Monday, August 22, 2016

five unexpected things I'm packing in my (scheduled C-section) hospital bag

We're one week away from meeting our baby girl. After my long labors ending in C-sections with Silas and Delia, we'll be having a scheduled C-section next Monday at noon. It's a strange thing to schedule the birth date of our babe, and I think it will be even more strange to walk into the hospital knowing that we'll meet her within the hour. 

You can find all kinds of lists all over the internet detailing what to pack in your hospital bag for labor and birth. Some things seem a little silly to me (reading material? and everyone says you should bring chapstick for the dry hospitals, but I've never had issues with that...), and some are just obvious (your ID, a robe, baby blankets, a camera...)

As I made my list for our third C-section hospital stay, a few things popped up in my brain that I couldn't find on any other list, so I thought I'd share here. Just a few "outside the box" ideas that you might find helpful!

1. LED battery operated candles // I bought a few of these before Delia's birth, and we loved the soft glow and ambience they lent during middle of the night feedings. They made our hospital room feel a little bit more homey and I still have sweet memories of those first moments nursing Delia in the warm glow of candlelight. 2. Handheld mirror // After a C-section, there was no way I was going to be standing in front of the bathroom mirror to apply some blush and mascara, and a hand held mirror propped up on my bedside table was much more convenient. 3. Peppermint tea // One of the strangest and most painful parts of my C-section recovery with Delia was trapped air in my shoulder after surgery. Apparently it is fairly common for air bubbles to get trapped in your body, causing searing pain, often in your shoulder area. Lot of warm peppermint tea is one thing that my midwife at the time suggested to help ease it out, so I'll be packing some just in case. I've heard that peppermint has also been known to decrease milk supply, so I may throw in a few different varieties of tea to switch it up. 4. Rice sock // Nothing really made the pain of the trapped air in my shoulder go away until the bubble dissolved a few days later, but a sock filled with rice, warmed in the microwave helped alleviate the pain just a bit. I had my mom bring ours from home last time, so I'll be packing it just in case this time. A heating pad works well too! 5. Essential oils and diffuser // It's been almost a year since we started using essential oils, and I'm so thankful for their presence in our life. We'll definitely be diffusing lavender during our stay for calming, and I've also heard great things about the grounding effects of frankincense, so we'll be packing that along too. A few other things I'll be bringing to the hospital: nursing gowns (I've packed loose pants in the past, but last time found that I really just wanted gowns because of my C-section scar), our Miracle blanket swaddle, flip-flops (much prefer these to wearing socks), my own fluffy towel and favorite shampoo, soothing gel nipple pads (LOVE these things for sore nipples), camera (duh) and some cute outfits/headbands/hats for baby girl. 
I'd love to hear your must-have hospital bag essentials!