What you actually need and don’t need in your hospital bag

Photo Credit: galleryhip.com

So you are in your third trimester and the baby could come any day now and no one, not even your doctor can accurately predict when the big moment will come. All you know is, you are uncomfortable and becoming a little too well acquainted with the bathroom lately.

The only thing left to do is register with your hospital, (Yes many hospitals offer preregistration so that they have you and your insurance info on file before you arrive, at which point you are in no mood, or better yet, have no time to fish through your wallet to find your provider info and fill out paperwork) and pack your bag.

There are many suggestions out there as to what to put in your bag and even overpriced pre-made bags available with a bunch of things you will most likely never use. Much of what you will need for the baby will be provided by the hospital, except a few things that you will probably have by the time your baby shower is over anyway.

Here is a list of things I actually used and was happy to have in the first hours and few days spent in the hospital.

Driver’s License This was all I needed because I preregistered, but if you haven’t you will also need your insurance card and possibly a copy of your registration just in case they can’t find you in the system.
Mouthwash (You may not feel up to making your way to the sink for the first day or so, but it’s always nice to have a fresh, clean mouth.)
Body wash and a soft bath puff Hospitals typically provide one kind of soap for your hair and body which will leave you feeling dry and believe me, that is the last thing you want.
Travel size shampoo and conditioner
Typical toiletries for Mommy and Daddy
Hair ties
Hair Brush
I almost didn’t bring mine, but I was so glad I did for photos and visitors.
Glasses/Contacts  If you have disposables that’s all the better so that you don’t have to fuss over cleaning solutions and cases. 
Going home outfits for Mommy and Daddy
This is the only outfit I actually wore other than what I went to the hospital in. I packed comfy clothes for the other days and ended up just wearing my hospital gown the whole time. Daddy on the other hand needs one nice outfit for going home and lounge outfits for the other days. Also, I recommend to bring loose-fitting or maternity pants as you will not go back to your pre-pregnancy shape right away. 
Dry shampoo This stuff is liquid gold when you are not able to shower yet but want to look presentable for those new family portraits.
Nursing cover If you plan to breastfeed (This is mainly for when family and friends visit as even the most modest mama may be surprised at how little she cares about doctors and nurses seeing her bare breasted after giving birth with a room full of them.)
Nursing pillow The popular brand is Boppy but there are several out there. This was helpful to have to aide in breastfeeding and can also be more comfortable and reassuring for family and guests to have something to rest their arms on while cuddling with the new and fragile bundle of joy. Daddy can also use it as a pillow at night as hospital pillows are sometimes not the most comfortable.
Baby book Often there is a place for their foot print, birth stats and first thoughts from parents and family. You may be surprised how fast you forget some of the small details in all of the commotion.
Chap stick All of that heavy breathing and ice chips are not very friendly to your kisser so this is a must have!
Warm blanket and hat for baby
One or two cute outfits for baby (Including going home outfit) It is becoming more and more common for hospitals to offer hospital photo shoots when baby is one day or less old. There is typically no cost to the parents unless they would like to purchase the photos and of course, who doesn’t want professional pics of their newborn? Yup they’ve got your number! But either way, it doesn’t hurt to have a cute outfit or two to photograph in and to take baby home in of course.
Car seat This may seem obvious, but in a rush, you may not think of it. I know this is technically not included in the hospital bag so think of it as a bonus.
Twin size blow up mattress, blanket and pillow for Daddy Although not a must, most hospitals offer little more than a bench suited for a preteen boy at best for new Dads to sleep on. Those first few days can be pretty demanding on them as well, so a good night sleep is essential. We wished we had thought of this by the end of the third day.
Advil or any other over the counter meds that Daddy may need. They offer plenty of drugs to mommy for pain, but if Daddy has a headache or body aches from the tiny bench/bed he’s pretty much SOL because the hospital cannot offer medication to anyone but their patients.
Phone chargers or extra batteries I ended up finding a set of extra batteries and a wall charger for our phones on Amazon because plugs are not always conveniently located near the hospital bed for easy access when you are answering a multitude of congratulatory text or social media messages. If you are anything like me, you won’t want to walk anymore than you have to at first.
Camera/Charger/Memory Cards

In the interest of helping you pack lighter, here are a few things you most likely will not need because the hospital typically provides them or you just don’t need them:

Warm socks for Mommy to be
Sanitary napkins Believe it or not, you will most likely actually appreciate the huge ones provided for you.
Granny panties The mesh ones the hospital provides are your friend!
Nursing pads So many people suggest to pack these and you won’t need them because your milk will most likely not come in fully until after you leave the hospital.
Diapers, wipes, pacifiers and other necessities for the baby The hospital provides all of these things.
Breast pump Hospital provides these.

If there is anything I have missed, please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments.

Morning sickness, not just in the morning! Remedies that worked for me!

Photo credit: healthadministration.biz

If you’re like me, no one ever told me that ‘morning sickness’ is NOT confined to the morning hours! Nope! I’m sorry to tell you that not only is it not necessarily just in the morning, it may not go away for the entire first trimester.

Don’t shoot the messenger!

If you are among the unlucky Mommies-to-be that are finding themselves running to the bathroom more often these days, I am here to offer what I hope may ease your misery in the form of a list of things that worked for me. This is in no way medical advice or a promise that they will work for you, and a few of these may be frowned upon as they are not the healthiest options, but if you are like me, I would do anything to feel even a little less nauseous.

Put your prenatal vitamins in the freezer and take them at night. I’m not sure why this helps but it worked wonders for me!

