Friday, December 27, 2013

Bag lady

You know it's interesting.  I have attended (or plan to attend) a few childbirth classes in prep for baby girl's impending arrival, and I've declined others.  The receptionist at the OB clinic is always surprised when I say no to classes like "New Dad" or "Newborn Basics".  She'll tell me they are wonderful classes and I should attend to learn some valuable things to help with the new baby.  I tell her this isn't our first - well, sort of - it's our first pregnancy and delivery, but not first baby.  Once the baby comes out - we're golden!  It's the getting the baby here and getting her out (ouch...) that makes me a wee bit nervous. 

So with that being said, there is something I need advice on from all my momma friends.  
The hospital bag(s)

When we left for the hospital for Miles it was a mad dash, pack fast, throw everything into the car, drive 26 hours, buy what we forget at Target kind of deal.   This go around I have quite a bit more time to plan - so I plan on taking advantage of that!  I have read a few books and online forums and baby websites about what to pack...but I'm looking for real-world advice from been-there-done-that moms.  Things like this gem from my friend Carlie: buy depends...they are much more comfortable than the mesh "undies" the hospital gives you.  

So I'm curious - 

-How many bags did you pack? (some suggest a labor bag, post-delivery bag, hubby bag, and a baby bag...that seems like a lot of bags)
- What did you take that you didn't use? (everything I take will have to be schlepped down and then back up 60 stairs...I don't want to take unnecessary stuff!)
- What did you not pack that you wish you would have?  

And any other random tips you have for me.  

A quick few things...the hospital here does not have a DVD player, or a cafeteria (except for during breakfast & lunch's a military hospital, so it's a galley for the workers).  They do not provide pacifiers or formula (formula will be used only in the event of an urgent need for the baby).  We will have no access to any sort of prepared food (cafeteria, fast food, etc) after 8pm.  I will have my own room (yay - I don't like to share).    

Granted ALL of this changes if I go into labor before 37 weeks.  Because this hospital isn't equipped with a NICU, if I go into labor before 37 weeks they will not even allow me to labor at the hospital...they'll send me out in town to an Italian hospital and it's a completely different world at one of those.  So my fingers, toes, and legs are crossed that we make it to Valentine's Day...that's 37 weeks!


Ryann said...

Let's see, it has been a while since I had to pack a bag. I packed two change if clothes but never used them. Labor is messy and I preferred to bloody up fake mesh underwear and hospital gowns. In fact, I always left the hospital in the clothes I arrived in. For me, a change of clothes was never needed. I also did not watch tv or need movies. Too busy trying to nurse or sleep. Bring your phone and you will be fine. And just onesies or footy pajamas for the baby. I hated the hospital and as soon as we hit 24 hours, I was out of there. I would highly recommend the same. Hospitals are awful, get out as quick as you can!

The Grush's said...

Here is my two cents:
I took way to much stuff I didn't touch the first time.
Nathan needs stuff to do, games to play, books to read, things he can do by himself but stay close to you. It can take a long time and he will get bored but not want to leave your side for fear of missing something important.
I wanted my own comfy clothes to sit around in. Especially if people were coming by because those gowns they give you are just not modest or comfortable.
Get a good comfortable sports bra that is for nursing. I had one I used for all when I had all of my kids. Comfort is key though. It can hurt so bad but to have that support is going to be so important.
I always took a book I used to write down my thoughts and my versions of what happened. That was about all I could accomplish between holding my baby and sleeping.
The first two times I rushed home from the hospital. With only one kid, that was fine, but with two it wasn't as pleasant. I needed the extra rest that the hospital afforded me so I took it with the girls. I let the nurses take care of them with instructions to bring them to me when they needed to be fed. ( I still normally woke up and got them myself but I didn't have to get up in the morning and take care of other kids as well. For me it made a difference.
For the baby, it sounds like your experience will be different then mine. I only liked to take one outfit and often someone or many someones would bring me other outfits when they visited. If your are worried about the formula, get some premixed stuff that you can feed her if you feel like she needs it.
Take a good water bottle.
And of course camera and video camera.

This is all from my personal experience and my personal likes. I like things simple. Less is more but you may feel different.

Good luck. We are so excited for you.

Leonora said...

I was super minimalist when it came to "the bag." But then my labors were both so quick that there wasn't a bunch of time to just sit around and need entertainment. (Timothy was 2.5 hours from water breaking to "hi mom".)

For after delivery, I brought some underwear that I had no intention of keeping and some super comfy pjs with easy nursing access. I also had a travel set of all toiletries since I was using my normal stuff day-to-day. I didn't want to forget anything like that in the excitement. The shower afterwards felt so good and it was nice to have my own shampoo and body wash. To kill time before heading home, I brought a book and had my phone, but I mostly slept if the baby wasn't awake (i.e., nursing :)). For the baby, just a comfy going home outfit and a blanket was all we brought.

I'd recommend grabbing your own pillow...I hated the hospital ones and forgot mine both times...

Sheila said...

If you decide to take your own clothes to be comfortable in, take something that is your delivery size. You usually don't get too much smaller right after delivery and you don't want to have anything tight around you. I always take a few pairs of "granny" underwear. The hospital kind are completely worthless. For me, being in the hospital was awful, I didn't sleep, I didn't get any rest at all. I wanted to get home asap. I agree with what someone said above about your own shower gel/soap. The hosp. stuff is icky smelling. I would take a pacifier, a few diapers,a blanket and a couple of outfits. You just don't know how big/small the baby will be and you'll want to have a choice. Especially if you want to take pics. A going home outfit for baby is special! :)

Socks. I had some from the hospital when I had E and they were awful. They were so hot, they weren't really shaped like real socks and they would not stay straight. I'd much rather have my own comfy socks.

Most definitely agree with having your own pillow, then you may get some sleep!

Beth said...

Find out if the hospital has breast pumps. If they don't than bring your own. And medicine droppers to feed her milk you pump because she can't have a bottle until breast feeding is well established.

Kristen said...

This is more of a prep thing to have ready at home, but take a bag of witch hazel pads (can you get those? you will need them)and just stick them in the fridge now. You will know what to do with them, down there gets pretty beaten up. Also, take some maxi pads or newborn diapers, get them wet, and freeze them (all unrolled out if that makes sense). It creates a kind of custom ice pack for down there. I'd remind you to take your own chapstick and tylenol, (mine charged 15$ a tablet). Good luck my friend-- I always wanted Charlotte to be a valentine baby :)