I wouldn’t describe packing as a strong suit of mine. In fact I would say it is a weak and dirty suit that should probably be thrown out in it’s own garbage bag so as not to stink up the other garbage. With that in mind, it’s now time to pack one of the more important bags of life: the hospital bag.
There is plenty of guidance on what to prepare for those seemingly terrifying days or hours at the hospital. Everyone’s list varies a fair bit from each class, doula or doctor. The only consistent reminder is that I, as the man partner, MUST, absolutely, without question, 100%, for certain, don’t-even-think otherwise, have to wear a bathing suit in the bathtub with my partner.
Every book, orientation, doula and hospital worker is up to date on the science of not-exposing-man-parts-unnecessarily to the hospital staff. The word got out and it has travelled to absolutely every level of the medical community.
Being repeatedly reminded to bring a bathing suit is a bit off-putting in that it seems like an obvious requirement, but I do understand that all it takes is one over-confident Austrailian to make what seems to be common sense into a firm policy. A policy which seems to have as much pertinence as a pregnant mother avoiding intoxication and the baby not living inside the Mother’s stomach forever.
Our doula shared a story with my partner and I about a man who did not bring a bathing suit and greatly shocked everyone with his “confidence”. He talked with all the swagger of a man wearing swim trunks and perhaps even a waterproof top. And yet, he was stark naked, conversing with the nurses. Although our doula did not detail further, I could see a look of terror in her eyes that could only come from an excess of boldness.
I initially thought the constant reminder was overbearing and even needlessly limiting, but I now have a better understanding of the discomfort that too much ‘confidence’ can bring. And there’s also the simple notion that since my partner is giving birth, I should probably not make anything more difficult than it needs to be.
And now to pack the bag:
1 B-A-T-H-I-N-G S-U-I-T
1 pack of Popeye Cigarettes.