Monday, 18 October 2010

Hospital Bag

I learnt from my first birth, which was 6 weeks premature, that if the baby comes early, you don’t necessarily need to provide anything for them in the first few days - the hospital will see you through (bless ‘em). So when thinking about what I need to have packed ready to go, it’s all about me, me me.

When (and if) I reach 35 weeks, I’ll pop some basic baby bits in a separate bag. Three vests/bodysuits, three sleepsuits, a cardigan, a hat, coat (do we have one? eek), travel blanket, three muslin cloths, a pack of nappies and a handful of cotton wool. That should do it for an overnight visit.

As for me, well... When heading into hospital to give birth, you need to pack as if you’re going to stay somewhere overnight (that’s pretty heavy packing in my book) and you also need to try to pre-empt what you will want, or need whilst in labour. Pretty difficult if you’ve never done it before and actually still pretty difficult if you have.

I had a pretty straight-forward first labour (apart from the prematurity aspect) and fully intend for this one to be the same (I’m sure I will now be punished for saying that). I’m going to attempt to list everything I will be packing, some items will undoubtedly be thrown in last minute, and then I’m going to actually go and pack most of it. Hopefully, my list may be of some help to any first-timers out there. Old-timers might also be able to point out anything I’ve stupidly forgotten.

  • Maternity notes, kind of vital.
  • Toiletries - handy tip for the shower, a 2in1 shampoo as there will be no time to relax. I’ll be in a rush to return to the baby. Hairbrush and tummy oil are included in this section.
  • Makeup - I didn’t bother with makeup last time, but as I hope to leave hospital the next day this time, I figure it might be nice to leave looking my normal self. Maybe.
  • Two pairs of pyjamas (in case I bleed all over the first pair), slippers and a dressing gown.
  • A Pillow for a better night’s sleep - not that you really sleep when you have a new baby to gaze at.
  • An oh-so-attractive hairband to keep my hair out of my face whilst I’m pushing. Who needs the distraction?
  • Snacks and drinks. For me and for my husband. Yes there’s a shop, but no, I do not want to be left on my own whilst you go and buy yourself a sandwich. And if the midwife is mean and says I can’t have a meal “just in case”, I’ll damn well be eating something the second she leaves the room.
  • Phone charger. I’ll be busy tweeting as well as texting all my friends and family. I don’t think I’d be happy if I had to wait until I got home to tell you all about it.
  • Camera. Obviously. Maybe not my professional one though as I won’t let my husband use it.
  • Disposable (or just old) pants and maternity pads.
  • Notepad and pen - for moments of boredom and to write down what items husband needs to bring me from home (and where he will find them).
  • Something to wear whilst giving birth. Not that I made it out of my normal clothes last time. Not until baby was out anyway.
  • Magazine or other entertainment, to help while away the hours if it’s not instant
  • Clean clothes. That’ll be maternity jeans, breastfeeding top and bra and something warm to wear over it all. And a few pairs of socks. No cold feet here thank you.
  • Gift for the toddler. The baby is going to be bringing a present for his big brother (straight from the womb) so I’ll be taking this to hospital in case he comes to visit.

Enough talking about it, I’m actually going to go and pack some of it now. About time too.

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