Must Haves When Packing Your Hospital Bag

MUST HAVES WHEN PACKING YOUR HOSPITAL BAG

One of the things you wouldn’t think would cause a lot of stress during pregnancy is packing your hospital bag, but you know what – IT DOES…especially as a first time parent-to-be. You want to make sure you have any and everything you might need…but, you’ve never been in this predicament before, so you don’t even know what you’ll need! So you scour the interwebs for inspiration, but even that can be daunting. 

As a first time parent-to-be, everything is so new and exciting. You feel as though you want to be fully prepared and to be honest, that was my approach. I went into packing my hospital bag thinking, I’d rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it. Sheesh, I even bought a new carry-on sized luggage on wheels for the occasion!

So, what exactly would I consider your must-haves when packing your hospital bag?

Necessities

Obviously – bring your wallet with your ID, health card, and debit/credit cards. In addition – there will be paperwork you need to sign and records you’ll need to keep so bring a pen. If you’re staying 24 hours (or longer if you have a c-section) – you’ll have to track how much the baby eats and how many diapers you change; nurses need to see this before you leave.

Don’t forget to pack your phone and charger, of course. If you have an extra long charger, even better because as you lay in bed, you can’t guarantee the outlet will be close 

Labour can be a long feat, often without much for you to do so maybe pack an iPad or Kindle to occupy your time. Don’t forget the charge cables for those, as well! And, of course – make sure you have books, shows, and/or movies downloaded.

Delivery

Slippers/Socks – pack ones you don’t plan to bring home, in case they get grimey. These will come in handy if you take some walks around the corridor and whatnot. 

Hair elastics – if you have long hair, or hair long enough to be tied back – bring something to do just that. Trust me – labour isn’t pretty and the last thing you’ll want to worry about afterwards is knots in your hair.

Water bottle with a straw – when the fun truly starts, you won’t really be able to move that much and your support person should be able to feed you some water easily.

Flip flops – if you choose to shower, you’re gonna want these because it’s gross otherwise. 

If you want to go a step further, you can bring your own delivery gown. I found one on Amazon, but forgot to change into it before everything started so now it’s a good one to wear around the house with easy access to the liquid gold for RJ.

Recovery

Toiletries – The basics: toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, shower cap and towel (again, if you choose to shower there), chapstick (hospitals are ridiculously dry and you’ll likely be screaming and panting, so trust me – you’ll need it), makeup (you’re going to want to take pictures, so if you wear makeup – pack the basics) and a hair brush.

Nursing bras – If you plan on breastfeeding, you’ll want to ensure you have a nursing bra or two on hand. Just in case your milk comes in while you’re at the hospital, pack a couple breast pads.

At home, I lounge in my gifted Knix nursing bra or leakproof nursing tank daily, because – they are not only comfortable, but they provide easy access to the girls when RJ is hungry…and he’s always hungry.

Comfy lounge wear – you’ll be spending lots of time recovering in bed, so pack comfy clothes. I packed loose fitting PJ sets with pants and button-up tops. This made it easy for skin-to-skin access. I also rocked a robe and diaper look in the hospital and for the first few weeks postpartum.

Adult diapers – Labour is messy and so is the recovery. I found it so much easier and a lot more comfortable to just wear adult diapers instead of pads. If you’re not into the diaper thing – pack lots of granny panties/maternity underwear and super long, overnight pads.

Snacks – Pack ALL of the snacks. Granola bars, candy, fruit, chips – whatever you want. Hospital food is ridiculously overpriced and you will be h-u-n-g-r-y! My mother and sister came to visit a few hours after RJ was born and all I remember saying to them on the phone before they arrived was, “Bring me chicken nuggets!” So, at 5am, I ate chicken nuggets sitting in the delivery bed and all my mess with a newly born RJ in one hand. One piece of advice – if you can pack some high fiber snacks, that’d be helpful for the dreadful first postpartum poop.

Going Home Outfit – I packed loose leggings, a nursing tank, and a cardigan to go over top. Your body just went through a lot – be kind to it by wearing something super comfortable.

Baby

Diapers – 15-20 newborn size. You’ll want to make sure you have enough because the newborn poops are nasty AF!

