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

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