Packing for Childbirth: A Real Life Guide

by Ali Solomon
Originally Published: 
essie / Flickr / Creative Commons

At my last prenatal checkup, I was informed that my baby is the size of a cantaloupe and weighs more than most toddlers, which means I can literally drop this sucker at any moment even though I am not due for another week and a half. So I’ve begun to prepare myself for childbirth, starting with my hospital bag of course.

Pack my phone and charger, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, and hairbrush.

Realize that I need these items on a daily basis. Remove from bag.

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Pack an oversized hoodie, slipper socks, and a pair of XXL jogging pants purchased specifically for post-birth.

Those jogging pants look comfy (and would probably stretch over my cantaloupe stomach). Put them on.

And the hoodie.

Pack some snacks in case the hospital food is disgusting: granola bars, some crackers, chocolate, a bottle of water.

Worry that food will go bad if left in bag too long. Eat the granola bars.

Pack reading material for downtime: What to Expect When You’re Expecting, parenting magazines, Us Weekly, sudoku book, some Oprah recommendations I never got around to.

Remember that last time most of my downtime was spent sleeping or trying to shake down nurses for pain meds. Plus, those books are heavy.

Remove books. Leave Us Weekly.

Should probably eat the chocolate now, so it doesn’t melt all over the contents of bag.

Add items to relax me during the delivery: aromatherapy candles, soothing music on my iPod, massage oil, lighter.

Husband reminds me that I am having C-section.

Add my insurance cards, ID, and some cash.

Need them for my final doctor’s appointment (when I’m sure he will tell me my baby is the size of a watermelon and is big enough to start shaving). Put back in wallet.

Eat the crackers from bag.

Add an outfit for baby to come home in.

There is a small stain on the front of the sleeper. Try to find another outfit.

Really like that first outfit, except for stain. Can only picture my newborn in that outfit.

Remove it from bag so I can wash it.

Will probably have to wash my jogging pants, too, since they now have chocolate and crackers on them.

Try to locate my camera for newborn hospital pictures.

Can’t remember the last time I actually used a camera to take pictures.

Also, I hate how I look in pictures.

Will probably want pictures of the baby though.

Unless she comes out looking like Hume Cronyn from Cocoon.

Still can’t find camera, but did find more chocolate.

OK, if my water breaks tonight, I will grab my bag that contains the following:

1. Slipper socks

2. Us Weekly

It helps to be prepared.

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