This one is for the hospital bag. I overpacked. I mean, I way, way overpacked. I had a stuffed to the brim diaper bag, plus a carry-on type suitcase for myself, plus pillows, Boppies, laptops, cords and cords, etc.
What I brought and did not need:
- Birth plan. I didn't even take this out of my bag. It's a ridiculous concept. The nurses will ask you your preferences as they go. They do not need a print-out of your "rules." Everything went perfectly without it.
- So many baby clothes. I brought at least 6-7 outfits. My justification at the time was "Well, we don't know how big he'll be, so I need both NB and 0-3 outfits, and if I have a c-section we'll be there 5 days, so I need at least 3 or 4 outfits in each size." Well, no. I was wrong. The hospital onesies are perfectly fine, and more convenient for the nurses who have to check the baby over and take vitals every few hours. One cute coming-home outfit and one sleeper would have been plenty.
- So many clothes for me. I think it was the possible c-section thing that threw me off. I felt like I had to pack for a 5-day stay, so I packed myself 5 day outfits and two pairs of pjs. I ended up wearing one dress, one shirt, and one pair of pants. I had him on Monday and wore the hospital gown all day. The next morning I took a shower and changed into a sundress, then Wednesday morning I showered and changed into yoga pants and t-shirt, which I wore home that afternoon.
- Underwear for me. I wore the hospital's mesh panties.
- Pads. The hospital's giant diaper pads were way bigger, and therefore, made me feel more secure. I took a stash of them home and wore these until they ran out.
- Breast pads and creams. My milk wasn't in yet, so I definitely wasn't leaking. Actually I never used breast pads, but that's for another post. And my nipples never cracked. I tried that lanolin stuff, but it was just greasy. Breastmilk worked much better.
- Breast pump. Maybe some moms use these to stimulate milk production in the hospital, but I had my baby with me at all times and his nursing schedule was demanding enough. I think a pump would have just caused me way more pain.
- Too many pillows. I like to have two pillows under my head at home. So does Aaron. Therefore, we figured we needed four pillows. Ha! We needed a maximum of one each. The hospital has pillows. I liked having mine to add on top of theirs, but we definitely had too many. We ended up leaving a couple in the truck.
- Socks. This is basically the same as clothes, but so many people stressed to me that I would want thick socks or slippers for in the hospital. Well, I didn't. I am a barefoot kind of girl, I hate wearing socks in bed, and bed is where I spent the majority of my time. I wore flip-flops to the hospital anyway, so if I had wanted to wander the halls for some reason, I could have just slipped them on.
**I'd like to address the myth that all hospitals are freezing. Mine was not. I wore a strapless sundress all day Tuesday, went barefoot, and was not cold at all - and I get cold easily. Maybe my hormones were just raging, I don't know.**
Things I wish I had brought:
- More dresses. I don't know why I thought I'd want to wear pants after delivery. I brought one sundress with a ruched top, and it was the best idea ever. Here's why. No one tells you that after delivery, the nurses come in and pull your panties down while they squish your tummy to see if stuff is still coming out. They also liked to check my stitches down there. It's very strange and awkward. Having a dress on makes it easier for them to just pull the panties down and check it out.
- Nursing shirts. I just brought regular t-shirts (besides my dress) but my boobs were super sensitive and the pressure of a tight shirt was uncomfortable. I wish I had brought a looser top, specifically one made for nursing.
- iPod dock. I actually didn't own one at the time. But next time, I'd like to have a dock in the room so that I can play music during labor and in our room later. I hate silence, I mostly had the TV on, but that gets annoying when you're up at 3 am with the baby and have to watch infomercials.
Things that I was so glad I brought:
- Sundress. We've been over this.
- Toiletries. I almost didn't bring a full on toiletries bag (I was just going to bring toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant, and send Aaron home for the rest if I had a c-section. Don't ask why the same didn't occur to me with clothes.) I guess I figured that I wouldn't get the chance to shower with a newborn, and I could just shower when I got home. But ew. Labor is a sweaty, fluid-filled process. I only waited until the morning after because I was exhausted. That was the best shower of my life.
- Laptop. Almost didn't bring this, as well. But there were times when it was just me and the baby (Aaron slept at home the second night) and I got bored of crappy tv. I was glad to be able to post pictures of him, give FB updates, and play games.
- Camera & phone. Duh. I wish I had taken more pictures and video. That time in the hospital was so heavenly.
- Boppy. Another item that I questioned. But I wore that thing constantly. It kept him snuggled close to me, but I could still have a free hand or two. Plus it was awesome for nursing without my arms getting sore.
- Makeup and brush. This kind of goes with toiletries. I don't know why I thought that I wouldn't care what I looked like after delivery. There are so many pictures being taken! And you *will* have time to shower and do your makeup. They take the baby to the nursery for checkups more than I expected. And other people want to hold him!
Okay I had to get that out. Excuse the length, it's for my own documentation purposes.