Hospital Bag and post-partum care: What I actually used

I thought it might be helpful to do an updated post about my hospital bag and post-partum care items. Click here for the original post.

This was my list:

Hospital Bag:
•Photo ID, insurance card, list of medications, and birth plan (also pediatrician info if you have one) –

  • These items were a must.

•A couple changes of clothes (loose-fitting maternity clothes) –

  • I only needed one outfit for going home. I stayed in my hospital gown because things got messy.

•Underwear –

  • I didn’t use any. The hospital provided mesh underwear to wear with huge pads. I definitely would not have wanted to wear my own right away. I bought depends to wear for the first week or so, with a pad inserted inside. The bleeding was very heavy.

•Bras/nursing bras –

  • I only wore one on my way home. Since I cannot breastfeed due to medical reasons, I had to wear a bra 24-7 for a couple weeks after giving birth, to help keep my milk from coming in. I only had a couple days where my breasts swelled, got sore, and leaked a tiny bit.

•Breast pads –

  • Only needed them for a couple days, since I am not breastfeeding.

•Socks –

  • I didn’t need any. The hospital wanted me to wear their socks that had tread on the bottom, so I wouldn’t slip and fall.

•Flip flops –

  • These were a MUST for me! My feet began swelling massively the day I left the hospital. I had a pair of cheap flip flops that were kinda big and loose on my feet, thank goodness.

•Slippers –

  • Didn’t use any.

•Chapstick –

  • Very important! My lips got soooo dry during labor.

•Nipple cream, if nursing –

  • I didn’t need any. My milk hadn’t come in anyway, so even if I was nursing, I would not have needed it. (If you are breastfeeding, you probably should bring it.)

•My own shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, body spray, hair gel. –

  • I LOVED having my own stuff when I took a shower!!

•Hair ties and/or headbands –

  • Definitely needed those!

•A couple snacks –

  • Hubby needed them, since it was such a long labor. Glad we brought some.

•Hard candies for me to suck on (some people bring suckers or popsicles) –

  • I actually didn’t use any. The hospital had popsicles, and I mostly sucked on ice chips.

•Change for vending machines –

  • Hubby used it all.

•Extra batteries for the camera –

  • We didn’t end up needing any extra ones. We took some photos on our camera, but used our phones a lot.

•When ready, we will grab the camera and my phone and charger (Andy’s phone and charger, too). –

  • Definitely needed those!

•Our laptop isn’t working, or we would bring that as well. –

  • N/A (Would have been nice to have, but my phone worked fine.)

•Pillow for me and boppy nursing pillow –

  • I didn’t bring any pillows. I kind of wish I had. The hospital pillows SUCK so bad!! Although, my pillows would have gotten messy, most likely. I could have maybe gotten some cheap pillow cases and waterproof covers or something.

In a smaller duffel bag:
•A couple outfits for Graham –

  • We only used one outfit for going home, but we probably could have used more if we wanted. We were glad we had different sizes, since he was a lot smaller than we thought he would be.

(Hospital will provide all items needed for baby’s care while you’re there).
•Extra space to take as many hospital goodies as we can (LOL, everyone does it). –

  • We took everything we could! The nurse told us to.

Items on hand to take care of my post-pregnancy body:
•Depends –

  • These were great to have.

•Super heavy, long pads –

  • I am STILL using a ton of these! I should have bought like 10 packs of them!
    (Hospital will provide mesh underwear and other personal care items while you’re there).

•I’m hoping to get a peri-bottle at the hospital to take home. –

  • They gave me one. It’s important to use every time you go to the bathroom.

•Extra underwear –

  • Since I used Depends during the heaviest days, I haven’t had to throw any out now that I’m wearing them. Larger underwear is a must. They don’t have to be granny-panties necessarily. I have hipsters, which are roomier.

•Bras/nursing bras –

  • I was glad I had a couple bras that were a little loose on me, because my boobs got bigger when my milk was trying to come in. Now, they are about the same size they were during pregnancy. They might be getting a little smaller.

•Breast pads –

  • Barely used. You will need plenty if you are breastfeeding.

•Nipple cream –

  • Didn’t use. You will need it if you’re breastfeeding.

•Tucks Pads or Preparation H Wipes (look for witch hazel as the ingredient) –

  • Oh yes, you will definitely want these!!

•Colace (stool softener) –

  • Very important! I have hemorrhoids from giving birth, and it hurts to go # 2! I still take Colace everyday.

•Ibuprofen (pain reliever) –

  • I definitely had to take some all day long, everyday. I still need it. I also had Vicodin, but still needed Ibuprofen.

