Tuesday, March 19, 2019

HOSPITAL BAG, ROUND TWO.


I have a week until my second c-section, and even though my first was also planned and I had watched 400 Youtube videos on "what to pack for a c-section," I still packed ALL THE WRONG THINGS. Pants that I thought would be low enough to sit below my incision (didn't realize what "bikini cut" meant), the boppy pillow, diaper bag for the baby, a razor..lol...

And of course, it's a lot of personal preference, but I really do feel like I learned a lot the first time around, so I'm sort of overly excited about what's in my hospital bag now. I don't think I need to mention certain things like, a toothbrush for example - so I'll skip over some of the basics and just share the good stuff, and why it's in my bag. Some are c-section specific, some aren't.

So let me get to it! (I don't have much time!!)

What I've packed:

NIGHTGOWNS - if I learned anything with my last c-section experience, it was that PANTS ARE A NO. Or, ok. Most pants. I did pack one pair this time, but let me tell you what I learned about c-sections: even if you THINK they are low enough, or high enough, or loose enough - those nurses are coming around to your room what feels like every two hours to check down there, and if you just had abdominal surgery do you really think you're going to be able to lift your pelvis up so she can pull your pants down? Probably not. Even just shifting around in bed is hard enough, and you'll want ZERO pressure on the incision. ZERO. And obviously anything that buttons down will be easiest if you plan to nurse. You're going to basically need to be able to be partially naked at any second, so I think nightgowns are where it's at. 


I'll have a three-night stay, so I got two of these from Target. The first day / night, I wore the hospital gown and loved every second of it. But eventually you remember that the back is wide open and you may want to leave your room.

.....pants - Ok, so I AM actually bringing a pair of pants. BUT I THINK these will work. I guess I'll have to report back, lol -  but I thought for "going home" these would be great. They're maternity so super stretchy, have a high-waistband that can fold up or down and as long as I wear something long enough to cover my butt, you shouldn't be able to tell I'm wearing an adult pull-up. I thought these would be great to lounge around in post-partum too. *VERY, VERY LONG. I cut with scissors.


To wear home with these, I just packed a black nursing tank and a long pink sweater.

Always Discreet Underwear - diapers. Ok, they're diapers! But hear me out! This is what I'd probably suggest the most to anyone, c-section or not - but especially with a c-section! I know everyone raves about those mesh undies that the hospital provides, and I did wear them for a day. But I found that getting the enormous pad they give you to actually stick and stay in the undies was hard. And you're not going to want to be standing up and taking those undies on and off and messing with them. These have the pad built right in, are high-waisted enough that they won't mess with your incision AND stretchy enough for the nurse to pull down and poke around in. I'm not kidding, I wore them at home for weeks too because pads are just terrible.

An eye mask - So many days / nights in the hospital, so many lights. During the day, I found it really hard to nap for obvious reasons. But then at night, the nurses are still coming in and out all the time, so I always had a light on near the door of my room. I'm not sure if it HAD to be on now that I'm thinking about it, but it always was.

Socks for delivery - if you are having a c-section, get yourself some cute socks. My hospital provided a pair of grippy socks, but they were huge...and beige. And I decided not to wear them. Then then THE MINUTE I got into the operating room, I regretted that decision! They keep that place at like, 50 degrees. FREEZING.

Slippers - I wore leather sandels into the hospital and then brought plastic flip flops for the shower last time, but I REALLY wished I had something else. I do have actual slipper-slippers at home, but I don't want to look too granny-granny. These were $5 at Walmart and they'll be perfect for walking back and forth to the ice machine.


These are sold out online, but I did see THESE in store at Target and might be even cuter.

Bathrobe - I like the idea of those fancy, floral robes some girls wear, but that's just not me. I'm bringing my actual bathrobe to wear over my nightgowns in case I feel cold, or that I just need it. A little granny looking, but I find it comforting because you're basically lying in bed sick. So think about what you'd want in that situation. *PS: DEFINITELY NOT a white robe. Dark colors ONLY.

Your own towels - wish this wasn't true because it takes up the most space in my bag, but it's true. It's not a hotel. They aren't known for their nice plushy, towels. I packed one large towel for showering and a hand towel for my face.

