what to pack in your hospital bag

they say, “third time is the charm!” well, maybe. except this time, my birth experience will be amidst a global pandemic which has resulted in changing hospital policies. I try to avoid all the crazy extras because who wants to lug a bunch of stuff into the hospital for a (hopefully) quick 2-3 day stay? not me, or mike for that matter. honestly, my first labor was so bad i hardly used anything i packed because i essentially lived in the hospital gown. for brady, i felt 1,000x better and was able to “enjoy” our stay and time with him a little more. regardless, I feel like I have a good handle on the things you will want, need and use during your stay in the hospital.

here is what I am packing in my hospital bag for baby number 3.

for baby:

  • one gown
  • one going home outfit
  • one swaddle
  • one extra outfit just in case
  • one pair of no-scratch mits and a hat

if you have been following me for a while, then you know my favorites are all loulou and company. they have the softest material and cutest colors/prints. also, keep in mind, you might want an option in 0-3 size instead of newborn. landon was a huge baby and I barely squeezed him into a newborn outfit. brady on the other hand was a tiny little peanut and swimming in his going home out. this go around, I have a newborn option and a 0-3 option.

for momma:

  • one pair of nursing friendly jammies or comfy clothes
  • one extra pair of pants or joggers (my preference and not pictured)
  • one nursing friendly top (not pictured)
  • one going home outfit
  • a cozy pair of slippers (that can be washed or tossed after your stay)

this time around, especially since there will not be visitors, I want to be comfortable and practical. comfy clothes that are presentable, but also double as pajamas are a must. keep in mind, if you are nursing, you will want whatever you are wearing to allow easy access. also, for your going home outfit, you should pack maternity clothes or something with a lot of stretch! Unfortunately, the belly doesn’t just disappear after delivery… things no one ever told me! ha! last, bring slippers or slipper socks that can be washed or tossed. these are my favorite from amazon and wash up really easily. as far as comfies go, my favorites are the stars above line at target. I also really want to try kindred bravely and doe loungewear.

for nursing:

  • nursing pillow
  • one or two burp cloths
  • tubby todd nipple balm
  • one or two nursing bras

hear me out, I had NOTHING prepared for the first go around and nursing was hard! trying to stuff pillows get the best position/angle was so tough. do yourself a favor and pack the nursing pillow. I use a boppy, but any would work great. do whatever it will take to set yourself up for success. that includes the nipple balm. you will thank me later! I am excited to try this tubby todd nipple balm this time around. I actually ordered it with the mama bundle and i’m so glad I did! burp cloths and nursing bra are a bonus, but the hospital napkins are scratchy for baby and I always appreciated having something to control the girls…

for a photo op:

  • something cute for momma (and partner)
  • something cute for baby
  • your camera
  • something to announce (a letter board for us)

a lot of these items double in the other categories. this robe for me will work great for both a photo op and something cozy to lounge in. bonus, it’s easy to do skin to skin! this loulou bundle includes mits, hat and a swaddle so I am not double packing for baby! ps. I have one print for a boy and one for a girl ๐Ÿ™‚ don’t forget your camera and something to photograph with baby’s name or measurements!

extras:

  • pillows for both you and your partner
  • travel sound machine (a must for us!)
  • extension cord
  • chargers
  • computer
  • toiletries

pillows to sleep on for both you and your partner are crucial! make sure to bring them in a colored pillow case so they don’t get mixed up with the hospital laundry. extension cord because the outlet is always in an awkward spot. chargers for all of your devices. your computer or ipad to facetime family/friends and stream some shows! more on toiletries next….

toiletries:

  • shower sandals
  • face wash
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • chap stick
  • light make-up
  • extra hair ties
  • tubby todd mama bundle
  • dry shampoo
  • disposable nursing pads

just like going on a quick trip, bring the essentials that will make you feel most comfortable and most like you. your post-partum hormones are going to be out of control and so will the sweats. you will like shower one or two times while in the hospital. with all of the hand washing, mask wearing, you will be happy your brought the tubby todd mama bundle with you to alleviate the dryness. I can already see a huge difference in my hands an i’ve only been using the cream for a week now!

