The happy-go-lucky Kewpie doll (pictured above,) now plays a starring role in my nightly stress dreams. He’s cute but when I close my eyes at night, he’s squirming to suckle milk from my left tit with no success. He’s eating canned peaches from the foot of my hospital bed, and I can’t reach to make him stop. Sometimes he makes gurgly baby noises but other times, he sounds like Gizmo the gremlin.

With our due date looming, the general consensus from our parent friends is that we should be ready. Not just mentally ready; ready as in we have a plastic medical pad at the front door in case the dam breaks while we’re hightailing it to Mt. Sinai in the back of a Beck Taxi.

Since my life partner, and birthing partner, is a man who has been carefully perfecting a fail-proof apocalypse kit for years, (flares? Got ’em!) the idea of packing our hospital bags well in advance (Mom’s, Dad’s and Baby’s,) was not only imperative but felt like a mission with zero room for error. And on this mission, there will be blood. Oh yes, there will be blood. (Cue dramatic organ music.)

With list in hand, we marched to Shoppers Drug Mart, racked up our Optimum points and joined their V.I.B (Very Important Baby) Club. Yep. V.I.B. Welcome to your new life.

He hit the aisles for high-energy snacks and hydration: dried fruit, granola, and coconut water. I made haste for the baby section to gather Huggies newborn diapers with wetness indicator, sensitive skin baby wipes, maternity pads (cotton, not dryweave!) and MORE. But that’s hardly where this operation ends.

Pillow, nightshirt, three pairs of underwear, newborn onesies, baby hat, baby socks, ambient support systems, iPod (from soothing Joni Mitchell to primal Burundi drumming,) slippers, lip balm, homemade cookies that stimulate milk flow: GET IT IN THE BAG! Now. And don’t even think about leaving the hospital unless you have a car seat! They won’t let you. Don’t own a car? Don’t matter! You need that seat.

The only discrepancy was whether Cadbury Mini Eggs constitute as a vital energy snack for active labour. I think so.

The hospital bag now sits at the foot of our bed. It is the last thing I see before I close my eyes at night. This may be why Kewpie has suddenly begun making a regular appearance in my dreams. It’s probably why I can’t stop visualizing labour. The fact that “my son” looks like a wide-eyed plastic doll instead of a real life baby, is somewhat disconcerting but I love him just the same.

When little Kewpie is ready to thrust his head through my pelvis, I’ll be ready. We’ll be ready. Or as ready as we can be. Right? Wait! We’ve got coconut water! Of course we’re R-E-A-D-Y. Sooooo ready.

If you’re having a baby this summer, I highly recommend you sign up for the prenatal course  at Fifty-Seven Family Learning & Wellness in Bloor West Village. We’ve been loving our classes so far and this 4-week course walks you through everything from the stages of labour to how to properly swaddle and tips for postpartum depression. There’s no way we’d know how to pack our bag without the help of our lovely instructor, and experienced midwife, Carolyn Sinclair. Thank you! Stay tuned for more info as this course progresses.