We were at the childbirth class for the best of the four, the one that includes the hospital tour and the discussion of all the “interventions”. You know, all the stuff I plan to use in my upcoming birth process. So all of us were crammed into a birthing suite, which is actually pretty nice, and there were comments about husbands sleeping on the couch, and the night nursery which is available from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am (which I informed the hubs that we were not using), and changes of clothes, gowns and stuff. Someone then asked a question about how long after birth you can go home, and the instructor said minimum of 24 hours for vaginal birth, 48 hours for C-section, and plan on a day for labor, so plan on staying at least two nights. And that the nurses are available to help, but you really should plan on having a support person there during your whole stay. As we were leaving the room to go to the next spot on the tour, I asked the hubs, “So are you ready to make this a home for a few days?” He has this shocked expression on his face, and he responded, “My mom needs to come here and take care of the dogs!” Um what??? We talked about this months ago! I had asked if he feels very strongly about having her here for the birth, he said no, and I told him that my preference is to not have anyone fly in for the birth, because if his mom were to come, then my mom would need to be invited as well. And both of moms, or either of them, would stress me out to no end.
I told hubs that I already asked our dog-sitter to be on call, and she will be able to come stay at our house while we’re in the hospital, or at the minimum, stop by a few times each day. And that I agreed to have his mom come down a few weeks after the baby is born, but not prior. I think by then my stress level may be a little lower, and I will be able to handle being nice to his mom. I don’t think I could be trusted to be nice to anyone while I’m in the hospital, especially for long periods of time. Because she wouldn’t be content staying at our house, she would have to be with us in that room ALL DAY LONG!!!
Well it turns out that hubs finally figured out, for the first time this pregnancy, that giving birth is a multi-day process. Apparently his mother told him that she went into labor with him in the morning, went into the hospital, pushed for 15 minutes, and was home by the afternoon. And I guess that’s what hubs expects now! I let him know that either his mom has been telling him lies his entire life, or she’s highly abnormal. And this will not be happening with me. How did he not know this would take multiple days? Oh and then he said that it would be good to have her at our home when we got back from the hospital because we would be tired, and would want to rest. I informed him that resting is not really part of it – I plan to breastfeed, and I will need to be feeding her every 2-3 hours! He thought that I could just pump a bunch and fill up some bottles for the baby. On day 2.
OK, so now it becomes very evident why we’re going to all these silly classes. He has no clue! I have bought him books, and tried to talk to him about stuff, but he won’t read the books, as he only likes to read stuff online. So I’ve tried to send him articles about Dad’s role and such, but apparently it didn’t all click until this week. Suddenly he’s realizing that this might actually be hard! That there’s a lot of stuff to do to take care of a baby! That he won’t get as much sleep as he’s used to!
I have to laugh, and I’m glad we’re finally having these conversations. I knew he was pretty clueless, but wow. We have one more childbirth class, and then there’s a breastfeeding class, infant CPR, and infant care class. I’m so happy I’ve signed up for these – because it’s becoming more and more evident that they are very useful, if only to spark conversations!
On another note, hubs works for the best company ever when it comes to benefits. First, his insurance paid for most of the costs of this little IVF baby, and now we just found out that he can take 12 weeks of FMLA leave, and they will pay him 100% pay! No disability, no PTO, no nothing. Meanwhile I’m scraping together my PTO, disability and some part-time work at home to maximize my pay while I take time off, but he can take 12 paid weeks sometime in the first 12 months, as long as they’re in minimum 1 week increments! Have you ever heard of a company in the US doing this? And even better, his direct boss has two children, and he took off the 12 weeks for each of his kids, so he’s very supportive. So hubs is planning on taking a couple weeks off when Alex is born, and then a few weeks around Christmas, and then a month off when I return to work in January. I’m thrilled, as this is a month that I don’t have to put my baby in daycare when I go back to work! And we’re considering packing up the baby, our two dogs, and going to Colorado for a few weeks at Christmas. We could visit family and friends, and have help with Alex for awhile.
But my question to all the moms out there is: Am I crazy for putting two big dogs (who have handled the trip very well many times before, and are great, but are terrible in a hotel so we refuse to stay in a hotel with them) and a baby who will be about 6 weeks old into a van with all our stuff and making a trip that normally takes 16 hours? And how long will it take when you incorporate the additional stops that a baby requires???