Thursday, March 15, 2012

What's in Kate's...

... Hospital Bag {C-Section Style}? 

Time for another round of my favorite cop-out blog post game!

I put off packing for the hospital until the very last minute.  And in true "productive procrastinator" spirit, I consulted umpteen suggested packing lists - from the very minimal to the chronically over-prepared - before finally biting the bullet and gettin' that rolly bag done. {I also received some sage advice from readers... gracias, by the way!}. 

Here's the rundown on what worked and what didn't {keeping in mind we planned on being in the hospital for at least 72 hours / ended up staying 6 days}... 

{Day 20: Handwriting} my (likely overzealous) packing list #febphotoaday

Pre-Op Bag {packed in a large tote... everything else stayed in the car until we moved out of recovery up to our room}
- Cord blood kit
- Purse, including minimal makeup, lip balm, hair ties, comb - Lots of folks said "oh you won't feel like putting on makeup"... au contraire!  You can't tell from our damn photos, but it was lovely to have concealer, blush, and mascara - helped me feel more like myself {as did my Kendra Scott Danielles}!
- iPod + Speakers - We were told we could listen to our own music in the operating room.  As such we spent about 5 hours compiling the perfect "Birth Soundtrack."  Unfortunately, we were told wrong and L entered the world to the sounds of Tito Puente's Oye Como Va.  {It could have been worse... "The Candyman Can" was playing as my spinal was administered.} So... the iPod / speaker combo wasn't needed pre-op but we loved having it in our room during the rest of our stay.
- Camera; Video Camera - Duh.
- Chargers - Double Duh.
- Snacks for Evan - I actually don't think he ate anything during pre-op or recovery... which was probably a smart move considering I hadn't eaten in 12 hours and likely would have smacked him upside the head for enjoying tasty treats.
- Peanut Clusters for Nurses & Guests - I made crockpot peanut clusters tied with purple, green, and gold ribbon to hand out to the hospital staff and our guests in honor of our Fat Tuesday Baby.  They were a huge hit!
- Slippers - I loved having my own slippers to wear instead of those sticky hospital socks.


Vanity Note
As someone who was pretty damn bummed about having a c-section, I will say that the upside is Beautification Prep.  We're talking wax, pedicure, shellac, and blow-out... If I was going to be forced to deviate from my desired birth plan, I was going to do it up big... Dallas Style.  If you can swing this pre-birth, I highly recommend it... I felt mostly human and not-so-icky throughout the actual day of surgery and into the first few days of our stay.  And my shellac manicure is still going strongish!

Post-Op Bag
 {packed in a small rolly bag}
- Toiletries - Don't forget your own shampoo and conditioner!
- Pads, Breast Pads, Nipple Cream - I brought my own {non-brick-like} pads on the advice of other c-section mamas.  While I didn't really need to mega-absorbency of the hospital pads, they worked better with the mesh undies, so I didn't end up using mine.  Breast padswere a must for keeping oily nipple cream off my bras and tanks.  The hospital gave me lanolin for sore nipples, but I brought my own Motherloveand was very glad I did... the lanolin is sticky and rough on the ol' girls.
- Breastfeeding / Baby Care Books - Yep, I was that girl who toted her Baby 411Ina May's Guide to Breastfeedingto the hospital... and I was so glad I did. When L was diagnosed with severe jaundice, and when we were having so many latch issues, consulting my books helped put my mind at ease.
- Cardstock for Footprints + Baby Book - Very First Mom Fail... We never remembered to ask the nurses to take L's footprints down for us, nor did I write one word in her baby book.  Woops.
- Target Undies - Many ladies suggested purchasing the largest underwear I could find to cover my incision post-op.  While they've come in handy now that I'm home, I opted for the hospital's mesh underpants.  No shame... I love those things.
- Nursing Tanks x4 - 100% essential.
- LEC Heritage Cardigans x2 + 1 Boyfriend Cardigan - Also 100% essential; for over the tanks.
- Nursing Bras x2 - I only wore the tanks.
- Maternity Tees x2  - Again, I only wore the tanks.
- Nursing Caftan - This sucker is awesome in theory {I wore the shit out of it as PJs in my 3rd trimester}, and I planned on wearing it as my nightgown in the hospital. {Please note that mine is a pretty magenta and marigold Indian pattern... no creepy-ass bears.} Unfortunately, the button opening didn't end up being wide enough to nurse comfortably. I wore a true nursing gown that my mom brought me instead.
- Maternity Maxi Skirt - I wore this every single day we were in the hospital. Lovely, I know.
- Non-Maternity Lounge Pants - Even though I packed a pair that were one size up from my normal size, these were not large enough to be comfy with my post-delivery bump and incision.
- Robe - Definitely a must.
- Flipflops - For when my feet were too warm for slippers
- Pillow - I packed one, but we ended up having my parents bring up both of our king sized pillows as well as a fleece blanket - definitely made our room a little more homey.
- Nursing Pillow - I brought the Brest Friend
but ended up just using the pillows that were already surrounding me in bed.
- Snacks - We probably ate five pounds of GORP.  We also brought raw almonds, clementines, Annie's fruit snacks, and Teddy Grahams.
- iPad, Laptop, DVDs - Didn't use any of these.  As noted above, we did listen to our iPod + speakers a bunch.

We also packed L's Diaper Bag with several cute outfits, hats, and swaddle blankets.  We used the swaddle blankets and the hats {the hospital caps wouldn't stay on her head}, but only dressed her in her own clothes for the ride home.

Things I Didn't Pack
- Breast Pump - I used the industrial grade hospital variety.  One less thing to lug around, plus the Medela Symphony is the bomb dot com and packs way more suction than personal pumps.  I liked it so much, I rented it for 4 weeks to help boost my supply, and I would totally buy one if I had an extra $1500 to burn.
- Hair Dryer - Shoulda woulda coulda packed one.

... Happy packing / birthing!  


  1. this will be so helpful if we ever get pregnant!! Did you get your own hospital gown or use the standard ones they issue?

  2. Loved that you packed Fat Tuesday treats, too cute.

  3. I never got J's footprint's in her book either. And, she was there three weeks! So, that should make you feel a little better. :)

    I was so glad I had my robe when I was there as well. And, really, the hairdryer didn't get used but once maybe...

  4. Hi Kate,

    Thanks so much for your honest, helpful posts. I'm due in four weeks, and you've been an awesome resource. Quick question: Where did you get your nursing tanks? I'm in the market. :) Thanks so much!

  5. Were you in there for 6 days because she went to the NICU? That is crazy long! Glad you guys escaped.

  6. bringing treats for the nurses...genius.
    Hope all is going well! Congratulations.

  7. So, if you don't mine telling, how much did they rent the pump for and do you feel like it has been worth it?

  8. How did that nursing gown fit (the one your mom bought)? Was it fairly true to size? My hip measurements tell me to order a large, but my boobs say to order a S. WTF?

  9. What a great post. I've had one c-section but it wasn't planned so I wasn't prepared with all the stuff, had my mom running back and forth. I agree with you on the tanks, they are the best. This list will help me come May!

  10. i way overpacked for the hospital, but of course managed to forget shampoo and conditioner! the one other thing i wished i would have brought were my own bath towels. the hospital ones were so teeny and scratchy. it would have been nice to have that comfort from home when everything else about the first post-baby shower is FAR from comfortable :)

    hope you're doing well!

  11. Almost a year later and so glad I bookmarked this :)

  12. The song I remember playing during my c-section was The Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz." It was weird.


happy little comments!