Hospital Bag of a Third Time Mom

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Things like this don’t exactly get less exciting even if you are on your 5th or 6th kid but they definitely get more precise.

At my last appointment we talked briefly about hospital registration and stay so this week I’ve had the idea of packing a hospital bag in my mind. I am currently 34 weeks (I looked it up) but at my 18 week ultrasound baby measured a week and a half ahead so I tend to round-up a week so we could say 35 weeks and the suggestion is to have one packed by the time you reach 36 weeks. I’ve never packed a bag this early, I think with Willem I only had some toiletries thrown to the side even on my due date, Harper was induced a week past his due date (5 years ago today in fact) and I packed all day before checking in to the hospital at 7pm. I also don’t expect to go into labor before 41 weeks but for some reason this time around I am so paranoid about not having what I want there with me. It’s not that I require much nor do we live very far from the hospital I just want to be comfortable and not worry and I know .

If you look around on the internet and on pinterest there are lists that include things like: tissues, 2 sizes of underwear, pads, change, cell phone, tablet, laptop, laptop charger, a flashlight or lamp (what?), desktop, 5 pairs of socks, 2 toothbrushes incase one falls on the floor, your eyelashes and your own tv remote, etc etc. I’m exaggerating but really, in most cases you will be gone less than 48 hours and you will be fairly busy during that time, no need to take all the extra stuff. I don’t even take things like a breast pump with me because a) there isn’t anything to pump b) I hate that thing why do I have to attach to it as soon as baby is out c) it’s just another bag to carry in and out of the hospital and d) if I really need to pump the hospital has them there.

Here is my list with some explanation:

Clothing: I packed heavy in this area because I prefer to be in my own clothes at the hospital instead of the traditional gown. I also prefer to wear my own clothes during labor but stick to a stretchy skirt and sports bra. All of these are based on comfort and keeping clean, mainly because there will be bleeding. Another thing not specified is going-home clothes for me. It’s a 15 minute drive with just Chad, baby and me, yoga pants and a t-shirt work just fine.

1 soft nursing bra

1 maternity camisol

1 wetbag for dirty clothes

1 pair of socks

1 t-shirt

1 button down sleep shirt

2 pairs of black yoga pants: one to wear during the day, one to wear home

2 headbands (because who knows what color I’ll want to wear)

Toiletries: 

toothpaste: mini

toothbrush: extra one from the dentist, that’s what they are for right?

hair brush: I only have one so it won’t be packed yet

travel body wash: I actually prefer bar soaps but they don’t travel well and the after birth shower is amazing so I need something so mini dove it is.

travel contact solution

contact case

glasses and extra contacts: If I lost a contact during labor it could possibly be the end of the world and even induce a headache.

face cleanser wipes: these Burts Bees wipes smell amazing! They are so soft and gentle I can use them multiple times a day without worry.

hand lotion

breast pads: After years of leaking the lansinoh disposable pads are my absolute favorite for protection and softness.

lip balm: Eos and rose balm have me covered 100%

Vaseline: this is for extra chapped lips but also because when Harper was born his little ankle and wrist folds where bleeding from dryness. Putting vaseline on them helped sooth, protect and heal them quickly.

hair ties and bobby pins: DO NOT FORGET THESE if you have longer hair anyway.

nipple butter: just one of those things that a nursing mom needs. I never had a real problem with using lanolin but it doesn’t go on the smoothest because it’s pretty thick/hard stuff. Coconut oil is just too thin for me and doesn’t provide that soothing feeling when applied so I bought the Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter, it’s so natural I feel completely comfortable using it but haven’t actually used it so I can’t exactly give it a thumbs up or down.

Still to pack: Some of these things I have nearby, most are still in use. I have a written list of these and they are in the front pocket of my bag so that nothing is forgotten no matter who finishes packing for me.

bluetooth speaker: right now Harper uses it nightly to fall asleep but my memory from Willem’s labor was that I really loved hearing some of the songs. Music allowed me to escape between contractions so this is a must for me.

camera and card: still being used here and there but very important. Last time the nurse took some fantastic photos for us, this time a few friends might be taking photos so mine is purely backup and post birth. I love looking back on birth photos and a camera phone just won’t do.

phone charger (with wall plug-in): my life

diffuser and oils: for calming, I plan on using peace and calming for labor and serenity after. Serenity is one that I dab on blankets and slings for baby for both bringing relaxation and calmness but also to create a memory tie.

