my labor and birth packing list

It snowed today in Atlanta, so much (for here) that our office was closed for the day. On top of installing my GPS in my new mom-mobile (just a small SUV) and putting the stroller in my trunk, I’ve worked on packing our things for the hospital since I will be 36 weeks on Wednesday. There are lots of hospital and labor packing lists on the Internet, so for what it’s worth — here’s mine.

To pack for me:

  • Focal point (this is the beaded necklace that was made by the women at my shower — I will try to use it as my focal point while breathing during labor)
  • List of last-minute items to pack — I will affix this to the outside of our bags I’m packing today so we don’t forget any of these last-minute items:
    • More perishable snacks, like fruit or fruit bars
    • Cell phones
    • Wallets/purse (with ID and insurance info)
    • Coats
  • Water birth certificate
  • Birth plan
  • Hospital registration confirmation (turns out I didn’t really pack this…all I got from the hospital was an automatic email saying “you’re registered” but no confirmation number or anything, but you may want to include this)
  • Call and email lists (I didn’t really pack this but have already drafted a “baby’s here” email with the recipients ready to go)
  • Labor tools list and birth affirmations list
  • Pediatrician info (programmed into my phone, not packed)
  • Lip balm
  • Hair brush
  • Toothbrush, floss, toothpaste
  • Deodorant, face wash, moisturizer, makeup (for me this will include just my “essentials” of concealer, mascara, and eyebrow pencil…which I may not even touch!), shampoo/conditioner, lotion, ponytail holders
  • Change for snacks from the vending machine
  • Cell phone charger (I happened to have an extra one, so I am going ahead and packing that now)
  • Camera/charger
  • Going home clothes
  • Heavy flow pads
  • Birthing gown (I am bringing my own)
  • iPod with relaxation CD and any other music selections loaded (in my case I loaded a playlist onto my iPhone)
  • iPod or iPhone speakers
  • 2 pairs socks/non-skid
  • Robe
  • Nursing bra/pads (I don’t think I’ll need the pads one day into breastfeeding, but I just threw some in just in case)
  • Birthing ball
  • Undies
  • Pen/notebook (I stuffed all my labor tool sheets, water birth certificate, etc. in here)
  • Kashi bars/nuts/any other non-perishable snacks you may want
  • Floaty pillow/swim ring for my water birth
  • Antibacterial soap, which we may or may not use before getting in the tub
  • Fish net (take a guess what that could be used for)
  • Cord blood storage kit

To pack for hubby:

  • Swim trunks
  • Change of clothes
  • Hygiene items (for what will hopefully be a one-night stay, he really just needs toothbrush and toothpaste, and can use my shampoo, etc.)

To pack for baby:

  • Blanket
  • Hat, socks, warm going-home outfit (I am packing in two sizes — newborn and 0-3)
  • A few diapers and wipes, just in case

I also decided to pack a labor bag and an “after baby’s here” bag for my items, so they’re split up and we know that everything we will or may need during the labor is in one place. I know I may be a bit overprepared but sometimes I like it that way, and I try to do it all with a sense of calmness and excitement.


14 weeks, 1 day…and planning

I’ve felt a serious lack of motivation lately when it comes to my blogging, and I know it’s showing. I’m sorry. I will try to do better. There is something in particular that I think will help, and it’s first on my list of things I want to have completed by the time the baby gets here in February. Here’s the short list (really in no particular order):

