We have four days to go. I've been really procrastinating this delivery thing. I'm actually very lucky that I haven't gone into labor yet considering we have really been putting things off to the last minute. Especially since Addie decided to make her appearance at this point tomorrow when I was pregnant with her. That statement has certainly lit a fire under my rear! So this weekend we did a lot, including transitioning Addie to her big girl bed, getting the nursery set up, car seats installed, etc. It was a crazy busy weekend but the last thing on my list that needs to happen as soon as possible is pack my hospital bag. In the meantime, I've made the list and think it would be nice for me to share in the event anyone else needs some help.
- insurance card
- medical records (including medication list)
- registration paperwork
- birth plan if you have one
- vacation stuff: when you're going on vacation, what would you bring with you? (shampoo, conditioner, make up, etc). you need to bring all this stuff with you, you just had a baby and you're going to want to pamper yourself and you should! from my experience, having a c-section it was several days before I could take a shower, by the time I could take a shower I was feeling crummy and gross and really enjoyed just washing my hair. it was amazing!
- things you may not think of or think you'll need: chapstick/lip balm, non scented cream & scented lotion. i was so dry after having Addie, I don't know if it was because I just had a baby or because I was in the hospital and it's dry there but omg I was so dry! my hands and face were also really dry and cracking so I suggest a non scented no additive type cream (cerave, cetaphil, etc) but you also want to pack a small bottle of something with a scent because again, you likely won't be showering very quickly after delivery and you want to at least feel like you smell good even if you don't!
-speaking of not showering, bring wipes because even a little wipe can help you feel somewhat refreshed after days of not showering
- gowns & robes: as someone who had a c-section the first time around when assuming I'd have a vaginal delivery I didn't pack a gown, I packed yoga pants. if you've had a c-section you know you won't be wearing pants of any kind in the first week at least, possibly 2. so that first hospital stay I wore a gown from the time I got checked in until I left the hospital and those gowns are starchy and not very comfortable. pack a couple gowns and robes and make sure the gowns are nursing gowns if you plan to nurse.
- underwear: if you want to make the attempt to wear underwear home, make sure you buy some large granny panties because again, if you have a c-section, you don't want anything on your scar. i wore the mesh underwear home the hospital gave me and I was fine with that.
- going home clothes: don't plan on looking hot upon leaving the hospital, your stomach will be flabby, you may not be standing straight or walking like you're on the runway so plan for comfort. i'm packing a maxi skirt and a maxi dress to have a couple options but need to keep the clothing off of my scar.
- socks/slippers/flip flops: socks or slippers whatever your preference is and flip flops to wear in the shower. just be careful with those flip flops because a slip/fall after delivery is not good.
- boppy pillow: nursing isn't easy and the pillows they give you at hospital don't help so make sure you bring your boppy pillow. last time around i didn't bring mine and it was terrible. better to have it than not.
- nipple cream: lanolin is needed because your nipples will probably become dry, crack and even bleed
- nursing pads: you're going to leak like you would not believe and it's embarrassing to have your gown showing spots.
- nursing bra: again, first go round I didn't pack this because I didn't know so I stayed in the hospital gown with no bra the entire time. did i mention those hospital gowns have openings to nurse? so i was flashing people regularly. get a nursing bra that's cotton, no underwire and very comfortable
- nursing cover: unless you're really comfortable flashing your boobs and nursing in front of visitors, you'll want to bring this with you as well. i didn't last go round and will be packing this time.
- take home outfit: this is the best part, the reason you're in the hospital, to bring that baby home and you'll take a boatload of pictures so make sure you bring a couple options in different sizes. you may deliver a large baby who won't be fitting into newborn sized clothes.
- car seat: your car seat must be installed properly before you can take that baby home so be ready a couple weeks before
- electronics: ipad/laptop/e-reader, etc so you have something to do when you're going to be in the hospital for hours of labor and days of recovery
- pillows: again, the hospital pillows blow so bring one from home that's comfortable
- phone charger: i'm sure your phone will be blowing up and you'll be on it nonstop so make sure you have the charger ready.
- cameras/video cameras: whatever you use or both but make sure you know your hospital rules as some hospitals won't allow videotaping or picture taking at certain points
- he can pack himself :) I'll be honest the first time around I was much more hands on in helping him pack but the be honest this time around he can get himself ready. he should know by now and because he'll be at home with Addie most nights he really won't need much of a bag but he'll need the same travel essentials as you will.
Other Child Essentials
- gift from baby to other children: i've heard a lot of other individuals who have multiple children say that a gift from the baby is a great way to warm up your older child(ren) so I bought a couple books, crayons, bubbles, hair clips and nail polish for Addie. I've also purchased a small monkey for Addie to give to her brother, in the event that helps as well.
Remember that you can always send someone home or out to pick up some things you might need so don't stress out too much. Plan to pack your bag about 3-4 weeks before your due date and have it ready just in case. What is most important is you don't panic if you go into labor early as it will all work out but prepare yourself early, especially if you're a planner and it this helps calm your stress levels.