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Truth be told, we are bringing 3 bags to the hospital… not one.
I know what you’re thinking. “That girl is craaaaazzzy! What does she think… she’s moving in?”
Meh. To some, it might be overkill. But I know myself. I have a Type A personality and in times of stress or chaos, I like things organized, I like to know where everything is, and I like to be prepared.
So… three bags it is.
Bag #1 is The Mama Bag
Bag #2 is the Baby Bag, and
Bag #3 is the Daddy Bag
Here we go… as promised here —what is in our hospital bags.
The Mama Bag:
1.) Pillow: I have heard that hospital pillows are horrible and that it can be comforting to have your own favorite pillow from home. Another great tip I stumbled across was to bring your pillow in a patterned pillowcase so it doesn’t get confused with the hospital one! We are definitely doing this.
2.) A nice, large towel from home: I was also told that hospital towels tend to be quite small and feel like sandpaper. yuck, yuck, yuck. That being said, we are definitely bringing a nice plush one from home.
3.) Robes: Nothing sounds less appealing to me than delivering our son in a hospital gown that someone died in… so I will be bringing my own robes to wear during our stay at the hospital. I have a black robe for labor (that I’m ok with never seeing again), and two pretty ones for post labor/visitors, here and here.
6.) Flip Flops: Public showers totally weird me out. It’s that whole Type A thing I was talking about before… so these are a must.
7.) Slippers and cozy socks: I really can’t stand walking barefoot (see above)… unless I’m on a tropical beach, so slippers are also a no brainer for me. I was given these for Christmas by my mom and they are like walking on clouds. Not to mention, they also have a very nice tread on the bottom that should keep me from slipping.
8.) Things to keep me busy: Just in case, I’ll bring the usual… my Journal, T&C and Vogue.
9.) Electronics: Phone charger, cameras/lenses, iPad, etc.
10.) Snacks for after labor: My girlfriends have told me that labor is like a marathon, and afterward you are incredibly hungry and thirsty; therefore, it’s best to have some healthy(ish) snacks and beverages on hand. Plus I have been warned that our hospital’s food is beyond awful. In any situation, we’ll be prepared. We’re bringing Kind bars, cheddar bunnies, waters, gatorade, etc.
11.) Hard candies: evidently these are a god-send during labor. And I have decided to bring some other candy as well… Mentos (the strawberry flavor only), gummi bears (Haribo), and Williams Sonoma sour gummies. These are SO not healthy or organic, but they are my favorite candies. Creature comforts we’ll call them. 🙂
12.) Toiletries: makeup wipes, my favorite lip balm, shampoo/conditioner, hairdryer/straightener, makeup, comb, etc. Call it excessive, call it vain… whatever. I have to shower to feel normal, and eyeliner can do everyone a world of good. Period.
13.) Going home outfit: I’ve heard that giving birth isn’t the easiest thing in the world – hahhahaa – and I can imagine that putting pants on afterward might be a little hellish. That being said, I will be wearing a comfortable maxi dress (here) and flowy cardigan (here) for the ride home. Also… a couple years back, my brilliant friend, V, had a beautiful baby girl. When I went to visit her the next weekend, I vividly remember her telling me, “BLACK MAXIS… stock up on black maxis!!!” I listened. Black maxis have been my best friends the past few months, and I am sure that I’ll be thrilled to throw one of them on with no struggle for our ride home… And for the first couple of weeks post-partum.
14.) The unmentionables that have to be mentioned: Pads, tucks, nursing pads, lanolin, etc, for all those lovely side effects of giving birth! <<< Every woman I’ve talked to says you get these at the hospital anyway, but having your own supply just can’t hurt.
The Surprising & Unexpected (also in the Mama Bag):
1.) A handheld fan: I’m packing this at the suggestion of our Doula. Yes we’re using a Doula***(see note at the bottom of this post). Last weekend at our session, she asked me how I deal with pain and discomfort. I thought back to two weeks ago when I was so sick with the flu, and I remembered that I wanted to be cold, with my eyes closed, in silence, with plenty of fluids around. In that light, the next day I Amazon Primed myself a little handheld fan.
