Monday, July 23, 2012

C section packing list

We are in week 32 of this pregnancy, which means 7 weeks or less left until we meet our newest addition.  I know, I know, you're thinking I'm crazy.  There's 40 weeks in a pregnancy, Krimp, not 39!  And yes, that's very true.  Sometimes longer for some poor folks who carry well into 42 weeks.  But, even though this baby is head down (as of 3 weeks ago), after much thought, we have decided to go ahead with a repeat C-section for baby number 2.  While I know the rates of V-BACS are very good these days, it's the age difference that worries me.  I am healthy and young, but I do not want to risk the chances of things going wrong.  So please, before you judge me, think about it from my shoes.  Nineteen months apart is very close, and I do not want to risk baby or myself in trying this the other way.  I had a wonderful delivery with Zach and I am confident that the hospital will do everything in their power to make this experience just as special.
As we grow nearer to this date (which is not yet scheduled) I have been thinking about what I can do to prepare.  We all know I'm a planner.  There's no shame in admitting it.  I like to plan the best I can.  Sounds crazy for someone married to a Marine, but hey, I do what I can and leave room for the spontaneous surprises the Marines have thrown at us.  
I am currently nesting.  For those who don't know what that means, it means I'm going crazy in my preparations for baby.  So take that planner girl and multiply it by 10.  That's about where I'm at right now.  I've put off a lot of things for last minute, as I was very prepared for Zach.  But the time has come to really get the ball rolling and getting serious in my preparations.  I've gone crazy the past few weeks making freezer meals that'll be ready to cook after the baby is born.  I've been cleaning and organizing baby's room and clothes, and excitedly been getting the nursery together.  
One of the things I've been diligently working hard on is getting my packing list together for my 24-48 hour hospital stay after my c section.  It may sound a bit early to be packing it, but I think baby might have dropped this weekend, and I'm starting to feel like I should at least start it.  This is something that actually takes some time to get together, as you're packing for 3 people and must have it ready at the drop of a hat.  I'd like to share that list with you today and explain why you should bring some of these items.  This is a list specifically for a scheduled c-section.  There are many items missing on this list that should be brought for someone having a baby the normal way.  But to those mom's to be, I do urge you to mentally prepare for the odd chance that you have to have a c section.  I cannot tell you how many people i've met who were not prepared.  It could happen to anyone and I really think being prepared for that situation is important.  
I'd also like to point out that this is a list for a MILITARY hospital in Japan.  They are no high class hospital by far.  Think of the basics and that's what you have here.  I cannot complain, as my experience with my first was fantastic.  Delivering at a civilian hospital is far different I'm sure.  But hey, we are pretty used to simplicity here in Okinawa!

OK. Here it is.

For Mommy:
Nursing Gowns- I'd say 2 of these is great.  I say a nursing gown because you don't want anything rubbing against your incision.  You will be moving this up a lot as they check your abdomen every few hours to make sure things are healing correctly.  It's also nice to have easy access if you're breast feeding.  If you're tiny like me, you may even get away with buying a non-nursing/maternity one that has easy access to the girls.  Remember you will still look about 6 months pregnant right after delivering while everything begins to shrink down from stretching so much!
Tank top- I'm a tank top fiend.  I swear by these bad boys.  They don't even have to be a nursing tank.  I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant and am just buying one size larger then I normally buy.  Maternity clothes are too big still.  No need for a nursing tank if you don't want, they are easy enough to maneuver.  I just prefer the ones with the shelf bras.  
Nursing Bras- You will live in these for as long as you decide to breast feed.  I had about 6 of them with Zach and I don't even think that was enough.  Get the sleep ones, they are super comfy.  And NO UNDERWIRE!  It's very bad for breast feeding.  Not to mention you want to be as comfortable as possible during your stay.  
Socks- It gets a bit chilly sometimes.  Always nice to have. 
Robe- If you're wearing a nursing gown that's skimpy you'll want to cover up when visitors come
Slippers- for your first walk after baby is born you'll want to be comfortable and protect your feet
Maxi Dress- These are great for going home.  They are comfortable and not revealing, and don't press near your incision.  Not to mention you don't have to look like you've just rolled out of bed.  You want to go home feeling just a tad bit cute and I personally think a Maxi dress is the way to do that! 
Nursing pads- these are your new best friend.  Odds are your milk won't come in while you're in the hospital anyway, but just in case it does, you'll want these.  
Nipple Cream- Some new babies can seriously hurt you.  I never needed this, but every baby is different!
Nursing Pillow- You don't want a baby pressing against your scar, so these are a great thing to bring.  Extra pillows can be moved around as well, but I personally love my Boppy
Pillow- Military hospitals can't give you everything, so bring an extra pillow for yourself.  
Chap stick- your lips will most likely get very chapped.  I applied chap stick about every hour!  I can't remember the exact reason for this but trust me on this.
Moisturizer- It can get to be a bit dry.  I suggest the stress relief one from Bath & Body Works
Toothbrush & paste- because come on, who wants gross teeth and breath?
Dry Shampoo- I'm starting to sound crazy right?  You may not be ready to take a full on shower yet, so instead opt for using dry shampoo to fix your hair.  You will have a lot of photos taken of you and you'll want your hair looking half decent years from now.  
Deodorant- duh
Hairbrush- duh
Hair ties- you'll be asked to pull your hair back before going into surgery.  I forgot about this before going in for Z and had to literally tuck it all into the cap!  
High fiber snacks- You may have trouble going afterwards.  I suggest eating something high fiber to help ease things.  
Water bottle- The cup they give you is TINY and I was constantly thirsty.  Do yourself a favor and bring some water with you and have the husband fill it up for you periodically.  
Laptop- You'd be surprised how bored you may get.  Also, being overseas is hard sometimes.  Your family is going to want to skype you after your new bundle of joy is here.  
Chargers- for the many many pieces of technology we all know you own
ID- you'll need this for check in and check out
Makeup- Like I said before, you'll have lots of photos taken of you.  Try to look half decent
Glasses- during surgery you will need to wear glasses
Contacts/contact case
Eye mask- if you decide to attempt a nap during the daytime you'll want some darkness
Coconut milk- This sounds crazier and crazier.  Coconut milk is naturally one of the best means of hydrating out there.  It used to be used for severe dehydration before IV's came out.  While you will be hooked up to an IV for much of your stay, you may consider bringing some coconut water for when it's removed.  After having a baby you will want to hydrate hydrate hydrate.  It's one of the best tips I can give, not to mention it'll help get rid of the water weight you put on in your pregnancy!  
Makeup remover- The wipes are very convenient.  It feels great to take it all off at the end of the day! 
 Cookies for the Corpsman- The Corpsman and the rest of the staff all work VERY hard at what they do.  Bring them a little something to say thanks.  Being nice to your staff will help make your stay just that much better.  

