When you are pregnant with your firstborn, you somehow get this idea in your mind that you can plan exactly how your delivery will go. I know I did. You have visions in your mind of the relaxing ocean waves or favorite playlist that will be helping you breathe through contractions. Maybe even an oil diffuser for added calm. But before the contractions get too hard, you'll pull out that novel you packed or a few reports for work you need to read. You'll pack a cute maternity gown - probably white - with matching robe that you'll don before and after delivery. Don't forget your makeup, of course, so you can freshen up before friends and family come by to visit. Maybe even the curling iron for good measure. Oh, and of course your pre-pregnancy jeans which you'll fit into after giving birth...right?
And then, you actually get to the delivery day - maybe two weeks earlier than expected like me, or maybe in the middle of the night when your water suddenly breaks, or maybe two weeks late when you just can't go another day...and you soon realize that your vision of delivery and the reality of delivery can be very, very different.
Granted there are those of you out there who had births exactly like you planned. You used every gizmo and gadget you packed in your hospital bag or you had a beautiful home birth that was just as you'd envisioned. It is indeed possible. But I'm here to tell you that for me and dozens of moms I talked to, there was a whole lot of time spent carefully planning and packing our hospital bags only to never use most of the stuff in there. Here's what moms really used...and what packed items make them laugh in hindsight.
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What Real Moms Really Used in Their Delivery Bags
- "I laugh that I brought make up. I was in so much pain after surgery that I did not care what I looked like afterwards. I did pack coming home outfits which were really fun to put on the kids." - Stacey WB.
- "I brought my pre-pregnancy jeans thinking that they would just magically fit. 😂 - Stephanie S.
- "Nursing tanks and especially good-smelling body wash come to mind as the most useful and self-care-y items I brought both times. I don't think I brought anything laughable this last time, but I do still laugh about the iPad SLIDESHOW of photos of my dog that was allegedly going to get me through an all natural labor with my son." - Allison G.
- "I also brought my own pillow and blanket from home which ended up being the best since I was in the hospital 4 days." - Lynne CB.
- "I used nothing, but I'm really glad I brought that outfit that wouldn't fit me for another eight months. Also I am dating myself, but we brought CDs. Every time my husband went to put one in I would scream at him, "no! I don't want to ruin that one!" I did not want my favorite music tainted with memories of dry heaving and obscenity screaming." - Jenna M.
- "I definitely did use music! And my phone charger! My husband was not nearly as useful as I would have thought. I might not pack him next time..." - Emily DN.
- "I didn't realize (with my first) that post labor I'd be packing ice and sporting granny panties after labor. I only packed leggings to wear home. Oooops." - Danielle A.
- "My toothbrush was always a must. The hospital ones just are not the same. I packed my white noise machine for baby number 3. It was awesome. It cut out the hospital noise and let me tune everything out during labor." - Katie A.
- "I packed a book because someone told me I'd be there awhile and need something...ummm ya whatever. Never even touched it. 😂😂😂 I still don't think I've read it! I did pack and use fuzzy socks, nursing tank and lip balm." - Summer FD.
- "I brought a couple cute clothes for pictures. Hahaha- I stayed in the same comfy clothes the whole time." - Jen S.
- "I used my extension cord for my phone charger, my robe, my nursing pillow and all the snacks. In the laugh category (for my 1st son) is the music mix and scented candles and massage oil I was going to use in my perfectly zen birthing plan. That didn't happen. Oh and makeup? What was I thinking?" - Jacqui R.
- "I packed a... book? Because I thought I'd read after he was born and have three days of just hanging out and reading... hahahhah! I haven't read a book in two years." - Isa D.
- "The only thing I brought that I was actually glad for was a couple of bobby pins and rubber bands to hold back my hair. The rest was all laughable. Although if I could have brought a bacon cheeseburger, I would have really enjoyed that." - Emily FP.
- "The 1st time I brought so much stuff and didn't use half of it. Makeup?! Haha! Who has time? But I was so happy that I'd brought soft, cozy, fresh pjs to put on after I gave birth. Helped me feel human." - Anna L.
- "Literally nothing. The bag didn't even get opened, so completely wrong was everything in it." - Kate LB.
- "I had no hospital bag. And all turned out just fine." - Jennifer G.
Your turn mommas - what did you pack in your hospital bag that you either loved or laugh about now?
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