Let's face it. Hospitals make me a little nervous. Probably because I'm usually there for a not so great reason. However, bringing our little one into the world is quite the opposite experience. While it's still full of a lot of unknowns, the fact that we get to leave with our sweet precious baby makes all of the mystery and anxiety worth it.
I had always envisioned our hospital birthing experience to be something similar to that episode of Friends when Rachel is in a shared room with screaming moms going in and out having babies while she just lays there waiting and not dilating. I pictured it looking like an ER room with fluorescent lights and white walls. You know. Sterile. After touring our hospital though I felt like we were in the wrong place. The labor and delivery room looked like what I imagined the recovery room looking like. Mood lighting, wood accents on the walls, a private bathroom, AND private room. It felt more like a hotel room than anything medical, and that helped set my mind at ease.
Now that it's starting to feel like a little weekend getaway rather than something scary, I was excited to pack our hospital bag with a few things that would make our stay feel a little more like home.
| TOILETRIES |
I'm sure the hospital provides some exciting skin irritating soap and generic shampoo, but I'm a creature of habit, so having my regimen with me will help me feel a little more like myself during this process. And I've been obsessed with my Korean skincare routine for almost a year now, and it just makes me feel pampered and human again. I'll also be including my electric toothbrush, toothpaste, hair ties, body wash, deoderant, and contacts + glasses.
| WARDROBE |
I know that I'll be all hospital gown chic during delivery, but I wanted to have some nice pajamas and a pretty robe to recover in. Especially since there will be lots of people coming in and out and photos taken. I also included some cheap-o slippers I didn't mind getting hospital germs on in case I'll be walking up and down the halls. Since we've been flip flopping on a c-section vs. vaginal birth (due to my family lineage of 5 generations of breech babies) I'm packing night shirts and camisoles in case I will have stitches where pj bottoms usually rest. I also know I'll be pretty swollen all over when I leave, so I'm packing a loose fitting jersey dress with some leggings (depending on the weather) to go home in. Some other less than exciting wardrobe essentials I'm including are nursing bras, and granny panty cotton underwear (although I hear the cool paper underwear they give you is really the best and to steal as many as I can).
| ACTIVITIES |
Not knowing how long we will be there, or the order of events, I'm bringing the iPad queued up with episodes of Life in Pieces, some books, headphones, cards, sudoku puzzles, essential oils, back massager, etc. to keep me distracted during the many many hours of labor.
| FOR BABY |
I took a little poll on my Insta Stories a while back asking if I needed to provide clothing for the baby or of the hospital would be providing that, and I pretty much had a 50-50 split on responses. So just in case, I went ahead and packed some white kimono shirts with built in mittens that they can just wear with their diaper, and then a few long sleeved white onesies with built in mittens as well. Plus I knew we'd be taking a ton of photos of our new arrival so I'm including some of my favorite swaddles which pair so nicely with the white outfits, and then included some cute hats too. I'm basically going to bring the diaper bag to keep all of the baby's items separate from ours, so that will also include some diapers and wipes, burp cloths, additional onesies, socks, and mittens. Our hospital is 30min away so you never know what could happen from the hospital to our house so we wanted to have some backup essentials just in case. I'm also bringing my boppy to help with nursing. And last but not least, a cute little going home outfit for baby. We packed my favorite hedgehog jammies and adorable knit bonnet for the ride home.
| OTHER ITEMS |
Then we will obviously pack other necessities like insurance, hospital forms, our baby book for documentation, Derek's overnight bag, and a gift I got for Derek for being such an amazing support during this journey. We already have the carseat installed which is so funny to see in the backseat everyday. Also, I want to put together some sort of thank you gifts or treats for the nurses and staff that will be with us day in and out, but I'm not sure what to do. I have heard that a lot of medical staff shy away from homemade treats due to the unknowns of people's dirty kitchens, unwashed hands, etc. And with this being flu season, I'm sure they are being extra cautious. Ideas? I'm hoping for something they could share rather than individualized gifts as I won't know how many people to account for until I'm there.
Clearly we've never done this before so if there is anything we do/don't have on our list feel free to share in the comments below.