Wipes – I’m telling you, babies are messy and gross – especially their first poops…heads up, they’re black and look like tar.

Diaper cream – Penaten or even petroleum jelly or coconut oil to soothe their tiny lil bottoms.

Swaddling blankets – the hospital will provide some to use, but you can bring your own. These are also helpful if visitors come stinking of perfume or cologne or whatever. It’s good to have that barrier between baby and them.

Onesies (going home outfit) – I brought two, a NB size and 0-3 month size because I had no idea how big he was going to be. Plus, with the poop that comes out of a newborn, it’s good to have a backup, just in case. I didn’t put clothes on RJ until the morning we left though – up til then, it was skin-to-skin all day and night.

Cotton hats – you have to keep the warmth in, and their heads are gross and gunky and sometimes misshaped (RJ had the biggest conehead thanks to 3 hours of pushing!) so hats help cover that mess up.

Car seat – You can’t leave the hospital without one! After much deliberation, we decided on the Maxi Coso Zelia travel system and have loved it thus far!

Take into consideration the time of year you’re giving birth. RJ came on 02.02.2020, dead of winter – so I packed warm hats, gloves, and booties for him to wear home, and a warm blanket for the car.

In addition to everything listed, we also packed Mike a pillow and sheet for him to catch some zzz’s on the uncomfortable hospital furniture and of course, his phone charger.

I mentioned I packed my hospital bag in a new carry-on luggage on wheels, and there was a reason for that. When you’re 9 months pregnant – you don’t want to carry a heavy bag into the hospital and when you’ve just had a baby, you don’t want to carry a heavy bag to the car. Even if you have a partner there with you – one of you will have to carry the car seat to the car. So, luggage on wheels is the way to go!

That’s pretty much it. It seems like a lot, but I honestly used each and every thing on the list.

Can you think of anything missing from my hospital bag list?

What NOT To Say To A Pregnant Woman

Ten weeks postpartum and I’m finally getting around to writing all the blog posts I’ve been brainstorming for the past few months. I made mention in my previous post about having lists of ideas for posts and that those lists actually became overwhelming. And this is still true! I can’t tell you how many times I started writing posts, deleted whatever rambles I had typed up, then started all over again.

It’s a wild thing; the combination of my anxiety and sleep deprivation. I’m overly sensitive and truth be told – running on fumes. For the first few weeks, it was even worse. My postpartum anxiety was SO BAD and my nights (and days) were filled with tears. I’ll definitely get more into all of that in a future blog post (I’m going to take my time with that one because it’s still a sensitive subject for me) – but what I will say is I’m feeling much better, for the most part. I’m getting a bit more sleep when RJ sleeps, and I’m attempting to find a way to get accustomed to my new norm…even though the new norm is taking place during a global pandemic and we’re self isolating at home. But THAT’S a whole ‘notha story.

One of the blog posts I’ve been meaning to write is a doozy. When I was pregnant, more times than I can remember I was hit with some shocking and sometimes downright offensive comments. I’m part of a Facebook group with all ladies who were due in February 2020 and we went through the journey of pregnancy together (and are now tacl=kling parenthood together) and I made a post one day about the things NOT to say to a pregnant woman and boy oh boy – did it ever hit a nerve!

So many ladies chimed in with their own equally offensive experiences and I was shocked! I swear, sometimes it’s like as soon as someone is pregnant – people’s filters go out the window and the things that come out of their mouths are ridiculous.

Can you believe that when I was about 6.5 – 7 months pregnant, someone who worked in the same office building as me who I am on only a semi first name basis (they know mine, I can never remember theirs) actually said to me, ‘You’re definitely going to be induced because look how big you already are!’ Oh, and to boot – this person was a man. Yeah – no filter.

So when I mentioned this topic in the group, the gals all gave their opinions on things NOT to say to a pregnant woman and I thought I’d share some of those with you, and share why they’re offensive so this can actually be a lesson for some!

Wow – you’re really big for X-months! / You don’t look pregnant at all! / I was so much bigger than you when I was pregnant! / You sure there’s only one in there??

