My Bags Are Packed, I’m Ready to Go…

Cause I’m leavin’, on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…

Oh wait, wrong song.

I got confused for a moment because that is how I’ve felt this past week as I’ve packed my bags for the hospital.  It feels kind of like I’m getting ready for a trip, although it will be a trip unlike one I’ve ever known.  I’ve tried to get ready as best as I can – I’ve read half a dozen articles on what to bring to the hospital so I consider myself fairly well prepared.  I’ve been putting the bag together slowly and last night I ran through the final checklist:

outside bag

Lets see, there’s one cute bag that can double as a diaper bag after the baby is born.  Check.

inside bag

The fact that it is filled to the brim is just a bonus.

toiletries

Toiletries which include makeup, vitamins, toothbrush and paste, moisturizer, q-tips, and lots and lots of chapstick (I hear the old lips get very chapped during labor)?  Check. Check.

lanolin

Don’t worry – I didn’t forget the most important moisturizer – the nursing cream.  I will be hating life if I don’t have a tube on hand, or so I’ve been told.

clothes

I made sure to pack a gown which can be used for nursing (who cares if it looks like something worn on Little House and the Prairie?), a robe to keep me warm as I trudge up and down the halls during early labor, socks to keep my toes toasty, and slippers to keep my feet from touching the bare hospital floor.  And did I mention the grannie underwear?  I bought three sizes too big just in case.

flip flops

Oh – can’t forget the shower shoes.

going home clothes

I’ve been told to pack some “normal” clothes for when I go home.  Of course normal these days is not what it was a few months ago, so I packed my daily staple of drawstring sweat pants and a baggie shirt (at least I hope it’s baggie after giving birth).

baby 411

I also read somewhere that it’s a good idea to have reading material so I packed Baby 411 so that I can hurry and cram in as much baby info as I possibly can.

birth plans

I have four copies of my birth plan to hand out to the various attendees so that they know my do’s and dont’s.

twizzlers

And I have a fiction book for any down time I may have, as well as a one pound bag of Twizzlers simply because I’ve been craving them and fully plan on chowing down after the baby is born.

pops

Then there are the ice pops to put in the freezer so that I have something to eat during labor other than plain ice chips.

Let’s see, am I forgetting anything?

Ah yes… the most important part.  Clothes for our little boy.  I mean he can’t come home wearing a hospital blanket, now can he?

baby clothes

I packed a couple of outfits since I have absolutely no idea how big he’ll actually be.

baby clothes 2

I was sure to include hats to keep his head warm, mittens to keep him from scratching himself, and socks to cover up his tiny little toes.

I think I’m just about set.  My other bag will be full of camera equipment, video recording devices, and battery chargers.

Oh – I almost forgot, a gift bag for the nurses.

gift bag

I read somewhere that you’ll want to bring something for the nursing and doctor staff since they’ll be the ones who will be taking care of you during this time.  I’m not sure what this should include, so I just put together  a bag of goodies for the nurses to munch on.  I hear that chocolate can go a long way and I figure I’ll take all the help I can get.

bags

That’s pretty much it.  The bags are packed and ready to go.  I even have my checklist sitting on top so that we can be sure we haven’t forgotten anything.  It’s kind-of a lot of stuff but considering this is new to me, I want to be as prepared as possible.

Is there anything I left out?  What did you pack in your bag?

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Kristy - February 1, 2010 - 5:54 am

I found that I didn’t use a lot of things from my bags. I did take early (24 hour) discharges with my first and third babies, so I wasn’t there too long. Clothes, camera, and toiletries are the biggies, beyond that you can wing it. We did take a lap top this last time so we could post the birth on Facebook. :) Yay for W-fi!

Best wishes Tabitha!
.-= Kristy´s last blog ..Health =-.

Kate - February 1, 2010 - 6:23 am

Whoa, I’m definitely tagging this post for when I need to pack this same bag in August! You are so prepared and organized… now you can just relax and have your beautiful baby boy!
.-= Kate´s last blog ..She Says… My, How You’ve Grown =-.

Heather @critter chronicles - February 1, 2010 - 6:27 am

WOW you’re prepared! I just finished a Greg Iles book a couple days ago, but not that one. :-) I didn’t end up using much from my bags, either, even though I was in the hospital for 3 days postpartum with each of mine (complications with the babies, not me). My essential list included a big book, my camera, basic toiletries, and my own pillow (with a brightly colored pillowcase to keep it from getting mixed up with hospital linens). I just wore my maternity clothes home because those were the ones that still fit.

