June 4, 2012

Packing the Hospital Bag

Something’s changed. I can’t quite put my finger on, but things just feel different. The past couple of days my energy level is completely off, but I can’t sleep. Baby is heavy and low, and I can’t help but waddle a bit. I feel a tightening in my abdomen, especially at night, but I’m not sure if it means anything. Maybe it’s my body getting ready for labor, maybe it’s just Zippy getting so big.

This weekend we started packing our hospital bag. And by packing, I mean piling up things that are going to go into our hospital bag. We decided to go with two small ‘his’ and ‘hers’ bags, rather than one big bag, just so it’s easier to find things. We had previously discussed the idea of an extended stay bag that stays in the trunk of the car, just in case I needed a caesarean section, but it doesn’t seem likely at this point. Zippy is already in a good position, and likely to be on the slightly small side so the doctor has no concerns of her not fitting.

When it comes to clothes, I am 100% comfort over style – especially in a situation like labor and delivery. I’m also one of those people who likes to hoard things and keep everything in perfect condition. (Seriously, I was the kid who would ask for play dough for Christmas and then not play with it for fear of mixing the colors and turning them all brown. Or ask for the bejewalar and not want to use up the rhinestones.) Labor and recovery is notoriously messy. So I was on a hunt to find the most comfortable, old and worn out clothes in my closet that I could. That way I wouldn’t feel like I was ruining my “good” clothes.

My Bag
* Fuzzy socks & regular cotton socks – I predict I will only be wearing the fuzzy socks, but if I start to feel too warm I may switch.
* Slippers – Can’t walk around the hospital in socks, even those with non-slip skids, it’s a liability issue. I doubt I’ll want to put shoes back on.
* Two PJ options for the recovery – Well, two tops and one PJ bottoms. I’ve never nursed before, so I’m not sure what will make things more comfortable. I was deciding between a nursing bra and regular PJs, or a nursing tank top, so I figured I would bring both. The second option doesn’t take up much additional space.
* Robe and front zipping sweater – The robe is pretty light weight, so I decided to throw in a sweater since I get cold easily.
* Hair ties
* Chapstick – not sure if I’ll use it, but it doesn’t take up much space.
* Receiving blankets for Zippy – I grabbed two, one warm one and one thin one.
* A going home ‘outfit’ for Zippy – I just picked one of her onsies, and a sweater in case the hospital is cold.
* Toiletries
* Hairbrush

I’m not too worried about a going-home outfit for me. All my nursing clothes are also maternity clothes, and I don’t want to pack away any of them yet. I also strongly suspect I will prefer to just wear my PJs home. I know we will take pictures in the hospital & going home, but my PJ options are pretty generic, solid colors which will work fine. I may add clothes to the bag as we get closer to the due date, space permitting.

Domingo’s Bag
* Cold Hard Coinage aka Vending Machine Money – We got him a roll of quarters and roll of dimes to use in the vending machines. We checked out the vending machines at the hospital during our tour, they have a great selection of snacks, even including healthy options! Of course, they also have coffee and soda machines.
* Snacks – Speaking of snacks, we thought we’d pick up a few. Even though the vending machines are well stocked and the cafeteria has a lot of great food, having a few on hand for Domingo so he doesn’t have to leave seems like a good idea. We packed a few protein bars, trail mix and peanut butter crackers.
* Altoids – Our hospital tour guide recommended this one. Women in labor can be sensitive to smells, but Dad needs to eat. A good breadth mint is a must in her book. We’re also packing hard candy & gum for after labor.
* Slippers – We’ll be there for at least 24 hours, I’m sure he doesn’t want to wear sneakers the whole time.
* PJs – Just one set of PJs for him, since he doesn’t have to worry about nursing.
* Disposable shaver
* Toiletries

We will probably also pack a change of clothes for Domingo, at least a clean shirt or two. He can wear the same jeans he did when he arrived. It seems silly to pack clothes he may want to wear now given that we could be 5 and a half weeks away from meeting Zippy. And, again, it’s not like we’re going anywhere nice after the hospital – just straight home!

Other Stuff
* Camera Bag! – I know, big surprise with this one!
* Important Paperwork – We prefilled out our hospital admittance paperwork, hospital parking pass, and birth plan. (Our hospital has a multi-choice birth plan form, so our birth plan is not very exciting or detailed, which is fine by me. My plan is to have a Baby, however the situation dictates.) We purchased a document sleeve to put the papers in, and are keeping it on top of the hospital bags.
* Scrapbooking Paper In the document sleeve I also added a few pieces of scrapbooking paper. I’m told you can ask the nurse to take a foot print for you when they get one for the birth certificate. I figure it never hurts to ask!

We also created a weekend, since labor could be any time.
* Refill Lily’s long term food and water dish
* Double check stash of non perishable food and supplies for when we return home
* Double check all batteries (cell phones & camera) are fully charged.

It feels like we’re bringing a ton of stuff to the hospital. Then again, I’ve seen hospital check lists that include up to four sets of clothes for Baby (2 in Newborn size, 2 in 0-3 months), and three sets for mom and dad! As first time parents, it’s hard to predict what we will want to have with us. How much clothes do you need for 24-48 hours?! Here’s hoping we figure it out before Zippy makes her appearance!

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