The car seat is installed (correctly), the crib is set up and all of the rooms are organized and ready to go!
The ONLY thing I really need to do now is to PACK A HOSPITAL BAG!
I am TERRIBLE with packing the bag! I have gone from over-packing when I had my son to just not wanting to pack a bag at all with this one!!
I had my son in a hospital in England, though and I had to pack one of just about everything I would need because the birth was at the expense of the NHS (National Health Service) and so I had to remember to pack everything from diapers and wipes to undies and pads and all the in-betweens with creams and what not! I packed EVERYTHING and took a sports bag and I don't recall using everything I packed but I was confident that I had everything covered!
I gave birth to my son on a Friday night and stayed in hospital on a ward with 5 other mothers until Sunday Morning when they allowed me to go home! I had enough clothes to last the few days, even though I spent them in pajamas! I had enough bath soaps etc to get through the couple of days, too - and baby products, diapers, wipes, towels and accessories, you name it, it was in my bag!
Then came my daughter, born 14 years later, at a hospital in the U.S. - This time around, I had medical insurance and was paying for this out of my pocket and I wasn't sure what to expect and so I packed like before with a TON of goodies that I thought I might need and headed off to the hospital when the time came!
I gave birth to my daughter in the middle of the week and only spent 24 hours in the hospital instead of the couple of days that I had spent with my son! I was provided with towels and blankets and diapers, creams, wipes, gift bags, soaps and shower gels, lip balm and even a little wash puff! I had all the pads, mesh knickers, sprays and comforts that you might need after birth without having to bring it in myself, either!
I took in far too many items for my daughter to wear - they ended up dressing her in a cute little hospital wrap, blanket and hat, which was something too cute to change and they even let me keep that hat and a second one when I left for home!
I didn't need to worry about socks or slippers as they provided those too! They provided a phone, TV, mini fridge, sleeper sofa for my husband and all the amenities of a hotel except for the fact that you're in a hospital bed in your own room instead of a big cozy double! Heck, I even had a spa like shower on-suit and that was GLORIOUS!
I think I used maybe 2 items in my bag that day I was in the hospital and one of those was my camera and the other was probably my hair brush! I didn't need to get dressed until I went home because they had nice, big, comfy gowns that weren't going to show your butt crack at the back and they had the slippers as I said before so I wasn't going to skid around anywhere trying to get to a from the baby or the bathroom - which, lets face it, is about as far as you feel like going when you've just given birth and are laden with stitches!
My insurance covers most of my maternity care and the birth is no exception. Apart from a bit of a hefty co-pay it is all inclusive and so anything I use gets put on the bill and covered! The hospital provides you with anything you open or start to use and you get a rather large pack of diapers for your troubles, too!
This time around, my hospital bag is most likely going to include the following, just in case you were wondering:
- Insurance card and details for the hubs to reel off if he needs to, while checking in!
- Camera to capture a few cute pics of the newbie!
- Clothes to wear home for me, and for the baby - but lets face it, the clothes you go in with are going to fit perfectly fine and so you really won't have to worry TOO much if you were to forget a spare set!
- Hair brush and hair bands, just in case I need to put my hair up - where it will probably stay for the duration of the hospital stay there after!
I suppose I will pack a couple of diapers "just in case" and baby socks and mittens, but nothing much more! I won't worry too much about creams, wipes and all that stuff when I know what the hospital provides now - I am birthing in the same one as before and so I know what to expect.
I really don't think I'll need much else, but I know most people are going to be gasping at the oh-so short list wondering how I might get through it, but actually I will probably come home from the hospital with 3 times more than I turn up with if my last stay was anything to go by, and I am not worried at all!
Worst comes to the worst, the hubs can grab anything extra that I might need - but truly, I probably won't need anything other than a couple of hours sleep and a trip back home to my kids to keep me sane!
Where do you stand on hospital bags? Are you a take-all-including-the-kitchen-sink type or a who-knows-maybe-i'll-just-take-my-phone type!? Either way, I would LOVE to hear from you!!
Roll on the next few weeks!!