Posts Tagged ‘ having a baby ’

What to Pack for the Hospital When You’re Having a Baby

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Those two rounds of contractions (contractual episodes? contractisodes?) last week made it ever so clear that this baby will come whether or not I’ve packed my bag for the hospital. Already she has a mind of her own. Babies.

So I’ve given in to reality, on this point at least. I will fill that suitcase that’s open and waiting on my bedroom floor. Because I’m a compulsive list-maker, I consulted many “What to Pack” lists, then pared them down to a “What I Really Need to Pack” list. That’s one of the benefits of this being Babyhaving: The Sequel. I know that wearing the hospital’s disposable undies is better than ruining my own, and that between visitors and sleep and babygazing, I will not have time to tackle a little light magazine reading.

Here is what I think I need…

To pack ahead of time:

  • Copies of birth plan (in case they don’t have the copy my doc sent over ready and waiting)
  • List of phone #s to call (even if Clint can remember the list of five people now, he may not have his wits about him when the time comes, due to sleeplessness and baby excitement)
  • Notebook (Birthing thoughts? Final baby-name narrowing down? Returning home to-do list? You never know.)
  • Birthing skirt/2 tanks/zipper sweatshirt (aka stuff to labor in that allows me to regulate my temperature and allows the hospital staff to access my lady region. An extra tank in case I want to wear one into the birthing tub.)
  • Two pair nonslip comfy throwaway socks (For labor. There will likely be dripping. Gross, I know.)
  • Nursing bras
  • Bella bands (Nice to pair with nursing bras, for the discreet & ladylike, such as myself.)
  • Breast pads (In case my milk comes in. Oh, the leakage.)
  • Lanolin (At first, your nipples hurt. A whole lot. Lanolin helps.)
  • Lotion
  • Arnica (My awesome friend Laura, a homeopath/pharmacist, recommends 200C post-delivery, and again 12 hours later, to promote overall healing.)
  • Ponytail holders
  • iPod/speakers (I prefer silence to birthing tunes, but we have HypnoBirthing scripts and affirmations on there.)
  • Breastfeeding-friendly PJs/hangout wear (Better than a hospital gown. You’ll probably want options that allow easy access to Down There and/or your post c-section tummy. Make it something you won’t mind being photographed in.)
  • Pantry snacks that may be tolerable during labor, such as electrolyte jelly beans, granola bars (sprung for fancy raw Pashen bars for the occasion), nuts, emergenC (Keep that energy up!)
  • Have cooler ready
  • Present for Roy (From the baby. So when they meet, she has it ready for him.)
  • Cash

For baby:

  • A few sleepers (Those long gowns with the elastic at the bottom, to make frequent changes easier. Might as well have her wear her own clothes, washed in our detergent, from the get-go.)
  • Socks & hats
  • Blanket
  • Super cute going-home outfit
  • Car seat with BundleMe (Essential for a winter baby in Minnesota—no bulky, hard-to-regulate snowsuit necessary.)
  • Baby book (Get those footprints!)
  • Boppy, or other breastfeeding pillow (Might as well start in the manner you intend to continue.)

To pack the last minute:

(Again, a list containing even the obvious is nice. It’s hard to make decisions while in labor.)

  • Laptop
  • Camera (batteries, charger)
  • Phones & chargers
  • Makeup bag
  • Lip balm
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Deodorant
  • Vitamins & allergy medication
  • Hair products
  • Brush
  • Hair dryer
  • Slippers
  • Pillows
  • Stock cooler (ice, drinkable yogurt, hard cheese, fruit)
  • 12-pack fizzy water (It’s my jam.)
  • HypnoBirthing scripts (On paper. For Clint to potentially read to me.)
  • Towel to sit on in car (if my water hasn’t broken)
  • Wallets/insurance card/ids
  • Calendar (I’ve not yet gone electronic on this. Rockin’ it old skool style.)
  • Glasses

 For Clint:

(Just a loose reminder list for him…)

  • Food (If he’s gonna support me, he needs to maintain energy as well.)
  • PJs (The hospital is not the place for underwear-only sleeping.)
  • Toiletries
  • Camp mat (To make a crappy hospital sofa more bearable.)
  • Blanket (See above.)

Questions? Additions?

POST-DELIVERY UPDATE: What I ended up using, not using and forgetting.

Image: Pregnant Woman Is Getting Ready for the Maternity Hospital via Shutterstock


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Going Public with Pregnancy

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

newborn baby feetI’ve got news I’ve been wanting to share with you for a while: I’m knocked up! Expecting. In a family way. Call it what you will, I’ve been busy gestating for over 14 weeks now. The due date is January 29th, just three days after Roy’s second birthday. I probably don’t even need to add that Clint and I are both absolutely thrilled.

We’ve been telling friends and family over the past week, so I will now anticipate and answer your first question: I’ve been feeling monumentally crappy, thanks for asking. More on that later. I’ll keep this focused on the positive, good news. Baby!

I’ve been scared to embrace this pregnancy, not allowing myself to plan or get excited or really even think about it that much. Even when we went in to the doctor’s office at 9 weeks and he picked up the heartbeat with the doppler. Even when he told me what a great sign it was to hear that little thump-thump so early, making my chances of miscarriage very, very low. I was hesitant.

When we went in for an ultrasound at 12 weeks, I prayed that little heart would still be beating. And it was. We told our amazing tech, Koua, whom we also had for my first pregnancy, that if he could tell the sex, we’d like to know. Early, I know, but Koua is an ultrasound guru of sorts; a superstar who also teaches the art/skill. Mere moments later, he paused the wand, locking in a steady, real-time full-body side shot. Wee arms and legs wriggled about. It was surreal. That was happening inside me right at that moment. I was breathless. Transfixed. Then Koua said: “There’s your little baby girl.”

Those five words released three months’ worth of bottled-up reality. I started bawling, and I couldn’t stop. The sobbing continued through the drive home, during which Clint finally asked, “You’re happy, right?” Through tears, I nodded vigorously. Only now, nearly two weeks later, am I able to relay the news without losing it again. Well, sometimes.

Honestly? I’m still worried. That probably won’t end until the baby—she!—is here. Ah, who am I kidding? I already have one kid, so I’m beginning to realize it’s never going to end.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Image © Nevit Dilmen

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