For the shower, I packed body wash and a loofah I can just throw out afterwards. Standing up DOES NOT FEEL GOOD, so I thought that would make it easier to suds up quickly. I usually use bar soap, but that felt hard last time. 

Makeup wipes - After Emily was born, I didn't even think about washing my face until the next afternoon and having wipes would have been GENIUS. No one wants those eyelashes you get after you've half cried the mascara off, lol.

Nice smelling lotion - I don't plan on really showering during my stay this time, besides a super quick rinse off, and I don't know - I just think having some really nice smelling lotion will feel nice. (Something natural that won't irriate the baby though.)

Nipple cream - I didn't bring any last time, but I probably should have. I just thought, WOW THIS HURTS A LOT. OH WELL.

Small makeup bag - not for makeup. Well, maybe for makeup depending on what you like to keep near you - but DEFINITELY bringing a small little something that zips up to collect all my crap that would otherwise be scattered on the tiny table that sits next to the bed. You know: pack of gum, chapstick, a pen, phone, the nipple cream lol. Then it's not all out in the open, or falling off the tiny table and onto the floor.

Blanket for John - didn't do this and John ended up going out to our car and grabbing our dogs blanket to sleep with. We didn't ask if we could get him a blanket, and maybe we could have? But I've heard this story too many times so I assume they're just trying to make husbands as uncomfortable as possible as payback or something.

iPad - My hospitals TV channel options were limited - so I was glad I thought to pack the iPad last time because I had that to watch and it was nice to have headphones in and felt like I had some privacy. I just started watching Working Moms on Netflix but decided to save the rest for when I can't sleep at the hospital. Probably good for Facetiming family too, which I did not do, but should have...

CAMERA - OBVIOUSLY. I know. But the pictures from Emily's delivery are my absolute favorite thing in the world. I felt sort of obnoxious at first and I wasn't sure it was going to be allowed, but there are so many people in the room with a c-section, someone will help you. They volunteered to! And they'll even get all in there and get some of the gory stuff if you're into that.

And the reminds me! IF you are having a c-section, they don't want you to bring all of your things in right away, so anything you want before / during / or immediately after delivery you have to bring with you in your purse - like the camera, glasses, grippy socks, etc. Don't pack those in your overnight bag! 

A notebook - something I REALLY wish I had brought last time was a notebook. Just to jot some things down. I think it helped that I blogged about the experience in the weeks afterwards, but I would have loved to have had some words to look back on that were just for me. Like what I initally thought of her, things that John did, what I was feeling. I actually started a journal recently for both the girls, so I plan to bring that and write down all the little things about her first few days.


Things I left O U T : 

Razor - you're not bending over to shave your legs. Shave them the day of surgery and just plan on wearing something long for the last day when the stubble might start becoming visable.

Shampoo, conditioner, blow dryer, etc - Maybe it's because my grooming habits have changed since becoming a Mom, but like I said - I don't plan on doing more than rinsing off during this hospital stay. You don't NEED to wash your hair. A friend of mine once recommended just splurging on a cute headband and rocking it with a top knot, but I don't love how I look in headbands so I'm just going with the top knot part. I may even just bring a baseball hat to go home in if it gets bad, lol.

A water bottle - somewhere I had heard to bring your favorite water bottle? Which sounds like it would be helpful, but mine never left my bag the first time around because the first thing they do is bring you this amazing plastic cup with a handle and a super long straw - and THAT will become your new favorite. PLUS THEY HAVE ICE.

The boppy pillow -  again, something I had "heard" to bring but it was actually the first thing the lactation consultant threw to the side, lol. I used the boppy a lot at home, but with all the pillows they have at the hospital, you don't NEED to drag it there in my opinion. It became just another thing John had to carry in and out.

Belly Binder - I was a HUGE FAN of the belly binder after my c-section, and I wore mine a ton during my recovery at home. But I bought a size small, and the days immediately after surgery I was definitely NOT a size small. It wouldn't have fit until at least a week later, but I didn't know that, so I brought it and it was another thing that never left my bag. Your hospital likely will provide one and one that will actually fit while you're there.

