a bunch of you have been asking what I did end up using in the hospital and what I didn't end up using. so, I'm going through the original list and sharing some more insight, now that I made it through birth in a hospital!
speaking of, I had a tough experience post-delivery. when I first arrived, I was 4cm and my water had broken, so they rushed me right into a delivery room, thankfully. the delivery room was HUGE - I remember my OB-GYN, on our hospital tour, telling me that this hospital has the biggest delivery rooms of the NYC hospitals. not sure if that's true or not, BUT, it was definitely large. the delivery experience was amazing, my nurses were incredible, and I felt so calm, relaxed, and empowered. I couldn't have asked for a better delivery! 40 minutes of pushing and my baby boy was out!
however, what wasn't great was my post-delivery experience. in NYC hospitals, it's very hard to get a private room. it's expensive (we were willing to pay for it!) and since space is limited and it's a densely populated city, the rooms are limited and hard to get. basically it's first come, first serve and you can't request a room until the baby is literally out! we knew this all going in, but we were blissful optimists and thought, "I bet we'll luck out!"
well, we were wrong and we did not get a private room - we got a room that we shared with another new mama and it was a tiny, tiny room separated by a single curtain. the bathroom was the tiniest bathroom ever, you could barely stand up in it (and not to TMI, but you need plenty of maneuvering room after delivery, because you have to change your pads, use a washer, and I was applying witch hazel pads to my underwear, etc etc etc). needless to say, it wasn't a comfortable situation. my family came and I felt bad the whole time because of all the noise we were making. I'd get woken up every time a nurse came in to check on the other patient. I'd hear her baby cry and it would wake me up. it was just so cramped and uncomfortable.
AND the worst part: Lu couldn't stay. SO, that meant he had to leave around 8-10pm every night and I was alone in a tiny, cramped space (literally if you moved the separator curtain, I could touch the other new mama next to me). it was tough for me, to say the least.
thank GOD my OB-GYN was in on Monday and came over to see me and schedule Luca's circumcision and could see the look on my face and said, "do you want to get out of here?" and she discharged me a day early so I could be at home comfortable. the moment I left the hospital, my spirits lifted and I became excited to be a Mom!
now, as for my hospital bag - I definitely did not use anything, but this had something to do with the fact that I didn't shower while there (I didn't have a private room and the showers were outside our room, so I'd have to walk outside to get to the shower - no way) and I only stayed less than two days. here's the update:
hospital bag - updated
- Photo ID & Insurance card - of course!
- Printed birth plan - I never took this out!
- Wireless speaker- yes, we used this during my labor! it was so nice to have comforting music.
- Protein bars & raw nut mix for post-partum recovery, so Lu doesn't have to leave to grab me something (although NYC has things like Postmates and anything can be delivered!) - yes, I ate this mainly for breakfast and about an hour after delivery! I was so glad I had these easy grab options, because hospital food is not healthy!
- Blanket & pillow - I've just heard that hospitals have the most uncomfortable bedding and I have extra blankets and pillows in the nursery, so I'm going to bring one of each. - I ended up forgetting these at home, but I wish I had brought them! the hospital pillows are so uncomfortable and I ended up using the sweater I came in as a blanket.
- Nursing gown & robe - I bought this robe and this nursing gown so I have something nice for the hospital - and post-hospital, of course. I stayed in the hospital gown the whole time, there was so many liquids coming out of me, I didn't want to ruin any nice robes/nighties.
- Newborn scratch mittens - I love these by Goumikids. I didn't even think to use them in the hospital, because his arms were always tightly swaddled in!
- Nursing top & comfy sweatpants - for while I'm at the hospital, if I feel like I need to feel more human, I have a super comfy lounge outfit. This top and these pants. Ha, nope! Per my comment above re: nightgown, I stayed in the hospital gown the whole time.
- Going home outfit - I packed high-waisted maternity leggings, my Boob nursing tank, and a sweater cardigan. This I did use! I finally changed and it felt so great!
- 2 Nursing bras - I'm loving Bravado Designs, and I am bringing them in two different sizes, in case my milk supply comes in early and my boobs grow another cup size (ugh!) I went braless the whole time!
- Nursing pads - there was no need for these, because my milk didn't come in at the hospital, so I wasn't leaking.
- Diapers - I'd like the nurses to teach me how to change a diaper using the diapers I'll be using, so I brought a few. I have a few different brands, but am bringing Bamboo Nature. The hospital stay was such a whirlwind, I didn't even think to grab these diapers, I just went with what the hospital used - Pampers. Plus, all diapers are the same I quickly realized!
- iPhone charger with extra long cord - this one, thanks to Julia for the recommendation! YES, this was great!! The charger was very far away from my hospital bed, so this was very helpful.
- Dirty laundry 'bag' - I had this lying around, so I packed it. Didn't need it, because I didn't have any dirty clothes!
- Frida Mom Washer - I've heard that this is much easier to use than the one they give you in the hospital, so it's packed. OMG, if there's one thing I'd recommend bringing (besides the long phone charger), it would be this. It worked so much better than the hospital one! And I felt more comfortable using my own.
- Personal hand fan - I get super cranky when I'm overheated, so I'm sure I'll be having Lu use this on me, Cleopatra style. I used this post-delivery, because my hormones were crazy and I was getting severe hot flashes. I was so happy to have this and I didn't think I'd use it for post-delivery!
- Sleep mask - yes, very helpful, especially because I was in a shared room!
- Grip socks - to walk around during delivery and post-partum. Yup, I loved having these, because the hospital socks were scratchy and oversized. These socks were great.
- Flip flops for the shower - I never showered, so I didn't use these!
- Swaddle blanket - I know they provide everything, but I'd like to take the baby's first picture in the hospital in a swaddle of my choice! Yup, I brought him home in the swaddle I brought!
- 1 Newborn short sleeve onesie - if it's a warm September day! I didn't use this, but would have if it was super warm.
- 1 newborn long-sleeve onesie with footies - in case it's a freakishly cold September day! I ended up using this!
- Baby cap - to cover his head. I ended up using the hospital beanie, because mine was too big for his little head!
And in my toiletries bag/dopp kit, I'm bringing:
- ACURE travel pack - face wash, body moisturizer, shampoo, & conditioner - I didn't shower, so I didn't use the shampoo & conditioner, but I did wash my face, so I used that!
- Toothbrush & toothpaste - yes, used!
- Deodorant - yes, used!
- Bar of soap - I didn't shower, so I didn't use!
- Belly butter - nope, didn't use!
- Mints - nope, didn't use!
- Hair ties - yes, used!
- My glasses (fun fact: I have bad vision!) - yes, used! I've been wearing glasses mostly since I got back from the hospital!
- Nipple cream - yes, used!
- Contact lenses - yes, used!
- Razor- I didn't shower, so I didn't use!
- Facial wipes - these ones, for cleaning my face while I'm laying in bed and don't want to take a shower. - yes, used! these were great to have when I didn't feel like fully washing my face and just needed a wipe down.
- Q-tips (I can't live without them!) - I didn't shower, so I didn't use!
- Lip balm - yes, used!
- Hair band to keep the hair out of my face - I love these. - yes, used! very helpful for post-delivery, especially since I didn't shower.
UPDATE: also bringing the following, based on suggestions from all of you (thank you!):