Adventures in Motherhood! Packing the Hospital Bag Part 1: Getting to the Hospital and Winter Baby Dramas

So I just hit the 37 week mark...I figured it was time to get that bag ready for the hospital. Better safe than sorry. Also, if you have ever met my husband let alone seen him pack for would not be surprised if I had packed this bag the second the positive pregnancy test came back.

So in preparation, I reviewed the list the hospital nurses gave me, researched online, and asked for advice on ye olde facebook.  I thought I would share the results and then report back after baby drop doomsday to see what was helpful, what was a waste of space, and what I missed having in the bags.

So here is Bag #1...a duffle with a pull out handle and wheels:

-For Brian: sweats to sleep in, two t-shirts, a hoodie, slippers, a change of socks and underwear, and a bath towel.  He is a big man and I am no dainty lady...I predict the hospital towels will be tiny and itchy.

-For Me: Bath robe, nursing tank, maternity bra, disposable nursing pads, old pair of cut off sweats I won't miss, old huge t-shirt I won't miss, pj pants, slippers I won't miss, ankle socks, festive stripey knee socks (to wear with hospital legs get cold easy).  My going home outfit is a black sweatsuit and top...something I would never wear in public normally...but I figure the last thing that I will want to do is get dressed to come home and then finally get home...and then have to change into something comfortable.  I can barely get my pants on and off as it is with this huge baby belly. I can't imagine it being any easier post birthing giant baby from said belly.  I also bought some boyshort undies in one size up in case I could not deal with the infamous sexy mesh underwear I have heard so much about. If it were any other season, I would totally want some cute Princess Kate dress to leave in...but its like ten degrees here on a good day so sweatpants it is.

-For Baby: Newborn winter sleeper, socks, knit hat, 0-3 months sleeper with matching hat (in case he is too big for the newborn size...Doctor thinks he is going to be GINORMOUS), cuddly blanket for the car trip home, and a receiving blanket.

-Random Other Stuff: A waterproof disposable mattress pad thingie my sister nabbed from her hospital.  She used one on the car seat when traveling to the hospital in case her water broke so the car wouldn't get gross.  I think this is genius. She also got me one for my mattress.  I stuck it under the sheet last week just in case.  If you don't have a sister who works in a hospital...I recommend using your waterproof crib sheet or something like that.  I have two of those Ultimate crib sheets that would be perfect for both mattress and car seat protection. At the very least...keep some old towels in the car just in case.

So normally I would think that I am over-packing...but we actually live at least 30 minutes in traffic from the hospital so any trip home to get something would take an hour.  And its the you have to pay to leave and then repark and pay again in the hospital parking garage.  And it is SUPER POLAR VORTEX cold in Chicago at the moment.  So, extra trips are to be avoided.  And as mentioned before, husband cannot be trusted to get things...a bull in a China shop that one.  Love him but no way would it end well.  Plus there could be blizzards, sub-zero temps, or another Snowpocalpse for all we know.

Also, the polar vortex scenario adds another wrinkle...the need for a second smaller bag that contains anything liquid.  I can leave bag #1 in the car without any problem.  However, bag number two cannot remain in the car for fear of things freezing.  So the second bag contains the 'perishables'.  I have not decided whether I will just leave this bag at home and then have to send husband or my mom to fetch it in case I have to get to the hospital without going home first.  The other option is to leave the bag in the car, but then take it or the troublesome freezable portions of it inside with me while I am at work or wherever I am at for long periods of time when the weather is particularly cold.  This does not excite me as I can barely get my own ass out of the car and into work let alone haul a bag around.

Winter baby drama yall. Not something they talk about too much in the baby books. Since I live in the city and reverse commute to the suburbs for work (40 minutes one way)...and since I will likely need to work right up until the baby is peeking...the 'getting to the hospital' problem is already causing me a bit of stress. So should actual labor start while I am at work (god forbid), I am assuming that I won't be able to drive myself home...or shouldn't drive myself home.  My mom works about 20 minutes from the college, so she will drive to me and then we will head to the city in my car leaving hers at the college.  Then my sister and her husband can come to the college to fetch my mom's car.  My apartment is right off the expressway and on the way to the assuming I don't have some weird crazy fast thing happen, there should be plenty of time to get home and get the bag and what not...even if it is just a quick pit stop to grab the bag and make sure the cats have food, water, and a clean litter box.  Fingers crossed.  My husband can get to the hospital via the brown line cta, a cab, or a ride from a friend so we don't need to worry so much about him.  I also have an extra set of house keys to hand over to my mother just in case.  I figure that she will likely be staying at my apartment and can feed the cats and such...otherwise we plan to enlist our wonderful downstairs landlord to keep the beasts alive.

So on to the contents of bag #2:

Entertainment: a couple of magazines, BBC Pride and Prejudice on dvd, a small knitting project with all the needed items to keep me busy, spare cell phone charger (Brian and I have the same phone so that helps), a small notebook and pen (to record important memories, stories, and baby feedings, poops etc...which I have heard the nurses ask you about like every ten minutes.

Snacks: I picked up some goldfish crackers, granola bars, and three of those GoPicnic packaged meals.  People say I should bring hard candies to keep my mouth moist during labor...but I am not really a fan of those nor do I want to have 'jolly rancher blue tongue' in photos.  I also packed a flask of Jameson whiskey for Brian (and possible me). I figure one or both of us might need it at some point.

Toiletries: I picked up a simple men's travel kit at target for $6 with soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, a razor, and shaving cream for Brian.  I also packed a spare pair of glasses for both him and me in case we show up at the hospital in our contacts.  For me, I packed a simple self contained Benefit travel makeup kit, smashbox bb cream, travel cleanser, travel moisturizer, pre-moistened face wipes, contacts, lip balm, cocoa butter cream (for my hands, lips, belly, and massages during contractions), deodorant, razor, a really really fancy set of travel shampoo and conditioner to treat my hair nice, a brush that both brian and I can use, a headband, ponytail holders, and toothbrush.

Randomness:  A little plastic massager thingie they gave us at birthing class and a bedazzled backscratcher that Brian bought me recently.  I also threw in my trusty heating pad and ye olde stool softener to get things moving later.  Lastly, a fold up reusable grocery store bag to bring anything extra home from the hospital.  I have been told to be as greedy as possible with freebies.

Still debating on bringing:  My preggle body pillow.  It won't fit in any of the bags and it is huge...but its comfy and has been a lifesaver.  Obviously the hospital will have pillows...but so many people have told me to bring a pillow.  I don't want to look like a jackass showing up with all this crap though. Hmmm.  I have heard a sleep shirt and a dress to wear home are also good in case of a c-section to cu down on stitches friction.  It is also WINTER...and neither of those things sound super warm to me.  So I might just pull those options out for a 'just in case' that can be grabbed if needed easily from the house by my mom or Brian. Also ear plugs...I might grab some in case its noisy or Mister guy snores...both likely scenarios.

And there you have it.  Obviously we would need our phones which we normally have on us at all times.  The phones have decent cameras so  we aren't planning to bring an extra camera.  We both have laptops and will likely bring at least one along to the hospital.  They have wi-fi, but we don't know how good it will be (like streaming movies good or just updating facebook good?) I have also told Brian to keep a book in his bag too and he is never without his ipod.  I have entrusted him to make some sort of baby birthing super sweet play list for us.  The hospital rooms have ipod hookups already to go.

Luckily the area around the hospital has many options for food and shopping for anything we forgot. Brian pointed out that there are like 12 bars and a Binny's Beverage depot within cat swinging distance of the hospital doors so he will be happy.
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