Oh my actual god, HI EVERYONE!!!!!! I cannot believe this is the first time I have sat down to blog in TWO MONTHS! It feels soooooo good to be back!!!! YIPPEEEE!!!
I think it’s fair to say that in the last eight weeks my life has totally been turned upside down (along with the whole entire populations.)
But what has specifically changed for me?
Well, apart from the fact that there is a horrendously scary universal pandemic taking over the world (are we living in a horror film, or a nightmare that I am going to wake up from soon?), I am now ridiculously proud to say that I am officially a mummy to my beautiful baby boy, who has changed my life for the better forever.
His name is Teddy, and I might be biased but I truly think he is the most precious, adorable and cheeky munchkin that there ever was.
Teddy is my light and sunshine in this dark and terrifying time.
I have sooooo much to update you on, but I don’t want to run before I can walk. I mean, its taken me two months to get this paragraph written and I totally feel like I am currently winning at life because of it. My god, I was naive. I honestly had absolutely no idea just how demanding and constant looking after a new born is. Don’t get me wrong I adore every single second of it, but it is absolutely ridiculous how much life changes in the blink of an eye and how even brushing your hair can feel just as rewarding as running a marathon. I can’t lie, I am 98% certain I may fall asleep on my keyboard typing this blog post out. The night feeds aren’t pretty let me tell ya that!
So where to begin? I have so much content that I want to share with you all, including my third trimester diaries, Teddy’s nursery tour, my essentials for a newborn, and THAT BIRTH BLOG!!! Read if you dare!!!!! But first lets start with my hospital bag list. And let me tell you, if I could rewind time and start the packing over from scratch I would.
I got it really wrong. It was basically a disaster.
But fear NOT. Because my mistakes are your gain.
Right!!! Lets dive straight in shall we…
I actually planned for this list to go out when I was 39 weeks pregnant as I was genuinely packing my bag for the last time. BUT. I had a nice little surprise at 38 weeks when my waters
broke exploded and my little munchkin popped out two weeks early! But more on that later hehe!!
SO instead I am going to do a retrospective post, and tell you what I packed, and whether it was necessary. So actually this might be even more beneficial for you, as I’ve been there, done that, and worn the t-shirt.
Well actually, in my case. Wore the baggy dirty nightie. For four days straight. Send help.
First things first, you are going to need THREE bags. One for you, one for the baby and one for all of your snacks and food. Yep its true, a whole suitcase of food. Just trust me on this, I promise that you will be thanking me later. (I felt very smug when I politely declined the hospital chill con carne at 11am, vom, and had my own delicious suitcase of treats which could have fed the whole ward).
WHAT YOU NEED TO PACK FOR YOUR HOSPITAL BAG
My biggest mistake when packing my hospital bag was being ridiculously and utterly naive. I always knew that birth plans don’t always go to plan, but I truly believed I would be swanning out of the ward, potentially the day after birth in the River Island flowing dress that I packed, bearing a full face of make up and hoping for at least a few gorgeous photos to treasure forever. Instead I spent four days in hospital, wearing the same repulsive nightie I sent a fiver on in Primark, looking like a grey haggard old witch and not a bit of makeup in sight. I think I brushed my teeth twice?
So my biggest advice to you is EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.
Basically don’t be a Sammy Summers. She is a bloody idiot.
I’m now going to tell you what I packed and by looking back, whether it was needed. And I will link everything I can. Obviously you can completely ignore my advice, and I pray that you will all emerge from labour looking like the queens you all are, but look lets not beat around the bush, labour isn’t pretty and it certainly isn’t a five star holiday. So without further a do.. lets begin…
PS. You can tell I haven’t blogged in two months an am over excited to be writing again, this is full on word vomit at its best sorry everyone!!!
Disclaimer- There are a few items on this list that were kindly gifted to me. These items will all have a *** beside them. There are also some products with affiliate links, that will earn me a tiny bit of commission if you choose to purchase them. (It doesn’t cost you anything extra). All of the items on this page were taken in my hospital bag and as always, I will 100% tell the truth on everything!!
KEY- Any thing in BOLD is what I packed. The writing in italics are my thoughts post labour.
- MATERNITY FOLDER/NOTES.
Your birth partner will get sent home if you forget these. Which would not the best timing when you have a head popping out of you.
