The Bag Lady
As first time parents, my Type A - OCD was out of this world - nesting as most would call it looked like we had an army of organizers in our home prior to the twins arrival. I had lists upon lists, freezer meals, rules for family/friends visiting, coded boxes for month 1, 2, 3, … you get the point. You could say I was wound a bit tight!! The one anticipating qualm I had was my hospital bag and what the first 48-72hrs would look like.
I reached out to my favorite Type A mamas who I knew would rescue me with excel spreadsheets of ideas as I handed the final to do list to the hubby to complete - a sense of relaxation came over me. My go-to's for your hospital/birthing center bags. Just know you can make yourself crazy trying to anticipate everything and gather all your necessary items at home, but the best advice I received was “there is always amazon prime overnight and baby stores open till 9:00pm”. That is why they invented grandmas, sisters and best friends. They better call and ask you what they can pick up for you before walking through that front door to hold those babies of yours!
Hospital Bags -
I overpack. No matter where I am going, by plane, car or foot. You would think with working in the travel industry and the amount of international travel I did prior to kids that I would have this down to a science, no it's a lie! The night before I go anywhere I’m a hot stressful mess trying to ROLL all of my components to make them fit. I knew I wanted to limit the amount of “bags” we were schlepping into the hospital as can you only imagine at 2am having to make multiple trips to the car just grab the necessities while I'm screaming during a contraction. I did not need to look like a whale sized bag lady walking in. I stuck to 2 bags. 1 large for myself and our largest double diaper bag for the babes.
Mama Bag - Lo & Son’s “Catalina” was my go to. It’s so versatile and a staple piece for traveling.
Babes Bag - Ju Ju Be “Be Prepared” I still am indecisive about this but it has received use multiple times. It’s HUGE and too big for two babes in cloth to tote around on a daily basis but we have used it every time we travel. Bonus Buy Buy Baby carries it so you can see it in person.
Hubby Bag - he was in charge of his own - in theory! Make sure he packs toiletries, pjs, extra change of clothes and snacks for him. We also brought on our own pillows (cuz I'm weird like that). The hospital will allow the mother free food but not the hubby - we just ordered like I was eating for 3 each mealtime and had the grandparents pick up food upon each visit.
Inside Mama’s Bag -
1. Birth Plan (3 copies) - we learned this from our birthing class with our Doula. 1 copy stayed with us, 1 went to the intake nurse, 1 went to labor/delivery nurse. Our OB had already gone over it with us and signed off. This not only allows everyone to make sure they are on the same page - especially with the typical approach to birthing twins or multiples, but when push comes to shove (literally) some items can get overlooked and it’s nice to have it in writing. IE: We didn’t want the twins to have Hep B or eye ointment. So glad we had it written down because with all of the chaos managing Baby A’s blood sugar levels, the nurse almost administered them but saw our birth plan first. Phew! Shoot me a note if you want to know what to put on your birth plan, I have no problem sharing ours.
2. ID’s/Insurance Card/Wallet - something you think you wouldn’t forget. It’s always the first thing lost in the house.
3. Cell phone - purchase a new iPhone if you don't have an updated one. Just do it, thank me later. And make sure it has the highest amount of GB storage on it. This will seriously be your lifeline. Not only are iPads cumbersome to hold when both of your hands are full, having the most up to date system and camera phone is so key. I texted mama friends in the middle of the night with questions, was able to whip out my camera phone (million times more then my professional one) to snap shots/videos of the babes. Bring an extra long charge cord or an extension cord.
4. Digital Camera - if your hubby can take photographs bring one, otherwise I think it’s obsolete if you have a great camera phone (note this is coming from a professional photographer).
5. Lactation consultant number - the hospital provides one but seriously they were nothing compared to our LC outside the hospital. I wish I would’ve set this up weeks prior but make sure to have one on hand that will come to the hospital or your home to help with breastfeeding. So many mamas give up because they didn’t have guidance - trust me it’s SO hard to nurse multiples and you need so so so so much support early on, especially if there are complications but it’s completely attainable with the right support system. I kid you not, I texted more photos of my boobs with a twin latched to make sure we were doing everything correctly.
