I take photos with me of me and Brett and of the kids I've got at home waiting for me! I've found that I need to have this special visual reminder to keep my heart encouraged.
I usually have a short stay in hospital (like a night or two) and this has always worked well for us. I know alot of people vary in their preferences for hospital stay; I've had many people tell me over the years to 'treat it like a holiday and make the most of it!' but it has never been like that for me. I pine for my husband and my children to be close by and it does my soul well to be close to them almost straight after the birth. I also find I get more rest when I don't have to have my obs taken at 3am in the middle of my sleep! lol :) Totally understand that it is a necessary practice but I just love to have as little disruption as possible. Brett is such a hands on dad anyway that I've barely ever had to 'carry the load' of the house/kids, etc on my own anyway. I always get plenty of bedrest when I return here and usually have the blessing of my mum and/or sister/s staying to help out too.
So that's just us.
HOWEVER, I did have to stay in a long time with Stassi (born 5 weeks early and had several complications at birth with talipes, severe jaundice, tube feeding etc) and so I know that my plans and God's plans often differ! See I have placed this whole birth, delivery and afterbirth care into the Lord's beautiful hands and I know that whatever He has in store is fine.
YOUR will be done Lord, not mine is the cry of my heart!
So whilst I love to have a short stay, it may be that I am in hospital for several days or weeks and then these photos will come in very handy! I've printed them off this morning and wanted to share with you which ones I'll be taking...
I also take worship cd's with me and have them playing. This time around I have some Casting Crowns CD's, I have a WOW Worship Cd picked out and I've also packed another which was recorded by my great mates Heiko and Lori from my church. These will play during labour and Brett has previously brought me my own CD player to the room so that I can listen to them and have them playing while getting used to feeding, whilst bubby is sleeping and we are getting to know each other in the early days.
FIRST DAY LETTER:
I ALWAYS write bubby a letter on the first day to let him/her know how thankful we are to the Lord that he/she has finally arrived! It is such an exhilirating feeling that I want to savour and lock up in the memory of my heart and mind. I often cry reading back over the letters that were written for the other kids which are filled with deep cries to the Lord for His protection, His love and His ways to rule over our kids' lives. As they grow, even know, I can see how the Lord HAS already answered some of those first-day prayers.
If Brett comes to visit on his own (with the kids being looked after by grandparents at home), and say bub is sleeping, we usually play Uno in the room. We also love to play our 'your question' game where one person asks the other any kind of question and you must give a truthful answer and then it is the other's turn to ask one. Playing 'Your Question' and Uno are two ways we get a little special time in together too.
Have you got any other little traditions surrounding birth that you want to share? I'd love to hear your stories too!