Saturday, September 12, 2015

My Hospital Bag: Second Pregnancy

First off, I'd like to say I'm a minimalist. I try to be, anyway. I call myself a minimalist parent too. My first would've gone naked without handmedowns and even her toy collection was bought second hand or given to her by friends and family. The only thing new we made sure to buy was her infant car seat and stroller (it was a package deal).

I can't stress enough the importance of packing light for the hospital visit when delivering your baby!!!!

Ask yourself:
- How close is the hospital to your family and friends?
- Will someone be able to run to your house "real quick" and get anything forgotten?
- Do you live in an area that provides late night food options if the hospital cafeteria is closed?
- Will people come to visit you and the new baby? Have you hired a photographer to take your first pictures?

These all matter when deciding what to pack. I've seen huge lists that basically tell you to pack everything you got at your baby shower and I think those people are stupid or have never had a baby before. Either way, I'm here to tell you: less is always more!

Don't be fooled by media births, going into labor isn't a rushed experience... especially in the induced and scheduled C-section norms of today. Let's also keep in mind that I labored for 30+hrs (induced) for my first. Even if you forget something you very well may notice it before the baby even gets oxygen in his or her lungs.

For Baby
- Outfits! Outfits! Outfits! I'd say at least 5. Keep the one you want to take them home in on your mind, save that one for after you've signed your release papers! Your kid will be pooping black tar and you will get it on their clothes. It's bound to happen... or they throw up on the outfit... or you bleed on them. (Gross, I know, but it happens)

- Nursing Pillow. Even if you're going to bottle feed, these pillows are perfect for baby to prop up on or you put in your lap to help you hold the baby. You're going to be very exhausted the first 10 or so hours. This pillow helped me feel like my baby was secure while in my arms! I'll mention the nursing cover in this one too. No judging, but if you want to use one, you'll be starting at the hospital!

- Small Grocery bags (doubled up) or small trash bags. This is something I never considered with my first pregnancy. Your baby is going to poop everywhere. You may bleed on your pajama pants. Your baby may spit up all over your shirt. Those nice nurses won't be doing your laundry, you'll need a place to store those dirty clothes until you get home. I was super embarrassed when I asked a nurse for an empty trash bag for my soiled clothes. (Even though you shouldn't be embarrassed about ANYTHING after having a kid. Seriously. The nurses also aren't there to judge you.)

- Clothing accessories. Not necessary as a hat will be provided for your little one but hats, mittens, socks, and blankets are helpful because your baby will be frigid in that ice box of a hospital. You're going to want to burrito your baby up in four or so layers. While the hospital provides blankets, it's always nice to bring two or three of the 100 you got from your baby shower.

- Wipes. Meh... you don't have to pack wipes or diapers since the hospital will provide them but I'm packing them because the hospital I went to had these weird wet them yourself deals that weren't all that great.

**You'll notice there aren't any diapers. You won't need them, the hospital provides them and even if you're going to cloth diaper, you don't want the first couple days of poop to deal with on cloth. You just, don't. I promise!

For Mommy
- Pack for 3 days of clothes + Going home outfit. Usually, 48hrs is standard but if you have a C-section (emergency or not) you may be held up longer. If your baby has jaundice, you may spend an extra night. If something outside of the norm happens while you're having your baby-- you may stay for more. Pack for 3, if those other issues happen hopefully you'll have a friend, husband, or family member be able to get you extra clothes. I packed 2 very comfortable pajama pants and 3 loose fitting t-shirts. I also want to note that I packed a light jacket and fuzzy socks. Can be subbed with your favorite robe and slippers. I liked the socks with my first pregnancy, I didn't have to hunt down shoes every treck to the bathroom. There are two socks shown but I most likely will pack two more just for good measure before D-Day. The hospital rooms are cold!

