What I packed in my hospital bag

Well, that was a surprise! (A C-section, that is)

I planned for the good ol’ fashioned delivery and came out with a beautiful 7 lb. 13 oz. baby boy and a new permanent scar on my body and absolutely no abdominal muscles. LOL! How everything can change in the blink of an eye!

I suppose you could say I mourned a bit for how it all went down, but then turned my frown upside down and became immensely grateful. My doctor did what was best for both myself and Dallas. My wallet, on the other hand, wasted a few precious pennies purchasing items I thought I would need but didn’t. If this happens to you, give them to friends who need them or consider donating to a woman’s shelter.

And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll pack like you’re going on a two week vacation! The nurses laughed at us when we checked in because I brought our largest rolling suitcase. I knew Logan would be carrying everything, so why ask him to carry multiple bags + the carseat when I could just pack it all in a roller? Everyone talks about a “hospital bag”, but I’ll reveal what was in our suitcase!

Some tips:

  • Both of you should bring your own pillows and blankets from home. It will make your room feel more like yours. Your husband should pack extra layers since you are the controller of the temperature in the room! (Both emotionally and physically, lol!)
  • Bring a robe and slippers if that’s your vibe. Bring comfy PJs too if you’d like. You honestly really don’t need clothes for yourself except to go home in because, you know, public nudity isn’t really a thing. I packed a lot of “athleisure” and didn’t use any of it. I just lived in my robe and the cloth underwear the nurses gave me and was living my best life. (; If the nurses don’t initiate it, ask for the wrap that goes around your stomach. LIVE IN THAT THING. It sucks your belly in and acts as your core after the trauma of birthing a babe!
  • Don’t pack a lot of outfits for the baby. Of course, get whatever you want for their “announcement picture” and their monumental “going home” outfit, but other than that, they’ll be fine if you don’t bring them anything. It’s up to you! Although I will say…if this is your first baby, it doesn’t hurt to practice dressing them in the hospital, maybe in some comfy flannel PJs. You will think they are SO fragile and SO dainty, so I think it would help you feel more comfortable if both you & your husband changed them.
  • If your husband gets any paternity leave or PTO, do not start it in the hospital!!! We made this mistake and were in the hospital Monday-Friday since my labor took so long & we had an unexpected C-section. So, by the time we got home, my husband only had one week left until he went back to work. We had family with us at that time so in an ideal world, it would’ve been great if he had time off when no family was here! To each their own, but I think you both will find that you have a lot of down time in the hospital. Both of your worlds have just been rocked, and it may help your husband to feel a bit more grounded if he has work to focus on during those moments. (:
  • Pack a dress to go home in if you have a C-section! Thank goodness I did this, even though in my mind I thought, “I’ll never have a C-section!” I randomly saw this on some forum and thought it was such good advice. I’d also pack some comfy baggy sweatpants if you don’t have a C-section. I’ll just say this: granny panties. You’ll thank me later.
  • Take a shower before you go home and do your hair & makeup (if that’s your thing). I found it funny that no nurse of mine ever asked if I wanted to take a shower. Maybe it’s considered rude to ask? Maybe it affects a new mom’s already fragile mental health?? Like, “We know your body has just been torn apart and you haven’t really slept and your husband is complaining because he doesn’t have a real bed and you still can’t drink wine because you’re in the hospital and you haven’t had the best food and your boobs feel like volcanic rock and you have a new human that you’re absolutely obsessed with but TERRIFIED of, but…do you think you could make yourself not smell anymore?” I was kind of mortified of how I looked by the last day. After all, I’d been through a major surgery and life change! To be honest, I hadn’t even thought of taking care of myself. I was so exhausted and just spent time in the bed nursing Dallas! Lol! Especially if you have a C-section, your body is going to be so tender and you’ll still be coming off of some strong sh*t medicinally wise, so I would seek help from a nurse in showering. I was able to do it by myself, but needed my sweet nurse to help dry me off. Like a toddler. It was so sweet yet so sad – lol! Take the help before you’re home on your own!
  • Bring snacks for both you and your husband. Bring a large phone charger that can carry over to your hospital bed. If you’re a reader, bring a book! You may get tired of watching tv or updating everyone on your phone, and you DO have down time. I felt guilty for thinking I’d bring a book to read, so I left mine at home. But really, take care of yourself. If you want to read or do another activity that makes you feel like yourself, do it!
  • If you want to bring nurses gifts, they’ll love it! We brought pens, Starbucks gift cards, candy, lip balm, and socks. Guess what went first. (; We had so. many. nurses. So, each time they’d come in we’d say, “Don’t forget to take something from the goody bag!” They really appreciated it.
  • Last but not least, rest. The nurses will take the baby to the nursery and I don’t want you to feel guilty about not keeping him/her in your room all the time. You’re about to get them 24/7. Let the nurses care for them and they’ll bring them to you when they’re good and ready. I kid you not, it was like Christmas morning every time they brought Dallas in for me to nurse. Let yourself rest and get geared up for the next feed!

Linking everything I found helpful here. If you’re a mom, tell us in the comments what you loved and couldn’t live without in the hospital, or some things you could’ve done without packing! Happy delivery! Trust your doctors/midwives and breathe. This is about to be the best day of your life (coming from a former bridezilla)!

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