Until recently I have been traveling for work 4 days per week. Traveling started getting harder for me last fall when my husband and I bought a house, got married and found out we were expecting our first baby. In that order and in a 30 day window. Every week I found it increasingly more difficult to pack my suitcase. As I crossed the threshold of our home on May 30th, I immediately began to unpack my suitcase and it was promptly put it in the attic. Sleep was slow to come that night as I lay in bed excited about the prospect of not packing again for a while.
Today we are officially 36 weeks pregnant. We have about 28 days before Madison’s due date and once again I find myself packing. No, not just one bag, but 3 bags! One for me, one for my husband and one for our sweet little girl. Now, I consider myself an expert bag packer; I once packed for a 2 week business trip to Hawaii in one carry on bag and a purse. I had everything I needed and nothing I didn’t. Until this packing expedition I considered myself having a knack for prioritizing the need-to-haves and the want-to-haves and being able to weigh if the want-to-haves are worth the extra weight and hassle. So what’s in our bags???
I’ll start with Madison’s Bag:
I packed her’s first thinking it would be the easiest, but I was wrong! (You’ll soon read why daddy’s bag was the easiest to pack.) The hardest part about packing Madison’s bag was choosing which clothes to pack. She has received so many cute outfits from friends and family that it was hard to pick what I wanted to see her in first. So for our 2-3 day hospital stay she has 9 outfits, 3 beanies and 4 pair of socks. Knowing that the hospital will provide diapers and some staple items for her, I elected to only pack 2 disposable diapers and wipes for the car ride home. Her bag is also equipped with 3 burp cloths, 2 receiving blankets and Stanley. Stanley is her 1 bear support team you see in the green scrubs. Her daddy and I went to Build-a-Bear mother’s day weekend and made him just for her. In this picture you will also see 2 pacifiers although I’m still on the fence about whether to carry them with us. We plan to breastfeed. I’ve been told why you don’t want to introduce pacifiers until your new little one is effectively feeding. However, knowing my luck, we won’t have them and she’ll need them so they will probably go with us as extra “stuff.”
This should be interesting since daddy packed his own bag. So you will actually be learning about what a man thinks he needs for the delivery of his first child with me. While my husband does like to have a plan for the unexpected, we have been known to be in the middle of the forest without tent stakes. Let’s dive in…
From the outside, daddy’s bag is very unassuming and light weight. He’s chosen to go the North Face route. This bag will also serve as his non-feminine diaper bag once Madison is here. In the front pocket we have a travel kit with toothbrush and tooth paste, chewing gum, 2 ink pens and deodorant. In the larger pocket there are 3 pair of underwear, pajama pants, 3 t-shirts and 1 pair of khaki shorts.
And that’s it. We have discussed him taking some swimming trunks since I plan to use the tub for pain management. Daddy is training for a 1/2 IronMan so perhaps there will be a couple of things added at the last minute.
So while I found Madison’s bag hard to pack, I found that mine to be more difficult. My preconceived notions of need-to-have and want-to-have became very blurred when I perceive there to be so many things outside of my control. Some may say I’m a control freak. I like to make a plan and work the plan. My standing birth plan is to have no major abdominal surgery (c-section) and no drugs (spinal or epidural). But I’m also smart enough to know that I need to be able to exercise some flexibility with my plan. Packing for every “what if” proved to be a challenge.
My bag is the Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty-One. I got this bag several years ago and love it for EVERYTHING! The first things in my bag are 2 file folders. The first one is complete with all of my and Madison’s medical records since our first visit to the doctor to confirm our pregnancy. The second folder also has all of my FMLA and STD paper work, contact information for all of our friends and family and copies of my insurance card and drivers license. For clothes I have enough underwear to support everyone delivering at the same time we do, 2 nursing bras, 3 nursing camisoles, pajamas (both a night gown and pants with a nursing top). I have 1 pair of maternity jeans and 4 shirts. Socks with little grippies on the bottom, flip flops (my footwear of choice since my feet decided to look like they cameoed in Weird Al Yankovic’s Fat video). Other odds-n-ends include a bottle of wine we brought back from our honeymoon in Italy, my pre-natal vitamins, chap stick, my back-up travel make-up, make-up removal cloths, deodorant, lotion, Tums, comb, elastic ties for my hair, toothbrush (I’ll use my husband’s toothpaste), 2 cameras, camera chargers, chargers for our phones, a roll of quarters for vending machines and 2 large tote bags for dirty clothes and any gifts received at the hospital.
The car seat is already in the car. Now we just need the baby. We are both getting so excited about her arrival!
What are things that you made sure to pack, packed and didn’t need, didn’t pack but wish you had???