Sudoku book: for my brain when I’m alone and baby is sleeping

notebook: this is my constant, I need it to jot notes, to help us decide on names, to remember specific details of the birth and so many other things. I have to be able to physically write things down.

deodorant (orange honest one): still in use, thankfully.

personal pillow and blanket: purely for comfort

snacks: as from my last post, middle of the night stuff-my-face-fest

Some things that others bring won’t be on my list. I don’t really take a boppy pillow because it’s bulky and I don’t really need it in the hospital, maybe I’ll change my mind, who knows, I don’t take shower shoes and other random things because I pack for me, like I’m going to away for a day but in reality my house is close enough that I could have someone bring me what I needed very easily.

Final Thoughts:

  • What goes in must come out and you will be taking more out than what you brought in.
  • You will be mostly laboring, eating, sleeping and feeding baby so don’t worry about taking your computer or bringing board games to keep you occupied. Even staring at your new baby will be more appealing than editing your photos. Rest and enjoy.
  • Comfort is key, bring things that will bring you the most comfort, personal blanket or pillow will make the difference in how you sleep.
  • Take snacks, you’ll be hungry in the middle of the night.
  • Nice toiletries will go a long way. Labor is the equivalent of running a marathon, it’s a lot of work and even if you feel great after your body still was still put through an incredible amount of strain and stress so pamper your skin after.
  • Don’t worry about bringing what the hospital offers. With both births of my first boys these things were offered for moms:
    • mesh underwear that you can toss after use, I wore these while in the hospital and upon leaving switching into my own at home.
    • pads
    • water and meals
  • Pain relief including ice packs and dermaplast
  • Some hospitals have birthing balls, some don’t. If you think you will want one check with your hospital first.
  • Towels, you can go either way with this. I don’t care how I dry off as long as I have comfortable clean clothes but I know some women love nice towels, hospitals have towels but they are not nice.
  • If you forget soap the hospital has some but I’m not sure how nice it is.

Again, this is just me, I tend to be somewhat of a minimalist, everything fits nicely into my bag now however I’m sure I’ll pack it full of upon the actual trip. Pack what you need to be comfortable but you can leave the entertainment stuff and luxury comforts at home because once baby is out you won’t care about much else.

On His Terms: How baby 3 showed up to the party

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After I had Willem I felt like I was content with the kids I had and the family God had given me. I was content for a very long time and honestly I would have continued to be content if Harper and Willem where my only sons ever. However, sometime early last spring I watched my boys playing together, pushing trucks around the backyard, make-believing construction sites, having a wonderful time together and this little thought crept into my head: how awesome are my kids, they just love each other. How can we say no to just two kids when our boys are so obviously fantastic wouldn’t another child just add to the fun and greatness we experience in this family?

And that was that. I desired another child but didn’t feel like it was a need so I was gentle about the situation. I started to bring it up to Chad, who was consistently reluctant. My plan (hahahahahahahahahaha, my life is never to my plan, learned that one long ago) was I wanted to start trying for another kid in the fall, giving us a specific amount of time, about 4 months, to try and if it didn’t work out then we were meant to only have 2 kids. I figured that by not trying for another kid I was saying no to God’s potential plan for us, even wondering if He wanted me to have a daughter and by not having another I would be denying His plan. I didn’t want to expect or force another child into our life especially after we had already been blessed with (forced with) 2 but I thought that by putting a specific time limit on this openness I’d be limiting my own expectations and emotions.

In hindsight however, I was putting God on the spot expecting Him to preform (or not) and demanding an answer from Him. Not only was I demanding an answer from God but I was putting a time limit on how long He had to answer me.

Another thing I was looking forward to actually trying for a baby, fertility has been an issue in our marriage in the way of hyper fertility with 1 very unplanned and very loved birth control pill baby and another more prepared for but still surprise pregnancy less than a month after weaning my first baby.

