For Lu: The Bag

I'll be writing a few posts for my pregnant friends about the things that I know now, after birthing two children (even though I am younger than all of you) and having two vastly different experiences.

Firstly, the hospital bag.  With Liam I had mine packed weeks in advance.  Second time, I was packing it while I was dilated to a 5 (guessing here), and I forgot/neglected things both times.  I suggest you pack:
  • Comfortable clothes.  Comfy slippers (and/or good walking shoes), PJs, stretchy pants and shirts. Some comfy undies. A robe if you want.  Some people make their own "cute" hospital gowns, but a hospital gown is a hospital gown - and I didn't wear one either time.  I prefer to wear regular clothes.
  • Good walking shoes for the husband.  Slice complained about his feet for days after Liam was born.
  • Towels that are larger than a hand towel, for showering.  Take a couple.  Maybe red ones.
  • Toiletries.  The basics, don't forget lotion and chapstick. 
  • Pillows, if you are particular about yours. 
  • Food.  You will not be allowed to eat while you're in labor.  And if you're in labor at the hospital for eighteen hours after not eating dinner the night before, you will be weak and shaky and STARVING - and doing the hardest work of your life.  So, take some snacks that are easy on the stomach.  You might see them again.  (Sorry, but I did.)
  • Nursing stuff. Nursing bra/tank, lanolin cream, a couple nursing pads just in case.  
  • Baby stuff.  An outfit or two, one with legs for the carseat on the way home.  Ask me if I learned that the hard way.
  • Cameras and journals.  If you're a better person than I am, that is.  I have hardly any pictures from the hospital (especially with me in them), and I'm terrible at journaling and baby book stuff.  Just started on MG's last week.
  • Mobile devices.  I've had playlists and audio books and semi-constructive things to do, but I never did any of it.  I watched TV and checked Facebook and played Tetris on my phone.  And slept.  You should have options.
  • Cords for said mobile devices.  Again, ask me if I learned this the hard way.
  • More food.  I eat constantly for days after giving birth.  Mostly junk (chocolate).  I don't feel guilty about it either.
I hope the hospital provides (and if they don't, you'll need to get):
  • Plenty of blankets, pillows for you and your husband
  • Pads - LOTS and LOTS of them, stool softeners, Tucks pads, and maybe antibacterial spray
  • Swaddling blankets, diapers & wipes, pacifiers, hand mitts
Some people take their Boppy pillows, and flip-flops for the shower.  I haven't needed either.  Some people also take copies of their Birth Plan, and signs to put on their door, and incense and essential oils and music players and what have you.  I haven't.

Next up: The Birthing


Cade and Kelsie said...

Thanks for this. I need to start thinking about packing a bag and this got me thinking about what we took with Tace and what we'll take this time around!

Danielle said...

Oh I'm so excited for this little sequence of posts!!

Lauran and Dustin said...

You. are. awesome. This posts is great, and I can't wait to read the next one. Definitely didn't think about a few of the items you mentioned.

Some questions: Were your shoes trashed at all by the end of the whole thing? In other words, would you recommend bringing a pair of old, worn-out and/or washable shoes?

Good food to bring - I've been thinking about this for a while, but all I can think about eating right now is salt and vinegar chips with a jamba juice...not sure that either are ideal for the hospital :)

Where did you get your nursing bras? and maybe tips on how to pick them out.

Lastly, any movies you would say NO to watching?

You are great! Thanks, my one-month-younger friend!

Jean said...

Kels - Glad to help! :)
Lu - I've heard one person say that they wore flip-flops in the hospital just in case they got dirty, but mine never did, and I did a ton of walking. So I wouldn't worry about it?
For food I took granola bars, fruit snacks, bananas, crackers, string cheese. Chocolate for later. Definitely not salt & vinegar chips! Ha!
I'll write a post about nursing stuff, and movies not to watch? Any with birth scenes, and any with a lot of blood/violence. It's just too much.