Good call on the Twizzlers – after both my deliveries I wanted juice in a bad way. I even made my husband buy a fresh pineapple, peel and core it and bring it to the hospital for me after my daughter was born (in Germany in November, so it wasn’t easy to come by).

Good luck – can’t wait to see pictures!
.-= Heather @critter chronicles´s last blog ..Torn =-.

Joanna - February 1, 2010 - 6:43 am

WOW! That’s amazing!

I went into labor 2 weeks early with my first and didn’t have my bag packed. In fact, if my in-laws hadn’t been visiting and followed us to the hospital with our camera, there’d be no pictures of her grand entrance (well, just after … didn’t need any pictoral evidence of the ACTUAL arrival).

But I was in active labor by the time I arrived and sprinted through the stages so no walking up and down the halls for me. After I just wore the hospital gown because you are leaking all sorts of strange fluids and I didn’t want to get my gown dirty.

I would suggest an old, warm pair of socks that you don’t mind just throwing away for during labor. There’s the possibility they might get lost or end up with a lot of gunk on them that you don’t feel like dealing with.

Good call on the grannie panties. These are your friends. Also, your hospital might provide them, but I suggest large pads. Like, the overnight kind. One dirty secret of pregnancy is that you don’t really get to skip nine periods … your body just saves them up and presents them to you in the week after the baby is born.

Love the idea of a gift bag for the nurses. Super smart!!

Looks like you’re ready! I’ve been praying for a healthy, safe, easy and fast labor for you. Can’t wait to “meet” your little one!!
.-= Joanna´s last blog ..Things Kids Say … =-.

Carolina Baker - February 1, 2010 - 7:09 am

Best of luck, you look mighty prepared to me.

:)
.-= Carolina Baker´s last blog ..Kicking Butt is Allowed =-.

Jenna @ Newlyweds - February 1, 2010 - 7:22 am

Be sure to bring a camera, of course. I think your good, unless your there for several days be sure to have shampoo and conditioner, etc. Don’t worry about the robe, I loved mine and it was the ugliest but most comfortable thing ever.

I am so excited for you!! Good luck and I hope everything goes smoothly and quick and easy. Can’t wait to see pictures!
.-= Jenna @ Newlyweds´s last blog ..Giveaway, Carrot Pineapple Cake, and Xagave, oh my! =-.

joy - February 1, 2010 - 7:41 am

Great preparation! I totally agree on bringing your own pads (get the biggest one available – overnights I think) just because they are more comfortable. Also, this is a pain but here bringing your own towels for shower is advised since the hospital ones tend to be scratchy and thin. Hard candies are also good to suck on besides having ice pops. Music might be helpful to relax you during labor as well (check if the hospital has a CD player in the room). Good luck, relax and enjoy the birth!

Mindee@ourfrontdoor - February 1, 2010 - 8:18 am

I think you’ve got it covered. I’m sure the CPA has the car seat all ready to go. :) Just hurry up and use this stuff would you!
.-= Mindee@ourfrontdoor´s last blog ..Confessions Of A Middle Aged Married Couple =-.

sparkly jules - February 1, 2010 - 9:46 am

Wow, you are totally organized!! You should come to my house and help me org…..nevermind. ;^D You’ll be busy.

I’m so glad your baby is going to be born in February!! That’s when my nieces were born. So I’m partial.

Thinking good thoughts for you!

Take a pillow for the CPA in case it’s a long labor–he might want to get some sleep. (I was the labor & del coach for my aunt when the father bailed, so I’ve done this before, as an observer.)

You’ll rock!!! Hugs,

Jules
.-= sparkly jules´s last blog ..‘Cause I’m Proud of Him =-.

Briony - February 1, 2010 - 10:20 am

i’m so excited for you. my best friend just had a baby last month and one of my other best friends is getting ready to have hers any day now…such an overwhelming anticipation :)

praying for a speedy and healthy delivery!
.-= Briony´s last blog ..The Blues in Black and White =-.

Jenny - February 1, 2010 - 10:41 am

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already time for you to give birth! It doesn’t seem that long ago when I first came across your blog because you were posting about TTC!

