Ice Ice Baby

The other night, with some awesome friends, I was discussing the act that many (let's be honest... ALL) of us face: unpreparedness of having a baby.  And, that really got me thinking...

In my life, I have experienced a wide range of "preparedness" from one end of the spectrum to the other.  For example, I recently showed up to a Christmas gift exchange, consisting of five people, with one gift.  I apparently misread something.  Preparedness uber fail.  (But hotdamn- I wrapped that shit pretty!)

On the other end of the spectrum- I really like lists.  I used to create checklists for myself and my friends of what we needed to pack for trips.  This list was approximately 12 pages long and covered pretty much everything under the sun, with about 85% of it being totally unnecessary.  But, we would be prepared for everything from hangnails to hurricanes (both weather and beverage) and then some.  Oh, your book light stopped working?  Don't worry, I just happen to have a variety pack of batteries my dad bought at Costco!  What's that?  You got a hole in your cropped tank top from Wet Seal?  A: Shocking!  B: Don't worry, let me whip out my mini sewing kit with 15 thread color options!  But, you will have to do it because I have no idea how to sew...

Having a baby was kind of like having a sewing kit, but not a clue how to use it.  I had lists printed out left and right from registries to what I needed to what to pack for the hospital...

And, I soon understood why the nurses (along with my husband) were laughing about the bag I actually brought to the hospital.  Apparently, I thought I was going to be there for a month or so and I had enough outfits for 8 people.  I had everything from flip flops to my trusty Ugg boots.  I mean, you just never know what I might feel like wearing while laying in a hospital bed; or, what the weather might be like on the day that our baby decides to grace us with his presence.  (Ok- in my defense, November in the Lowcountry can go from freezing to 80° in a day.  Literally.  So, I was not toooo crazy about my over-preparedness for all existing weather possibilities.)

But, as far as what I felt like wearing after birthing a baby?  I wish I had known that all I'd want was... ice packs.  That was pretty much all I cared about being on my body.  Oh, what's that?  My boob is still hanging out after that feeding?  I don't care.  I need more ice packs.  Oh, this gown that I have been in for 2 days is supposed to be tied in the back?  Huh...  Hope you enjoyed the view?  So... about those ice packs?

I also packed my hair dryer, hair straightener, hair products, and make up.  I surely did.  Now, I know some of you reading this are all like "Oh, me too!  Best decision ever!  I looked sooo beautiful for my pictures right after delivery."  (I intended for that to be read in Cartman's voice from South Park by the way.)  Well, to you: Mrs. Postpartum Prissypants (you know who you are)- I think that you are either superhuman or completely batshit crazy.  My beautifying necessities never saw the fluorescent light of the hospital room, and I was living proof.

I also brought my book.  Now, that was funny.

I quickly learned that no matter what you pack- you will never be prepared for that freight train of life that is going to ram you in your lady parts.  No matter what you read- you will never be prepared for that little, needy, wailing, bundle of love that is covered in spit-up and poo.  No matter what classes you take- you will never be prepared for that moment when you are sent home and wonder what the hell just happened.

Nope.  No matter the level of your "preparedness"- you will be thinking that this must be some sort of mistake.  They definitely forgot to tell you something... something?  Screw something- they forgot to tell you everything!... How did you end up here?  You were not supposed to be home yet- because you have NO FREAKING CLUE what to do with a human baby.

My husband and I, wondering what the hell just happened
and why are we at home already? We have a dog?

I now realize that unpreparedness should be the actual definition, or at least most popular synonym, for having a baby.  Because... that's the only way to do it.  No matter how "prepared" you are- you're not.  And, as it turns out... that's okay.

My name is Katie.  

I was incredibly unprepared to have a baby.  

And, I would not have changed a thing. 

(Except, I would have had more icepacks ready.)

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