So far, Dadulthood has been me waxing a little lyrical and to be honest, earning some brownie points with The Wife. Now however, down to business – the things I have learnt, advice I have been given and stuff I have googled!
I thought the best place to start was probably the beginning. Not the weeing on the stick part or the scans, I might come back to that, but the first and most important thing I learnt was “The Bag”.
The Bag is the thing that really puts the end of the pregnancy in sight. The minute the first item is in the bag is the moment for me I realised there really would be a Baby and was probably the first time I got a little scared. I wanted to be a Dad and that never really scared me. It was the birth that did. I don’t do well in hospitals, or around blood, or seeing a loved one in pain, so this part filled me with fear.
Anyway The Bag really signals the start of the birth. NCT (mixed feelings to start with but actually worth doing) and friends prepare you for what you need but here is the stuff that I added and seemed to help.
Camera: Sounds simple but with babygro’s, towels and blankets, this is something you forget and with camera phones, think you don’t need. Most hospitals aren’t that keen on mobile phones so a back up camera is a really easy fix.
Lip Balm: Not for you! When your wife is on Gas & Air as mine was, they get really dry lips and with everything else going on you would think they wouldn’t notice but they do so you can be a hero by breaking out a lip balm. One word of warning… a Vaseline Rose one is a bad a idea. The Wife decided it was a good idea to pack two, so how was I to know is my excuse!
New Dressing Gown: No mincing of words here, birth is a tad messy and hospitals are not as nice as they should be, so after a day, presenting your wife with a new, clean dressing gown is a definite winner.
Change: Brilliantly, East Surrey Hospital is a dead zone for phone reception, something I didn’t realise until mid-birth and having texted the parents 6 hours before I could see impending panic looming. It took me 20 minutes to find cash and then get change. Disappearing for 20 minutes at a crucial time does not go down well.
Food: They give you advice at NCT take food to get your wife through labor – Lucozade, Sweets etc but they don’t tell you to pack food for you. You can be at the hospital for hours and the offerings are very limited. We were in the hospital for 18 hours before I got thrown out and I made one trip to the canteen. Having seen the offerings I was more concerned for my health than the health of my new son. I actually thought it was the first time that a McDonalds (one minute from the hospital) would offer more nutritional value! My advice… pack food. The nurses were happy to give you hot water so Pot Noodles here you come.
Hope it helps, let me know if you have any top tips for the Hospital Bag.