Snacks - I get anxiety over the thought of not having food available, so of course I packed all my favorite pregnancy snacks last time, but I didn't end up eating any of them. I didn't have much of an appetite - especially not for parmesan Goldfish crackers and fruit snacks. The hospital will feed you three times a day, and your husband / sig. other can order you a pizza. I DID however pack a protein bar for John this time - JUST in CASE - because I'm not sure when he'll be able to eat that first day. I fell asleep after my surgery with Emily so he was on baby duty the first few hours of her life and I actually have no idea if he ever ate that first day.

Things for the baby:

This is a short list, and this whole post makes it seem like I care more about fuzzy sliper slides than the newborn I'll be caring for, but people aren't kidding around when they tell you that you don't really need much for the baby. I didn't believe it when I heard that you didn't even have to bring diapers, so I brought a pack for Emily, and nope - didn't need them. Just another thing that stayed in my bag. 

A few long sleeved basic white onesies - I love these things. Get the ones with the little fold-over sleeves too. (Mittens are something I felt like you could live without.) I brought a diaper bag FULL of crap when Emily was born - outfits, hats, bows, socks, nail clippers etc. And all she wore until the morning we went home were these simple white onesies. Keep in mind, they'll probably be swaddled or "blanketed" (..?) the majority of the time too.


One of my favorite pictures ever.

Outfit for going home - You'll probably want to dress your baby in more than just a white onesie though when it comes time to go home. What you bring depends on the weather, but for us here in Texas, just a simple jammie outfit will do. I'm bringing 2 - one in newborn size, and a 0-3 month because I'm not sure how big she will end up being. And yes, they ARE both super cute because you'll want to take pictures of how tiny he / she is in that car seat the first time. 

Swaddles - I really liked the SwaddleMe "PODS" for the itty bitty newborn stage, but EVERY MOM and every baby is different. My hospital gifted us a Halo Swaddle - the kind that velcro them in all super tight, but I just really liked these. For one, she looked like an adorable little glow worm and they were so easy to zip on and off.


ALSO bringing a few basic muslin cloth blankets because you just use them for everything. For baby, for yourself, blanket for you husband, lol..

AND skipping hats because we came home with about 7 the last time, and they actually fit unlike the ones I had brought.

T H A T 'S I T.

The baby really only needs you, everything else is just stuff. 

A few other notes:


All of my things fit in a large duffle bag and then John's bringing a backpack. I've heard some people will literally bring in a suitcase for a long stay, and to each their own - but I felt overwhelmed enough as it was. I think the less I have, the better. 

The "going home outfit"- I thought this was such a big deal. And unless you're having a photo shoot on the way out the door or are Princess Kate, it's not. With Emily, I did my hair, put on makeup, wore a dress (a non-friendly nursing one at that) and then what happened was...we left the hospital, picked up my prescriptions, drove through a drive-thru for burgers and then when we got home I changed into Johns pajamas and cried. I didn't take any pictures, see anyone or do anything that required me to look a certain way. If it makes you feel better, go for it, but not necessary to get all dolled up to walk to the car.

BUT, I should also mention that I don't really have visitors while in the hospital (thank God), so if you do - you may decide to get dolled up. I'll just be lying around for three days and getting ready JUST enough to feel good for myself.

STAY ON TOP OF YOUR MEDS - and get the really good stuff as long as they'll let you.

Constipation - on the topic of meds, this is a true story: the absolute worst part about my last recovery was the constipation caused by those glorious pain meds. I didn't know this was a thing, so I brought it up to my DR. recently and she was like, "oh yes, let's get you two doses of Miralax each day then!" Which they did not do the last time. And I'm sure you could bring your own vs. whatever outragous price they'll charge per dose, so just FYI. Might want to think about that. It's a thing.

Ask for an ice pack - who knows what else I missed out on (seriously, tell me), but on day two when I told my DR. it felt like my incision was burning, she brought me this long re-usable ice pack that ties around your waist and it just felt so good. I used it at home too. Just complain a lot, and see what they bring you.

And if you forget something, there's probably a store around the corner. 

Helpful to anyone? I hope! I'm off now to wrap up the rest of my to-do list, which is basically cram my freezer with food! If I have the time (and energy) I MAY write up a post about the freezer foods I prepped. But don't hold me to it - I don't know life with two kids yet, lol..

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