- BIRTH PLAN- I spent a week writing this, as if it was a dissertation and got hubby to laminate it and print five copies for whoever needed to read it.
Verdict- BIN IT.
This remained at the bottom of my suitcase. Unread. For the duration of my entire birth. In the most polite way- just don’t bother wasting your time.
- A NIGHTIE FOR LABOUR- I spent a fiver in Primark on a XXL disgusting rag of a nightie.
The best five pounds I ever spent. That nightie went straight into the bin the second my darling was born never to be seen again. See yaaaaa.
- SWIMWEAR- Gold studded bikini.
Verdict- BIN IT.
Does ANYONE actually get that dream water birth? The fact I packed this actually makes me SCREAM of laughter. I wanted to float around as Ariel, but instead my feet didn’t set foot in the water. Beyond depressing. And even if I got my water birth, there wouldn’t have even been a second of my time during labour I would have rummaged through my case to find my swim wear and get it on. I just would have belly flopped/bombed in the water with no clothes on and lived happily every after.
- ***BIRTHING BALL– I was kindly gifted a birthing ball by BIRTH GO and brought it with me to the hospital as I knew I was being induced. (More on this in my Birth Blog)
I spent six hours constantly bouncing up and down in hospital, only getting off the ball to go to the loo and I truly, from the bottom of my heart, believe that this is the reason I started getting contractions before the hospital wanted to shove a fake hormone drip in me. For that I am forever thankful and would recommend the birthing ball to everyone. (Not just for labour, for the last few weeks of pregnancy too).
- SUITCASE OF DELICIOUS TREATS- Bags of sweets, chocolate, cereal bars, crisps, fruit and bottles of water.
Verdict- NEED. 1000000%.
It was absolutely essential for me to be tearing Percy Pigs head off during labour, and this is absolutely not a joke.
- *** THE NATURAL BIRTHING COMPANY PRODUCTS- The day before my waters broke, I received a wonderful delivery from The Natural Birthing Company, who kindly sent me an incredible assortment of products for me to use for labour and post birth. I was so excited because all of their products are renowned for being developed by midwifes who use totally natural ingredients. As you can see in the below photo there is a huge selection of products to use, and I luckily packed the birthing essentials kit in my bag before the chaos of labour consumed me.
I vividly remember screaming at the hubby to continuously spitz the ‘Cool it Mama Body Spray’ in my face at 3am whilst pushing my guts out with buckets of sweat dripping down my face. For those few seconds the stunningly delicious and cold spray emerged on my face I got to feel like a half normal fresh human, not the insane, sweating lunatic I had become. To summarise- my Labour room was 100 million degrees, GET THIS SPRAY!
Also, because I unexpectedly went into labour ten days early I sadly didn’t get a chance to use the Perineal Massage Oil. SOB. BIG MISTAKE. I had the pleasure of enduring a second degree tear down there (stun) so would absolutely recommend getting this oil and using from 34 weeks onwards if you can.
(Since birth I have also been obsessed with the ‘Sleepy Mama Relaxing Pillow Mist’, ‘Nourish and Relieve Massage and Stretch Mark Oil’ and the ‘Bottoms up Soothing Spray’, but I will tell you all about this in my ‘Essentials for life with a newborn blog’ in a few weeks!)
WHAT TO PACK FOR AFTER LABOUR WHEN ON THE POST NATAL WARD.
A BAG OF MINI ESSENTIAL TOILETRIES (Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower Gel, Tooth Brush/Paste, Deodorant etc)
Well. Most of it. (Bar shampoo/conditioner) It’s beyond cute that I thought I would have time to wash my hair in hospital. I even re-morgaged my flat to buy the expensive OBX mini range and texted my friends asking if they packed their GHDs. I’M SCREAMING. What an absolute mug I am.
FACIAL STUFF- I packed my Liz Earl Travel Kit because god forbid I can go a few nights without cleansing and polishing.
VERDICT- BIN IT.
Forgot to wash face for four days. Still had Saturday mornings crusty mascara dropping down my face on Tuesday evening. Just spend a pound on some facial wipes and hope for the best that you remember to use them at least once.
MATERNITY PADS– I brought around 20 pads in total, and was annoyed at how much room they took up in my suitcase.