For mommas with other kids at home: MOST IMPORTANT (in my opinion) than anything you will pack is what you leave behind at home. Get ahead of yourself and leave behind schedules, what to pack to lunch at school, carpool procedures, etc. for your older kids. Whether they are in school or virtual or have “set activities,” a schedule and guidance is always appreciated by whomever will be coming over to care for your kids while you are away. Don’t forget to leave their insurance cards and a letter allowing them to make medical care decisions, just in case! Odds are you won’t need it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

that’s it ladies! my essentials for the hospital. for bonus, you could pack it all in a super cute weekender bag from fawn design. it’s on my wishlist…

to make it easier on you, here’s an easy printable to help you with your packing! I would love to know if you have any other favorites from your hospital stays.

37 weeks

37 weeks officially.

37 weeks we have been praying over this baby. 37 weeks of envisioning Landon as a big brother. 37 weeks of worry.

we are just 10 days away from little bug’s eviction date (January 3). one more BPP and NST separate us from this little guy’s entry. ready or not, this baby is coming! it feels a bit like the first time, but riddled with a lot of unknowns. i am grateful for my teammate and biggest supporter, Mike. he’s made me feel much better knowing we both have similar feelings about all of this, but just like any other pregnancy and baby, we will survive!

good news, we have named little bug – we are keeping it a secret until delivery day. more good news, he’s been passing every BPP with flying colors. THANK GOD! i need him to stay in until at least Mike gets home and preferably after Christmas. we at least have diapers in his size and an outfit for going home. now i just need to get that hospital bag packed and the nursery finished…oops. hospital bag is number one priority!

sharing a few more photos from our mini family/maternity shoot with Rachel from Perfectly Bliss Photography.

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getting real.

i don’t want this to be a long winded post, but it just might. there has been a lot going on over here as we are in final preparations for this baby (and the holidays) and things are starting to get real. real, real.

so far, little bug has passed 3 BPPs and 2 NSTs. i go friday for my NST this week – i am praying that he will be awake so the appointment can be somewhat quick. i just can’t be on that monitor for an hour anymore…NOT okay. seriously contemplating rolling into the OB office with ice cream and donuts to get him to do some flips for us while i am there. come on little man, please cooperate!

in all seriousness though, things are getting real. we are two weeks from Christmas and three weeks from meeting our baby (should everything stay the course). this blows my mind. to sum it all up, i am stressed. i am trying to get everything done in time and i am quickly realizing, that won’t happen. not only because there is not enough time, but also because my body is not having it. between the braxton hicks contractions, low back pain, and lightning crotch (sorry for the crudeness, but this is a real thing and what it is commonly known as), my body is trying to tell me to stop.

but how do you stop? how can you stop? most of the week i am a one woman show with a toddler who wants to play and be held. an almost 30 lb toddler that needs a bath every night, lifted and lowered into his crib for naps and bed, constant diaper changes, and up and down the stairs. aside from theย physical stress of being this pregnant with a toddler, i still have to assemble the dresser and organize clothes in the nursery, finish Christmas shopping, wrap gifts, pack a hospital bag and about 100 other things i intended to do before the holidays. looks like 90% of this will have to wait. my body is just saying NOPE.

the physical stress is draining. the emotional stress is equally as draining. as we approach the final weeks, i am confronted with a lot of fears and unsettled feelings. some days feel like i am back at week 13 when we learned the news about our special little dude. some days i battle those ugly feelings and then i feel guilty for being back in that space. this baby doesn’t deserve that. i also struggle with the feelings of adding another baby to the mix. my time with Landon will be different and that makes me feel sad at times. Landon doesn’t deserve a distracted momma.

