Hospital Bag(s)

Last week I started a list for the things we need to bring to the hospital. Of course, the list is in Excel and it’s pretty. And yes, it makes me happy. And of course I researched the bajeezy out of this subject. Many of the places I looked actually broke-out the items into a couple different bags (here I was thinking one for me and MAYBE one for husband. I totally forgot the fact that we’ll leave the hospital with a baby). Some of you may be thinking, “Your due date isn’t until September, why in the HELLO are you worrying about this now?” Several reasons: (1) Have you met me? (2) See hyper-prepared reference below (3) I need to purchase a handful of items, and I don’t want to be waddling around Richmond in the 120 degree August heat buying-up nursing bras and mesh panties (4) Thanks to our general over-preparedness, I’m running-out of baby-related things to do.

As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to over pack. Okay, OKAY! I ALWAYS over pack. I don’t like stuff, I just like being prepared. Being over-prepared. Being HYPER-prepared. It’s how I get my jollies. I can just picture it now: Mr. H drops me off at the hospital entrance, goes to park the car, and then saunters into the hospital with four bags, a cooler, three pillows, a laptop, and a camera bag (that has both of our cameras inside). Poor husband. And then I remember that I’ll have a baby trying to depart my body through my vagina, and I don’t feel as badly for him (LOVE you husband).

Here’s my list so far:

General items:

(1) Car seat – DUH! Installed and ready to go. If I’m completely honest, I this didn’t cross my mind at first. I kind of forgot about the whole reason why we were going into the hospital in the first place.

(2) iPod + travel speakers – I definitely plan to listen to music, and I can’t promise that it will all be serene and calming. It won’t be Thrice or Taking Back Sunday, but there may be some Lady GaGa sprinkled in. Once I’ve made my mix, I’ll share the ear pleasing deliciousness with you.

(3) Cell phone + chargers

(4) Books/magazines – Because, you know, I’ll have so much idle time on my hands.

(5) Laptop and charger – Again, because I’ll be twiddling my thumbs. Hopefully HDH has wifi, and Mr. H can entertain himself. And let’s be honest – more than 24 hours away from the internet, and we will seize uncontrollably.

(6) Cameras – Along with extra battery packs, extra memory cards, and battery chargers. We’ll probably squeeze both of our cameras into my small messenger bag. I doubt I’ll ever touch mine, but I’ll take comfort knowing that it’s there JUST IN CASE.

(7) Change and $1 bills for the vending machines

(8) Gum/breath mints – I hadn’t thought of this one, but it makes total sense. Labor could be a loooong process, and there could be lots of close, face-to-face encouragement. You know what would make a laboring woman angrier? Stank breath in her face.

(9) Lollipops – Again, I hadn’t thought of this one, but it was suggested on nearly every website I read. Once you’re in the hospital, they won’t let you eat, so lollipops can help keep your blood sugar up, plus give the illusion that you’re eating something. And it’ll wet your whistle, since all those “ah-he, ah-whoos” will surely give you cotton mouth. I’m thinking dumdums.

(10) Chapstick – My drug of choice if Carmex. Yes, Carmex is my drug. And back to the “ah-he, ah-whooos;” these dry-out your lips. I did them for five minutes in our birth class, and I was frantically rooting around in my purse for my tube-o-lip-love. I can’t even imagine how hours of heavy mouth breathing will feel.

(11) Pillows – We’ll take two (maybe three). Hospitals give you one, maybe two if you ask. And they’re not going to be comfortable like your at-home pillow. Throw-on a pretty pillow-case, since it’ll be in ALL of the after birth pictures. Just be careful not to dirty it with birth nasties.

(12) Notepad + pen – I have a terrible memory, so I want to write-down the details of my labor and delivery. What’s happening, time-frames, what I’m saying, what I’m thinking, what Mr. H says, all of it. I don’t want to miss it. Mr. H has agreed to help chronicle our adventure. Our intentions may be in vain, but we’re at least going to try.

(13) Snacks – for Mr. H and after labor.

For baby:

(1) Going-home outfit – there’s no sense in packing clothes for the entire hospital stay. The hospital provides shirts and diapers. Plus, your little joy is bundled-up, so you won’t see that cute outfit anyway. And why create even MORE laundry?

(2) Receiving blanket – Some sources said don’t worry about it because the hospital provides blankets. Some said it’s nice to have your own. I think we’ll pack one of our own. And we’ll pack the super awesomely soft blanket my mom bought L Bean just because.

(3) Boppy pillow – For nursing in the hospital. You can use pillows to prop-up your baby, but a boppy is easier and more comfortable. Plus, it’ll be nice to use your own pillow that’s hasn’t been used by 800 other moms.

(4) Baby nail clippers or emery board – Just in case L Bean comes out with claws. I’ll probably throw-in a pair of scratch mittens too.

Other than these few items, the hospital provides most of what we’ll need. And much of which I plan to steal and take home with me.

For Mom:

(1) Cosmetic items for after labor – Shower items, face wash, hair brush, deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, lotion, etc. I’ll probably throw-in a small make-up bag too. After an experience that will likely leave me feeling rather inhuman, it will be nice to shower and put-on some mascara. I may be leaking every time I stand-up, but at least I’ll look pretty doing it!

(2) Robe – A thin, comfortable robe to wear over the hospital gown (because, hi, they’re open in the back) when I’m up-and-about. Everyone is going to see my goodies at some point, but I’d prefer it to not be on the walk to the bathroom.

(3) Slippers/socks – I’d like to be as mobile as possible for as long as possible. Hospitals are also cold.

(4) Nipple cream – Breastfeeding hurts until your poor nipples adjust to the extra attention.

(5) Nursing bras and pads – The hospital may provide pads, but I’m not taking any chances.

(6) Comfortable, big clothes for the hospital stay– I’m not sure how much I’m going to bring in the way of clothing. I’ll probably wear a hospital gown most of the time I’m there. It’s just easier, and maybe more comfortable. I’ll bring a pair of sweat pants, some nursing tank tops, a comfortable cardigan, and who knows what else.

(7) Disposable underwear – the hospital provides mesh panties and pads (all that stuff that’s been building-up in your body for 9+ months will be making a graceful exit through the path cleared by baby). I may pack a couple pairs of my own disposable undies and pads, just in case.

(8) A going-home outfit – Ideally I will wear home the same outfit I wore to the hospital; but given the fact that I’m over-prepared for everything, I’ll probably pack a separate outfit. Something loose and comfortable.

The thing I keep reminding myself with my bag is this: Mr. H can always run home to grab something. And to take-out the guess work, I’ll probably leave a stack of “I might need these” hospital items in an easy to access place.

I’m resisting the urge to make a list for Josh, but he’ll have a bag of his own. It’ll probably contain extra underwear, a t shirt, and extra shorts. Guys are so easy. I’ll throw-in his toothbrush with mine. He doesn’t wear deodorant. Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, he sweats. No, it doesn’t smell. Not even a little. Not even after a 90 minutes soccer game. He hasn’t worn it in YEARS. FREAK.

So that’s my list. If you made it this far, yay! If not, I don’t blame you. It’s only exciting to me and other pregnant ladies.


Carrie B. said...

You should check out these hospital gowns that are pretty AND they close in the back!!!

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