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I’ve been packing the birth center bags to prepare for baby’s birth. When we had hospital births (for babies 1-5), the bags didn’t stress me out nearly as much as they did for Simon’s (baby 6) birth center birth.
I’m not sure why. The birth center provided a list of things to bring. I just over-analyzed and was paranoid that I’d forget something. It was a very stressful event for me for some reason.
Packing for a birth center birth isn’t really more complicated than packing for the hospital. There are just items that the hospital normally provides that I have to bring myself. Like pads. And stretchy underwear. You know–the essentials! 🙂 Oh yeah–and something to birth in.
Clothing for a Birth Center Birth
That last part is what really caught me off guard last time around. What? No hospital gown with half my body exposed. Awesome!
But…what exactly should I bring? The suggestion on the list was for ” several long dark colored T-shirts or short gowns.” It’s not rocket science, so I’m not sure why I stressed so much back then. But this time around, I had figured out what worked.
I have a couple of dark colored really big men’s t-shirts and a dark colored night-gown. All of these come down to about mid-thigh length, which seems to be about perfect. They are now packed nicely in my birth center bag, along with the rest of the recommended supplies. Except for slippers. I don’t really like those. I put in some comfy socks instead. And I think I’ll throw in my flip-flops for good measure. Even though it’s snowy. Those are super comfy and offer more protection than socks might when walking around.
So except for my flip-flops, my bag is set. I’ve got comfy clothes to wear home, some sweats to put on under the gown I’ll change into for nursing while there, since I’m thinking it’ll be cold!
Packing the Birth Center Bags for Baby
I also have baby’s bag ready to go. It contains a girl sleeper, a boy sleeper, a green sleeper (in case the pink/blue one gets pooped on!), a handful of newborn diapers, wipes, and a hat. Also included are a couple of receiving blankets and a large blanket. Nothing too complicated.
The Car seat
The only remaining item on the “What to Bring for Baby” section of the list is a car seat. We had one of those lovely infant ones that Simon used. And we were planning on reusing it. Except that Owen got to it and managed to somehow break off all of the foam from underneath the cover. Sneaky kid–I’m pretty sure most of it got eaten, unfortunately. So with the foam missing, we weren’t too keen on the idea of using it in an actual moving car. Since you know, I’m pretty sure that foam is supposed to do something important.
Thankfully, we received some gift cards at our surprise baby shower on New Year’s, and we ordered a brand spanking new one. It arrived via Fed Ex today. (Thank you Mr. Fed Ex for delivering so many things to my door! It keeps me from having to actually go in and find all these things in the store with all the kids and somehow fit everything in the car!)
It’s seriously the cutest car seat we’ve ever had. Want to see? I’m sure you do, so here is a lovely picture for you.
See…cute. And bright! Wow. I must really be in baby mode now, since things like that don’t normally make me get all googly eyed and sappy. Crazy what these hormones can do to you–I’m telling you!
Anyways, the only section left on the “To Bring” list is food. This is another one that threw me for a loop last time. You see–hospitals just bring you food once you’ve had baby and they don’t want you to eat once you arrive before then. So I over complicated that one as well.
Food for the Birth Center
For the record….I really liked eating a bit during labor with Simon. It helped keep my strength up, which was crucial since he was my most difficult delivery (and longest) since Jayme. Here is what I’m planning on bringing. I’ll pack this all up in the next few days, and keep the non-perishables in my bag, and the rest in a grocery sack in the fridge so it’s easy to grab.
*A baggie or two of mixed nuts or cashews–easy to grab protein!
*A bottle of coconut water–never actually had this before, but it’s been recommended on so many preparing for baby blog posts out there that I thought I’d give it a whirl…
*Peach yogurt–yum! Oh–I better add a spoon to the bag!
*Jerky for my lovely husband. He should get some food too. I don’t think I’d like chewing on that during labor…but we’ll see.
*Gum–in case either my husband or I need a bit of fresh feeling in the mouth
*A couple of those beautiful mini-oranges that are in season now. They have a couple of different names, and I can’t remember them right now. Pregnancy brain! But they are delicious. And easy to peel.
*Some normal water bottles. Got to stay hydrated!
I don’t think most of this will actually get touched during labor. But if I want it, I’ll be prepared.
Once baby is born, we only stay at the birth center for a couple of hours. That’s probably when I’ll snack a bit more. And then Bryan and I will likely stop at a drive-through for a nice greasy burger or something else fun on the way home from the birth center. Unless it’s the middle of the night and everything is closed. Or if it’s morning and burgers don’t sound good. Then we’ll just be big and drive home where I have some freezer meals stored for ease (those’ll be covered in my next post in this series!) That would be the healthier option. But…we’ll see!
If you’d like to see the whole list of what is recommended, you can click on this lovely link and see what my birth center recommends.
Do you have experience packing the birth center bags before birth? Please share if you think I’m forgetting anything–I’d rather be prepared than not have something! We will definitely have our cell phones for pictures.