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My mother passed down her love of creating lists to me, so I’ve spent the past 30 minutes or so creating this “Labor and Delivery Bag Checklist.” Then, because I have a blog, I took it upon myself to create a graphic for this list, so that everyone else now has the option of printing it off. Scroll down if you want to see exactly why certain things are on this list, because I’m about to start rambling.
This list should actually be called “What You Really Need in Your Labor and Delivery Bag,” but that’s a long title and would’ve taken up too much space in my [sarcasm] wonderfully designed [/sarcasm] graphic. This isn’t my first rodeo!!! I hate that phrase and I probably wouldn’t be a big fan of rodeos, either, but ya know… I’ve done this before or whatever.
With Liam, he was late and showing no signs of wanting to escape my body, so I was scheduled to be induced. Me, being the idiot that I was, thought that, that meant I would spend a relaxing night in the hospital, laying around eating bon-bons, reading Harry Potter, and watching TV until labor began.
I brought a lot of things that I didn’t need and wasn’t able to use any of them. My Harry Potter book sat on my beside table, along with my gigantic cup of water (which was the only food or drink I was allowed to have). Plus, I had an IV in my arm the whole time, which totally grossed me out and made my arm cold, so I wasn’t moving it unless I absolutely had to.
In the end, I was in labor for probably 17 hours or so. Liam’s head was too big, so I had to have a c-section. Honestly, I feel like I had the easiest labor of all time, and whenever I see a TV show or movie where someone is in labor I’m like, “LOL. It’s not even that bad.” However, maybe it really is that bad and I just got lucky somehow. They did say that I took the epidural better than anyone they had ever seen, so that probably had something to do with it.
Anyway, the part is over. I just wanted to explain that I had a c-section, so some of these things may only be relevant if you’re having a c-section. I assume not, but I have no way of knowing. I’m already scheduled for my c-section with London (Oct. 30th for those of you keeping a countdown).
Labor & Delivery Checklist (For Mom) – if you want to see one of these for baby and/or significant other, let me know. We brought a lot of extra, unnecessary stuff for both of them last time, too.
- Photo ID & Insurance Card – This probably seems obvious, but make sure you don’t forget it. Also, if you’re married but your photo ID still has your maiden name, you might want to bring your marriage license, social security card, or anything else that will prove that your name has changed. Otherwise, you may end up having issues getting your correct name on your baby’s birth certificate.
- Snacks – I didn’t eat anything and I didn’t bring any food, because I was sure they would give me a gourmet meal to eat while I watched television. They wouldn’t let me have any food at all, because they didn’t want it to cause nausea. I am no medical professional and this is probably highly advised against. Don’t listen to me, but I’m going to say it, anyway. Bring something. Even if it’s only saltine crackers, because starving for hours and hours is no fun.
- Phone Charger – You’re going to be in there for days, so you’re going to want your phone to be charged.
- Medications & Supplements – Don’t listen to this, either. I had a migraine after I had Liam, and they kept telling me they didn’t have Excedrin. I knew Excedrin was the only thing that would work, so it was very irritating that I didn’t just bring mine with me. They may have actually not wanted me to have Excedrin because of it being a blood thinner, but who knows. That’s not what they told me.
- Stool Softeners – No one is going to tell you this, which is very unfortunate because I’m 500% serious when I tell you that constipation was the absolute worst thing about having a baby. I had a c-section. My body was basically sawed in half, but the constipation was far worse. It lasted weeks after I had him. They’ll give you pain killers (and if you’re lucky, iron supplements), which make constipation even worse. It was miserable. I plan on popping at least six of those bad boys as soon as they get London out of me.
- Pillow – Hospital pillows aren’t great, and maybe you’ll feel like less of a hospital patient if you have something from home to lay on.
- Change of Clothes – You’re probably going to need maternity pants to go home in. I brought my old, regular jeans, and they may have fit if I tried hard enough, but it was extremely uncomfortable. This is especially true if you have a c-section. You’re not going to want your pants digging into your incision, so if you have maternity pants that go up past it, it will feel a lot better. Also, if you have a c-section, I highly recommend Spanx. They’ll give you some Velcro girdle thing, which is fine, but Velcro is a pain in the ass. I always felt like the Spanx did a better job of making it feel like my body wasn’t going to split open at any moment.
- Loose Pajamas – Some women apparently prefer staying in the hospital gowns the whole time, but I don’t. I feel less like I’m bleeding all over myself if I have pants on. Make sure they’re loose, though. Sorry for being disgusting, but you need to know. After you have the baby, the nurses are going to come in and press on your stomach every now and then to make blood come gushing out of you. Then, they’re going to change you, so… loose pajamas that you don’t care about ruining.
- Nonskid Socks & Slippers – They’ll probably try to make you walk around before and after you have the baby. I bought these non-skid slippers socks to bring with me this time.
- Compression Socks – Now this one, I’m really not sure if it’s a c-section thing or not. It’s from some medication they pump into you, I think, but I don’t know which one. It makes your feet and ankles swell up worse than they’ve ever been in your life. I couldn’t even get flip flops on. I do know that these particular compression stockings are amazing, though. I’ve been using them since I was about 28 weeks pregnant.
- Sibling Gifts – I saw this on the Internet somewhere, and you’re obviously only going to need it if you have other kids already. It seemed like a good idea to me, because Liam still doesn’t understand that I’m pregnant, so when he walks in to meet his sister he’s going to be like, “WHAT IS THIS?!” I just want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make him feel included.
- Photos of Siblings – I read about this, too. Basically, you have photos of your other kids somewhere in the room, so that when those kids walk in, they see the photos and feel included.
- Glasses & Contacts – I don’t know why it seems like it’s easier to forget these two things than anything else.
- Hairbrush – I’m about to start sounding very vain (because I am), but you lay in the same spot for days and become really disgusting. My hair was matted so badly that by the time I was finally able to brush it, I think I tore about half of it out. I have a Wet Brush now, which seems to work better than any hairbrush I’ve ever had under normal circumstances, so we’ll see how it is after I’ve spent days in a hospital bed.
- Shampoo & Conditioner – They’ll have some at the hospital, but if end up with knots and tangles like mine, you can’t risk them having Suave or some other useless conditioner. In fact, bring a detangler, too.
- Body Wash – You may have to wait a day or two before you’re able to shower. May as well use a body wash that you like.
- Hair Bands – I keep saying this, but your hair is going to be a mess. Put it up.
- Face Wash – I don’t think hospitals ever have face wash.
- Makeup – You might not care, but I don’t go anywhere without makeup. Plus, we’re having a photographer come in to take “First 48” photos, so I absolutely must have makeup.
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste – For obvious reasons.
- Lotion – You never know how dry the hospital is going to bed.
- Pads – I don’t know why I didn’t know this, but no one told me how much you bleed afterwards. The hospital will give you these giant, gross disposable underwear things, but I hate them. You bleed consistently, but not so much that you need an actual diaper.
- Deodorant – For obvious reasons.
- Lip Balm – Again, it might be dry in the hospital. I only use Aquafor. It works better than anything else.
Wow. I think that might be the longest post I’ve ever written, so it’s probably a good thing I didn’t include a checklist for baby and/or significant other. If you want to see that, though, let me know! Or if you want to see a what not to bring list, I can do that, too.
Also, if you can think of anything important that I left out, leave it in the comments below! I still have time to throw it in my labor and delivery bag.