My ideas, my plan was set, I wanted another kid but I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my husband’s sanity so I very bluntly explained to him what I wanted and why. Openness is key right? He listened and he wanted to give me what I wanted but he wasn’t ready and was unsure of what he wanted to so I never got a yes or no and instead I started teasing. Let’s face it, having a third child was not a must on my list it was only a want and I knew this but I wanted Chad to want it as well so I’d say things like:

“If we have another kid, I’ll give you full naming rights.”

“What if your parents decided to stop at 2?” (Chad is the third born)

“If I can have a baby you can have a GoPro.”

I’d say these things in jest but also to persuade. And we continued to talk occasionally about it but the talks just went in circles and I was okay with that because I wasn’t getting blatantly shot down.

Enter mid-summer. Life was hectic, Chad seemed to be working a ton and I was constantly with the boys and busy doing bridesmaid stuff for one of my best friends beautiful wedding. Chad and I rarely saw each other much less slept in the same bed at the same time. Thoughts of a baby where still in my heart but with no desire to try until the fall (I wanted a spring baby) it was definitely not in the forefront of my brain though I still enjoyed teasing Chad here and there in order to prep him for bringing back the serious talk in a couple months.

One night while Chad was at work I was giving the kids a bath and doing what any mother of young kids does when they don’t have to supervise their kids for drowning anymore but can’t leave them alone because all the water will end up on the floor and out of the bath tub . . . I cleaned. That particular night I was working on the closet and found a cheap pregnancy test. While nursing Willem I never had a period so I’d buy cheap tests to take every other month or so just to put my mind at ease. My period was due the next day and I knew I wasn’t pregnant but I couldn’t throw away an unused test. Even in knowing the test would be negative there’s something that’s just a little exciting about taking one, whether it’s hope of a baby or reassurance of a lack of pregnancy there is a little thrill. So I peed on it. A few minutes pass and I turn around to throw it away, took a second look, then studied it. I saw a line.

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It wasn’t a strong line, hell it was hardly there, so it was probably an accident right? My period was due the next day, I had zero symptoms and it was physically impossible according to science. We had been responsibly practicing natural family planning which I was led to believe is pretty damn accurate in preventing and planning for pregnancy and I was following it right! I double checked my ovulation chart app to check my” life facts” then began to scour google using searches along the lines of “accuracy of blue dye pregnancy tests” and “false positive pregnancy tests.” Luckily I found that there was a very small chance that this test was wrong but considering all the factors, I was sure it was. Then at the end of the night, just to see if there was something I was missing I took the test back out of the trash and ripped the plastic apart looking inside, I’m not sure what I was expecting to see in there but I thought it might help my mystery, it didn’t.

The next day after Chad woke up that afternoon I snuck out of the house alone with the excuse of needing something from Target. Luckily a Target trip on Chad’s day off means I get to go alone. At Target I quickly found 2 other items I had to have in order to make my basket look like I wasn’t there for one reason only (plus I had to come home with something). Sulking in the test aisle I prayed no one I knew would be there that morning (small town issues) and studied the tests looking for the holy grail of pregnancy tests, the “First Response, Early Response.” This test is the relied upon one for telling women what’s going on in their uterus. It meshed well in my little red basket and I scurried to check out luckily only a few yards away.

As soon as I made my purchase I ran out of the store. Just kidding. I went to the bathroom and took the test in a public stall like a teenager hiding from her parents. I peed, tossed the test in my purse and discarded all the evidence (box, wrapper, directions and receipt) in the bathroom there and then went to my car.

Turned the car on, opened my Dr. Pepper and took a deep breath. I pulled out the test and saw 2 lines, 1 line = not pregnant. 2 lines=pregnant. It was fainter than the control but there was no mistaking that line. Chad was going to be pissed.

Pregnancy test on the arm rest in my car.

Pregnancy test on the arm rest in my car.

Telling him is a whole other story but to finish this one off I felt insane. It was too much for my mind to process, this is what I wanted just not how I wanted. I was extremely happy but also terrified (as anyone is when they get a positive test), worried about telling Chad and mostly confused by how it could happen. Well, I’m sure it was by the grace of God and him pointing at my life and gently teaching me yet again, He makes the rules, not me.

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