Monday, January 30, 2012

The Hospital Bag Revisited

Hey friends!  Hope everyone had a great Monday.  Things are going well in the Baum household so far, except for the fact that I'm fairly sure my child has her nights and days confused.  She kept me up all. night. last night, to the point where I did two things I didn't want to do: let her sleep in our room for a little bit (I wanted her in her nursery from day one if I could stand it, which is harder than it sounds - more on that later) and gave her a paci (more on breast feeding/why I didn't want to do this so soon later as well).  My mother-in-law is here for a few days and has been so helpful, so if it happens again tonight I will definitely be taking her up on her offer to help out so I can get some rest.  I honestly got no sleep last night, and it is amazing how after two 2-hour naps today I feel like a different person.  Sure does make me miss my pregnancy routine of going to bed between 9:00 - 10:00 p.m. and sleeping until 8:00 a.m.  :-)

I have gotten requests from quite a few of you for a follow up to my hospital bag post, which I wanted to do but had already forgotten about (so. tired.), so I figure while Lilly is being snuggled and loved on by Grandma Suzie, I'll update you all.  I got lots of excellent advice on this from all of you, but that combined with the fact that I am a severe overpacker anyway literally made it look like we were going on a long weekend getaway rather than to the hospital, ha!  I won't cover every single thing, but I'll hit the high points below.

Things I am 100% glad I took and couldn't have lived without:
  • Suckers.  I picked a good time to be close to delivery, because all of the Valentine's candy was out so there was quite a variety of suckers to choose from.  You're not allowed to eat once you've checked into the hospital, and in fact you are supposed to be careful about what you eat before you're admitted because a lot of people get violently ill.  You are allowed clear liquids and frozen popsicles, both of which I took full advantage of (we may or may not have cleaned out their supply since I couldn't eat from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.), but it was a nice change to have suckers as well to take my mind off of my hunger.  I would highly recommend Watermelon Jolly Rancher suckers - not as good as pizza, but pretty dang close.  :-)
  • A pillow from home.  I didn't use this during labor, obviously, but used it for the remainder of my stay.  Hospital pillows are not the most comfortable, so I took a pillow from home based on someone's advice and was so glad I did.  Another important piece of advice was to put a different pillow case on it - anything other than white.  When they are ready for you to go home they kick you out pretty quickly, so the idea is that you won't forget your pillow if it doesn't blend in with the white linens that the hospital uses.
  • Chapstick.  Oh, chapstick.  My lips were SO. DRY. and I think I probably used a whole tube of chapstick during the 12 hours of labor alone.
  • Extra clothes/a blanket for Dad.  We had a terrible time regulating the temperature in our room to begin with, and that combined with the fact that I was a hormonal, sweaty mess made both the delivery room and our after-delivery room extra cold for Dan.  We even asked for extra blankets for him the first night, but he still froze, so the next day my parents brought a blanket from home and he was much more comfortable for the rest of our stay.
  • DVDs.  It is nice to have something to occupy the time spent waiting and keep your mind off of things.  We tried to pick really cutesy/funny ones.  As labor progressed, we didn't pay as much attention to it, but for around the first half of the day it took our minds off of things and it was nice to have something to do.
  • iPod/music.  Although I didn't get to make a playlist like I'd planned, we listened to Pandora on the iPad for most of the day, and it was very soothing.
  • Toiletries from home (Including makeup if you are vain like me and want to look nice for pictures.  I didn't end up wearing a lot, but just freshening up made me feel a lot better.).  The hospital will provide you with some, but there was just something really nice about having my own stuff there - and besides, the hospital stuff kind of stinks anyway.  It was nice to be able to use my things and really helped me to feel like a human. 
  • In conjunction with the last one, shower shoes.  I know they clean the and sanitize vigorously every day - I witnessed it - but I am weird about my feet touching spaces other than those in my own house, so I liked having shower shoes.
  • Camera.  No explanation needed.
  • Pad and pen to write down gifts.  We had quite a few visitors who brought us wonderful gifts or sent flowers, and I never would have remembered all of it had I not written it down immediately.  I am a stickler for thank you notes, so this will come in handy when I am a little more rested and get back to thank you note writing.
  • My Breast Friend pillow (if you're planning to breast feed of course).  Lilly hated it at first, but I think it's because we both had to get the hang of it.  Either way, it was nice to practice with it since it's mostly what I've been using since I got home, and was much better than just stacking the hospital pillows up, which is what we were doing at first.
  • Chargers for phone, camera, laptop, iPad, etc. - no explanation needed, I don't think.  :-)
There may be more that I'll think of later, but those items listed above are the things that I'm so glad we took and will definitely be taking next time around (I just realized that I have already referred to my next pregnancy a couple of times over the past few days.  PLEASE do not read into that (Mom, wink!), as it will not be any time soon, y'all know I'm just a planner and like to think ahead.).  Now, to all of the crap I took that I didn't use.

