If you are going to have your baby in a hospital, take at least $100 in cash. You’ll need it for all the food you’ll have to buy for yourself. Plus, you don’t want to be skimping during those first few days. You need the energy. You also need the hash browns. Those first mornings are like the worst hang over you’ve ever had, minus the alcohol. Greasy potatoes are nice. Don’t let those low-carb nutjobs tell you otherwise.
If the hospital offers you a cot to sleep on, it will be the noisiest, most uncomfortable thing you’ve ever experienced. But you won’t care so much. Just try not to move.
Before you change your first diaper, inspect the Huggies. We got a bad batch and I fumbled for what seemed like 30 minutes (it wasn’t that long, but Leta was pretty upset about it) digging out the fasteners from a bad production run of newborn diapers. Even the nurse commented and gave us a new pack.
Take all the blankets and shirts you can. The hospital doesn’t care; they expect it.
Drink plenty of water.
During the delivery, I experienced something that hasn’t happened since I played drums for hours on end; drum-butt sweat. It ain’t pretty. So wear something that will allow your butt sweat to be comfortably wicked away and hidden from public view. My Lucky Jeans™ weren’t so lucky in the ass sweat department.
Give the mom everything. She’s been through hell for that cute baby.
Get plenty of days off from work. You’ll want that time with your kid. Work, schmork. That deadline isn’t going to comfort the mom or the baby. These early days won’t last forever. Pretty soon she’ll be asking for credit cards and computers and cell phones and a phat ride and a tattoo or two and maybe a few piercings… sorry that’s a nightmare I had last night.
Lean on everybody for food. We had a lot of food help early on and it was awesome. Plus, we discovered some new dishes we like.
The first poops are the worst. Even worse than the biggest blowout you can imagine. The meconium is like nothing I’ve ever seen. NASA couldn’t make a weirder, more difficult to remove substance.
Poop will be an hourly topic of discussion and concern. If you are uncomfortable talking about, smelling, cleaning or dealing with poop, I recommend you read something and get over it. Poop is the biggest barometer of a babies health and even if your partner/wife/mom isn’t chronically constipated, you will be talking about poop all the time.
Everything you read or are told involving the baby and the issues of parenting are enshrouded by an agenda, some not so hidden. At first, you’re happy for all the information. Then it’s like you’ve been involved with the Christian Coalition, PETA and NOW all in the space of 3 paragraphs. Take a shower and wash all those toxins off. Is the baby fed? Clean diaper? Sleeping? After those things, then we can talk about whether or not he should vote Kerry in 2004.
Also, and this is the most important thing I feel I need to share: there are times during delivery when you should look at the emerging baby and times when you should look into the mom’s eyes. The episiotomy would fall into the latter category.