Slow Turning

Like the song says, you can learn to live with love or without it

Oh Baby…Packing for the hospital and getting ready for labor

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Getting pregnant was the easy part; getting ready for the baby has been a bit more challenging.

Preparing to get ready for a new baby has proven to be overwhelming, at least for me. Especially as I was trying to determine what I needed to pack for the hospital. Not only did I not know what to expect, I didn’t know what I needed, both at the hospital and once I got home.

In the hopes that this may help someone else, here is what I went through and what I found to be useful.

Am I in labor?

My doctor had told me that I would know I was in labor because the contractions would be unlike anything I had ever felt before. This was true once I was at the hospital but prior to my water breaking, my early contractions just felt like the back pain I get with my menstrual cramps.

In fact the whole day I was in labor I had a bunch of underwhelming signs that could easily be chalked up to late pregnancy symptoms:

  • Spotting – This happened early in the morning but I was 3 weeks away from my due date so I didn’t worry that much about it.
  • Fatigue – I had just recently cut back on my 12-hour workdays and was wrapping up my last day at work. I was tired in general so being tired on the day I went into labor didn’t stand out.
  • Constipation – This was common throughout my pregnancy but it was more bothersome than usual, however, I was getting bigger & more exhausted…everything was harder.
  • Lower back pain – My back was killing me once I got home but it took me 3 hours to get home from work, so I assumed it was due to the long car ride.

After I was home and had been lying in bed for awhile, I called my doctor’s office to get an opinion on whether or not I should be worried. I was more concerned about possible complications than going into labor. The nurse wasn’t too concerned about my symptoms but said to call back if I started experiencing contractions or if my water broke.

About 2 hours later, my water broke. It came gushing out as if I was in a movie.

While we waited for our ride to the hospital (my husband had had a few drinks while working in the yard), we started getting our stuff together. Here is what I packed and used.

Are we there yet?

I live about an hour away from the hospital so there was some thought that went into what I needed on the car ride to the hospital.

Depends – Once my water broke, I never stopped leaking. I wore a pair after my water broke until my ride showed up. I put on a new pair for the drive to the hospital. (I also wore a pair on the car ride home from the hospital.)

Goodnites Disposable Bed Mats –I laid this down on the car seat & put a towel on top of it. (If I had leaked through the depends, I would have thrown out the towel & the pad.) If you have pee pads for pets, they would work just as well.

Is this the penthouse?

For my hospital stay, I read a lot about bringing my own robe and nightgown but for me, it was easier to wear the hospital gown. I was weak, tired, and trying to adjust to having a new baby. The last thing I wanted to do was try to change what I was wearing. Plus, with all of the nurse check ups and bleeding, the hospital gown was just easier. (I also wore the hospital undies. They are hideous but I was thankful for them.)

Cash – I brought quarters and one dollar bills just in case we needed anything from the vending machines.

Extension cord – The outlet wasn’t close for me to charge my phone so this was helpful so that I could stay connected to everyone while I was in the hospital.

Going home outfit – I packed maternity leggings, tank tops, and an oversized shirt. I figured layers were my best option so that I could dress depending on the weather and how I felt.

Nursing bras – I know nothing about nursing bras but had read that it’s good to have 3 – 1 that you’re wearing, 1 for back up, and 1 that is in the laundry. I found this 3 pack and they worked well for me.

Toiletries – I packed my typical toiletries but really only used my contact lens solution & toothbrush/toothpaste. It was nice to be able to clean up when I felt like it.

I did not need socks or slippers for walking around. I was only in the hospital for he required 24 hours and I spent the whole time resting or sleeping. My hospital also provided a bag with all the things they gave me, so packing an extra bag was unnecessary. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have packed my baby’s going home outfit & blanket in my suitcase instead of packing his baby bag.

Where’s the nurse?

While I was happy to leave the hospital, I did miss having the nurse available at the touch of a button. Even though I was anxious to be alone with a newborn, I was definitely happy to be home. These are some of the things that made being home easier.

Depends – I wore Depends for about the first week I was home. It was one less thing for me to worry about.

Perineal Cold Pack – These were a lifesaver once I got back home since the hospital ice packs were no longer available.

Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads – These were another lifesaver. I kept the Tucks in one bathroom and the pads from the hospital in another bathroom.

Always Maxi Pads – After I stopped wearing depends, I moved on to maxi pads.

Always Panty Liners – After I stopped wearing maxi pads, I started using panty liners.

Nursing nightgown – I love this nightgown. It is perfect for middle of the night feedings. It’s also tight enough to provide some support so that I don’t need to wear my nursing bras at night.

Donut Cushion – I was thoroughly unprepared for the recovery & wish I would have had this sooner. I used my baby’s boppy until the donut arrived.

Where are the instructions?

It’s a joke everyone makes but it really would be helpful if there were instructions. Here are some things that I found useful for the baby once I was home.

