So, I've been thinking about what questions I'll need to ask and what level of preparedness for my new arrival I'll need to be in by my next appointment (mid-September). I've started to think in very general terms about a birth plan - something of an oxymoron, perhaps?! - and how long I might spend in the birth centre after my baby is born.
Last time, I expected to spend one night in hospital and I packed my overnight bag accordingly. I ended up spending three nights there - one in labour and then two more after my daughter was born. Some of the things in my bag were untouched (my labour snacks/drinks were forgotten in the car until after the birth!) and others had to be replaced (my daughter puked into my bra and down my nightie and pooed through two vests and babygros in the first day!) - it was a good job my husband didn't mind shuttling between the hospital, Tesco and our house to get stuff that I'd forgotten or hadn't bought or just needed washing!
I think I'm going to pack along the same principles this time, as I've heard that if things go smoothly you can be discharged as little as 6 hours after delivery, but it's more likely that I'll have to stay a bit longer. I just wish I'd made a note of the items that I used last time because now I'm struggling to remember.
I've looked at a couple of websites to get a feel for the 'essential items' but the list seems really long - I'm sure I can whittle it down.
- Things for me during labour - a very important set of things, including TENS, socks and an old nightie but I'll make sure the clothing can be disposed of almost immediately (I won't want to see or wear it again!)
- Things for me after the birth - I'll try to pack light, for example, I won't need an eye mask or ear plugs because I either won't sleep or I'll sleep like a log and I didn't read any of the magazines or books I packed last time!
- Things for my birth partner - well, he can sort himself out, quite frankly! I'll be busy!
- Things for baby - another very important set of items but I'll leave the going home bits in the car in the car seat until we are being discharged, to save room in the bag.
- Medical notes - vital!
One thing I remember that was very useful last time was a plastic jug. On advice from a friend, I thought I would use it to pour water over my stitches when I went to the loo but I actually used it to measure my wee volume to prove I was passing enough fluid before I could be discharged!