It looks to me like you’re really prepared! I suppose if you really forget something then the CPA could run home and get it! Don’t forget the car seat!!! You’ll need to get the little guy home!

Can’t wait to hear the news that he’s here!
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..Flashback Friday — Otis’ homecoming =-.

Catherine - February 1, 2010 - 10:59 am

Good luck Tabitha!! How very exciting for you. Just a tip from when my best friend had her fist baby is to bring overnight maxi pads unwrap them, put a little water on them and pop them in the freezer and wear them after you give birth. She said these were a lifesaver for her and it lessened the pain. She also brought her own pillow and a favorite blanket.

Amber - February 1, 2010 - 10:59 am

Great work, Tabitha! I think you’ve covered all your bases. Baby 411 was hands down, the best baby book I read. And believe me, I read a LOT of books! This was the most helpful.
I took my own bath and body works hand soap to stick in my bathroom. It was a luxury, but a nice one. And it made my room smell nice – since I was using the bathroom a lot. And I had to stay several days, so it was just one more thing to make me comfortable.
God bless you during this exciting time! I’m almost jealous and wishing I was doing it again… but that thought doesn’t last long. I hope the Lord is giving me a little more time for round 2.
.-= Amber´s last blog .. =-.

Courtney, Jer.33:3 - February 1, 2010 - 11:00 am

Thanks for the ideas! I’ve started packing mine, but still have a few things to purchase ( nursing cream, gown that can be worn while nursing, etc. ). Can’t wait to see pics of your little boy! :)
.-= Courtney, Jer.33:3´s last blog ..34 Days To Go =-.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com - February 1, 2010 - 12:58 pm

I found that I used almost nothing from my duffel – but that’s because my labor was very fast. I didn’t have time to put my ice pops in the freezer, much less nibble on them lol.

The only other thing I can think of that you might want to consider would be some gel soothies. Lanolin is great, but if you’re still in alot of pain, gel soothies (like Playtex Gel Pads, available at Target, or Medela Hydrogels, available at Babies R Us) can go a long way. I hear that cabbage leaves are a good substitute, but they didn’t really work as well for me. A lactation consultant suggested them to me and I honestly wish someone had told me earlier. Since I was in so much pain, I caved and gave Charlotte formula once her first night. Sometimes I wonder if I’d known about the soothies if it would have been different. Not that there’s anything wrong with formula, but it was important to me to nurse and I beat myself up about it for a month, convinced that I’d somehow compromised her chance at a good start lol.

Postpartum hormones are so weird.

Anyway, that’s it, now just sit back and relax until the big day! All that’s left is delivering your sweet boy! YAY!
.-= Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com´s last blog ..Here. =-.

Sandy Naidu - February 1, 2010 - 3:35 pm

Good luck – exciting time for you. Looks like you are all set to go – Btw I love the color of your bag…

April - February 1, 2010 - 4:38 pm

Add me to the list of those who packed a lot and used almost none of it! Definitely some old socks will get lots of use though. Do they have your birthing room stocked with stuff like those exercise balls to sit on? If not, I’d bring one. It was the single most comfortable place for me to sit in the early stages of labor, so long as you don’t need to be on a bunch of monitoring equipment.

Enjoy Baby 411–awesome book and so much less intimidating than the ‘What to Expect…’ books. When the time comes, pick up Toddler 411 as well!

Melody C - February 1, 2010 - 4:46 pm

How exciting and probably nerve wracking at the same time. But yes, you certainly look well organized and have lots of great advice coming from your readers!!!

I can’t wait to see the “after” pictures!! May it be a quick and fairly painless process getting there!

Windy Kay - February 1, 2010 - 7:41 pm

Hi Tabitha, Congrats on the upcoming birth of your little baby boy You definitely should have thank you notes,for any gifts you will receive while in the hospital. I wrote notes as soon as I could, and it makes life a whole lot easier once you get home with the baby. Take care and will be thinking of you and your husband.

Kristen W. - February 1, 2010 - 9:26 pm

Best of luck! Love your blog!