Baby classes – I recommend signing up for as many classes as you can. I really enjoyed the breastfeeding and car seat classes. I ended up missing the child preparation class because I was in the hospital recovering from giving birth. (Probably a good idea to schedule classes prior to week 36).

Hooter Hider – This is great for breastfeeding in public or even at home when guests are over.

Baby Carrier – My baby does not sleep while in his car seat while I’m shopping so the baby carrier has been a lifesaver. My friend gave me this one, otherwise I probably would have bought an infant insert for my other baby carrier.

Since I’m breastfeeding, I am thankful to have had the Kiinde breast milk storage recommended by a friend. (I am currently working on pumping, but that’s another story.)

Newborn sized clothing & socks – My baby was almost 7.5 pounds at birth, so it was helpful to have newborn sized clothing. Even though he didn’t wear the newborn size very long (5-6 weeks), I’m thankful he had enough onesies, pajamas, and socks to get him through the early weeks.

Diaper Changing Station – Another recommendation from a friend, but I like having everything for changing a diaper all in one place.

Sensitive skin – Since I have sensitive skin, I have made the assumption that my baby also has sensitive skin and have used

Babyganics wipes & dry cleansing cloths for his diaper changes.   Cosmetics Database has been a good resource for what ingredients are in products.

Baby Swing – I opted for a baby swing instead of a Mamaroo, mostly due to price, but I don’t regret my decision. The swing is great for rocking my baby when I am too tired to hold him and he’s tired enough to sleep but is fighting laying down in his bassinet or crib.




Written by rachel

October 24, 2016 at 5:05 am

It Happened

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I had wanted to,

and almost did,

but there was always something

holding me back.

Until last night.

I said it.

I told him, “I love you.”

And it wasn’t scary or hard to do.

It actually felt good.

So I said it again.

And felt even better.

Written by rachel

November 16, 2015 at 11:12 pm

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Is It Love?

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He said, “I love you.”

I said…nothing.

What I wanted to say was, “how do you know?”

When I think of love, I think of everlasting. Forever.

But life has taught me, and Dwight Yoakam has sang, that “forever is a promise no love can survive.”

So, I don’t think about love. I think about who I want to be with, who makes me happy.

And that is you. And I’ll be with you until you don’t want to be with me any more.

Written by rachel

November 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm

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A Violation of Speed

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What is the over/under on the chances that the Municipal Court of Seattle will actually respond to my inquiry?

Municipal Court of Seattle

Box 34109

Seattle, WA 98124-1109


Today (5/13/2015) I received a notice, dated 5/11/2015, that I received a ticket for a violation that occurred on 4/10/2015.

I tried calling 206-684-5600 to speak with Customer Service, however, after being on hold for a half hour, there was an automated message telling me that there was no one available to take my call.

I am trying to get more information about the violation, like where it happened and if it happened in the morning or evening.

I am also trying to understand why notice is not sent out on a violation that happened on 4/10/2015 until 5/11/2015 but I only have until 5/26/2015 to pay the fine before being sent to collection.

Please let me know if there is a better number I can call so that my questions may be answered promptly.


Written by rachel

May 13, 2015 at 4:40 pm


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It wasn’t that long ago that
The thought of you brought
A flush to my cheeks and
Made my heart race.

Now the thought of you brings
Tears to my eyes and thoughts
Of unanswered texts and
Cancelled trips.

I know that when I was
With you, I was happy
But now I wonder if you
Ever felt the same.

Do our moments together
Mean less now that we’re
Not talking? Or can I still
Look back and smile?

What hurts the most isn’t
That we’re over, but that you
Just stopped wanting to see
Me and responding to me.

It took me awhile, but
Then I realized it wasn’t that
You were going through
A difficult time.

I was just unwanted.

Written by rachel

April 9, 2015 at 6:29 pm

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In the End

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I miss you.

I miss the way I felt when we were together.

What hurts now, is that our beginning is going to be left without an ending. The hardest part is not that we came to an end, but that we ended because you just pulled away.

Without a word.

I never got the chance to tell you that you broke my heart.

And that I still miss you.

And will be waiting for you, if you ever change your mind.


Written by rachel

March 29, 2015 at 6:17 pm

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What They’re Saying

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I watched the Oscars this year because Neil Patrick Harris was hosting. I didn’t see any of the movies nominated so I didn’t care one way or another who won. I wanted to be entertained, but I ended up being moved.

It’s 2015 and there is still a need for people to speak out for equality and acceptance. In what is supposed to be the leader of the free world, we are still struggling with these issues. We are not focused on solving problems like climate change and education; we are fighting for marriage equality and voter rights. Thankfully there are people who are willing to speak up, like these people did tonight.

Patricia Arquette: Best Supporting Actress, Boyhood

John Legend & Common: Performance, Glory

John Legend & Common: Best Original Song, Glory

Graham Moore: Best Adapted Screenplay, The Imitation Game

Written by rachel

February 22, 2015 at 11:29 pm