•I found this awesome recipe on Pinterest to make your own “padsicles”, which are pads soaked in witch hazel and then frozen. They’re supposed to feel pretty amazing on your lady parts after giving birth. *Click Here*

  • I didn’t end up making these. I should have though. The hospital had some iced pads, which felt nice. I took a few home with me.

Birth Story

Graham Harrison Bailey

Born August 3, 2013 at 9:04pm after 47 hours of labor

5 lbs, 8 oz and 18 inches

My due date was August 20th, but the plan was to induce one week early on August 13th. Between mid-June and mid-July, Graham’s growth percentile dropped by half. That, along with his non-reactive non-stress tests, caused my OB and MFM specialist to discuss taking him even earlier. We continued to monitor Graham for 2 weeks, when my doctors decided it was time.

August 1, 2013

  • 37 weeks, 2 days – I went to Labor & Delivery early in the morning to have an amniocentesis performed. My MFM specialist wanted to determine if Graham’s lungs were fully matured. That was an uncomfortable procedure, but I kept my focus on my baby boy. We needed to make sure he was healthy. While I was still there being monitored, the results came back saying his lungs were mature. We would induce that night, starting at 10:00pm.
  • 10:00pm – Andy and I arrived at the hospital, feeling giddy and nervous. I was hooked up to fetal monitors and IV fluids. The monitors showed I was already having contractions on my own.
  • 11:45pm – The nurse finally placed Cervidil inside of me, right by my Cervix. It is a medication made to “ripen” the cervix, causing softening and dilation. It was difficult for both of us to get any sleep because A) We were too excited and B) They kept coming in to do my vital signs every 30 minutes to an hour. Plus, I was hooked up to all kinds of stuff and the hospital bed was really uncomfortable.

August 2, 2013

  • Early morning – I was hoping for some progress when the nurse came to check me. There wasn’t really anything going on with my cervix. I was about a fingertip dilated. I felt somewhat bummed out but tried to stay positive and patient. Cervidil is a 12 hour dose, so we had to wait to do anything else until at least 11:45am.
  • 12:45pm – My doctor ordered Cytotec to be placed near my cervix. It’s another medication used to soften/dilate the cervix and bring on contractions. It was definitely stronger and more effective than Cervidil for me. At this time, I had progressed a tiny bit – I was 1 cm dilated and had a little bit of bloody show when the nurse checked me. She said the bleeding was good and would help the Cytotec absorb.
  • 5:00pm – Cytotec is a 4 hour dose, so the nurse checked me again at this time to decide what to do next. My water broke!! She was just getting ready to check me, when a big gush came out (on the nurse’s hand, I might add LOL). I was only 1.5 dilated though. My contractions were stronger and more painful once my water broke, but they weren’t strong enough to help me progress more quickly. I continued to leak amniotic fluid and lose my mucus plug for quite some time.
  • 8:00pm – Dilated to 2cm. Waiting to see if Pitocin would be started.
  • 10:15pm – Pitocin (IV medication) started in hopes of making contractions stronger. The nurse denied me an Epidural because she said it would delay progress.