In theory, vitamin B6 helps fend off morning sickness. It is suggested that you take it before getting pregnant and during pregnancy. (Suggestion from a family member who is a labor and delivery nurse and has 5 children of her own.)

Sour Candy and/or Lemonade – I’m not sure how or why this works but at least for me, eating or drinking something sour helped ease my stomach and therefore I drank lemonade by the gallon throughout my pregnancy and if anyone is looking for Country Time mix, I have several left over in my pantry that I had reserved as back up and no longer need as I am in the process of getting my pregnancy body back. (Which is entirely possible even if you don’t have a personal trainer or a modeling contract with Victoria’s Secret.)

Preggy Pops – These little gems can be found at Babies-R-Us or on Amazon. They are quite literally lollipops or hard candy drops that help with nausea at least as long as you are enjoying them as they have a variety of yummy flavors. (Assuming you can stomach candy at all.)

Frequent Small Meals – I noticed that the only time I seemed to feel better was right after I ate and contrary to popular belief, you are NOT eating for two! You really only need +/- 300 extra calories a day. (Depending on your info source) Believe me, if you are anything like me, you want to eat everything in site! I found that eating several small meals every hour or two or snacking periodically on nuts, fruits and veggies really helped.

Good news! This nauseous stage most likely will pass within a few weeks and almost definitely by your second trimester.

Last but not least, take it easy! You are now growing another human being! Don’t feel bad about resting more than normal, making a few extra trips to the restroom or asking for a little help with household chores, especially those that involve heavy lifting. Just keep telling yourself it will all be worth it the moment you get to lay eyes on that sweet little face!

But it’s a faint line….Could it be?

Positive Test
Photo Credit: Imgkid.com

I figure I may as well kick this blog off right and start at the very beginning!

So after about 5 years of marriage and several months of negative pregnancy tests it happened…..I got heartburn from eating a banana! ….Not what you expected? Neither did I!

It was your typical December in Texas, chilly one day and scorching the next and I had just started a new job for which I had extremely high hopes. I was doing everything I could to successfully juggle the new job, holiday shopping, commitments with family and friends and being a good wife and mommy to two fur babies and not to mention trying to become a Mommy (yup capital M) to an adorable squishy little mini me and not really thinking it would happen any time soon.

It was the night before the hubby and I were boarding the plane to a much anticipated FREE trip to Vegas for his company Christmas party (yeah, I know, you want to work where he does don’t you!) and as previously mentioned, I could not help but notice that I had gotten heartburn from eating a banana and I had been ridiculously tired lately, although I had attributed it to the stress of a new job and several other commitments, something told me that it would probably be a good idea to take a pregnancy test before leaving for a weekend in Vegas where I would be hanging with several notably heavy drinkers, even though I myself usually don’t drink more than one or two, however, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…right? So at 9:30 at night, I headed to the store and got a First Response. Looking back I have to giggle at my anxiety about being seen buying it and even mentioning it to my hubby. (One year later, I had no idea that there would be SOOOO many more uncomfortable situations to which this would pale in comparison.) I hurried home and ran into the bathroom, peed on the stick and there it was…..a very faint pink line staring at me!!!

At that moment all of the cute ways I had planned in my head to tell my hubby we were expecting went out the window and I just yelled BABE….come here….NOW…..(Oh that sounded rude)…….please! Ummm what does this mean??? It’s really faint sooooo….I’m not sure. Do you see what I see? Yeah….it’s faint. We have another one, take it again!!! But I don’t have to pee anymore!!! I’ll have to wait till morning. Drink water!!!

Okay so for those of you who are like me and have no clue how pregnancy tests work, first of all, no matter how faint the line….you’re pregnant! Also, if you take the test at night and get a faint line or a dark line you’re definitely pregnant because really you are supposed to take them in the morning with your first morning pee because in theory it’s more potent than night pee. Or at least that’s how my doctor later explained to me when I called her frantically the next day. Good to know! Also, my plan was to have a doctor’s appointment ASAP to confirm and they said that typically they wait until you are about 8 weeks along based on the date of your last period to have a confirmation appointment. (Or at least that is my doctor’s policy.) They assured me that if the test was positive, even with a faint line I was definitely pregnant!

Yay! Time to Google way too much about pregnancy and parenting and figure out what the heck we were going to tell people upon arriving to Vegas!

Disclaimer: This post is not medical advice and I am not a medical professional. I am simply sharing my story and what I learned from it. If you think you may be pregnant consult a medical professional to confirm.

Who is this TX Mommy On A Mission??

Photo Credit: Mom 365

FTM, SAHM, EBF/FF (Yes I realize this is a contradiction in terms, but if you care to read further posts, it will make sense) <— All of these acronyms that you may or may not recognize from birth boards and mommy forums describe me, especially the ‘FTM’ which, for those of you who may not be internet savvy, stands for “First Time Mom”.  Often times these three little letters will get you dismissed as a parenting ‘noob’ and your advice will be devalued however, there is something to be said about a first time parent IMHO! First time parents tend to do tons of research and seek advice from a variety of people and call their pediatricians waaaaay more than most therefore, they are often much more informed than you might think. They are ‘in the trenches’….so you are free to your opinion and you may judge all you want, but the purpose of this blog is to create a one stop resource for other busy parents, first time or otherwise, to find answers to the multitude of questions that pop into their heads in those moments when they realize that even though mommy/daddy know best, he or she may not actually know it all…at least not yet. Mind you, I definitely DO NOT know it all and none of my posts are in any way, shape or form to be taken as professional advice, medical or otherwise. I just figure since I am doing all of this research and learning as I go, I may as well share my findings so that maybe it may benefit, and/or at the very least, provide entertainment value for others.