For some reason I have a lot of online pals about to give birth (yay!) so I have a very important piece of advice: Don't let the dad-to-be bring anything into the labor and delivery room. No mp3 players, cell phones, Blackberries, gadgets of any kind. Nothing. Especially a good book. My husband decided to pick up Harry Potter the day I was induced and I will never think about this goddamn series without cringing a bit. Now, I supposed I didn't mind so much that he was lost in this book while I was having minor pain and, truthfully, just watching Days of Our Lives. But when the doctor decided to break my water, causing me to regrettably understand the term "blinding pain," it would have been nice not to feel that I was dragging him away from something more interesting than his wife's agony, and forcing me to grunt, "Get. Over. Here." He's lucky I didn't run off with the anesthesiologist who gave me the best f'ing epidural anyone has ever had, because the moment the pain hinted at easing up, Bill was back to Harry Potter.
In retrospect, my husband should have been allowed onto the hospital premises with only the clothes on his back and nothing else. (God forbid a new Black Crowes album had come out or he might have missed the actual birth.) But it was, after all, Harry Potter and I knew how glued to the book I was when it came out. So I forgive him. Only because I'm crazy.
So ladies, pack your hospital bags, but forbid your husband from packing anything. I don't care if you're in labor for three days; he'll deal.
BTW, it really is true that you don't care about the pain after the baby is born. Honestly. You remember it, but you don't care... promise.