I’d thought about it so many times. I knew EXACTLY how it would happen. Coming home from the hospital with my first-born was going to be magical.
He’d look up at me and coo in contentment while wearing an adorable little monogrammed outfit with a matching blanket. I would look fashionable, yet appropriately maternal, in a flattering dress with color coordinated flats and accessories. People would smile at our picture perfect happiness as we were wheeled out the lobby to the car. Our new lives as a small family would begin flawlessly!
Well, this is not a Hollywood rom com, and I’m not Katherine Heigl. That’s not even remotely how things went down when I came home from the hospital with Bobby.
When my water broke at work five (almost six) weeks before my due date it was problematic. You see, I’d been planning to do a lot of shopping for onesies, blankets, and general baby gear when I began my maternity leave from work–a maternity leave that wasn’t due to start for 2 more weeks.
Oh, I wasn’t completely unprepared!! I had already gotten a custom upholstered glider with coordinated crib bedding and a step stool with his name painted on it. You know, the essentials.
Not only was I lacking in hooded baby towels or diaper wipe warmers, I didn’t have much for me either. My “going to the hospital” suitcase looked exactly like this:
I had been planning on packing that when my maternity leave began, too. Oops.
But it’s okay! The hospital automatically put my baby in a t-shirt, hat, and blanket! They even gave this new mom an awesome gown that tied in the back! (L&D tip: they’ll totally give you a second one to wear backwards as a robe if you ask nicely!) Throw in the giant netted postpartum underwear they provided, and I was set!
My husband had been great, too. Since my water broke at work, he’d taken all my clothes home to wash and brought me an outfit to wear home. He even went to the store all by himself and got some things for the baby! I knew right then that I had chosen wisely when it came to picking the father of my children.
And then I got dressed.
The man I had pledged my life to for all eternity and to whom I’d been married for six years at the time, handed me earrings, a white v-neck t-shirt, and non-maternity jeans. These items, and only these items, were what he brought for me to wear home from the hospital.
This brand new nursing mama had no bra, no shoes, and jeans I couldn’t zip up even half way. When questioned he said, “I don’t wear bras, so I didn’t think about that.” My lactating breasts were scandalized.
He’d done slightly better for our son. He brought him a bib and a pair of socks. Did you know that hospitals don’t let you take home their baby blankets and t-shirts? Neither did I until that day.
So my first born did not leave the hospital in the smocked, monogrammed outfit of my dreams, but rather in a bib while wrapped in a tennis towel snatched from the gym bag in my husband’s trunk. And, despite the fact that I had not been bra-less in public since 1981, that’s how I found myself in jeans that wouldn’t zip and sporting paper flip flops I found in my purse left over from my last pedicure.
That was my first lesson in what parenting is actually like. As MAM points out in their Real Parenting Guide there is no class that can prepare you for the reality of having children. It is not always picture perfect, but even the “less than desirable” photo op moments lead to memories you treasure and even laugh about later. (Much, much later in this case).
Our story is Chapter 3 in the MAM Blogger Real Parenting Guide. If you liked this “unglamorous” look at parenting then we encourage you to read other chapters and find out more about all the stuff that MAM makes to make the job of parenting easier.
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