Bag Check

If babies were delivered in airports, we’d have problems more serious than the roundabout punchline to the opening of this blog post, but…if babies were delivered in airports, we’d be a few hundred dollars poorer. And I’d probably have a valid and reasonable way of telling a pregnant woman she’s overreacting. When last I typed, ’twas Thursday morning and we’d made three premature hospital visits. Twelve hours later, we’d made our fourth, and my ‘pregnancy by the numbers’ suddenly was inaccurate.

What does any of this have to do with an airport. Well, if we were going to the airport and not the hospital, I would have had to check, and pay for, much of our luggage. Because having a baby has now become more than a spontaneous (but very planned) trip of excitement. Going to the hospital is now a vacation: complete with a stocked wardrobe, a full snack bar and a Radio Shack kiosk. I knew there was packing involved, but 36 weeks ago I thought a camera, pair of underwear and 20 ounce Diet Coke would cover most of the bases. Due to space restrictions and arm strength, I’ll likely be stuffing all of those things into my pants pockets come delivery day.

Here’s the full inventory. First, a suitcase (yes, a suitcase) with pajamas, loungewear, real people clothes, comfortable shoes, a few baby outfits, hair and makeup supplies, toiletries and other things buried deeper than I cared to dig. I threw a t-shirt and boxers in there, too.

There’s another bag–a carry-on, if you will–with magazines, books, an iPod, camera, video camera, requisite chargers, blankets, more baby stuff, nursing…equipment, personal care items, you get the idea.

There are two pillows. Though I fear neither of them is for me.

There’s a bag of dry food. Crackers, chips, cereal, Easy Cheese, candy. And there’s a cooler (which remains packed in our fridge) with cheese, fruit, spreads, drinks, meat, ice.

Finally, there’s a yoga ball, fully inflated and not leaving the trunk of our car.

All these things. All this preparation. All these lists. It’s crazy how prepared we are supposed to be for the few days we’ll spend in the hospital, as if in any way that preparation would make us more ready for the craziness about to be unleashed upon us. Nice sentence. If this is what we’ll need for the first two days of Blanche’s life, what are we going to need for the rest of it? How many bags? And where is the page-long checklist of things you’ll need for successful parentdom?

If I ran a hospital, I’d start charging for bags.

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