laborI was induced at 41 weeks and, unlike most women I’ve met, I was thrilled. Finally, we were going to get some answers from this kid! I had been having serious Braxton-Hicks-type contractions for two weeks and very little sleep. I was so grateful for the Ambien they gave me to go with the induction medication that I sent my husband home for the night so I could just pass out.

The next day, they started the epidural and the Pitocin drip at the same time. For the rest of the day, my husband and I watched TV, played with the heart monitor (the nursing staff does not think it is funny), and waited for our daughter who finally arrived, conveniently, right after my doctor got back from her dinner break. She’s a great kid even to this day.

It was a very easy and pleasant labor experience. I’m going to leave out the part where my daughter’s heart rate kept dropping because, although it was a little scary, I was never really worried. Since I had an epidural, they could cut me open and deliver my daughter at a moment’s notice. It wasn’t necessary in the end: she just sort of popped out while this doctor kept yelling, “Good push!” Well, no shit, she’s out! It was a great push!

BUT THE RECOVERY ROOM WAS A NIGHTMARE. Scratchy towels, no blankets, and the only “product” that was in the bathroom was hand soap. So all those magazine articles and blog posts that say, “you don’t need to bring anything! The hospital has it all,” are LIARS. I had checked out the towel/sheet/pillow situation when I did my tour, so I was prepared. I neglected to check the toiletries since I just assumed they were part of some kind of new mommy room product placement for after labor. They were not. There is nothing more aggravating after enduring labor, swelling up like a balloon from the epidural, and having nurses refuse you nipple soreness assistance than to have horrible, dry unmanageable hair for the remainder of your stay.

Bring shampoo and conditioner.

This is a reader submission for Labor Pains Week.

(photo: Invisible/ Shutterstock)