In the technicalities, what with being booked in for a home birth, I won’t technically need a hospital bag, but I’ve put a load of stuff together for the simple reason that firstly, I’m planning for the unexpected, and second, a lot of first timers do end up getting transferred to hospital to actually have the baby for a whole host of reasons. This does mean that I’ve compiled a bit of a stripped down bag of tricks, compared to this epic suggested packing list from babycentre.co.uk (most of the lists I’ve seen are pretty similar to this actually), and my bag is only going to really have to cover stuff for a stay in hospital, rather than things to keep you calm and entertained while going through the majority of labour as we should, all being well, be able to at least do that bit at home and if for whatever reason we do end up being transferred, it won’t be until a bit further down the line, when I’m guessing I’m not going to give a stuff about aromatherapy oils and an ipod playlist.
In my ‘bag for me’ is…
-Toiletries, towel and pj’s for a hospital stay
-Maternity and breast pads (for catching the post birth spillages- a delight!)
-Something comfy to wear to come home in- Leggings and a big jumper in this case, basically the same thing I’ve been wearing for the last six months!
-Massive pants, in case of caesarean
and for the small one
-Some nappies and water wipes- I don’t fancy trying to clean up that evil first poo I’ve been hearing all about with cotton wool, no thank you. I’m erring on the side of caution and only bringing a few- I can always send out for supplies if we end up in hospital for the long-haul
-Two sleep suits and two vests (see above!)
-Something fun to come home in- in this case, I’ve got a grey and white stripey baby gro, a vest and one of those really stupid hats that all babies seem to wear
-A little blanket
-Grey padded suit thingy- It has ears on the hood! It’s not mega padded, so I think will be OK for going in a car seat, but looks dead cosy!
-A little set of ready made formula in tiny bottles. I’ll be honest, I still haven’t made a decision about breast or bottle, and the whole decision making thing is freaking me out, so I’m really hoping I’ll be able to decide either way on the day on instinct, rather than trying to overthink it now!
I figure we’re close enough to home that I can send out for supplies, and Mark can bring up the car seat and whatnot when we’re good to go, rather than having it cluttering up the hospital.
Onwards with the homebirth stuff- A few practical supplies have been suggested for this stage of the proceedings, most of which we already had to hand, but I’ve put it all in one place so we can get to it…
-Shower curtains- as a waterproof surface to protect soft furnishings
-Towels- an abundance. I’ve basically found any slightly mank or discoloured ones, seeing as we bought a load of new ones for our pretty new bathroom, including a load of really old was-white-now-grey ones, which clearly aren’t going to be the most practical colour for mopping up fluids, but will be going straight in the bin afterwards!
-A bucket for puking in, or worse, for speedy disposal of any poo that might end up making an appearance (nobody said this giving birth thing was glamourous)
-A hot water bottle- I’ve heard good things!
-A duvet. An old duvet, I hasten to add, but I thought maybe that’d be good for curling up in in the early stages, or as some kind of knee protection- my yoga teacher keeps saying that loads of people labour on their hands and knees, so I may as well prepare for the inevitable!
-A massive navy stripy nightie which will be long enough to preserve my modesty (hopefully!… unless I’m one of those people that goes all primal and strips off during labour- gah!)
In addition, my midwife delivered a frankly petrifying-looking box of kit last weekend, which I took no hesitation in diving into for a good rummage, and consequently left myself feeling a little bit scared! I’ve made my peace with the scary box of birthing doom now (it all just seemed so…medical when I first looked inside), so here’s details on what it contained:
-Gloves, an abundance of gloves… and lube… and these absorbent mat thingys
-A big stick thing for breaking waters if they don’t go of their own accord
-Perineal suture kit (bargh!- kinda hoping I won’t need that one!)
– Speculum. Mark has been making quacking duck noises at it. Child.
-Stuff for taking blood
-The ‘delivery pack’- I can’t see what’s in it, but I looked up the details online and it’s artery forceps, cord clamps and scissors… for cord cutting, I’m assuming
-Catheters- which was the bit that kind of freaked me out the most, to be honest- until I read about how you can’t squeeze a baby out with a full bladder, or you’ll basically explode (ok, I’m exaggerating), so you get a catheter whipped in to drain you out if you’ve not been able to go for a wee
-Massive orange bag, which I can only assume is to take a placenta away in!
I’ve also got a load of snacks and some frozen pizzas in, which have been hidden away, with strict instructions that they are not to be eaten until ‘labour day’- I figure even if I’m otherwise occupied, Mark and the midwife will need feeding at some point
I think we’re ready!