15 Oct 2016

I was waiting for very long time. And could not believe one day she really will be here. I started 10th month of pregnancy so I was exhausted. I did loved being pregnant - all kicks, even those small ones in half way through, when autumn was so far away from us were for me like a blessing.

At some stage when midwife on antenatal classes said: your bag needs to be prepared at least 3 weeks before the term, I did my birth plan. I expected all natural, unforgettable moments, floating in pool in pain obviously, but also with great cooping. I will not say now it was a bullshit. It was the plan which actually never happened. But it was also the plan which got me through totally different scenario.

I packed my hospital bag and half of it was absolutely unnecessary.

I got a list of things from hospital which I should take. Quite long. And I actually felt like someone will check my suitcase if I have everything. And they would probably also weight it like in low cost airlines...

I checked hospital list and here it is what I had packed and what I can say after my stay:
1. Birth plan - was great to have a spare copy, but in my chart was already one. My midwife went through that with me and I even did not to have bend to get my from bag
2. An old t-shirt/night shirt for labour - in my case it was nothing old. I bought new dress for labor. I still wanted to be a woman, look as myself and feel comfortable. So I got dress for labor - Granatova, made in Poland, which I still use as a great option for breastfeeding. Unfortunately website is only in Polish, but if you do need advise, let me know or check IG or contact through FB.
3. Wide opening nightshirt/pyjamas if breastfeeding - as above. I had two dresses. Blue one for labor and striped after delivery.
4. An old pair of socks for labour (your feet can get cold in labour) - I had them but did not use at all. I was actually all the time very warm and sweaty.
5. Personal items: toiletries, tissues, lip balm - do not expect you will do full make up in hospital after delivery. Even when you will be just about to go home. I just was not in mood to stand in front of mirror and do anything with my face. I was actually not at all in mood to stand. I run out of tissues. It was just because most of the time I was looking at my daughter and crying so much. I was just in love and for me she was such a beauty I could not stop my tears. Lip balm - well I used it as usual not more often or so.
6. Wet wipes and handbag size alcohol gel dispenser for personal infection control - nope. First of all there was plenty of those dispensers in my hospital, second: I am not a big fan if killing all bacterias (especially those good ones) on my hands. There was also small wash basin in my room, which was quite handy to wash.
7. Birthing ball (if desired) - it was available in my delivery ward.
8. TENS machine (if desired) - I have never considered to use one.
9. Breast pads - I took plenty of them and actually I did expected a flood. But it never came, at least not in hospital. I did not use any of those disposable ones even till now, as I bought washable bamboo pads which are really comfy.
10. Support bra/nursing bra if breastfeeding - I did not use any. I just needed to get to my breast rapidly as my daughter was inpatient newborn.
11. Sanitary towel packs - I did struggle a lot with those which I bought. They were kind of super slim something, full of plastic and glue. I had change them very soon for proper thick towels made with organic cotton. I just could feel my skin breathed.
12. Disposable/old knickers for after the birth - I took disposable and old knickers also. The first did not work for me. I felt like I was ill and this kind of fabric was just annoying me. Full brief knickers like granny style, 100% cotton worked for me. And they were not old, come on it is XXI century, we all have washing machines.
13. Dressing gown/spare nightwear - I think in my room temperature was about 25 degrees and it is a women hospital. I did not have room in my suitcase for gown so nope. And I was just fine without.
14. Snug fitting slippers with a slip resistant sole - definitely. But I take my slippers even when I go to hotel.
15. Dark coloured towel/one for each day - Yeah. Try to pack 3 towels or so. I had one, brown color.
16. Camera - we took some photos during labor and after delivery. We used also our phones, which were the fastest way of sharing our news.
17. Change for parking facilities/payphone - did not take any. We leave 3 minutes from hospital so we did not need to use parking. And honestly - is it not the thing which can be looked after by your partner? Payphone - everyone use just mobiles, I thing there is some restrictions, but nobody minded.
18. Light snacks, magazines, newspapers - I actually after few months without sugar, wanted a heavy snack. So I got donuts! But any fruit, healthy bars or so are great, especially when you breastfeeding and you starving same as your little one.
19. Own pillow in coloured pillow case (if desired) - I used my pregnancy pillow, it was great for breastfeeding and good additional support for back.
20. Hair ties/accessories - I had mine in hair and did not loose them!
21. Comfortable clothes to go home in (which fit you at 26 weeks pregnant) - you will be waiting for discharge anyway, so why your partner can not get that for you. That is what we did it. Freshly ironed maternity dress.
22. Mobile phone charger - I used power bank, so I was not limited by sockets or cables.
23. Any relevant prescribed medication - obvious!
24. Biro - I have been told I will have to write down all my observations about dirty and wet nappies. Even one of my friends said I will be obligated to use one brand of nappies as they have a strip which shows how much wee they soaked. Nope. I used in hospital eco nappies. No chemicals and nasty odors.
25. Long sleeved grows x 6 - it this case it is better to have more. You never know what pressure will reach first poo of your baby or if she/he will spit up.
Vests x 6 - I even think I used more vest as it was just very hot in ward. Although I could not squeeze my daughter in newborn size, even she was not the biggest baby. So we used only 0-3 months sizes.
26. Cardigan - used one when we were going home. 
27. Hat - one was necessary straight after birth and I took also second - for leaving hospital.
28. Pre washed baby towel - we did not want to bath our baby at hospital so I did not even take it from bag.
29. Pack of nappies (newborn size) - obvious, but for us it was just for our stay in hospital. We decided we will use after reusable nappies. Again Polish brand: Puppi. Only natural fabrics like wool, bamboo, cotton, linen or hemp. 
30. Cotton wool balls/pack - it was ok to have those. Just in case of small wash of eyes or face of baby but it just did not work with meconium. At all. Just get wipes. I really do recommend Irish brand Water wipes. I think they are a little bit more pricy than all those sensitive pampers or so, but they do have only two ingredients: water and grapefruit seeds extract. And cotton. No perfume. Just clear and very handy especially in hospital.
31. Baby bibs x 6 - did not use at all. But I think it is more for formula fed babies.
32. Baby blanket x 2 - even we got hospital one, that was just great to wrap my baby in our blanky and feel a little like home.
33. Cot sheet x 2 (optional) - same think like with blanket.
34. Car seat (to be brought in on the day you are going home) - we just walked home. If you do not leave far away do consider if you really want to waste your time in queue waiting for parking. We did not, so came back with buggy. 

I have heard many advices before I got to hospital, but I would not add anything to the list. Someone mentioned a bottle of water with the cup like you can just squash water for a quick perineal hygiene. But I found myself just using a shower or wet tissue and I healed normally. 

Going to hospital to have your first baby is such a new experience that you want to be prepared for anything. I think the best what you can do is be prepared with your partner as a team. He can always bring you whatever you need or he can just wipe your tears with sleeve. It does not really matter. What matters at this point is little part of you both lying just next to you. Get use to it. 

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