The end is near… today marks 37 weeks and 4 days. I can count on my fingers and toes how many days are left until my due date! Naturally, having never done this before, it’s kind of freaking me out.
I read somewhere a while back that most of the time, your body won’t let you go into labour if you aren’t mentally ready for it. It’ll wait till you’re nice and relaxed at home, wait until hubby gets home from work, or wait until you’ve started mat leave. There’s some kind of psychological connection between the two, which is why I held off on doing so many “baby things” until now. Dan finally returned home a week ago, and he’s started pressuring me to get ready for Sweet Pea because technically, she could come any day now (eeek!) We’ve installed the car seat, set up the bassinet, washed her clothes, prepped her cloth diapers, assembled the stroller, and the only thing left is to put together my hospital bag.
I’m a terrible packer. For some reason, I’m always worried that I’ve forgotten something. Any time we go on vacation, it’s an ongoing process. I’ll pack my bag a few days in advance, but keep adding to it until departure day. By the time that moment comes, I’ve brought way too many things. Again – having never done this before, it’s freaking me out that not only will I not bring enough, but that I will bring too much: I’ll be delivering in a hospital with my team of midwives. Everything I read says that if everything goes smoothly, I should be discharged within 4-6 hours after the birth. In that case, how much stuff do I really need? On the other hand, what if I have to stay longer? What do I need then?
I’ve Googled what to have in my hospital bag a hundred times, and this is what I’ve ended up packing….
Mommy’s Hospital Bag:
Documents – At my 37 week appointment, I got “the binder” from my midwives. It has all of my documents, charts, and records inside of it that I bring with me to each appointment from now on. I need to bring it with me to the hospital when I get admitted. I’ve also included my hospital registration form, hypnobirthing scripts, and birth preferences.
1 package of Stayfree maxi pads (for post-partum bleeding… yum… I thought I wouldn’t have to wear one of these for at LEAST half a year. Also – not having to deal with a period for the past 8 months has been AWESOME.)
Reusable water bottle – my hospital has implemented a “green” program where they no longer provide plastic or Styrofoam drinking cups, so we’re encouraged to bring our own drink vessel. I love this rule. People are huge wasters. WASTERS!!!
Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, LIP BALM, lotion, hairbrush, claw-style hairclip, hair elastic…
Underwear – Know what’s super comfy? MEN’S BOXER BRIEFS. I’ve inherited a ton of them from my husband after he discovered that the Champion boxer briefs from Costco are way better than his Fruit of the Looms. Instead of buying granny panties for post partum, I’m planning on wearing these.
Bras – I don’t have nursing bras. I haven’t really thought about it, and I’m not sure what system I want to use. I refuse to spend $50 on a bra that isn’t a super-pump-me-up-bedazzled one from Victoria’s Secret. It’s just not happening – therefore, Thyme Maternity was OUT. I went to Sears the other day, and the 5 nursing bras that they had in stock were all hideous and of course none were in my size. Babies R Us had three different kinds by Medela, but I really thought I would feel like a cow wearing one of those. Right now I’m thinking stretchy bandeaus are in my future. They pull down just as easily, and they’re like $10 each. As of right now, I just packed some soft strapless bras that miraculously still fit me.
Clothes – I asked my midwife last week if I had to wear those hospital gowns. She said no. Amazing, right? But now my problem is: What would I rather wear instead?? I packed an assortment of pyjama pants, shorts, over sized t-shirts, long night t-shirts, and tank tops. I also packed a “going home” outfit of comfy pants and a soft t-shirt. It’s all about options, people.
Pillows – I took a breastfeeding class at my hospital and the lactation consultant actually told us that the hospital pillows suck, so bring your own. I have the Jolly Jumper Baby Sitter, so I’ll be using that to get comfy during labour and also to prop up Sweet Pea during nursing. I also made a big tag to hang off my bag that says “BODY PILLOW.” I still need
it three every night, but I’ll definitely want to bring one to the hospital just in case.
Slippers – I doubt I’ll be walking around in shoes and socks during labour, so I packed a comfy pair of (easy to wash – you never know…) terry cloth slippers.
Snacks – having GD, I know when I want to nash on something, it’s gonna have to be low in glucose. Which cuts out pretty much everything. My daily snack of choice has been Kirkland’s unsalted mixed nuts. I could’ve gone for salted, but those ones have brazil nuts (bo-ring), and the unsalted ones have pistachios. No question there. I also asked my midwife if nuts are allowed at the hospital, and she said yes. Good thing too, because they probably would’ve come with me anyways. Sorry, I have no other options.
Treat – Once again – having GD, it’s been a rough three months. I haven’t been able to give into a single craving since January. You bet I’m packing an Oreo Dairy Milk bar right in the front pocket of my bag. Google it. I don’t know what it tastes like yet, but I bet it’s amazing.
Go-Pro – hah. This is gonna be interesting. Obviously I don’t want anyone to film me giving birth, but maybe I want to film, giving birth? This is a “we’ll see” item. But it also takes still photos, which is something we’re going to want to do at least after the birth. I’d bring my DSLR but that’s a little cray.
Extension Cord – because what if the outlet is far away?
Phone Charger – Candy Crush drinks battery power like a fish.
Baby’s Hospital Bag:
1 package of newborn diapers – I will be cloth diapering, but I keep hearing about these meconium poops. Some people say they stain, some people say they don’t. I’m gonna play it safe and use disposables for the first week or so. I’m also worried my one size diapers may not fit her at first, so it’s worth using this pack of Pampers right off the bat since they were free from my midwives anyway (score!). Also – am I gonna want to do diaper laundry in the first week?
Clothes – She was in the 53rd percentile at my ultrasound 2 weeks ago, so she seems to be on track with being a “regular” sized baby at birth. But that really means nothing. Therefore, I packed an assortment of newborn, 0-3month and 3 month onesies and sleepers just in case she’s a chunky one (man, I hope not). I reeeeally want her to fit into the teensy weensy ones though. SO. CUTE.
Burp Cloths – because I have them, and I’ll probably have to feed her at least twice before I get discharged from the hospital.
Vitamin D Drops – 1 drop every feeding! I bought a box from Babies R Us for $15.99, and then saw the same thing at Costco for $9.99. Guess where we’ll be buying that from now on?
Hat and mittens – mittens so she doesn’t scratch her bitty face with the claws apparently all babies are born with, and a hat because I live in Canada and even though it’s April, that makes no guarantee that the sun will actually give off heat that day.
Heavy baby blanket – to cover the car seat so the paparazzi won’t blind her in the time it takes us to go from the front door of the hospital to the car. Also, the Canada/cold thing.
Breastpump – I have one, and it beats having to pay $20 at the hospital for the kit if I (for any reason) need to use theirs. Might as well start with mine right off the bat.
Daddy’s Hospital Bag:
Uhh… that’s his problem. 🙂