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Packing for the Hospital

Jon Whittle

36w1d- I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say, my doctor doesn’t think I’ll make it all the way to 40 weeks. When my husband heard the numbers and the surprise in my doctor’s voice at my 35-week appointment last Monday, he decided — it’s time to pack a hospital bag. 

So Saturday morning, as Jason sat on the couch Googling what I thought to be golf tutorials, I started to go off on a rant about how much we had to do and how little time we had to do it. “Our house is a mess! We haven’t even washed the crib sheets! When should we put the car seat in the car?!” But then I saw what he was reading on his iPhone: “What to pack for the hospital.” My heart melted. I definitely married the right guy. 

“It says not to worry about bringing diapers since the hospital will supply them, but I put 10 in the diaper bag, just in case,” he said. It blew my mind that we were packing for three, not just two any more. For the next few hours, Jason proceeded to pack enough stuff for a 4-week vacation. Contacts: a whole new box for each of us. Camera battery: charged. Memory cards: emptied and ready to be filled again. Phone charger: in the small pocket on the left. Abby’s take-home outfit: washed and super soft. Jason got a new toothpaste, new toothbrush, new razor, new everything. He packed all things soft and comfy for me, like socks, pajama pants and my favorite robe. He even talked about song playlists and candles for during labor. The cutest part? He really stressed over what he wants to be wearing when he meets our daughter for the first time. 

It feels so good to be at this point. You know, the point where it’s actually time to start packing for the hospital. I’ve heard the last few weeks are the longest weeks of your pregnancy. I should be assuming that I’ll deliver late, so that anything earlier is a pleasant surprise. But instead, my doctor totally has my hopes up that Abby will grace us with her presence a bit early. She has full-reign and can stay in there as long as she wants (to a reasonable point). But I’d love to hold her soon — a healthy, full-term soon, of course. 

I really don’t want to jinx myself. The average first-time mom delivers at 41 weeks 3 days. But my numbers are progressing each week, and, if this baby is anything like her mom, she’s anxious and ready to come out. Her movements are much slower and more deliberate, as opposed to spastic and uncontrolled. I think she’s getting so big that she doesn’t have room to graze anymore, and she’s saving up her energy for the arduous trip into the real world. At least that’s what I like to think. 

What was the best thing you brought to the hospital? And did your doctor tell you that you’d deliver earlier than 40 weeks? If so, did you actually deliver early?