My second baby will be born (hopefully!) within the next three weeks. As I am getting everything ready for the baby to come, the trip to the hospital has been on my mind.
From my experience when my first daughter was born, here are some things that I learned to make the hospital visit go a bit more smoothly:
~ Bring slippers or flip-flops. I personally found that I hated the little slipper-socks the nurses gave me. They were much to hot to wear when laying in bed, but it was a ton of effort to get them on and off between walks around the halls. Slippers or flip-flops would be much easier to slide on when getting out of bed, then slide back off when ready to lay back down!
~ Bring some after-birth entertainment. This may seem terribly obvious to most people, but I had the idea in my head that once the baby was born, my entire life would be completely and constantly filled with taking care of the little one. Not so. I had to send my husband home more than once to pick up another book or movie to occupy my mind during the long hours of baby's sleeping or between visitors.
~ Pack the shampoo you like the best. Again out of first-time-parent ignorance, when I packed for the hospital, I packed all kinds of things to use during labor--tennis balls for back massages, for example--that I never used. I only packed them because they were on the lists in all the pregnancy books. Those aren't necessarily bad things to pack, but I was so concerned about the labor part that I sadly underestimated what I would need and want for the recovery time.
A few other things I wished I had taken:
~All of my usual toiletries. It is much more comfortable to shower and be able to style your hair with the combs, brushes, and products that you're used to using. I had a hard time staying in bed for three days, and it was nice to be able to at least feel clean and groomed.
~Two outfits for going home. Sounds weird, I know. I had one maternity outfit packed that I didn't really like that I had to wear home. In the same way I wanted the baby to look cute going home, I wanted to look cute, too, and that outfit just didn't cut it! This time, I plan on taking one maternity outfit that I really like, as well as one non-maternity outfit just in case I loose enough weight that non-maternity clothes would fit better. (It doesn't hurt to be optimistic while being prepared!)
I know that every birthing experience is different, and we can all learn something new from each other. So...
What things would you suggest having in the hospital during labor? During recovery?
What things did you take to the hospital that you found you never used?
Do you have any other advice or suggestions for how to have as positive of a hospital experience as possible?