i am also facing the fear of this delivery – the actual physical delivery of this baby. my first labor was pretty awful. Landon was too big for my body and we didn’t know it. this lead to a number of complications and interventions including a vacuum assist, episiotomy, and shoulder dystocia. sparing you any more of the gory details, let’s just say it was traumatic for me, mike, and baby. at the end of the day, everything turned out okay, but it very easily could have been a much different outcome. i know we will have a better understanding of little bug’s size due to all the growth scans we have, but there is still an element of error and unknown. i don’t want to go through that again and i don’t want to put another baby at risk like that again. every night i pray for a safe delivery. we’ll decide in the coming weeks how we plan to go about delivery when we get a clearer picture of bug’s size.

to end on a more positive note, God is working His magic. i would not be able to get through this without the love and support of my husband. for him, i am eternally grateful. my little family is my everything and they get me through the toughest of days. and my friends – man, am i lucky. the constant check-ins and texts really mean the world to me. i don’t know what i did to deserve all of you, but thank you.

remember when i mentioned we took family photos that were disastrous? well, our photographer is SO talented, she captured some really beautiful gems (snack cup and all, because this is real life people)! not only is she talented, but she is also an incredible human being. God put Rachel in our life for a bigger purpose and He’s already showing us why. Please check her out if you are in the Atlanta area (and tell her I sent you)!

Photos: Perfectly Bliss Photography

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tests.

happy Tuesday, friends! i hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and survived the craziness of the shopping over the last few days.

our Thanksgiving was wonderful. Mike had the whole day off. like off, off. like did NOT have to go into the office for even just a couple of hours. it was very much needed and magical to spend the morning the three of us preparing to head up to my parents’ house for the DAY. because we can do that now. we can go spend a day, an afternoon, an evening, an hour with my family and i will never take that for granted.

this was the first Thanksgiving in 3 years that i did not have to cook a turkey, clean my house, and spend the week stressing about how we are going to fit everyone into our tiny little space. i still wouldn’t trade any of those Thanksgivings, but i was very grateful to show up, bring dessert, help with cooking and head home when we were ready. this was also the first Thanksgiving we were not planning the meal around a flight time because there was a road game the next day and Mike had to leave. BLESSINGS. it’s the small things in the irr household.

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buds

after all the calmness of Thanksgiving came the stress of black friday and cyber monday shopping. does this give anyone else major anxiety? i am a deal seeker. i hardly ever pay full price for something (unless i am shopping small) so this is when i like to get the majority of my Christmas shopping done. this year was more than just Christmas, it was all the baby gear we need to get, nursery items, home decor, etc. so i was feeling the pressure.

let me tell you…i failed miserably at the UppaBaby deal through Sam’s Club and this will haunt me forever. we need a double stroller and after much research and testing, we determined this is the best one for us. i had been waiting until black friday specifically to purchase it and BAM, i lost. no UppaBaby on sale for us. now i have to figure out how late i am willing to push this purchase because we have been spending machines lately with the house items and need to chill. i probably should buy newborn size diapers before i go buying a stroller. priorities.

other than the shopping over the weekend, if you follow me on IG and saw my stories, you have definitely seen the great green debate. i am starting to feel colorblind. what i see on screen, in store, on the swatch, is not what is coming out of the can. how can this be? after 5 samples, i am pretty sure i found the one. this week, on my never-ending list of to-dos, i need to paint and assemble little bug’s dresser. good news, my mom and i finished the wallpaper – HECK YES.

in all seriousness though, this week, we are facing a lot of tests. i will officially be 34 weeks pregnant and so begins my weekly testing. today starts with a biophysical profile (BPP) at the perinatologist and the week ends with a non-stress test (NST) with my OB. according to my OB, i should have my hospital bag packed now. praying that everything stays looking good and we have 5 more weeks until little bug makes his appearance. God knows i need all 5 of these weeks to prepare mentally and physically.

