The time has finally come for my daughter to have her labor induced. She is overdue and it is time. And, since gift giving is one of my "love languages" I was inspired to create a "labor basket" full of goodies.
Now I know as well as any Obstetrician that one is restricted to clear liquids during induction of labor. This is because a patient under induction should, at any time, be prepared to go to C section. C sections are much safer when the mother has a virtually empty stomach, or only clear liquids on board. This is because pregnancy, labor, anesthesia, and C sections all make patients more likely to aspirate, which means to breathe in something they should have instead swallowed. It is basically choking, and it can lead to pneumonia. The other reason is that clear liquids absorb quickly, and should the patient become nauseous, she will have an easier time getting rid of it. She will feel less badly.
So my labor basket for my daughter contains the finest clear liquids I could find. First, I got our favorite: Perrier, in three flavors: plain, grapefruit and lime. Next I got a couple flavors of IZZEs, peach and blackberry, the ones which were truly clear and had no visible particles. To round things out, I picked up some of her favorite tea, Earl Grey decaf, and then, lest she be tired of all the sweetness, some seasoned organic chicken broth in little single serving containers. Finally I found some nice stainless insulated mugs.
Then I considered the whole environment. We had covered taste, so I decided smell was also important. I chose some natural citrus body spray. Then I tucked in our favorite body cream called Booda Butter. No kidding it smells just like chocolate, but looks and feels like soft butter.
Then, I covered sound. I know she has her Pandora on her phone, but I didn't think headphones would work. So I sprang for a little USB powered waterproof bluetooth speaker. And, being the veteran mom that I am, I enclosed a 12 foot USB extender cord for convenience. For sight, I put it all in a pretty green picnic bag and brought a blooming orchid along as we prefer living plants to cut flowers.
I was tempted to overdo it since I had all kinds of other ideas. For example, you could include a cozy throw for mom, as long as its washable. You could tuck in some healthy chewing gum. The best idea I have seen was from the very cool older patient I had many years ago. She brought a bag of beautiful textiles and draped them all over her labor room, i.e. over closet doors, etc. The room looked like a Casbah. And last week I had a lovely patient who used an aromatherapy atomizer with essential oils in her labor room.
Your gift may not fit in a basket. You may be asked to help in the labor room, but only if she asks. Perhaps she will need help with her other children or pets while she is in the hospital. You may also be needed afterwards, helping with chores. Baskets are great, but perhaps the best gift of all is to be present.