6. Comfy pj’s - button down top. Cotton Robe. The button down top was key. Mine were from Target. If you go with a shorts pair, bring a long pair of pants as well. To piggyback the pjs a nice cotton robe (target). Not too thick but something you can throw on if you need to walk the halls or have people come to see you in the hospital.
7. Nursing tank - tanks were easier in those first few weeks then a bra.
8. Nipple soothing pads & motherlove nipple cream- depending upon when your milk comes in and how the early days of breastfeeding go - these are very handy.
9. Nursing pads - I love the large coverage and how soft these are. Throw them in with your daily load of laundry. They feel SO much better then disposable.
10. Grip socks - I do barre classes so I have a drawer full of grip socks. I think I even delivered in mine! They were a lifesaver - keep your toes warm but you can walk around and not skid.
11. Your own labor/delivery outfit. This might sound strange right. You get into one of those ugly uncomfortable hospital gowns. NOPE! Did you know you can opt out of those. Since I was not high risk I wanted the majority of my labor to be at home and I wanted my hospital experience to feel as close to home as possible. Hospitals make me nervous to begin with. I wore an old nightgown from Old Navy that I was fine with trashing. In the delivery room they ended up cutting it off down the middle. Easy! I was so comfortable the entire time.
Snacks - you are going to be starving! Lara Bars, fruit, nuts, etc. Pack little snack bags for yourself.
12. Chapstick and/or your go to makeup to help you feel more human.
13. Going home outfit for you. Comfy, comfy, comfy. Drawstring bottoms and a tank. Don't even bring underwear - you'll learn all about the mesh panties that you want to horde before you leave the hospital.
14. Toiletries. Go raid target travel section. Mini shampoo, conditioner, soap or body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb/brush, contacts, glasses, ponytail holder, headband.
15. Preggo pops - other mamas recommended these during labor but I drank water instead. I hear they come in useful.
16. Chargers - for any/everything
17. Mini speakers - If you want music during labor that you can stream from your iPhone.
18. Heating pad. This may be faux-paux to some hospitals as they normally have one but I was told by our doula that they aren’t very warm. I brought our cheap wall greens one I had been using throughout pregnancy incase we needed to throw it. This was a lifesaver during labor contractions.
19. Eye mask - the only way you are going to get a few hrs of shuteye
20. Small baggie of your prenatal vitamins, fish oil, iron (if you are on it) and a good probiotic.
21. Make sure you have downloaded and watched The Happiest Baby on the Block video. It’s a great tool for learning how to swaddle and we used all the 5 S’s while in the hospital those first few nights. You can have it on your iPhone for swaddling refresher.
Babes Bag -
1. Cute swaddle blanket for each babe. These make for great photos and are so so so soft.
2. One premie + newborn sized going home outfits with little hats
3. Baby books - if you have time (i’m laughing so hard right now) to mark down a few thoughts from their first few moments on earth
1. Donuts, cupcakes - something sweet and yummy for the nurses. I promise you - thank the nurses that help you and you will go home with more swag AKA: Mesh panties and tucks pads! Invaluable.
3. Diapers if you are using cloth or honest brand
4. A t-shirt or extra item that you can keep with the babes the first night and have a loved one take home to have your pet smell it. This gets them used to the babes smell before you arrive home.
5. Single nursing pillow - boppy pillow. This is very helpful during those first few moments of nursing after your arms are EXHAUSTED from holding on during delivery.
6. Request 2 copies of their footprints if possible (they can take one to place into your baby book)
7. Bathing suit for you and your hubby - IF you want to labor in water (2 piece, halter tie top) and want your partner to support you.
8. Start a text chain a few weeks prior to your due date with your family/friends that you want to keep updated. Then your hubby can click on that one text and send notes and photos.
9. Ask the night-nurse for help. It might go against the grain since your babes are only 24-48hrs old but the best advice we received from another twin mom was to take 3-5hrs of shuteye your last night, while one of the nurses watches your babies in the nursery. At Scottsdale Osborn there is an extra room on the recovery floor that was designated for this during our stay. They were two doors down and we were able to get 5 hrs of uninterrupted sleep before we headed home. Best advice ever to set us up for more success instead of walking zombies after we left the hospital. *just make sure you are very specific about your feeding guidelines and goals so they don't push a big bottle of formula during this down time.
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