Monday, May 19, 2014

My Packing List for the Hospital

I'm like, seriously ready to go over here. The countdown is on and every little ache and pain has me hoping it's the onset of labor. Truth: I'm still feeling pretty good, all things considered. I'm just really...really tired and the belly is large and in charge. And dropping, from what I've been told.

Also, I'm drooling over all the spring clothes and totally sick of the few pieces of maternity clothing that still fit comfortably. I can't wait to go shopping. And drink wine. And run.

And cuddle this new baby, obviously. We're at a point in the baby's room where really, all that needs to happen is for us to know what gender will inhabit it. We have two sets of sheets ready to go, and a wish list filled with matching curtains, a crib skirt and wall art. And the type-A momma in me desperately wants to organize the tubs full of Hannah's old clothes that are currently stacked in the middle of the room. But alas, we're not sure if we need them yet. (Trust me, not knowing is awesome, but it's also torture in the only way torture can ever be positive.)

To distract myself, I packed my hospital bag this weekend. When I did this in anticipation of Hannah's delivery, I really had no clue what to bring. I scoured the Internet for ideas and quickly realized that no two lists were alike. There were a lot of consistent items, but really, it boiled down to me bringing what I thought would make me comfortable. Looking back, I realize that I brought some things I probably didn't need to (like my pump and underwear). So this time around, I was a bit more strategic in my approach.

I realize that this topic breaks from the fitness tradition around here, but I thought it would be fun to share my list with you. Because if I can help one of you answer the "what should I bring" question, then it's worth it.

Let's take a look:

I got crafty and made Hannah a baby book, so I followed suit and made one for this new baby, too. There's a page in it that lets our visitors leave a message, so I packed that with a decent pen. If your baby book has a similar page, or a page for footprints, totally bring it! So fun to look back on those early memories.

Note: If you have a birth plan, you should definitely stick a copy of that in your baby book. I had one with me last time, but never pulled it out. I found that the nurses asked all the right questions when I got there (and ultimately remembered the answers). And if we're being honest, these things never go as planned. But still, you have to bring what makes you comfortable. Right?

Speaking of comfort, bring your favorites for that post-delivery shower.

My bag of travel-size toiletries is always packed with essentials and ready to go, so I threw that in the bag with a loofah and some flip flops (for the shower and for walking around). You might also consider bringing some slippers and a pair of socks. I added my makeup bag, although I'm not sure if I'll even use it. I didn't last time, mostly because I'm totally fine going without, but if I'm feeling good and have a moment, I might feel so inclined to spice up my appearance. Why not.

Note: I definitely did not pack a hair dryer or any styling products. I had neither time nor energy for that last time! I'll pack my comb and ponytail holder. That's all I'll need.

And this is all baby will really need:

The only thing I brought for Hannah was her going-home outfit. This time around, I threw in two swaddling blankets (a pink one, just in case) and a few white onesies. Obviously the hospital will cover up your baby with the standard fare. I remember the onesies being huge on Hannah, hence the few that I packed. I may or may not actually use them, but it will be nice to have a softer (and way cuter) blanket on hand.

Also, the nail clippers and file. This is the one thing (besides food) that I made my husband run out to get. Hannah came out with really long nails and the hospital staff wouldn't cut them down for me...and they didn't have a nail file/clippers that I could use to do it myself. So I threw the two in with my toiletries, just in case.

Note: You could also bring head gear for the baby, like bows or hats. I'm still trying to locate the white one I had for Hannah. And I'm hoping there are still kind, little old ladies out there somewhere making hats and donating them to our hospital for all the babies. I absolutely loved the one Hannah came home with. Total preciousness.

Let's focus on momma again, though: I definitely did not need my pump last time, which is why that's still tucked away. And if, for some reason, I do end up needing one this time around, I know for sure the hospital can provide one. Probably a hand-held cheapo, but it'll get the job done. I did, however, throw in the following:

My favorite nursing pads and cream because I remember using both while I was still in the hospital—they might even give you samples! And the nursing cover, I didn't have that with me last time but might have actually used it (so as not to embarrass one of our guy friends that stopped by and ultimately had to hide behind a curtain while I fed Hannah).

During labor and delivery, and that first day postpartum, I hung out in hospital garb was just easier. And then I made the switch to real clothing. Not knowing exactly what I'll want, or what the temperature will be like when we leave the hospital, I threw in a few long maxi dresses, some leggings, and some flowy, super comfy lounge pants. All with easy access tops and a couple of nursing bras.

Whatever you decide to bring, make sure it's A) comfortable, and B) dark because the potential for messy leaks is great. Sorry to be so graphic. Which brings me to this point: They're not stylish, but those granny hospital panties are awesome. At least from what I remember. I wore those for a few days post-Hannah.

And finally, I packed this:

Snacks, baby. Because I just can't eat on a breakfast/lunch/dinner schedule. If I'm hungry, I need food. I obviously won't be eating much of this during labor (although I'm hoping they let me drink my Cocogo), but afterwards, when the kitchen isn't delivering...the more options my hungry self will have, the better. Some options are healthy, some are more for comfort...and there are a few things thrown in there for Hannah and Jason, too. Just in case.

If only I could pack an iced vanilla macchiato from Starbucks.
Might have to send someone out for that one (mom).

Not pictured: Our camera, my wallet and phone (and charger), and my pillow. And any other snacks I throw in between now and go-time.

Question: What tips can you offer for packing a hospital bag? Anything I'm not bringing that I absolutely should? Anything that I'm bringing that you didn't need during your stay?

1 comment:

Mandy Nester said...

Thanks for sharing this! I'm 32 weeks this week and hadn't even thought about packing my bag until this (still trying to get that nursery ready). I totally forgot about taking something for footprints and I love the idea of a visitor log. This second baby hasn't gotten a "baby book" like the first one, but I'm keeping a journal for him/her so I will need to take that for sure. The only thing I may take in addition to what you have listed is my Boppy pillow. That would have come in handy for nursing at the hospital. And, I bought some of this last go round that I'm taking with me this time - it works wonders on a sore bottom end!

Hope all goes well with yours. I'm getting ready to go read about freezer meals...if my life can slow down a minute, I'm going to try to do that in the next few weeks.

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