my in-laws get into town today and i couldn’t be happier to have the extra hands. i jam packed my week with appointments – so much so, that when the AV guy showed up yesterday to the house, i thought we might be getting robbed (because i totally forgot what day of the week it was and that i even made the appointment). only me. whoops.

on my list of to-dos: buy newborn diapers, a changing pad, figure out the stroller situation, finish the nursery, pack our hospital bag, paint and assemble the dresser.

next week to-dos: launder all of little bug’s clothes (aka Landon’s hand-me-downs), take out the bassinet, get the car seat ready, finish the nursery, finish the nursery, finish the nursery.

oh and at some point, i will decorate the house for Christmas and finish my Christmas shopping….

 

still here

hi, let me introduce myself again. i am stefanie and we are still alive and here. i apologize for being a bit MIA these last 12 days to be exact, but it’s been a bit nuts.

we have had a crazy 12 days jam packed with an epic visit from Cali friends, rain, rain and more rain, sleepless nights (thank you teething), sickness, doctor appointments for both L and me, and one long freaking road trip for mike. can you tell i am a bit salty about the road trip?

here’s my attempt at trying to catch you up on all the craziness. the last couple weeks started with a terrible three days of literally no sleep for me. between third trimester insomnia, the constant middle of the night bathroom trips, and landon’s teething, i could not get any rest. my body breaks down every time this happens and i get sick immediately. so i got sick. perfect timing for a big weekend of UGA football with friends visiting from Cali for their first ever SEC football game. good news, 60% of the people on this trip were sick. bad news, 60% of us were sick. but we had the time of our lives and it made me miss my Cali family SO bad.

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TROOPERS! love this crew

after such a fun weekend, i needed to attempt to heal my body. sleep was necessary but not happening. mike left for one of the longer road trips and landon is currently not sleeping great thanks to his molars…. naturally, i get him sick in the process and Atlanta decided this past week was the perfect week for nonstop rain and 40 degree temps. who can keep an 18 mo old, sick toddler entertained indoors for 3+ days straight? anyone? please message me your tips.

even though our bodies were broken down, we did get some things accomplished around here. landon had his 18 month appointment with the new pediatrician who will also see little bug. it was great getting to know the doc a little more before going in for our first visit with bug. i think he will be a great fit!

i also had my 32 week OB appointment. my final “calm” appointment before the storm. next set of appointments include biophysical profiles (BPP) and non-stress tests (NST) every week. that’s enough to send my anxiety through the roof! looks like the hospital bag will be packed just in case. all is still looking good and normal right now!

in more fun news, my mom and i made more progress on the nursery. the accent wall is 4/5 of the way completed and has become quite the joke. i have literally had to order a new roll of wallpaper after each “nap time” work session. 2 sessions later and still need another roll of wallpaper for LITERALLY 21 inches wide of space. OH and if it couldn’t get any worse, the actual paper is only 20.5 inches wide, leaving us with figuring out how to make this work for HALF AN INCH. face palm. but we love it and it’s been really fun to see it start to come together. we also hung the curtains, which appear black in the photos from the lighting, but they are actually a dark green. this is going to be an accent color we use for the dresser.

more pregnancy updates – i am pretty positive we have decided on a name for little bug. YAY! this upcoming week i have another fetal echo to check on bug’s heart condition and we will tour the hospital/NICU. with the holiday chaos literally around the corner, it will be nice to at least know where we go when the time comes to deliver.

after all the rain, we have had two really gorgeous days and was able to escape with my little dude. we might both have runny noses and yucky coughs, but he loves to be outdoors and needed to make sure he practiced his hoop skills before dada came home. โค

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my focus this week is family time and Christmas shopping. anyone have particular black friday deals you are excited about? i’ll also be looking for baby gear we need for bug. aka a different baby monitor, double stroller, nursery decor, etc. second time mommas, send me your recs! i am all about finding a good deal, but also would love to know what you have found to be practical.