- Toiletries* (Will explain further)

- Electronic devices and chargers! You may be in labor for HOURS. I played Candy Crush through most of my labor with my first. The distraction was awesome. I bounced on a yoga ball and crushed those candies! I plan on doing the same this go around too. Obviously, if you don't have a tablet your phone counts in this. I just had a phone last time. Whatever works! If you think you can focus on a book, bring it! If you like crosswords and prefer that- pack that! In my opinion you will need something to help you through those hours of contractions. I also used my phone to track my contractions. You will most likely be hooked up to a machine to track those contractions but the app was much handier and I felt more in the loop that way.

- A Pillow from home. Any hospital trip needs your own pillow. You can ask for more, but they're all deflated and usually crunchy from the protective slip that's on them. I loved having my own personal pillow.

- Shampoo/Conditioner
- Body Wash
- Lotion (You may want to bring a bigger bottle)
- Hair Ties. You'll want spares!
- Lip Balm. Pack more than one!
- Deodorant (I only have man deodorant right now because of couponing. It does the same job!)
- Toothpaste & Toothbrush. I'm not bringing my usual toothbrush just because that seems like something you forget there when you're so excited to leave!

So there you have it. My hospital bag!

Obviously you will also need to bring with you a car seat and your insurance information. If you don't have a cellphone or like to be over prepared, print out a list of important numbers to keep handy. If you have ANY allergies it would be wise to have a printed list of those things to give to the nurses, and probably on allergist letterhead or make sure it's added to your file before your due date. Also, if you're going to write a Baby Delivery Plan for your nurses you will need a copy of that too.

You'll notice I didn't pack any underwear or make up. I'm not a make-up type person, but even if I was... this whole, "Get dressed like you're out at a nice lunch while people come visit you at the hospital after pushing a baby out of your vagina" thing just blows my mind. I mean, if you're just one of those people that would rather chew their own foot off than leave the house without mascara-- you go right ahead... but not me. I think it's ridiculous to think that women should get dolled up to entertain after HAVING A BABY! First off, YOU JUST HAD A BABY! Second, people can suck it if they think I'm supposed to "get pretty" while in the hospital recovering from (in some cases) the most traumatic and unflattering events of my entire life. I'll wear clean pajamas and try not to squirt them with boob milk but other than that, come at your own risk! With that said, if you're hiring a professional photographer and you want to not look so drained so you want to wear make up-- no shame. I'm just saying, in general, women shouldn't have to get out of pajamas just because someone wants to help celebrate your grand accomplishment of having a baby. That's just my rant on that...

O yeah! No underwear! I also didn't pack any pads or chill pads or any of that. The hospital will give you this weird linen mesh underwear to wear and you'll be bleeding and gross and not want to wear your own anyway. They'll even send you home with a couple spares! I was VERY lucky last pregnancy and stopped bleeding before I ran out of the hospital pads they sent me home with. I bled for roughly a month and didn't start again until nearly a year later. (Thanks, breastfeeding!) Everyone and every pregnancy is different though! If you think you'll need them, pack them! If you aren't sure but want to be prepared, pack a few and then pack some aside so you can just tell someone to "Grab that floral bag in my bathroom" or whatever while you're still in the hospital if you need more.

I also didn't pack any snacks. I'm having this kid in my hometown. If not one person out of the twenty available people won't get me snacks or run to a drive-thru after I have this kid then I really am screwed but those odds are in my favor. I trust that Hubby or my mom especially will get me something to eat if the hospital cafeteria is closed. I do plan on packing pineapple juice (maybe) but the nurse stations are pretty stocked with water and juice. I'm also debating on making my own granola bars and packing a few of those... or making a little snack pack of peanut butter, Nutella and homemade graham crackers. All of that is very optional though. I will say, breastfeeding and staying in a hospital bed makes you very hungry. You'll want a snack between meal times! I'm thinking I may make a stash of hospital treats and keep them at home so when my sister comes to visit me she can just bring me the bag of my prepared snacks after I've had the baby but can't come home yet. (My sister is going to stay with my daughter while we're all in the hospital-- if all goes as planned)

I hope this gives you a better idea of what to pack in your bag! I'm 36 weeks and just now got my bag officially "ready to roll" when I didn't pack until I was told I was being induced for my first. I am anxious to have this baby already! That last month of being pregnant really is in slow motion.

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