2.) Champagne: My dad was over for dinner the other night, and told Joe that in the hospital where I was born, they did a lobster and champagne dinner as a complimentary celebration for the new parents. ahhhhh, Connecticut…. you are soooo wonderful! Anyhow, my darling husband is now insisting that there will be champagne at our son’s birth. I mean it’s a celebration right? For me, the jury is still out on this one. We need to call our hospital and see if they’ll allow it… but a sip would definitely be lovely!
3.) Homemade cookies/treats for the nurses: Nurses do so much… and I figure if we hand them a delicious batch of homemade cookies when we walk in, hopefully they’ll know how much we appreciate them.
4.) Post-partum corset: Evidently it is never to early to start wearing this baby, although it scares me… since it is like seriously itty bitty. Despite my reservations, I ordered mine months ago after doing a ton of research and it is the Cadillac of corsets. Supposedly it helps with back and abdominal support, it guides your hips back into their correct position, and it promotes skin tightening as well. IE: It is a God send. It is pricey and on back order, but if Molly Sims and Jessica Alba swear by it – I’m all in.
5.) Thank you cards – pre written – for the doctor and for our Doula***
The Baby Bag:
1.) Swaddles & Blankets: Have you watched this DVD? My girlfriends, Rachel and Haley, recommended it to me and I loved it. Evidently “Swaddle” is the first S in the 5 S’s of baby whispering. I kid you not. The good news is… from our birth class last weekend, I am already a pro. On a plastic, non moving, non crying, non peeing baby that is :/
2.) Onesies, socks, mittens and hats: one set of newborn and one set for 0-3mos. I was 8lbs 10 oz when I was born, and my husband was almost a pound more than that, so if the wives tale is true that your child will be the average of your weights… yeah well… newborn clothes aint gonna cut it.
3.) Natural wipes and baby wash: We want to help give him his first bath at the hospital. It is part of our birth plan, and we have decided to bring our own organic soap for it.
4.) Fractionated coconut oil: a great, natural, organic moisturizer for the little dude… as recommended by our Doula… love her!
5.) Car Seat: Installed in the car
The Daddy Bag: My husband is nervous about this experience to say the very least (just another reason for our Doula). He hates seeing me in pain and he is very queasy around blood – we’ve got to take care of him as well here right?!?
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.) Baby Book: he’s been loving this one that his cousin Nick gifted us.
4.) A nice shirt & change of clean clothes: I hate when dad’s look all scrubby in “after birth” photos. I mean – really what excuse do they have? So I have one of his favorite button downs ironed and ready to go.
6.) Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
1.) Insurance Information: insurance cards, dual forms of identification (just in case).
2.) Birth Plan: Let me be clear… I never thought I would be a person who had a “birth plan”. In my head, birth plans were these “hippie dippie” things for people having at home births in bathtubs. <<< Side note – I totally might do this with our next child, so I am not in any way hating. Anyhow, when I started actually thinking about the whole process of labor and birth, I started getting a bit scared. There are just so many variables that go into the birthing process; it was daunting to say the least and I wanted some form of perceived control. I didn’t want this process to just “happen to me”. I wanted to participate in it, and have as much of a say as possible. God willing, my husband and I decided we wanted our child coming into the world… our way . Not the hospital’s way, not the doctor’s way… but our way. So we made a birth plan, and it is very simple. IE: I would like an epidural after a certain point, I have certain wishes about the labor and birthing processes, 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 organic baby soap…. etc, etc, etc. Of course all these things can change at a moment’s notice once we’re in the hospital, but I take comfort in knowing that we are prepared, educated, and understand our options.
***Just a note to any expecting mothers out there – I think a birth plan is an important and empowering tool. I didn’t realize how much I needed and wanted one until I looked into it more, so I encourage you to do the same. 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. We don’t want to forget anyone, and sleep deprivation can do funny things to people!
I’d say we’re there… right? Did we miss anything? Is there anything on this list that you’d leave out? We’d love your input!
***A note about our Doula: Doctors and hospitals in general tend to make Joe and I a little bit nervous, so to help calm our nerves we decided to hire a Doula. FYI, there will be a whole post dedicated to our decision to hire her after William is born. I feel it is important because I have gotten so many questions about our decision, and I hope I can help shed some light on the practice for women who don’t know much about it!