Karen T. - February 1, 2010 - 9:30 pm

Hi Tabitha,
You are so prepared! Definitely second the advice on the gel soothies–they are an absolute lifesaver for a new nursing mom. I’m not sure what size clothes you packed for your little guy but make sure you pack at least one outfit that is specifically sized “newborn”. I didn’t know to do that with my first son and he was only 5 1/2 lbs by the time we left the hospital–needless to say, none of the 0-3 month clothes I packed fit him. Good luck to you and your hubby, I hope you have a beautiful, peaceful and joyful birth. Your family is just beginning…

LaDonna - February 2, 2010 - 5:53 am

Yea! You look like you are ready to go. I remember packing a suitcase and people laughing at me for all the stuff I was taking but I wanted to be comfortable and that’s all that mattered.

I would suggest freezing the popcicles if you haven’t already done so. That way they’ll be ready to go right when you need them. I just sat a note on top of my bags to remind me not to forget them. Do you own a nursing pillow? If so I suggest bringing it. Having my boppy made it so much easier to nurse. Nursing pads would be helpful in case your milk comes in while you are at the hospital. I also brought some massage oil so that my hubby could rub my lower back while I was having contractions. Not only did it feel good but it made the room smell like a spa. I also brought a cd player and played my favorite relaxing music. It was great to listen to after the baby was born because it helped drown out the cries of other pregnant women. Every time the nurses walked in they made comments about how they thought they were at a spa.

Good luck!

Eryn - February 2, 2010 - 8:15 am

You are well-prepared! :)
.-= Eryn´s last blog ..The most beautiful wedding I have ever seen. =-.

Eryn - February 2, 2010 - 8:16 am

Actually, on second thought, don’t bring the book–any downtime should be spend sleeping!!!!!!!!!!!!!
.-= Eryn´s last blog ..The most beautiful wedding I have ever seen. =-.

Mom of 5 - February 2, 2010 - 9:22 am

Looks like you’ve got everything all set. You’re always so well prepared and I’m go glad it’s almost time for the little guy to arrive. You included all the things you will need and some of the suggestions from others sound really great to include too.

Can’t wait to be there with you and look forward to getting you the ice, pops to suck on, lotion to rub your back and legs, walking with you up and down the halls and anything else you may need from your Mom. It’s such an exciting time having your first child and one you’ll always treasure.

I do suggest a small notebook to write down your feelings and particulars you want to include in the little guys babybook. You think you won’t forget any details of his birth but trust me, you just don’t remember every specific detail. And having pen and paper ready to write down your feelings as you’re experiencing this is the best ever.

See you in a couple of days and can’t wait to celebrate your little guys birthday – it’s going to be a wonderful day for you and the CPA!!! Love you, M

Army Mom - February 2, 2010 - 9:45 am

Oh, boy! Are you ever SO right! You are indeed going on a trip – and what a trip it will be for the rest of your life!

Enjoy every minute…

Best to you always!

Kristen Bieber - February 2, 2010 - 11:42 am

Both times I felt it was time to pack my bags I went in to labor soon after! Good Luck!

Linda - February 2, 2010 - 3:25 pm

I’m so excited for you!! I don’t comment often but check on your blog most days to see how things are going for you. I LOVE the Twizzlers, because I too had cravings for them when I was pregnant. I ate an entire package that size in on sitting while at the movies. Can’t wait to hear all about everything!!!

SRT - February 2, 2010 - 6:03 pm

Awesome list and execution of the list! I love making lists too so this really appeals to me (http://ughsome.blogspot.com/2009/05/world-is-not-necessarily-kind-place-to.html).
Choc for the staff who help you is a really thoughtful idea too.
All the best!!
.-= SRT´s last blog ..Lazy spud supper =-.

John von Cannon - February 2, 2010 - 8:04 pm

Sweetie–I know you and Evan are ready!! We as grandparents are too!! We are very excited as the time draws near!! We are anxiously awaiting that special call that we have another grandson.

Love you,

Dad aka PapaJohn and Mimitutz

Helena Sandgren - February 3, 2010 - 10:46 am

Oooh this is so exciting!!! Loved reading about the things you have packed and to compare them to my own list of things to pack when it’s getting closer to due date. I’ll be bringing many similar things, but also including chocolates and crisps, as over here in Europe women are encouraged to eat during labour to keep up the energy. And since I haven’t been allowed any sweets or snacks during pregnancy I promised myself to eat as many as I wanted during labour :-) Jippeeee!

Best of luck now! Will be thinking of you and your family over the next few weeks!

the domestic fringe - February 3, 2010 - 12:37 pm

You are SO prepared! I don’t even know if I had a bag and that’s the truth. Right after I birthed my daughter, my husband ran home to finish painting her room and put the crib together. I guess I’m a fly by the seat of your pants type of girl…my poor kids.

