In the days and months before your son or daughter arrives, it’s not uncommon to experience a whirlwind of emotions. From joy to sadness, stress to peace, fears and doubts — all are valid and natural. Allow yourself to feel and process each one as they come. This is your brain’s way of coping and preparing for the hospital visit. For the day that you’ll hold your new son or daughter in your arms, and welcome them into your home. It can feel very surreal and unsettling, but everything will be ok.
To help with the nerves and emotions, turn your focus to all the preparations between matching and your baby’s due date. Make sure that the nursery is ready, and that you’ve purchased all the essential baby supplies that you’ll need. Verify that all your travel arrangements are made and that your suitcases are ready to go as well, in case of any and all changes to the baby’s anticipated arrival date.
Pack the Essentials
When you’re preparing for the hospital visit, it’ll be important to pack carefully. Are you driving or flying? That could affect what you pack and don’t. For instance, flights have restrictions on how much liquid you can bring, and strict policies against anything that can be deemed a weapon. Weight limits apply as well. Things you don’t have to think about if you’re traveling by car. You can find a packing list online per TSA to help you know what’s ok and not.
Another good thing to do when packing is to check the weather report during the days you’ll be staying. This will help provide you with a baseline of temperatures. If you’re from out of the area, double check the climate, too. In drier climates, daytime heat can dissipate into a chilly evening. So, pack an extra outfit or two for an opposite weather system, just in case. Researching ideas on Pinterest is another good resource if you need inspiration.
Make travel arrangements
If you’ve chosen to travel by plane, don’t wait until the last minute to buy plane tickets. Check with the agency when preparing for the hospital visit, and ask when you should book your seats. Keep in mind that due dates are subject to change, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. But, as soon as the agency tells you a date range, order your tickets.
With traveling via car, double check that it can make the trip. You don’t want to be left stranded on the freeway. Get the oil checked, the tires rotated — anything you need to do to ensure your safety getting to and from the hospital. Map out the miles along the way for gas stations, repair centers and towing companies just in case. Have extra water and blankets in the car. Bring along chains if you have to go over any mountain passes. It’s always best to prepare for the unexpected whenever you’re traveling.
Confirm hotel reservations
Arriving early to spend time with the birth mother before the birth? Or to see the sights and take pictures to show your son or daughter later? Make sure that you book a hotel room in advance, and then confirm the reservations before you start your journey. It’s never fun after an exhausting day traveling to find out that something went awry with your room, and it isn’t ready for you. Worse yet, to discover that your reservation was somehow lost or cancelled.
Even if you’ve received a confirmation email from the hotel, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Call the hotel and make sure that everything is in order. Double check their check-in and check-out times as well, and ask when early/late check-in are if you know that’ll be arriving outside their normal business hours.
Brace yourself emotionally
The biggest piece of preparing for the hospital visit is bracing yourself emotionally. Once you’re at the hospital and there are multiple things happening at once, your emotions are going to be heightened. You’ll feel more sensitive and vulnerable than normal. This is natural. But it’s good to be mindful of this, so you can know how to respond appropriately.
This is especially true if the unexpected happens or plans change, both of which are not uncommon. If the birth mother decides last minute she doesn’t want you in the delivery room, or needs alone time with the baby before she lets you see him or her, that’s ok. If the birth mother decides she doesn’t want to see you or the baby after birth, that’s ok too. As soon as you arrive at the hospital, the focus centers around the birth mother and the baby. She gets to say what she is comfortable with according to how she’s feeling in that moment. So, do your best to brace yourself for this. Don’t take it personally. Rather, be as flexible, patient and respectful as you can.
Preparing for the hospital visit
For any and all questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will help you in whatever way we can, and understand that each adoption journey is unique to the people it involves. But, in the time between matching and the hospital visit, it’s important to stay on top of things as much as possible. To purchase any last minute items, buy a gift for the birth mother, and to prepare yourself emotionally and mentally.
Now that you’ve been matched, the countdown begins! Very soon, you’ll become a parent! Just like you’ve always wanted.
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
Adoptions, Lifelong. “Infant Adoption: What to Expect at the Hospital.” LifeLong Adoptions, www.lifelongadoptions.com/10-lgbt-adoptive-parents/237-infant-adoption-what-to-expect-at-the-hospital.
“The Hard Truths and Emotions of the Adoption Process.” Adoptive Families, 14 July 2015, www.adoptivefamilies.com/openness/adoption-process-emotional-difficulties/.
“The Hospital & Birth Experience: Advice for Adoptive Parents.” Adopting, www.adopting.com/adoption-blog/the-hospital-birth-experience-advice-for-adoptive-parents.
“Hospital Expectations for Adoptive Parents.” AdoptHelp, 10 Sept. 2018, www.adopthelp.com/hospital-expectations-adoptive-parents/.