Things I could have lived without/didn't need:
  • Clothes.  I took several pairs of pajama pants, nursing tops, loungewear, socks, slippers, a nursing bra, and panties, and I took enough to have several days worth of outfit changes in case something happened and I had to have a c-section (the hospital stay is much longer with c-sections, and my doctors seemed to be worried that we may have to take that route because they kept bringing it up).  I literally did not use one single item of clothing that I brought from home.  I took it all because I thought it would make me feel more comfortable, and honestly it is a good thought and may be beneficial to some people, but I personally did not use one thing that I brought.  This was mostly due to two things: (1) the fact that there was so. much. blood. (sorry guys!) and (2) comfort.  I ended up staying in the hospital gown and hospital socks for my entire stay - never even put on a bra.  My breast milk didn't come in until after I got home, anyway, so there was no leaking or anything like that to worry about.  I guess if you are superwoman and your milk comes in ASAP, the nursing bra could come in handy, but I didn't use mine (same goes for nursing pads) until I got home (I would still take one since you do have to wear something home, but I meant to say I didn't use it at all during my stay other than when we were leaving).  As far as panties, they give you these mesh ones that are not sexy AT ALL but they are a serious godsend, and not only are they really comfortable and light on your lady parts, but they keep you from ruining your own undergarments.
  • Pretty much everything I took for baby's bag - changes of clothes, socks, diapers, receiving blankets, etc.  The only thing we used from Lilly's bag were hats.  Babies can't regulate their own body temperature, so it is important for them to have a hat on.  The hospital gives them hats, and in fact in our case there are some ladies that knit hats and donate them and they are super cute, but we found that a lot of those were too big for her little head.  Plus, since we weren't changing her outfit, the hats were a nice "cute factor."  She literally stayed in the hospital onesie and socks and was swaddled the entire time we were there - she was either being held or sleeping in her bassinet so it didn't make sense to change her a ton.  Also, the hospital has anything you could possibly need to care for her, and you pay for it anyway, so we didn't need any of the "extra" stuff we took.  Next time around, I'll be taking a going home outfit and some hats, the end.  It may be a good idea, though, to choose a going home outfit in several different sizes (i.e. a newborn size and a 3 month size), because you never know how big baby will be.  I didn't buy a ton of newborn stuff because I figured she'd grow out of it all quickly, but as of right now newborn stuff is still too big for her (her going home outfit was 3M and that's why it swallowed her whole), but I wouldn't take too much outside of that.
  • Snacks for Dan.  I actually did not get around to even packing any of these, even though it was an excellent suggestion.  At least in our case, several people brought us things, and also our hospital had a little lounge on the maternity floor which had all kinds of snacks, juice, drinks, coffee, etc. so if we were hungry between meals Dan just went and raided their supply.  I'd check with your hospital to see if they have anything like that first, but we didn't need anything we would have packed.
I think that hits the highlights for what I didn't use, which was a lot.  One other unrelated item that I wanted to touch on was the supplies from the hospital.  Quite a few people advised me to clean out my room on a regular basis, and I am SO glad they did because I honestly never would have thought of it.  We took this advice to heart and literally cleaned house in that room - there was not one thing left in there by the time we left.  There were a lot of things for personal care for me after delivery that I knew I didn't have at home and made me a lot more comfortable (ice packs, soothies for nipples, heavy duty maxi pads that I like way more than anything I've found in stores, numbing spray, flushable wipes, mesh panties, etc.).  There were also quite a few things in the baby's bassinet - mainly diapers, wipes, nasal aspirator, swaddling blankets - that we cleaned out every few hours and have been using ever since we got home. I am telling y'all, we had this down to a science.  We knew when the nurse shifts were changing, and also you have both a nurse and a tech assigned to you, so we played them all - every time someone new came in, we made sure we'd cleaned out what we had and squirreled it away in the suitcase and then told them we were running low and they immediately replenished for us.  You pay for all of the stuff anyway, so we figured why not, and it has all been a godsend at home.  I even made Dan take the water pitcher that they left by the bed - I've had to stay extra hydrated while nursing and it's been nice to have it on the table beside where I sit all day so I don't have to get up for a refill every five seconds.  We are still using all of the diapers and wipes we took for Lilly (you go through a LOT of them, so this was a nice bonus), and I am still using all of my supplies as well (again: so. much. blood.).  I even took stacks of the changing pad looking things that they give you to sleep on so you won't ruin your linens, and have been using them (on top of a towel just in case) wherever I'm sitting at home so as not to ruin our furniture.  The mesh panties have been KEY, I am almost out and I'm really depressed about it.  And the pads are the best ever - I HATE pads and have never liked wearing them, but you don't have a choice, and the hospital ones are both more heavy duty and a lot more comfortable than the ones we've bought at the store.  We brought home four packages of them, and even though we've only been home since Friday I've already gone through almost all of them, so I ordered more on Amazon. They only come in a package of 200, but I don't think I'll have any problem going through them as I've been told the bleeding will continue for around 6 weeks.  Sorry if some of the above was TMI!

Okay, this one got away from me again and was super long, but I wanted to make sure I got everything in for those of you Moms-to-be who are reading (and those of you who aren't Moms-to-be but know people that are).  Keep the questions coming, I'm happy to answer them - the point of this blog is not only to document for myself, but to (hopefully) help other people!  When i started this whole process, I wanted a blog that would tell me what to expect that people don't tell you, give me advice, etc. and couldn't find one that I totally loved and fit what I was looking for, so that's what I'm hoping I've created here for some of you.

More to come this week, hopefully!  Here's your daily dose of Lilly (don't expect this to stop any time soon, I have taken more pictures in the past week than I have in years - I can't get enough!).  Today they are Lilly and Layla themed.  :-)

Please excuse the "hot mess" factor of my look.  Looking pretty is basically last on my list of priorities these days, sorry Dan!


Sarah

5 comments:

  1. Sarah, I am so proud of you!! Reading about Lilly's birth is incredible, you were so strong and brave, go you!!

    It sounds like you are adjusting well to being at home. I am following closely - and I love the pictures of little Lilly, I can't believe how teeny tiny she is!

    And for the record - you look beautiful! Motherhood suits you!

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  2. Oh HEAVENS that is sweet! So Layla does know that her sister exists. Let me know when you want some family photos done and I will come over and snap away. :)

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  3. Thanks for posting! Totally bookmarking this for when I'm packing my own bag in a few months.

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  4. Oh, this was super helpful! Thank you. I am expecting my first in a month-ish. Thanks!!

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