  1. Get a desktop computer and printer – Right now my husband and I each have a laptop, but they are always unplugged and tucked into a corner of our second bedroom in our small condo. The second bedroom is currently essentially the cat room. This makes me never want to pull out the laptop to the living room, where we get on the computer, because it involves dragging the laptop and multiple cords, hooking them in, yada yada yada. My Internet craving is appeased by the use of my iPhone, but it’s hard  to blog on there (typing with thumbs? Yeah, no matter how used to it I become, it’s still hard.) I want a desktop that can be permanently set up. I want to install my Adobe Creative Suites software on it so it’s easier to use (using that on a laptop with no mouse is also hard for me.) Finally, I want a printer at home so I’m not stuck wanting to print things once I’m home with the baby and not able to.
  2. Sell our condo – I will pee my pants, probably literally, if we sell our condo before the baby comes. This would be, like, the most amazing pre-baby present from the universe ever. Hubby and I want to be in a house so bad it almost hurts. If we sell our place before the baby comes, we will rent a place somewhere in Atlanta, probably for six months or so, and then get serious about making our move to Asheville.
  3. Trade in my car – Right now I drive a two-door, 2000 Toyota Solara. I am thinking leaning over into the backseat of a two-door car will not be very conducive to avoiding back injury as I put baby in and out of the carseat, so we are getting rid of the old gal. And I have decided I want a used Honda CRV. At first I thought I wanted a Sequoia or something ginormous, “with at least seven seatbelts,” I told hubby, “so we have room for all our kids AND their friends.” Hubby — ever the practical one, isn’t he?!? — reminded me that we will not be able to populate seven seatbelts anytime soon. Also, I have never driven a big car. So going with the small SUV makes sense to me. I have only ever owned a Toyota, but I would feel comfortable with a Honda as well. I’ve decided I want black and maybe a leather interior, just because I’ve never had leather in my car before. I want at least a 2007 because I believe that’s when the CRV started implementing the LATCH system in all its rear seats. I haven’t done much research about LATCH yet, but couldn’t hurt!
  4. Make all our “minimalist baby” purchases – Okay, don’t get me wrong. I am making NO claims to be a minimalist…but I like the idea, and I like leaning in that direction. Since hubby and I met, we’ve seriously cleaned out our lives. This has meant donating dozens and dozens of bags of clothing, household items, shoes, jewelry — you name it, really — to the Atlanta arm of a national organization we believe in called the IRC. (They’re awesome, check them out — they may be in the city where you live as well. They help refugee families relocate into the US, and become independent and self sufficient in their new homes.) Anyways, back to what I was saying. Now, when it comes to baby purchases, we’re going to be going fairly minimalist. I won’t say we’re truly going minimalist, because a true minimalist would laugh at the list of items I’ve come up with so far. But we’re trying to really think this through and not get things we don’t need. I’m coming up with what I think, for us, will be a really great list, and I enlisted the help of one of my best friends and my mom to help me think through our items. When I’m done, I’ll share it with you here.
  5. Create my home management binder – I got this idea from a blog I just started reading called Want What You Have. If you are a planner, check. out. her. blog. The tools she shares are, in my opinion, incredible. And the beauty of it is you can take what works for you and leave the rest. I was most impressed with her home management binder. If this is something that interests you, you can find all her posts on this topic by scrolling down her main blog page, and under “Blog Index” where it says “Select Label,” pick “Inside the Guide.” She has 26 posts on how to create this amazing home management binder that works for you and contains the things  that you need to keep your life in order. I think this could work for you whether you will be (or are) a stay-at-home mom or whether you juggle outside work and family. I am a huge list-making nerd, so I am looking forward to buying a three-ring binder and sheet protectors, and getting this party started!

I’ve had some fears about staying home after the baby comes. Oh, did I ever tell you that? Yes, I am staying home after baby comes. I am afraid I’ll be lonely, or bored. Or that I’ll slip into a funk and not get off the couch, shower, or do the things I need to do. To avoid this, I know I need the items I mentioned on my list above. I also need:

  1. To make friends and continue to enrich the friendships I currently have, including and most importantly the one I have with my husband (this includes the romance, too – bow chicka wow wow)
  2. To organize my life and create a work schedule, so I don’t feel either a) overwhelmed and like there’s too much on my plate so instead I’ll do nothing, or b) like my new existence at home is purposeless, thus also leading me to become a blob and do nothing
  3. To keep pursuing my current hobbies, explore new ones, and enjoy me time

So there you have it. My plan leading up to baby and my plan for post-baby sanity, in a nutshell. And how am I feeling at 14 weeks, 1 day? Wonderful. I hope this baby is feeling as good as I am. ❤