I’m in serious countdown mode here. I am done being pregnant. I feel pretty confident this baby is cooked and can come anytime he wishes. SO COME ON BABY. DO YOUR WORST.
(JK, baby! Please don’t do your worst. That happened last time. You can be the easy baby. I won’t mind. At all.)
Anyway, it’s time to pack the hospital bag. Yes, if I learned anything the last go around, it is that ONE hospital bag will do. Unlike this:
That there? Is a first time mom’s packing job. We’ll call it “Packing Your Hospital Bag: 101.” Three different, too-small-to-be-useful bags. And full disclosure? That’s not even the half of it. Cute purse? Check. LV bag? Yup, got it. Special baby tote bag, embroidered with name? You know it. I’ll admit, I was embarrassed to send Kase back to the car to get our things after we checked in. A purse, Kate? Really??? We weren’t on vacation- we were having a kid. And as it turns out, when you are recovering in your room with wristbands that read “FALL RISK” and there are notes on your white board about how you may not leave your bed unattended, and you lose entire hours being passed out, you’ll find you don’t require a whole lot of what you brought with you.
Like, your own clothes, for starters. I’ll tell you. I didn’t need even one pair of those cute pajamas I bought special for the hospital. And I brought three different pairs. THREE. I never even changed gowns. Toiletries? Forget em. Okay, maybe you could use a toothbrush. Yeah, you probably should have used your toothbrush. Visitors would have appreciated that. But the entire baby book? No. Just bring whatever you want them to stamp the baby’s foot on and call it a day. You don’t need the whole book. Despite your best intentions, you probably won’t be journaling. I mean, if you haven’t once “journaled” in your 30 years, the likelihood that you will while experiencing pitocin induced contractions isn’t high. Not trying to be a know it all, but….Trust.
This is not to say I didn’t have time to kill. Oh, did I. I was wide awake while this was happening:
That’s my blanket and my pillow. Oh, yeah. And my husband (i.e. emotional support system.) Don’t let me bother you, honey. Just getting ready to birth a baby over here. You go ahead and rest up.
Maybe this time I’ll bring my hair straightener. Do something worthwhile with my time. So I don’t look such a hot mess. Oooh, and I hope there will be a Real Housewives on, like last time. Oh who am I kidding. Of course there will be.
My point is, I packed all wrong. For instance, I had a whole “homecoming outfit” planned out for Colin. I was going to dress him and swaddle him and I was going to be all Sarah Jessica Parker leaving the hospital looking ah-mazing in my cute sundress and bejeweled sandals and holding my dear sweet child in his Ralph Lauren get up. There would be pictures. I even packed a razor for Kase. We were going to be a FAMILY. It needed to be documented. We were going to look the part.
But let me tell you a little something. I was lucky to get myself showered and presentable before leaving the hospital. During the checkout process I just remember thinking that this nurse better hurry it up, because I would not be sitting on that hard chair for much longer without punching someone in the face or punching myself in the face to put myself out of my misery. We left the hospital with even more crap than we came with. I don’t mean the baby. I mean doughnuts. FOR SITTING ON. And spray bottles. And witch hazel pads. Let that marinate.
So for all my planning and fantasizing, Colin left in the same kimono top they gave him to wear in the nursery. Yes. A used Kimono top from a hospital. Our official family picture is me sitting in a wheelchair (totally necessary and well received) in a badly lit hallway, doing my best impression of a smile, but can only be described as a grimace, with my sweet (unshaved) husband wearing days old clothes (I believe it was a Hanes undershirt and ripped jeans with flip flops) behind me. I believe I had just snapped at him that we didn’t “need a damned picture. let’s just go, please!”
But I will tell you now: I’m bringing the kimono and blanket back to the hospital with me for new baby, too. Yup, even the hospital issued swaddling blanket. So what if the first time around I brought a special monogramed chamois blanket from Pottery Barn Kids with me to the hospital. Or maybe I brought two. Can’t remember. It was in the third bag there, the one labeled “Colin” if anyone bothered to look. That blanket never even touched his sweet little body before we got home. Just a pilled, used and repeatedly laundered hospital issued receiving blanket. But I like that the new baby will be swaddled in the same blanket his big brother lived in for three straight days. I mean, I washed it. It’s fine. Just a little more pilled.
Here it is. Yes. Singular. It’s a duffel bag.
May I present: Packing Your Hospital Bag: 201. This is for the advanced students. Ha.
- Change of clothes for Kase (he will be staying with me at the hospital). PJ Pants. Apparently it’s not comfy to sleep in jeans. THOUGH YOU WOULDN’T KNOW IT (see picture above). No razor though. Maybe some real shoes this go around.
- Makeup bag/toiletries (I did use this last time. My vanity knows no bounds. Especially after seeing those photos of myself with no discernible chin. Once they started fluids, I lost my jawline. Just…poof! Gone. Yikes.)
- PJ’s (a girl can dream)
- Nursing tank tops (comfort over style)/ Yoga pants/ Cozy sweater for wearing home. (I learned last time that US Weekly would not be covering my exit from the hospital. Sadsies.)
- Throw blanket and pillow (I definitely used this. When Kase was finished with it, that is. Also, I had a nice pillowcase on it, which made for a good background in photos. Not planned, but appreciated later. It’s the little things when you lose your jawline. Paisley makes everything better, no?)
- Kindle/ Apple/ chargers/electronic crap
- Outfit for the baby/ hospital blanket (the hospital apparently wants their stuff back. Rude.)
See? I’m gonna keep it simple this time around. No breast pumps (I mean, really who suggested that on TheBump.com?), no Boppy. No baby book. One set of PJs will do. If I even get to change into them before I’m discharged, I’ll consider this go around a success. Hell, if I get to shower or do anything bathroom related unattended before my last day I’ll consider the whole thing a raging success.
So, thoughts? You think I’m missing anything obvious? Do tell…….
PS- Do check out your hospital’s website for more direction if you are confused about what to bring. My hospital provides pretty much everything I could possibly need during my stay, so I can simplify this time around.