My Hospital Bag {for c-section mommas}

I've seen several posts out in blog land about what to bring to the hospital for baby's birth. My bag is a little different because I had a planned c-section.

The first time around my c-section was NOT planned therefore I depended on the hospital to provide most of what I needed. This time around I was determined to be more prepared.

I'll start with Emberly's stuff-
Of course we didn't use half of what I brought, but I'm still glad I brought it! I packed a few onesies, some sleepers, a couple diapers (we still relied mainly on the hospital's stash), some pacis (that I taped the receipt to in case she didn't take one), some mittens, of course some hairbows, a few hats and socks, and a couple blankets.

I was glad we had our own onesies and hats. Once I felt strong enough to change her diaper, I wanted her out of the white shirt they provided. She is a GIRL afterall and I've waited a long time to dress my baby girl!! Also since she was swaddled the whole time we didn't use any of the sleepers we brought. She still hasn't slept in a sleeper (with feet). It's just too warm to be swaddled and have long sleeves/footies). I was SUPER thankful for the mittens. She had claws at birth and she scratched her face once- lesson learned. She'll be wearing mittens for a while (even after I trimmed her nails, they are still razor sharp!).

**just a disclaimer- if bodily functions/certain anatomy talk bothers you, you may want to skip past the next picture. Birth isn't always pretty...
Speaking of c-sections: there are special things we mommas need. Things I wish I had known about the first time around. I tried thinking back to every part of my stay and what would have made my first recovery easier. Some of these ideas aren't even totally c-section related. Just things I didn't have the first time around (or someone had to run out and get me).
Like I said these are things I wish I had the first time around. I've learned alot since then and I'm glad that I felt a little more prepared this time.

Cloth diapers- these are simple plain {soft} prefolds. I needed these for my incision. I prefer to wear yoga pants when I lounge/recover {I'm not really into night gowns} so I needed the cloth diaper to lay on my incision so the elastic from my pants wasn't cutting into it. I wore this around my waist for almost 3 weeks last time! Also the cold peri-pads they give (with an icepack inside) are awesome for laying on the incision. I always get this burning feeling on the left side of the incision site and the cold peri-pads are so comforting!

Gas relief/stool softener- pain killers do some pretty gross stuff to your digestive system. Constipation anyone? Stool softner is an absolute MUST (they did give me some in the hospital this time around). Also after being cut open and sewn back up, air gets trapped in your body. I had shooting pains all the way to my collar bone. It was awful and something I wasn't prepared for. The simethicone in the gas relief is a miracle medicine! I complained of the shooting collar bone pain again this time and they brought some kind of chewable medicine that did NOTHING. After that I started sneaking my own. Best advice? Probably not, but it did relieve alot of that unnecessary pain!

Razor- I can't go a day without shaving my legs. With Luke's birth as soon as they cleared me for a shower, I was up out of bed (I had labored for 23 hours, been through surgery, and then had to wait another 12+ hrs for the epidural to wear off)! I couldn't wait to shave my legs. Only problem? Bending over with a 6 inch incision is pretty painful. Josh actually had to shave my legs the first time around. This time I grabbed the razor with the shaving cream already added (you can bet I got it almost for free with coupons). It made my "after" shower 1,000,000x's easier! I think Josh was thankful too!

Hand sanitizer/chapstick- self explanatory

Depends- it's really embarrassing to checkout at a store buying Depends when you're 26 years old. However, the mesh undies they give you at the hospital are pretty insulting. Not to mention the pads that are 12 inches long and 4 inches thick. I did the mesh thing while I was there, but after I ran out of the hospital pads I switched to the depends. It was so nice to not have to worry about underwear AND a pad. It was all built in together.

Lanolin/Nursing pads-  I used these the first time around and Lanolin makes all the difference. Nursing pads are just something you have to use unless you want major leakage. This usually doesn't happen until after your milk comes in {mine came in 4 days post partum with Luke and 2 days with Emberly}.

Soothies- Oh how I wish I knew about these the first time around. After having some majorly painful nursing sessions {like I cried when it was time to feed Luke}, the hospital gave me some medela hydrogel pads. They only gave me 2 as a sample and by the time I used them they didn't really help {the soreness was beyond anything I could stand}. I grabbed some soothies this time and they claimed to last 72 hours. They were amazing!! The soothies didn't have to be run under water (like the medela) and the  cooling gel soothes sore nipples.

Nipple Shield- I really believe this is what's made our breastfeeding journey successful so far (along with the soothies). I didn't have one with Luke and it was recommended by a friend to try it out this time around. I grabbed one and began using it on day 2. Not only did it stop the friction pain, but it allows for proper latch. We had major issues getting a proper latch with Luke and I ended up giving up. Although I'm not nursing every feeding (some UTI medicine is to thank) the sessions I am nursing it does help tremendously!

Nursing cover- pretty explanatory. I'm just not comfortable baring all when visitors stop by!

Itzbeen- this is borrowed from a friend. It keeps track of feeding, diaper changes, etc and tells you how much time has past between each! We kept track of everything on a spread sheet (OCD anyone?) but this makes remembering those little details a breeze.

One thing that wouldn't fit in the picture was towels and washcloths!! It was so nice to have my own towels after the shower. The hospital ones are small, thin, and smell like bleach. It was nice to have familiar smelling towels from home.

I also used the hospitals pads for bleeding until I got home. They also sent us home with a bag of peri-pads (hot and cold packs). I know I mentioned this earlier in the post, but I didn't use these for their intended purpose. I used the hot packs for nursing/as a heating pad, and the cold packs on my incision when it started burning between the hours of taking my pain medicine. I still need to occasionally sit with an ice pack on my incision for 10-15 minutes to help this (I'm 12 days post-partum today), but I am only taking 2 IBuprofen 800mg a day! Feels so great to wean off all that medicine! Detox anyone?? You can be SURE as soon as I am cleared to take a bath that a detox bath will be in the near future!

Of course I packed other essentials- pjs, toiletries, slippers, snacks, camera/charger, laptop, boppy, etc. I figured if the above list could help someone with packing their bag then I've done my job! I'm also making sure to pack some things for Josh {a blanket, pillow, cash for the vending machine}.

I can honestly say that after this stay I felt fully prepared with what I packed. There were no "oops I forgot this- can you run home and grab_______" trips. I actually packed WAAAY too many clothes for me (since I was in a hospital gown until Thursday PM- birth was Wednesday AM). But it's so much better to be prepared!

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