For baby:
Wipes- if you can believe it the hospital does not supply these!  Instead of wipes, you will get dry wipes that you're expected to go get wet.  You won't want to walk all the way to the bathroom to get water when you've just had a c section.  Bring your own.  
Swaddles- The hospital will provide blankets but I'm a huge fan of the burrito style velcro ones.  They are super easy to put on and will get your baby nice and snug like they were in the womb.  Bring about 2-3.
Clippers- I didn't bring these for Zach's birth and I yelled at myself for that for months.  Your baby will be born with LONG fingernails.  Zach scratched himself just hours after being born.  
Mittens- so baby doesn't scratch him/herself!
Hat- for that tiny little head.  Though your child will likely have more hair then mine!
Sleep & play- the Zip ones are great because they're easier to do and undo then the snaps.  Especially for first time parents.  I'd say bring 4 of these.  Maybe a gown or two
Onesie- you'll have your baby swaddled 95% of the time anyway, but if the swaddle starts getting warm you may want a onesie underneath instead of the sleeper
Cardstock for footprints- instead of giving the whole baby book, give the staff a piece of cardstock for that footprint!  Then you can just tape/glue it into your albumn
Going home outfit- Something cute and simple that will keep him/her warm enough.  Our car ride was not long (we could spit on our house from the hospital).  Don't go extravagant with this.  It's not worth it.

For Daddy:
Blanket- my poor hubby was freezing.  The blanket they give is small, so bring a bigger one!
Pillow- everyone forgets about poor daddy's comfort.  Bring him his favorite pillow!
Snacks- Everyone brings mom food, but nobody gets anything for Daddy.  My portions in the hospital were large so I shared with him, but the meals are very spaced out.  Bring some snacks.  
Cameras- Daddy is on official camera business!  
Chargers- for the tech savvy dad!
Ipad- if you have one.  My hubby loves his and will be using it a lot I can imagine
Cash- for snacks/drinks if you randomly get hungry
ID- Daddy's ID is VERY important if your husband is the active duty member!  You will need it to get the ball moving for passports and birth certificates!  

Things you DON'T need:
Diapers- the hospital is pretty good at providing diapers so save your money for when baby comes home.  They supply size 1 diapers for the big babies.  I believe they do have premie sizes for very small babies.  Zach fit perfectly into the newborns but we were able to easily fold the 1's to fit him and avoid his umbilical cord.  
Cloth diapers- Everyone knows I LOVE to cloth diaper.  I'm all about saving money and our environment, but I don't think these are necessary in the hospital.  For one, you won't want to deal with the hassle of it all right after surgery.  Also, you most likely won't be in the hospital long enough to make that much of an environmental impact.
Breastpump- Odds are your milk won't come in while you're in the hospital.  Your baby will begin the process and get colostrum in the meantime.  If by chance you do need one, the hospital does have a few.  
Nasal aspirator- The hospital will provide one of these
Pads- the hospital has these too.  Bring your own if you like but you will get enough.  They also provide mesh underwear if you like.  

Here is a photo for your use!