VERDICT- NEED MORE. X 10000000000.
Within five minutes of my waters breaking I had soaked through about ten pads. Post labour I was going through one an hour. My family were sent straight to Boots to buy me more supplies. WOW!!! NO-ONE WARNS YOU ABOUT THE POST BIRTH BLOOD!!!!! Moral of the story- please be prepared and bring lots and lots of pads. The first few days you will experience the worst period of your life and I totally didn’t expect it.
ADULT NAPPIES- As well as the pads I packed ten XL adult nappies to see if they would be comfier.
VERDICT- BIN IT.
The worst ten pounds I have ever ever spent in my life. Any one who says these are comfy are liars. Soz.
BRUSH/HAIR TIES/DRY SHAMPOO.
I used all of the above to style my hair in a cute Mrs Trunchball style for the duration of my stay.
FACE MOISTURISER/LIP BALM.
It’s true what they say. The Hospital is hotter than the Sahara Desert.
MAKE UP BAG.
VERDICT- BIN IT.
I PROMISE YOU. FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. The last thing you will need or care about is make up when in hospital with your newborn. And this is coming from the Essex girl who would NEVER leave the house without a full face.
VERDICT- SAVE IT FOR HOME-
The nipple covers won’t be needed until day five, when OH WOW HELLO BIG HARD ROCKS FOR BOOBS THAT CAUSE UTTER AGONY. Because dealing with a shrinking cramping uterus, constant bleeding, four days of no sleep and a second degree tear wasn’t enough to cope with. In all seriousness, I brought one pack, which totally lasted me because you only leak for about three days. (I also packed the Lanisoh nipple cream but didn’t end up using this because I bottle fed practically straight away).
My face may have aged 50 years in one day, but it was absolutely essential for me to constantly have a tummy that smelt like a dream. In all seriousness, your stomach area goes through hell and back so it was nice to have a bit of comfort and soother over it every few hours.
CLOTHING FOR YOU POST LABOUR
A NIGHTIE FOR POST LABOUR- You know that vile nightie I wore during labour, well I actually brought two of them. I chucked the dirty one away after labour and put the clean one on straight after I showered.
Trusttttt me on this, you are not going to want to have ANYTHING leaning against your tummy area, no matter how your birth goes. Buy the loosest, most baggy nightie there is. I kind of maybeeee didn’t take this off for four days straight. Ooops.
My 90p flip-flops from Primarni saved me from getting 50,000 random verrucas from the repulsive hospital shower.
Spend a fiver on slippers that you can then chuck away when leaving hospital. It’s a lovely comfort for your tootsies whilst your shuffling about in your cramped section of the ward when trying to rock your newborn to sleep for the 50,000th time.
VERDICT- UP TO YOU.
Since being home I have absolutely lived in these comfy bras. But if you think for one second I had a chance to put on a bra post labour then you will be absolutely mistaken. Comfort was everything those first few days and they remained at the bottom of my suitcase!
BRIDGET JONES KNICKERS.
VERDICT- BIN IT.
This may be controversial but I absolutely hated wearing these post labour. Because they are so big they laid on my stomach and was uncomfortable and itchy. I much preferred wearing my normal knickers that rested underneath my bump with thick maternity pads. However most people I know swear by these so maybe I am just a weirdo.
COMFY CLOTHES FOR HOSPITAL
VERDICT- UP TO YOU.
I spent about four weeks before labour searching for the most gorgeous and cosy loungewear to pack. And yep. You’ve guessed it. It all remained neatly folded in my suitcase. Thank goodness for lockdown- to say i’ve now got wear from it all would be an understatement.
VERDICT- UP TO YOU.
As mentioned above. I packed a floral floaty River Island Dress. It was never to be worn. Instead emerged into civilisation looking like Quasimodo. No glamorous newborn and mummy photos were taken. Still a sore and bitter subject. Lets move on.
RANDOM ESSENTIALS FOR YOU IN HOSPITAL!
A BLINDFOLD TO SLEEP.
VERDICT- BIN IT.
Hahahahaha I do make myself laugh. Pre baby Sammy is such a joker.
