You don’t know what to pack to get you through those first few days after the baby is born. Honestly? You don’t need anything from home, really. The hospital has everything you actually need. But pack your favorite t-shirt. And pillow. And that picture of you and your husband on your wedding day if you want to. No one will judge.
Actually, that’s not correct. Everyone will judge. Everything. I’m sure you already feel it as you stand there in the baby aisle at Target looking, desperately, at the descriptions of the bottles trying to discern the difference between ounces and BPA Free and nipple type. Your basket is full of items you really won’t need but you feel secure in having them in your nursery – hopefully this trip will finally fulfill everything on the arbitrary Registry. The full cart helps you feel in control. You are ready to be back in control (spoiler alert: you will never be, truly, back in control of anything). And it seems like as you try to gain control over situation everyone around you is telling you that what you have planned is all wrong.
I’ve been there.
I’m pretty sure I alienated most of my friends and family during my first pregnancy. I was adamant that we wouldn’t have visitors in the hospital after our daughter’s birth (except immediate family) for 24 hours. I felt like the people in our lives just wanted to hold and swoon my baby moments after she was born without considering my feelings, desires, or needs. And because this was the way it was always done no one cared about what I wanted. And they made their plans.
I felt like no one was listening. So … I mailed a letter to everyone in the family thanking them for their love and support and outlining our wishes for the hours after our daughter’s birth. The whispers were endless. The criticism? Still coming. I received many not so very nice labels regarding what I thought was best for my family. All boiled down to one word: selfish.
Yes. I was selfish.
And I’m not sorry.