pack your favorite pillow and then leave it at the hospital. You won't be getting any good sleep for weeks.
- "If you have long hair, a clip or scrunchie to keep it out of your face"
- If you care about your hair, something is wrong.
- "Snacks for during labor (your own snacks will be limited, and must be approved by your practitioner; your partner should pack sandwiches and nutritious nibbles so he doesn't have to leave your side to find something to eat)"
- Oh, that's right. I'll be fasting as part of the "magic" of birthing a baby and with contractions forcing me to double over in pain, I'll make you a sandwich, honey. Yeah, let me get right on that.
On a serious note, there are some great things on the list, so if you are preparing for a trip to the hospital, do check it out. However, as noted above, there's also some sh*t you don't need to bring.