I didn’t bring a pillow, and it was one of the biggest mistake of my life so far. (Yes, you can always rely on me to be just a little bit dramatic)
When I was left alone in the hospital face-timing my friends and family saved my sanity so make sure you don’t forget your charger! It’s the last thing you will be thinking about if your waters break/contractions start! I ensured that I stuck a big poster on my door saying ‘CHARGER’ in case I would have forgot it on the way out.
A BOOK TO PASS THE TIME.
VERDICT- BIN IT.
Pass the time? Are you okay hun? The second that baby flies out you won’t ever have a second to yourself EVER again.
Actually this turned out to be an unplanned essential item. For someone with a gigantic phobia of hospital, drowning out the sounds of other woman screaming. (Disclaimer- this was actually a thing) and other wailing babies whilst listening to the Beauty and The Beast soundtrack on my phone during an eight hour blood transfusion was the BIGGEST lifesaver for my anxiety.
Eek, we are nearly there! Just one bag to go- and that will be for your beautiful new born!
I won’t go into as much detail for this list because otherwise we will be here till next December, so I am just going to write what I believe you need to take with you.
NEW BORN ESSENTIALS HOSPITAL LIST
***NAPPIES- My favourite nappy brand ‘Kit and Kin’ kindly sent me a pack of their newborn nappies to take to hospital. I adore this brand because they are renowned for being brilliant for the environment as well as having the cutest animal print designs. When I saw that their newborn range featured a gorgeous bear, knowing that if I had a boy he would be called Teddy, well I was just ridiculously excited to use them.
I knew babies poo’d, but I didn’t contemplate just how MUCH babies poo’d. So whatever you do, take the whole pack of nappies with you to hospital. And despite them being so so stinky, there truly is nothing more gorgeous than a newborns bum. So if you want the extra added touch of bringing home the cutest baby on earth then make sure you get these adorable nappies to show off to the world. (Disclaimer- I had never changed a nappy before Teddy, and these nappies are just so easy and simple to use, yay!)
Bring a whole pack. These babies poo as if they are a never ending ice cream machine at Pizza Hut. And the smell. Oh the smell. NEED. DISPOSABLE. BAGS.
Babies aren’t allowed to bath for the first two weeks, so use cotton wall and water to clean their cute little face and body until then.
Some people may choose to only use water and cotton wall to clean a babies bum at first. BUT SERIOUSLY. Have you ever seen a newborn poo? OH MY GOD. Only a shit load of wipes are gonna clean that bad boy from their bum, and I believe that Water Wipes are the best in the biz for this because they are 99% water with no added ingredients.
The last thing you want to think about is sterilising when you are in hospital so these were an absolute lifesaver.
BABY OUTFITS- It’s easier just to list what I think you need to pack from my experience..
PLAIN WHITE BABY VESTS– Enough for three/four costume changes a day (in case of sick/poo/wee accidents). I brought these gorgeous soft organic ones.
PLAIN WHITE BABY SLEEPSUITS– As above.
MITTENS/SOCKS– It’s so much easier to buy the sleep suit with attached mittens and feet covers.
HAT x 2– I brought this organic hat for my little egg head.
MUSLINS x 100 million– Went through these like they were going out of fashion. Bring as many as you can fit in your suitcase haha.
GOING HOME OUTFIT– Bring something cute and adorable for your little one to wear to look back on for the rest of your life.
The hospital provide these, but for this ridiculous mother, it was essential for Teddy to be snuggled up in his ‘White Company’ blanket within two minutes of him being born.
VERDICT- NEED. Or risk breaking the law.
Prob the most important item of all. And we have been over the moon with our Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus so far.
SHOP MY HOSPITAL BAG!
AND THERE WE HAVE IT. WOW I AM EXHAUSTED.
To any future mummy to be reading this, I really really hope I have helped you. To think that this blog might be useful for at least one person in the future brings me lots of happiness, excitement and joy. And before I sign off I just wanted to leave you with one of my favourite quotes from my favourite wise old bear- Pooh.
‘Remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think’.
You are all going to be amazing, and trust me, if I can do it, you can do it!! GOOD LUCK TO ANY ONE reading this who is about to POP, you are able to go on the greatest adventure of your life. Oh and do me a favour, enjoy that cup of tea now, because you never will again.
And on that note, i’ll love and leave you, I’m off to change another poo explosion.
SHOP MY HOSPITAL BAG!
If you enjoyed this, please read some of my other pregnancy posts below.