Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You Probably Don't Care, But...

I was just thinking today that I should probably get a bag ready for my trip to the hospital. I think the packing lists they give you (who is "they" anyway?), while offering a few good suggestions, are pretty funny and mostly impractical. (A bathrobe & nightgown? Massage oils? This isn't exactly a trip to the spa...) Here's what I think is a good packing list:

  • Warm socks. It seems like they keep those hospital rooms much too cold, and my feet are the first thing to feel it.
  • A travel-sized game in case labor lasts a long time.
  • Some favorite snacks. Every time I have had a baby, without fail, I am famished and starving for the next 24 hours straight. (maybe it's all that extra room in my midsection?) Although there is some magical snack room where the nurses can retrieve me a sandwich, yogurt, cookies/crackers or pudding whenever I ask for one, it's nice to have my own treats and not have to ask for something every hour.
  • Some cash. At our hospital there is a "snack bar" downstairs. If labor is long, Allen can go get something to eat there. If I want a yummy milkshake after delivery, I can have someone go get me one at the snack bar. Or a donut. Or whatever.
  • A good, long book. I don't enjoy visitors while I'm at the hospital unless it is my husband or kids (I'm not exactly looking/feeling my best) so I like to have a good book to read.
  • My OWN pillow(s). I hate hospital beds. They are covered with plastic and uncomfortable, and the pillows there are flat as can be. Having my own pillow makes it a little more comfortable and a little less irritating when a nurse comes in to check on whatever at 3:00 a.m. then reminds me that I should try to sleep.
  • A camera/video camera. No explanation needed.
  • A toothbrush, brush and rubberband. I personally do not enjoy showering at the hospital. With a nurse coming in to check on whatever every other minute, I don't need them checking on me in the shower.
  • Maternity clothes to wear home. When I had my first baby, I assumed I would fit into my regular non-pregnant clothes after he was born. That's something I wish someone would have filled me in on. I ended up wearing home the same clothes I had arrived in. And don't forget a nursing bra!
  • 2 outifts to bring baby home in. I only brought one once, and she had a diaper explosion. Better safe than sorry. And don't be surprised when baby is too small to fit in a 'newborn' outfit. I know the clothes look small, but even my 9 pounders didn't fill them in. Preemie outfits work nicely, but don't last for too long after they come home. Just something to think about.
  • A baby blanket for the ride home.
Now if I actually get around to packing today, I'll be ready. Did I forget anything?

13 comments:

Rebecca said...

Don't forget a cell phone or long-distance prepaid card, to call me as soon as you have something to report! :)

Also, judging by your past experiences, maybe CAMERA should go at the top of your list, instead of somewhere in the middle.

I like to bring a journal and pen, too. There's usually some quiet time in the evening when I like to write down what's still fresh in my mind about the day's experiences.

michael said...

Here, he is sharing his experience in hospital. Generally in hospital beds here, he is sharing his experience in hospital. Generally in hospital beds, pillow and the environment will be not comfortable. And the environment will be not comfortable.

Cami said...

AMEN! Those packing lists are a joke, at least to me, anyways. Your packing list sounds a lot more like my own.

For myself, I also add: my own prescription medication (since I can get it for cost from my resident "drug dealer.")

I also would vote to add a good movie and my hubby's laptop. Since I can't sleep very well in the hospital, and there's nothing worth watching on T.V. at 2 a.m. in the morning.

Gerb said...

Rebecca-
Cell phone, check.
Camera, check.
Journal, check.
Thanks.

Michael-
Um, what?

Cami-
Movie and laptop - good ideas. Hospital T.V. stinks 24/7 from what I remember. I love the "quiet" time to read a good book, though.

Robert and Trish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trish said...

And don't plan on getting any decent sleep either.
What does a woman need most after giving birth? Sleep. You'd think being in the hospital minus the rest of your kids, you'd catch a minute or two of good sound shut eye. Nope! It's a conspiracy, I tell ya!!

~j. said...

I was just thinking this same thing today (or yesterday -- it's 2:30 a.m.; ask me if I actually got a bag ready). I'm with you on the maternity clothes to wear home, and the two baby outfits (last time the one I had brought was too small for the baby). I use the laboring time to write in my kids' journals, although this time my kids will be with me, so I think our list will include books and flashcards.

I will also be bringing along this little container I have of bath salts, of which I love the smell. For the past few months, any time I've needed a quick break (often), I go up to my bathroom and take a big whiff of these bath salts and it calms me right down, so I though I should have this during labor.

Pam said...

Good planning! James was 2 weeks early and we had nothing packed and hadn't washed any baby clothes.

Gene's parents brought me some stuff from home and a dear girlfriend brought her son's baby clothes so James would have something to wear home.

Gerb said...

Trish-
AMEN! And people wonder why I don't like to stay beyond 24 hours. Get me home where I can SLEEP without being poked and prodded!

~j-
I still haven't packed, either. I know I should, but there is so much else to do! By the way, we need to meet sometime.

Pam-
I know Allen could just bring stuff from home, but it makes me feel better to pack it myself. Then I know what's there and where it is! Sounds like you had a good support group, though!

Chelle! said...

I know that if you call a certain friend when you have your baby...she will bring a treat to the hospital for the new mommy!! HINT HINT!!!

annette said...

Tell the nurse you have 8 other kids at home and you do not want to be disturbed. This is what I did (insert #5 for #8), and I was miraculously(sp?)left undisturbed from midnight to 6am.

I find I'm starving too. I think labor burns calories galore.

Teachinfourth said...

Maybe an iPod? You know, something with a few audio books unless you don't feel like reading or some nice music to tune everything out?

I would say a diskman would probably work too, however, a "walkman" probably isn't made anymore...unless you venture over to DI to pick one up...and maybe an 8-track player while you're at it with Abba's greatest hits...

Gerb said...

chelle-
OK, maybe ONE person can come visit me at the hospital. Just don't laugh at my hair.

annette-
Good advice, I'll try it. Not like I ever plan on a good night's sleep while there, but you never know!

teachn4th-
ipod! Good idea. Which of my kids love me enough to give theirs up for a couple days? The only problem I can foresee is that I love to sing along, and that may scare the nurses. Hey, wait...maybe that's a good thing!