Every movie or TV show with an expectant mother talks about “The Bag.” You know, the one that is packed and waiting by the door for Momma Bear’s water to break while she is sitting on the toilet, so you can then fight city traffic to get to the hospital, with her screaming in pain and you screaming in fear? Duh.
Spoiler alert: Real life isn’t quite exactly like that. [However, that happened with our daughter – a GREAT story for another time.]
In reality, “The Bag” may be more than one actual bag. And for good reason.
While Momma Bear is by all definition a patient at the hospital, you, my friend, are a visitor. Your comfort is last on anyone’s to-give-a-crap-about list.
The time you spend in the hospital will be hectic and restless, as you try to contort yourself into a position to get a few minutes of rest on the Least Comfortable Surfaces Ever. I used capital letters, because I’m certain it has to be trademarked. Hospital visitor couch/beds are the worst. Know it. Acknowledge it. Move on with your life.
Putting comfort to the side, you, pops, have a lot of responsibility as a documentarian (just be careful where the lens is pointed at all times), advocate, and part-time medical assistant (trust me, it will happen and you will go pale. Suck it up.)
So, let’s assume that you read and did the 7 Things Dads Must Do Before Baby Arrives and present the follow-up list of items for the “Dad Bag.”
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger
- Laptop computer
- Laptop charger
- Video camera
- Video camera charger
- Bluetooth/wired speaker
- Speaker charger (notice a pattern?)
- Protein snacks – for the long-haul
- Sugary snacks – for the bursts
- Sports drink (like Gatorade) – Momma Bear will want it after delivery
- 24 hours worth of any medication you take
- Dollars and coins (for vending machines)
- Written Birth Plan – have it in writing in case your brain goes blank. It happens.
- Pediatrician’s number – you’ll want to call them soon after baby arrives
- Reading material – bring a magazine or book, but you’ll be too amped to actually read it
- Comb/brush/hair product – you’ll want to look as human as possible in pictures
- Sneakers – if labor is extended, you’ll be walking around the hospital to get things, uh, moving
- Anything else Momma Bear wants you to pack. You did this to her. The least you can do is carry some stuff to the hospital.