Let me be very clear, first of all... this is not an exhaustive list. Nor is it a list of the things that TRULY got me through those early days- things like prayer, support, education, lodging near my baby, etc. No, this is a list of three things that I wouldn't necessarily have known I would need... but it turned out that I did:
- Vicodin. Maybe it seems kind of silly for me to list a narcotic here, but I'm being very truthful. I do NOT have a low pain threshold. I do NOT take medication for every (or even most) ache(s) or pain(s). The side-effects of most drugs bother me far more than the symptoms I must endure. I declined medication over and over and over again following my son's birth. But after my classic c-section with C? I embraced the Vicodin. The simple fact is that I would not have been able to walk the many blocks and endless corridors that I was required to in order to see my daughter without that medication. Trust me. I tried it on just ibuprofen one night and collapsed in a hallway. And so... Vicodin makes my list.
- Maternity pants. Don't throw things at me, but I never needed maternity pants after my son was born. No, I couldn't hop right back into my "skinny jeans", but I was absolutely back in normal clothing just as soon as I got home. With C. being born four months early and given the fact that I carry my babies small, I never wore maternity pants during that pregnancy. It's true. But, ooh boy, did I ever need them after that classic c-section. Sore and swollen with a tender incision across my lower abdomen, maternity pants were the only thing I could wear comfortably. I suppose dresses would have worked, but then I would have had the inconvenience of trying to pump every couple hours in them...
- My cell phone. Maybe this seems comical to some of you who couldn't live without your phones under the best of circumstances, but, me? I made it many, many years without one while the rest of the world became more and more dependent on the suckers. I never had any reason to feel like people should be able to reach me "anytime, anywhere". I didn't even LIKE that idea. Once I had a baby in the NICU? I was ever-so-grateful that the nurses could summon me at a moment's notice, that the pediatric ophthalmologist could reach me right away with bad news, and that I had a way to stay in touch when we found ourselves, very suddenly, transferred to Chicago for surgery. (By the way, I do like having a cell phone still, but- pssst- I've still never sent nor received a text message. ;))
If anyone had told me five years ago that someday I'd sing the praises of narcotics, cell phones, and wearing maternity pants while not pregnant, I would have called them crazy. But, well, I've been through a lot in five years... and I've learned a lot along the way.
Have you ever ended up really needing something that you never would have foreseen?