Ok, I would think this one would be a given, but nonetheless – here we are. I’m just gonna say this – NEVER comment on another person’s body shape/size/anything…ever. Period. When you’re pregnant your body is going through a major change and seeing those changes in the mirror, as miraculous as they are, can be really hard on some. We don’t need a reminder of them.

What you should say: You look great, can I get you anything?

It’s going to be so much worse when the baby is here! / You better get some sleep now, you won’t when the baby arrives! 

Ok, we all know life changes after a baby is born, but instilling an irrational fear into an already stressed out, overly hormonal pregnant woman isn’t good for anyone. Not to mention, pregnancy insomnia is a real thing and sleep doesn’t always come to pregnant women. I know I suffered from it and I didn’t need the daily reminder I got from every Tom, Dick, and Susie about how I would sleep even less when the baby got her. I KNOW, KAREN – THAT’S JUST ONE OF THE REASONS I CAN’T SLEEP NOW – I’M STRESSED TF OUT! By dismissing one’s feelings and brushing them off as not worthy of attention, because in your opinion it’s just going to get worse, you make one feel as though those feelings don’t matter…and that’s not fair.

What you should say: Is there anything I can do to help you feel more rested?

Your life is over once you have a baby! / Prepare to not have a life for the next 18 years! / Life as you know it is over!

Well, duh – of course life is changing…but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing! Having a baby can be a wonderful addition to one’s life and can bring so much more happiness than stress. It’s not all doom and gloom, and scaring a new parent into thinking otherwise is not very nice! Life isn’t over – you’re just starting a new chapter!

What you should say: You’re about to embark on such an exciting new journey!

Are you going to have a vaginal birth? / You should have a c-section, your baby is going to be huge!

Again, I can’t believe this needs to be said, but please don’t comment on someone’s body size, ever…pregnant or not. Just – don’t. Coming up with your birth plan, as detailed or not as it is, is a personal experience that doesn’t need to be shared with everyone. It’s not your business how someone decides to bring their child into the world. If they choose to share those intimate details with you – it should be on their terms.

What you should say: I hope you have a smooth delivery, however you envision it. 

Were you trying to conceive? I didn’t know you were planning to have a(nother) child!

Seriously? I’m not even going to explain WHY these are offensive. This one should be pretty obvious.

What you should say: Congrats!

I know, or at least I choose to believe, that these things aren’t said intentionally to hurt someone. It’s just that sometimes you don’t realize the impact that your words may have on someone. Words can hurt, especially when emotions (and hormones!) are running high!

There are so many more I could add, but I’m just going to end this post off by asking you to think before you speak. Oh, and I now have another post in the works: Things Not To Say To New Parents. Because those comments have already started. Ha!

New Beginnings, Yet Again

Well, hello again. It’s been a long ass time since I’ve shared a post here on le blogaroo and SO MUCH has been going on!

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that Mike and I welcomed our beautiful baby boy, Rylan James (RJ) Daly, to this crazy world on February 2, 2020.

Yup, a palindrome baby. 02.02.2020 – he was born at 2:10am. If only he had waited another 10 minutes, he would have been born at 02:20 on 02.02.2020. How wild would that have been?! But, I was in labour for 12 hours and had 3 hours of pushing – so, there was no more waiting. Ha! I’ll share more on my birth story in another post soon.

So, to say it’s been a wild two months is an understatement. Throw in the fact that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and it’s DEFINITELY been a wild ride thus far.

Before RJ was even born I had been working on lists of posts I wanted to write for le blogaroo, and now I see the lists and feel overwhelmed AF. It (writing for le blogaroo) started to feel like a chore, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

I feel like I lost my vision for the blog for awhile there. And to be honest, life just got in the way and I couldn’t find the passion I once I had for writing. But it’s back, baby! This is my online space, it’s my space to share and create and I’m excited to do just that. 

I’m bringing This Crazy Thing Called Life back to just that – my online diary. 

I started blogging back in December 2013, and life sure has changed over the years! But as always – I aim to keep it as real as possible while sharing the trials and tribulations of every day life.

In the end, my goal is to inspire you to keep fighting for your happiness, and to let you know that no matter what this crazy thing called life throws your way – you are not alone.

…but right now – you should be self isolating!

Let’s share a virtual glass of wine and get through this pandemic together…but at least 6 feet apart because, social distancing.