With only a month or two to go before the baby is born, my thoughts have turned to the big day and what I need to bring to the hospital. As a close friend of mine ended up giving birth via emergency C-section eight weeks before her due date, I am well aware of the fact that it's a good idea to be prepared sooner rather than later.
I've divided my hospital preparations into two categories:
1 - an emergency bag that is ready to go at all times
2 - a non-essential packing list for the big day
My logic is that, if everything goes according to plan and I have a normal, natural birth, once the contractions start I will have enough time to go through the list and pack my bag. In case of an emergency (early labour, complications, whatever) the emergency bag is ready to go.
The emergency bag contains:
* clothes for the baby
* two large soft cloths to wrap the baby in
* five small soft cloths for cleaning/wiping
* the wrap
* lanolin nipple cream
* breast pads
* sanitary towels
* multiple copies of my birth plan
* baby shampoo
* baby wipes
* disposable nappies (supposedly the hospital supplies these, but better safe than sorry)
* sterilized breast pump and bottle (for emergencies only - I plan to breastfeed)
This bag is nice and small and has been ready to go for a few weeks.
The packing list contains clothes for me during labour and post-birth, a change of clothing for my husband, toiletries and other non-essential but welcome items like the kindle (for quick reference to my baby books), camera and snacks. Once the list is finalized, I'm going to print it out and walk my husband through it. In an emergency, he can always use it to bring the right stuff to the hospital.
Perhaps you're wondering why I just don't pack two bags right away. Well, first of all it seems a bit of a waste to leave a bunch of clothes waiting around in a bag for a month. My maternity wardrobe is pretty limited and I want to enjoy the clothes for as long as possible. In addition, the list gives me flexibility to adapt to whatever the conditions are on the big day without forgetting anything important.
I guess I'm ready to go!