Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our Hospital Packing List

When I learned that I was pregnant, I began reading and reading and reading... I read every pregnancy, labor, and birthing book, magazine, blog, and message board that I could get my hands on.  I knew that I wanted to be as well-prepared and well-informed as possible.  I love sharing my knowledge with others (I can't help wanting to teach, it's who I am at the center of my being, no matter the subject) and so some of my posts will be full of information that helped me along our path and things I wish had been in one place when I was researching.  Future posts will include: mama/birth blogs I follow, mama/birth books I read, cloth diapering suggestions, what AP means to us in all of its different forms, how yoga and hypnobirthing make such a great pair - please let me know if you have requests! I have already had some wonderful correspondence with experienced mama friends and great friends who have become pregnant over the past 6-12 months and I have honed some of these posts from letters, facebook messages, emails, and conversations with these lovely mamas and mamas-to-be.  Thank you LJ, AC, TH, AE, KH, JR, BPM, SA, SN, HS and lots of other mamas for wonderful mama chats that helped me develop these posts.

Our Hospital Packing List

I grew up participating in an organization called Pony Club, and the group focused on helping kids become great equestrians, but also even more on being an excellent partner with your horse, taking the best care of them, and valuing horsemanship over all else. Well, my Mom and Dad still cry "pony club!" whenever they see me plan, organize, and pack anything, as packing up a horse for an event, rally, or pony club event taught me to be more than thorough.  (I once overpacked luggage for a trip.  It was over the 50 pound limit.  By thirty pounds.  Oops!) The hospital list? Totally Pony Club. 

Here's what we packed - if you are thinking of putting together your own list, I hope this helps!

Packed for Mama:
Hospitals scare me.  I don't like the smell or feeling or equipment or fear in the air.  90% of me wanted a homebirth, but the 10% that felt comforted by the hospital birth (and the feelings of Handsome Husband) made our decision.  (If I had another baby, home it would be, I think, but that's for another discussion!) Anyway, I wanted to create an atmosphere that was as comfortable and home-like as possible.
  • toiletries: lip balm, hair ties, lotion/face lotion, brush, shampoo/shower gel, makeup (it's nice to be able to spiff up for visitors, pictures), deodorant
  • socks, slippers, flip flops
  • undies, nursing bra(s), day/days after outfit and going home outfit (think comfy yoga clothes, you'll probably look and feel and be your 5 mo. pregnant size)
  • boppy, own pillow and colored pillowcase (colored pillowcase so your pillow doesn't get confused with hospital pillows)
  • mints and snacks (granola bars, little candies)
  • phone charger
  • toilet paper (hospital tp is awful and it is nice to have comfort!)
  • soft home towel in a color other than white (see tp explanation and colored pillowcase explanation)
  • nightgowns/robe (never wore the hospital stuff, didn't ruin either, was SO grateful for the robe after as I was absolutely FREEZING and couldn't warm up for anything)
  • camera/video camera/chargers/cord to hook to laptop
I packed two bags - one for stuff I wanted during labor and one for after.  We arrived to my birthing suite with only the stuff I needed right away, so that it did not feel like we were moving in, and if they had sent us packing (I knew they wouldn't) we wouldn't have had to drag everything out.  Also, I knew labor, delivery, and recovery would be in one suite, and then we would move to another wing - we waited until the move to get the "after" stuff. 
Brought but didn't use:
Keep in mind, I arrived at the hospital at 6pm on Saturday, Isabella was born at 1:58am on Sunday, and we were home by Monday early afternoon.  If I had a longer labor and recovery, or if I had a section, I am sure I would have been at the hospital longer, and required a different list.
  • journal, glasses, magazines, music (I thought I would need entertainment, but my phone was enough and I was laboring quietly with HH, snuggling my baby, or sleeping!! No time or real need for entertainment)
  • pump
  • pads (used the hospital ones)
  • birth plan (had discussed it with my providers ahead of time, and felt so much conviction and no pressure from them to vary - I never brought it out.)
  • many of the snacks/crystal light/tea - the hospital kept decent food coming (super accommodating to veg requests)
  • id/insurance card
  • bathing suit for water labor (modesty was SO gone by the point I was in the tub!)
Packed for Bellabean: 
  • 2 diapers
  • baby blanket
  • receiving blanket
  • going home outfit with hat
  • change of clothing sizes in case she was a super-peanut or mega-monster
 The only things we used for her were the going home outfit and blanket for the car ride! Everything else was hospital provided for the stay (receiving blanket, bulb aspirator, diapers, blankets, clothes)

Packed for HH:
  • comfy clothes for the stay
  • bathing suit
  • night clothes
  • toiletries
  • laptop
  • magazines
  • phone/laptop cords
Packed in the Car:
  • car seat, fully installed
  • garbage bags and towels (just in case we had a highway delivery!)
I felt really prepared with the "stuff" we had packed and ready, and I am comforted by preparation.  Hope this list helps someone someday! Mamas, is there anything you would add? 

1 comment:

  1. This is on your list, but I must reiterate the importance of SLIPPERS!!! Please, please, please, all you expecting mothers out there please make the following pledge: "I,(insert name) do solemnly swear that I will not, under any circumstance let my feet touch the floor of the hospital, and then put those same feet (or feet in those awful slipper socks they give you) back on my bed. No, instead I promise to put slippers on my feet each time they touch the floor, and I will always, always, ALWAYS remove the slippers again before putting them on my bed." I have worked in hospitals for too long. You don't want to know what is on the floor. And it grosses me out every time I see a patient walk around the floor either barefoot, or in slipper socks, and then get right back into bed. YUCK! (Ok, my work here is done! ;)