When I delivered my first son, I had to have an emergency C-section. I had my basic hospital bag which contained a change of clothes and some baby outfits for my son, but since there was such short notice before he was born, I couldn’t even have my husband there. It was about 1 am and my husband still had to fly out to where I was, since he had been stationed in another state at the time.
The whole ordeal was incredibly awful and slightly traumatizing (but that’s a story for another time), and I’ve since learned that the more I can control during pregnancy and childbirth, the more enjoyable the experience. The birth of my second son was like a fairytale dream…if Disney ever decides to make a movie about the wonders of childbirth-very doubtful.
Anyway, one of the variables I could control during the birth of my second son was the items that I brought with me. And these items influenced my experience with other things like sleep, self-care, mental health, baby feedings and happiness, and overall comfort. Maybe some of the things I brought are on everyone’s list but the nurse and my doctor seemed shocked when they saw I had brought in my own TV from home. Yeah, when they told my husband and me during our hospital tour that there was no HDMI port on their televisions and that their Smart TV’s did not include Netflix or a way to login to the Amazon Prime Video app, I took matters into my own hands.
These are the things I hauled during my planned C-section (note, that some moms may not be able to bring all these things if they have to rush to the hospital, but the more you can pack ahead of time, the better off you are!):
- 2 sets of pajamas. I knew I would be staying for at least one night but they said it could be up to 3 and I wanted to be prepared instead of being restricted to the gowns which open up in the back.
- extra socks. I wanted the ones I knew I liked
- underwear. yes, the hospital provides you with disposable ones, but I had researched ones which would be comfortable after a C-section and brought those with me so I felt more coverage and comfort)
- sports bras. I was breastfeeding but still very modest so I wanted to make sure that if it was cold in the hospital, there would be nothing showing through my gown
- snacks. I got Gatorade and some of my favorite cookies and chips from the gas station before we checked into the hospital that day, because I wasn’t sure what the menu would be for me…my mother-in-law ordered pizza for me which the hospital almost didn’t let me eat because they said I had to wait 24 hours after my C-section. NO THANKS! I didn’t eat for 12 hours already so that I could have my C-section. I would not be starving myself, especially if I planned on breastfeeding. They cited nausea as an excuse but I wasn’t nauseous at all and even if I had been, I’d rather throw up the food later than be nauseous from an empty stomach)
- outfit for picture
- blankets for little basket (where they are placed to sleep is usually not very warm, and since I needed at AC and it was Minnesota, I wanted to make sure my baby was warm so I wrapped the small mattress in the hospital bassinet in blankets from home that were thicker than the newborn ones used to swaddle)
- extra socks and hats (hospital provides these, but again, you have your choice of style and materials when you bring your own)
- baby shampoo (I brought Mustela because I hate the Johnson & Johnson brand, and newborns are too sensitive to chance it with whatever the hospital has)