August 3, 2013

  • 9:00am – I was still at 2cm after being on Pitocin all night. I was feeling discouraged. My contractions became unbearable between 6am – 9am, so I finally received an Epidural at 9:00am. It took away pretty much all of my pain, and I was able to get some rest. My Pitocin IV was increased to a higher dose. A catheter was placed in my bladder, since I was unable to use my legs (due to the Epidural). I remember hating the numbness in my legs. It felt so weird!! But I was so glad for pain relief at last!
  • 12:30pm – Finally some good progress! 4 cm dilated and very thin. Baby’s head was “right there”. Graham had a few decelerations in his heart rate, which was scary. I had to be repositioned many times to improve blood flow to him. I was also placed on oxygen. I had serious nausea going on and vomited profusely. My Pitocin drip had to be turned off and restarted on lower doses a few times. They were worried the strong Pitocin contractions were causing Graham’s decelerations. He always rebounded just fine, thankfully.
  • Between 12:30pm and 4:30pm, I went from 4cm to 9cm. I can’t remember the exact details of my cervix checks during those hours. I was so exhausted and uncomfortable.
  • Between 4:30pm and 8:00pm, they wanted me to continue contracting, in hopes of bringing Graham down even further into the birth canal. I was placed in various positions, and the idea was that contractions and gravity would bring him down and minimize my pushing time. I don’t think it worked.
  • 7:00pm to 8:00pm – My contractions were INSANE and my Epidural was wearing off. I couldn’t feel my legs, but I sure could feel everything else. The nurse didn’t want me to push yet, even though I was 10cm at that time. She said I might have to push for a really long time and it would exhaust me. I told her I didn’t care – I could NOT wait any longer. I started pushing at 8:05pm.
  • I was scared, exhausted beyond words, and didn’t know if I could do it. My husband was cheering me on, telling me how proud he was, and saying how strong I was. My mom was there cheering me on, too. It felt like a sport, the way the nurses were cheering and encouraging me. It helped me though! The pushing was excruciating because I had a couple bruised ribs on my left side. I powered through it though. I kept thinking of my son. I was actually doing better than I thought because I pushed him down really far. The nurse was surprised. I know my body, and I was right to start pushing when I did.
  • Around 8:45pm, the doctor arrived. I was almost there. Graham was sunny-side up, so the doctor turned him. It was really painful. She performed an Episiotomy, as well (I still ended up with some tears though). My Pitocin contractions were right on top of each other, over and over and lasting really long. It hurt so bad, but pushing made it feel a little better. I pushed 3 times on each contraction. Finally, on the 3rd push during an exceptionally strong contraction (after pushing for one hour total), Graham’s whole body just came right out! I couldn’t believe it! I did that!!!
  • 9:04pm – A squirmy, warm, slimy, tiny human was born, crying, and placed immediately onto my chest. He was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen, and his cry was the best sound I had ever heard. I bawled my eyes out and looked at him in amazement and shock. My husband burst into tears and was sobbing uncontrollably. He kept saying, “This is so amazing.” They took Graham away to clean him up, weigh him, and do whatever else they do. I couldn’t take my eyes off Graham as they were working on him. I just wanted to hold him forever and not share him with anyone (except maybe my husband). I looked at my husband occasionally, watching him cry as he looked at Graham with love and excitement. I never felt so much love for my husband, than I did in that moment. Andy cut the cord. He looked so proud. My mom cried and kept telling me how proud she was of me. All I could do was cry and cry and say I couldn’t believe it after all this time. I felt so much joy, love, disbelief, pride, and relief.

Typing this out is making me cry my eyes out, as I remember how unbelievably amazing it was. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but the best thing I’ve ever done. After waiting years to meet my son, and after having such a long labor, the relief and flood of emotions was intense and overwhelming – but in a really good way!! Graham was worth the wait times a million. I don’t regret one single thing that led me to him. He was always meant to be. I wasn’t just waiting for “a baby”, I was waiting for Graham.


My week in review..

34 weeks, 3 days ~

Sorry I haven’t updated sooner! It’s been a busy, hectic week.

I continued to have contractions all last weekend, but they became less frequent and less painful as each day passed. By Monday, they had calmed down. I called my doctors on Monday, even though I was feeling a lot better. Neither my MFM specialist or my OB seemed concerned, since there hadn’t been any major cervical changes. They told me to keep my regularly scheduled appointments this week. I felt good about that.

Tuesday, I was visiting with my bestie’s mom. She’s like a second mother to me. We had a wonderful time! My bestie is in the air force and stationed down south. She has 3 little boys and sent a big box of baby stuff for me up with her mom! It was full of nice clothes and other goodies! Her mom took me out to eat and bought me a box of diapers and a package of onesies! How nice!!

Wednesday, we had a big scary storm that knocked out our power. We FINALLY got power back today (Friday)!! My phone died, and I was cut off from the world. It sucked. First world problems, ya know. LOL. Plus it was pretty hot and miserable, and our food had to be thrown out. 😦 Anyway, that’s why I haven’t been able to update until now.

Thursday, I had my growth ultrasound and check up with my MFM specialist (high risk doc). Graham is doing great!! He’s estimated at 5 lbs, 1 oz (that was 34 weeks, 2 days). He’s still head down! My blood pressure was perfect, and my urine was clear. It was a fabulous appointment!! Upon leaving my appointment, my car wouldn’t start! I couldn’t get in touch with anyone forever. I was beginning to panic that I would be stranded. Finally, my brother-in-law was able to come and help me out. We got the car running, thank goodness!

Thursday night, I began having those darn period-like cramps again. They weren’t as bad as the ones I had on the 4th of July. I woke up today (Friday), still having a few cramps. I went to my regularly scheduled OB appointment, and the NST was picking up on contractions. My doctor did a cervix check, and I’m barely dilated – not even a centimeter. So, that’s good news!! It hasn’t changed since a week ago, when I was in Labor & Delivery. There’s nothing really I can do about these pesky contractions (that I’m not already doing), but it looks like Graham is staying put for awhile! I’m soooo glad for that!!

I’m still having contractions now, but I’m going to go put my feet up and relax (and drinks lots of water, of course). I’m meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow. Other than that, I can just chill all weekend. 🙂 Will write more soon, as well as catch up on your blogs!