This week, it was time to pack my hospital bag. According to my pregnancy books and my midwife, 36 weeks is the ideal time to do this, as you are nearly full term and the baby could come at any time. It's a very exciting prospect, but I've also found it to be a bit awkward too.
This is not the same as packing to go away on holiday – I usually leave that until the last minute the night before (and, once or twice, after a night out on the juice – but I don't recommend that!). It's because you don't really know when you'll be using it. I mean, it could be mere days, but it could be weeks as well, couldn't it? Meanwhile, your hospital bag sits in its allotted space (in the bedroom/nursery/boot of the car) like an accusation, just waiting to be tampered with.
Having a packed suitcase at the ready that early before leaving is like an invitation to a dog to dig up and worry at a bone over and over for me and my pet obsessive tendencies. I've already repacked the thing three times this week, and I'm not discounting more strategising and reviewing of its contents before we get to D Day, either.The latest wheeze is to pack a separate, smaller bag for the little one's bits and pieces, in order that P won't have to rummage through all my clothes, toiletries and snacks when the pressure is on. I've also placed a list of things to be added to the main bag with a pen for ticking off items on top of its zippered mouth – because of course as we don't know when we will be leaving, I can't just pack my toothbrush and all my big undies as I'll need those before then won't I?
Anyhow, in case you were wondering, here's a list of the basics we'll be hauling to the hospital (my theory being that you never know what you may want at the time or what mood you'll be in – so in this way perhaps it IS quite like being on holiday!):
- Two pairs of PJs, one nightie
- Loose old dress for giving birth in (but I'll probably end up in the hospital gown, having demanded an epidural early doors)
- Underwear (big pants)
- Disposable undies (eek!)
- Maternity pads (double eek!)
- Breast pads, nursing bra and nipple cream
- Cardigan and flip flops (I don't 'do' dressing gown and slippers – why start now?)
- Toiletries (including unscented soap and my makeup bag for pics)
- Towel and flannel for wiping hot brow
- Some normal (still maternity) clothes for going home in
- 5 x full length baby grows
- 3 x baby vests
- 3 x sweet little pyjama trousers
- Jumbo pack of muslins
- Cotton wool
- A hat
- Some socks (which can double as scratching mits if necessary)
- A going home outfit (thanks Grandma)
- 2 x baby blankets
- Snacks and drinks
- Playing cards
- Family and friends list including telephone numbers
P's in charge of technology like iPod and camera. No doubt this list will probably double in size and then halve again before we are done, as revelations do strike me at 2:30am but that's what I have in the bags for now...
What did/will you pack in your hospital bag? Are there any things you wish you had brought with you but hadn't, or things you were very glad you did? Leave your suggestions below.
More on Parentdish: Week 36 of your pregnancy