Packing for the Hospital, Take Two

Reposted from The Huffington Post Australia. By Meg Hemphill.

Going to the hospital to have a second baby is a bit like being a sophomore at school — you’ve been here, done this. You know your way around campus, what not to have for lunch and what you need in your locker vs. school bag. Likewise, going to the hospital for baby number two, as I will be doing in the next week or so, gives me the experience of knowing what to pack and what I can definitely leave at home (cake, iPod, cooking magazines).

With baby number one, I was given a Bundle bag, which was a fantastic way to have all sorts of necessities in one convenient carry-all. Then I added what I thought were essentials, including five fresh outfits. Outfits? Really? As if I was in the mood to get dressed, never mind the compression socks and catheter...This go-round, my bag will have a couple of nightgowns that are boob-accessible for feeding, along with a laundry bag and a second batch of nightgowns at home that my husband can bring with him. 
(Space was limited in my room, so having too much gear was annoying and there were zero surfaces to use—the beautiful flowers that we received ended up in vases sitting on the floor under the sink.) Oh and my reading supply—much more limited this time (i.e. I won’t bother bringing a single thing). For my first birth, I had loaded my Kindle with novels and also brought along a few cooking and home magazines. (Apparently, I thought I was going to Cabo and would be bored with my overwhelming amounts of downtime?) I also won’t be making raisin-walnut cake to have in the room. (No visitors or nurses touched my cake—my husband had some and then took the rest home with him. Baking before birth = unnecessary.) And don’t get me started on my iPod birthing playlist. I mean.........Not only did I not notice if there was a docking station in the birthing suite that would accommodate my old-school iPod, I wouldn’t have noticed if there was music playing or not. I was more focused on breathing, pain and what my midwife was saying. What was even on this playlist, I wonder now? Like girl power “Eye of the Tiger” stuff? Or was I just going to shuffle a mix for the medical staff to enjoy? Needless to say, there’s no iPod ready to go this time around.

What I will bring: A water bottle (my hospital only offered piddly rinse-your-mouth-size cups). And Yes to Cucumbers Facial Wipes. (The first day I didn’t feel like getting out of my hospital bed to wash my face but wanted to feel refreshed, so these no-rinse cleansing towels will work a treat.) I have yet to decide what more my grooming may entail but it won’t be much more than moisturizer and oral health. (Oh to be Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and emerge from the hospital looking perfectly coiffed—although to be fair, she had a few more people waiting for her to emerge than I will.)

And I will bring my camera and phone (plus charger!) to take lots and lots of photos, because, other than the precious baby we took home, these first captured moments are the greatest souvenir from my birth experience.

Any tips of what to bring and what to forget at home — what were you thankful you brought and what could you have left behind?

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