Sunday afternoon I started having Braxton Hicks contractions. And in short …. I freaked the eff out.
I thought – 100% – that I was going into labor three weeks early. So… first things first… I made Joe promise me that if I went into labor, that we could stop at my office first, so I could finish getting everything in order. He rolled his eyes at me… and then… we got to work washing the baby carseat and packing our bags.
As many of you know – I wrote a similar post during my last pregnancy. You can check it out here. That being said, when I went back and looked at that old post… I actually laughed out loud. Like I really thought I would be wearing my post-partum corset and drinking champagne… THE DAY after birthing a watermelon sized human??? Who the hell thinks that?!?
I knew nothing.
Anyhow… I thought I would freshen it up for you… from a momma who has been there.
What is not changing: We brought three bags last time to the hospital – and although everyone said I was nuts – I loved the fact that it kept us organized. I loved that I knew that everyone had everything they needed. So… we will be bringing three bags again: The Momma Bag, The Baby Bag, and The Daddy Bag.
So here you go… The new and improved… What’s in our hospital bags! It’s a lot shorter than last time… I’ve learned a lot.
The Mama Bag:
So – first things first – I recently discovered THE most amazing brand, @duckworthNYC and they actually make your hospital bag for you. Be sure to check them out >>> here. So my Momma bag will be a mix of the things included in their bag, and some additional things I know I’ll need. Another great aspect about their bag is that it comes complete with the most amazing checklist of everything else you may need. You have to check them out!
PS: Their bags make great gifts for any expectant momma as well FYI.
OK… now onto the other stuff…
1.) Pillow: I loved having my own pillow with me last time, and I know I will again this time. Pro Tip: bring your pillow in a patterned pillowcase so it doesn’t get confused with the hospital one!
2.) A nice, large towel from home: I am actually one of the few women I know who showered at the hospital. But you guys know me – I am a shower freak – and it was SO nice last time to have a nice, big, fluffy towel from home. The hospital ones were pretty gross. The Pottery Barn Bath Sheet (below) is THE best!
3.) Robes: SO – I was really wrong about this last time. I totally thought I could wear my robe during labor. hahahhaha – not even close. I wore the same, gross, pastel colored, smock that everyone else does. But I was SO thankful that I packed a couple of cozy robes to wear after labor. I wore a black one immediately after – which was perfect for that first night of nursing – and I had a beautiful, long, one which was perfect for when friends and family came to visit.
4.) A nursing bra and/or tank: You really only need one – I preferred a nursing bra (see below).
5.) Flip Flops: I used these to shower in – but they probably ended up being more of a hazard than anything. :/ They were too slick when they got wet and I had little feeling in my legs for a while. But still nice to have – especially if you’re giving birth during the summer.
6.) Slippers: Let me be clear – don’t bring any shoes that aren’t completely slip on – including your slippers. I’ve linked some ideal options below.
7.) Electronics: iPhone, Phone charger, cameras/lenses, etc – pretty self explanatory here. I had my mom take some photos during William’s birth and I am SO happy I did.
8.) Snacks for after labor: I was so thankful to have these the last time around. Labor is intense, and tiring, and it’s nice to have some of your favorite things for when you’re done. Heck – I ate and drank through my whole labor with William – so do what you gotta do. This time, we’re bringing Kind bars, cheddar bunnies, Haribo gummies, waters, gatorade, etc.
9.) Toiletries: makeup wipes, my favorite lip balm, shampoo/conditioner, hairdryer/straightener, makeup, comb, etc. I loved being able to pull myself together post-birth last time, and I know I will again this time. I also made sure to pack a handheld mirror – because after giving birth – at least for me… there was NO getting out of bed for a bit.
10.) Going home outfit: Last time, I was in so much pain, that I couldn’t lift my feet to put pants on. That being said, I’ll be wearing a long black maxi and a long cardigan… and probably my Ugg slippers. See below.
11.) The unmentionables that have to be mentioned: Pads, tucks, nursing pads, dermoplast, etc – for all those lovely side effects of giving birth! <<< You’ll get these at the hospital anyway, but having your own supply doesn’t hurt.
The Surprising & Unexpected (also in the Mama Bag):
1.) Homemade cookies/treats for the nurses: I did this last time – and I swear to God it made all the difference in the world.
2.) Thank you cards: pre written – for the doctor, our Doula, and our nurses.
The Baby Bag:
1.) Blanket: Pretty self explanitory – your baby will need something to keep it warm. 🙂
2.) Onesies, socks, mittens and hats: one set of newborn and one set for 0-3mos. William was 8lbs 9 oz – so we used the 0-3 month clothes right away. And – bettter safe than sorry.
3.) Diapers, wipes, coconut oil: IE: everything you need to help change the little dude- they give you everything at the hospital, but I like having extras, just in case.
4.) Car Seat: Ready to go and the base is installed in the car.
The Daddy Bag:
Joe is abnormally calm this time around, and he is insisting that he’ll pack his own bag. :/ So this is going to be my general list/guideline for him.
1.) His favorite snacks: Cliff bars, spicy chips, beef jerky, water, and Gatorade – the red kind is his favorite.
2.) Ipad/Laptop: To keep him busy in between contractions – but let’s be real, sleep will probably be the #1 priority.
3.) A nice shirt & change of clean clothes: Birth can get pretty messy – so having something fresh and clean to change into is always nice. For all parties involved.
4.) Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
The Paperwork (which will go in the Daddy Bag):
1.) Insurance Information: insurance cards, dual forms of identification (just in case).
2.) Birth Plan: Our birth plan is pretty much the same as it was with William, and God willing it will be the same – just shorter – much shorter. IE: I would like an epidural after a certain point, we would like delayed cord clamping, we want skin to skin time for at least an hour after he arrives, we want to help give him his first bath…. with our own baby soap…. etc, etc, etc.
***Just a note to any expecting mothers out there – I think a birth plan is an important and empowering tool. This one here is a great jumping off point, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me.
3.) Our visitors list: The list of people who plan on visiting us once he is born, and a list of people we need to contact once he is born.
I hope this helps you if you’re about to have a baby – let me know if I’ve left anything off!