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I love the Internets™

I heart UI most sincerely thank you all for your good wishes, hopes, and, yes, even prayers in response to my post about my father. It helps more than I can say. I'm happy to report that he's doing well: he is awake, off the ventilator, and already complaining with the post-surgical cantankerousness of a grouch half his age.

But then I was a little upset myself when I learned that news that he'd needed not a single bypass, as the doctors initially planned, but a quadruple. "Well," said his surgeon, speaking with my mother afterward, "we figured as long as we were in there..."

I wish I'd thought of that during my C-section. "Hey, doctor, um, while you're in there, can you, you know, shine it up a little, throw in some equipment that actually works?"

I hope his doctors thought to add some flashy-looking flames. And perhaps a tasteful racing stripe.


I don't know anything about Boston beyond the happy fact that I will soon be going there for a few evenings of babyless relaxation. I feel certain that my friends inside the computer can recommend just the right hotel, one that satisfies the following requirements:

  • Old-world charm, new-world linens;
  • Walking distance to shops where I might fritter away many a dollar on lovely items of marginal utility;
  • Attractively packaged toiletries to pocket;
  • A bar of some elegance where I will be treated with faultless courtesy while I sit for hours chewing on my swizzle stick, downing vodka after vodka, making a sloppy mess out of myself

Thank you for your suggestions.


One of Tertia's readers writes:

My sister is currently in the hospital/bedrest for preterm labor. She's been bedside for 2 weeks now and is finally 31 weeks. She's had her steroid shots and because her amniotic fluid is running low they have decided that next week if the baby hasn't been born, they will have to induce.

Hers is a complicated story. She is only 20, married young because of the pregnancy, but honestly thought she and her beau had a chance of making a happy home. She moved states to live with him, the whole deal.

Well, turns out he had a girlfriend on the side. She left him. But Oklahoma/Texas law does not allow for a divorce to occur until after the baby is born.

The husband (soon to be ex) has kept everything baby related and the courts will not allow her to go after the items until after the divorce has been settled (months after the baby gets here).

My sister, hospitalized, thought she had more time to save and prepare for the birth of her baby. in a few months she has gone from the dream of a happy home, loving husband, SAHM, etc. to a working mother, trying to pay for the costs of a child and having to rebuy all the items that the ex has decided to keep out of spite.

What items does she absolutely-must-have need-right-away for when the baby gets here? My mother and I are gathering as much funds as we can to get immediate items, and are saving for bigger items in the future, but it would be helpful to know which ones are the most important to have for when the baby comes home.

As a bare minimum, I would suggest the following:

Before the baby goes home from the NICU:

  • Disposable camera for leaving at the baby's bedside
  • Hand lotion
  • If breastfeeding, a rental pump and collection kit; lanolin cream; nursing bras; and the number of a local La Leche League coordinator
  • Car seat

Once the baby is home:

  • Sling
  • Wipes
  • Diapers of the appropriate size — but don't buy until you know how big the baby is at discharge
  • Sleepers ditto — do not buy significantly ahead of time
  • Blanket(s) appropriate for swaddling
  • If formula feeding, bottles, nipples, a brush for cleaning same, and a set of baskets if there's a dishwasher
  • Diaper rash cream, Mylicon, and Baby Tylenol
  • Burp cloths

Helpful but not necessary:

  • Changing pad and covers — otherwise the baby can be changed on a bed
  • Rocking chair or glider — if not available, walking or dancing with the baby in a sling can achieve the same lulling effect
  • Crib or co-sleeper — if preferred, the baby can share a bed with the mother

I don't know if other NICU mothers have had the same experience, but we went home with a lot of stuff, and not just the usual samples and coupons. Any item that had been at Charlie's station — packages of diapers, wipes, baby soap, plastic basins, et cetera — was considered used, and had to be "discarded." The day before we first expected Charlie to be discharged, one of our favorite nurses opened a giant new package of diapers, removed one, and then caroled cheerfully, "Oh, no! This whole package is now contaminated. Allllll these diapers have to be 'discarded.'" Then she paused, looked at us meaningfully, and said, "I'm going to go over there and look in another direction for a little while."

Now what am I missing? Keep in mind that we're looking for the absolute necessities, no matter how much we all adore the Fisher Price Baby's First Mind-Altering Wind-Up Fish-Related Freakout — and we do.

Thank you, Internets™, for your kind assistance. I do love you so.