In anticipation of the any-day-or-week-now arrival (and at the risk of a post that’s more than a little stuff heavy), here’s a collection of things that we’re planning to tote with us in our ‘hospital’ bag. (Can’t fit the kitchen sink, so…)
A sweet-smelling massage oil.
Bendy straws for helping me to stay hydrated.
My trusty water bottle.
Lavender essential oil.
Comforting tea (Second time around: Mother’s Milk).
A well-worn robe (here’s a new favorite).
My favorite chemise. (Plus a pair of trusty pajama pants, sized up for extra comfort.)
A quickie blood sugar booster.
My comfiest dress for wearing home. (Second time around: Swapping leggings and a cozy sweatshirt for the wintertime).
For the babe:
The softest new blanket from a grammy. (Second time around: This beauty.)
A few tiny clothing options from an auntie. (Second time around: Two winter–appropriate choices. Plus a tiny winter hat.)
For the big sister:
A special little something to play with and love (in addition to her new sibling.)
PS. For any locals interested in natural childbirth we’ve been taking Bradley Method classes with the very lovely Mary Esther Malloy. Wholeheartedly recommended for anyone in the city looking for a little extra support.
PPS. This post was updated before the birth of my second kiddo (January 2017). Having given birth once before I have a few pearls of wisdom to add, to be taken along with grains of salt, of course. The first is that no two birth experiences will be the same and so try as we might to prepare a bag that’s useful or helpful there will be needs we don’t think of or details we forget or things that arrive that are simple beyond our control. I, for one, upon writing this list the first time, woefully underestimated my own need for postpartum underwear and pads and other items for personal care that I was thankful the birthing center had thought of for me. I’ll be relying on the birth center’s help for those supplies again this time around, but in case you’re not sure you’ll be provided, I would agree with some of the commenters here (though in perhaps a gentler manner) that it was helpful and wise to have a stock of stretchy, disposable underwear at the ready. Witch hazel pads helped immensely with swelling. Thick sanitary napkins were essential. For me, coming home with a hospital-provided sitz bath was undeniably necessary. As for all of the other specifics, they’re just ideas, not requirements. And remember: You got this, regardless of what’s in your bag.