Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hospital Bag Must-Haves

I have a bunch of friends who are about to be new mommys, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on hospital bags.  Packing your hospital bag can be a daunting task.  For some reason, I had a major mental block about putting mine together.  If Juliette had come any earlier, I would've been completely unprepared!   In the hopes of saving others from my mental anguish, I thought I'd put together a list of things I found useful at the hospital (and some things I didn't!) 

Identification/Insurance Card/Paperwork
Duh.  Just getting the boring stuff out of the way.
Fake ID confiscated from a former student. True story.
Nice toilet paper
You might think I'm joking putting this one right at the top but trust me...after pushing out a baby and potentially having stitches down there, you do NOT want some thin as garbage TP falling apart on you.  Going to the bathroom is scary enough as it is.  This is actually something I didn't think to pack and had my mom bring from home later on.  It is just that important!!

The only thing scarier than hospital-grade toilet paper is your first postpartum #2.  Bring some stool softeners from home just in case, but I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that if you ask your nurses, they'll give some.  Still, you do not want to try going through that first BM unassisted.  Why, you ask?  2 reasons: #1 hemorrhoids and #2 anal fissures. Anal. FISSURES!  Enough said, y'all.
Trust me, you will not look as happy as this lady.  Even if you have a fancy footrest.
Witch hazel pads
Also known as Tuck's, hemorrhoid pads, little discs of heaven, etc.  Not just for hemorrhoids, these little babies will help with itching, pain, and swelling...all things that can (and probably will) happen after delivery.  Stick them in the fridge for a little extra oooh and aaah.

Hair ties
Because you'll want a way to quickly make your hair not bonkers.  On that note, depending on how you roll, you may want to pack a few favorite make up items for visitors/pictures with baby/not feeling like a total slob.  Or not, whatevs.  You just had a baby.  Do what you want!

Again, depending on how you roll, you may be totally cool with chilling in just your hospital gown for a couple days.  However, at some point you may want the option for a little more coverage/support.  I think it's a good idea to have at least one outfit for when you feel like junk, one outfit for when you want to pretend like you have your life together, and a nursing bra.  By the way, cute or not, all of these should be very loose and comfortable! 

Namely, a toothbrush, toothpaste, chapstick, lotion, and some shower stuff.  You're going to be dealing with enough without having to worry about bad breath or dry skin.  Just buy travel-sized ones so you can have them packed well in advance.  Also, is gum a toiletry?  Because gum is also a great idea.  You will most likely be napping every few hours and sometimes you just need a little refresher, know what I'm sayin?
Get it? Toiletries?  Toilet trees?   ...sorry
Things for Baby
Bring burp rags and a cute little outfit to bring him/her home in!  Maybe a big fuzzy blanket, if you're due during the cooler months.  I'll cover this later, but the hospital will likely provide diapers and wipes, so don't worry about those.

Maybe it's just me, but I just feel like there is no substitute for your own pillow.  I don't sleep the same without it.  Besides, after having a baby you really don't need anything else messing with your sleep.  Just make sure you have a non-white pillow case so it doesn't get mixed up with the hospital's pillows!

Midnight snacks
Trust me, the hospital will keep you very well fed.  However, they don't necessarily feed your hubby so it's a good idea to keep some things around for his sake.  AND because until you've been a breastfeeding mom, you do not. know. hunger. I'm talking calories like WHOA.

Cell phone charger
Because it's 2016 and everyone is going to be constantly texting and asking for pictures and commenting on Facebook....you know what?  Maybe "forgetting" your charger wouldn't be the worst thing in the world... 

Garbage Bag
This is actually for the car ride over.  Look, apparently only 30% of women have their water break outside of the hospital, but there was NO way I was going to risk getting amniotic fluid all up in my car upholstery. Cleaning fabric in your car is the WORST.  Trust the woman that is currently trying to get rotten applesauce out of her backseat. #toddlermomproblems

Things NOT to bring:
I mean, by all means you can wear it when you go to the hospital, but don't worry about packing any.  They will give you giant stretchy underwear that can fit your giant (and I mean GIANT) postpartum pads.  Even if you get a c-section, things are still a little, uh...messy afterwards.  The mesh underwear are not cute or flattering by any means, but they're comfortable and more importantly, disposable.  Suck it up, buttercup.

Books, magazines, etc.
You may think you'll need something to keep you from getting bored (after all, you're going to be there for two whole days!!) but really, any spare moment you have, you just need to be sleeping.  Sure, there might be a few moments of lucidity and energy in those first few days where you're like, hey!  I feel great!  And those moments are nice.  Use them to snap a few quick pics of you and your munchkin being an adorable family....but then go back to sleep.  Somewhere around day 3-5, you are going to be hit with a tsunami of emotions and exhaustion.  Don't worry, it'll pass soon enough, but just...just sleep, ok?

Your dignity
Really, just leave it right on at home.  Nurses and doctors and sanitation people and photography people and food service people and lactation consultant people and customer service survey people and billing people and birth certificate people and probably 8 other different kinds of people are going to be walking in and out whenever they please and you're going to be disheveled and breastfeeding and walking to the bathroom with your tush hanging out of your hospital gown and you're just going to be too tired to do anything about it.  Sure, you're maybe not looking your best, but you just had a baby.  If you have so much as a smile on your face, they'll be impressed.  

Anything the hospital provides
You can find this out on your hospital tour...my hospital provided diapers, wipes, giant mesh underwear, giant pads, Dermaplast (which I love), a squirt bottle, nipple cream, drrruuuuuuugssss, little baby shirts, blankets (that we could not take home), baby hats (that we could), and a huge amazing water bottle with a bendy straw like my mom had in the 90's.  I think all of these things are pretty standard but again, double check with your hospital. 

And really, truly, that's all you need.  HOWEVER, if you would feel better bringing your lavender aromatherapy incense, entire case of essential oils, poster of a peaceful meadow, and electric scalp massager then hey...you do you.  You're the one having the baby after all.

FYI, on Google Images the caption for this was "Image of a pregnant woman having a natural childbirth"   Uuuuummmm agree to disagree.

Juliette: 3 Months

Age: 3 months
Milestones: Sitting in the Bumbo!  Huge.  She loves it, I think because it makes her feel included in all of our shenanigans :)
My Favorites: How smiley she is!!  She just lights up whenever anyone looks at her, it just melts my heart!
Her Favorites: Being around people, chatting, and her bugs that hang from the top of her car seat.  She can sit there, smiling and talking to them for the longest time.  They're best buds.
Surprises: How different she is from Jenna at this age!  I mean, nothing drastic and if I were to make a list, there would probably be more similarities than differences but...they're just each their own little person!  It's so fun!
Other Notable Moments:  Her first Christmas and New Years!  Jenna did most of the present opening for her, but she is enjoying her new black & white picture books :)  MY favorite part was all of the festive outfits, naturally.
Looking Forward To...: When she can take a bottle OR drops the late night feeding...whichever comes first.  It would be really great to be able to go on a date with my husband every now and then!
Jenna can't get enough of those cheeks either
The Little Merbaby
Juliette and her BFFs
Such a face!!!