You, however, are wonderful and prepared for anything. Can’t wait till you can hold your baby in your arms and we can see pictures!

Best wishes to you and prayers said for a safe delivery.
-FringeGirl
.-= the domestic fringe´s last blog ..Randomly Lame Life =-.

Heidi - February 3, 2010 - 1:31 pm

BRING IT ON!!!
.-= Heidi´s last blog ..At least when voice mail piles up it doesn’t collect dust. =-.

Sam - February 3, 2010 - 4:40 pm

SNACKS for DAD!!!!

The nurses change shifts every 12 hours, so you might want to portion out the snacks for the nurses. If your recovery room is in a different hall or floor than your l&d room, then you might want to save some snacks for your recovery nurses. We gave all of ours to the l&d nurses then had nothing for the recovery nurses and I was with them the longest.

I brought a tank top to wear under the hospital gown. Since you are bringing a nursing gown, I would recommend bringing more than one…those things get dirty fast! I just wore hospital gowns because I didn’t want to stain my pajamas. You can go through several gowns a day with all the moving body fluids.

DARK colored socks to wear during delivery…

Lotion and/or massage oil.

Folder for storing all the important papers they are going to give you with instructions for aftercare, birth certificate info, resources and phone numbers.

I also brought some of my own nursing pads for inside my bra and sanitary items since the hospital ones are very generic and don’t work as well.

Bring something more to do…like a scrapbook, laptop, cards, travel sized games, a DVD, music, thank you notes, etc. in case it moves slower than you expect.

Pencil and paper or notebook. That way you can write down questions as you think of them and won’t forget to ask the nurse or doc.

Be prepared to not do a single thing as stated on your birth plan.

Good luck and hang in there! I hope it is everything you want it to be.

admin - February 4, 2010 - 5:59 am

You guys have been so helpful – I’ve already added to my bag some of the things you mentioned. It’s especially helpful hearing from those of you who have been there, done that. Awesome!! Now if I can just hurry and use it, we’ll be good!! :)

Cari - February 7, 2010 - 2:59 pm

I was just wondering.. ‘did she have it yet?’ haha. And here this is. I had my first in ’07 and SO overpacked. The printed list was funny to my DH but made me *feel* better more like a prop. I just stated the must do (in a perfect scenario of course, i knew things can change) and what I did not wish to happen. But although i definitely over packed it was a small price to pay for peace of mind. That said, I think this time I’ll go lighter on the packing. I know what to expect. I didn’t do any reading/lap top time, etc. Just a few photos and made my DH take most of those. Staring at baby and nursing were my top things. I LOVE the snack bag idea- doing it for my next delivery this May. Those women work hard and food is a nice treat. And it’s good to make them feel appreciated. Thanks for the reminder:) My first one I didn’t do that I was too excited- I ended up dropping off cookies a week after delivering and it didn’t even get to the staff that were on shift when i was there. So i know now.

GOOD LUCK!!! SO exciting. The first baby. Can;t wait for the details later and relax you will be in good hands:))

Cari - February 7, 2010 - 3:03 pm

Oh wait- I brought a cd I made (classical mostly) and a little cd player for the birth. Believe it or not i did remember the music, heard it through all the laboring- and remember the song playing the first time I saw/held my son. And that is a powerful memory (adagio for strings, LE SIGH) and I put that birth cd into his baby book for him to listen to. A nice little extra. And I brought my own soap, no candles allowed sadly *but* i brought a little reed diffuser thing for my bed side to bring some coziness to the hospital room. And I was super resourceful and even got 3-4 menus from local restaurants near the hospital since we all know hospital food is nasty. It made ordering food quick and easy:) And yes- bring your own bath sheet size fuzzy towel. The towels there were tiny and always uncomfy. :)

Melody C - February 8, 2010 - 11:35 am

I wonder if Tabitha spent the blizzard at home or in a birthing room?! I just hope it was in one place OR the other and not trying to go between in the snow!!! Keep warm!

Ellsworth Callejo - May 5, 2010 - 12:07 pm

Thank you so much for the posts as they are profoundly thoughtful. We love the way you are able to breathe more fire into whatever you write about and it all is right from your hear t. I have bookmarked your site long ago and keep on coming back to it time and time again.

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