What's In My Hospital Bag, Getting Ready For Labor and Postpartum (Freezer Foods), What I'm Reading


Prepping for labor for the first time feels like walking into the abyss alone in many ways. Up to this point, I've learned that every woman has a unique experience. Some women have positive and quick deliveries while others have traumatic and painful birth memories. I've read books about women having at home birth deliveries and about women having hospital medicated births. From all the experiences that I've heard and read, I realize that no matter how a baby gets into this world, a woman's strength is so powerful and special and that I too will soon be writing my own birth story of how our baby is born.




Currently as I am writing this post, I am 37 weeks and 3 days pregnant. As calm and collected that I try to be throughout each day, I can't help but wonder WHEN will my baby be ready to come out and HOW will my labor go? We are planning on a hospital birth with medication, but even though that is our plans, I am very aware that things could go way differently.


To calm my nerves and to control any anxiety that I may feel, I've been trying to prepare as much as possible. So far, my hospital bag is packed, freezer meals have been made, baby's room is about 90% ready, and I'm reading really comforting book currently about labor and birth. Keep on reading to see how I'm preparing!


WHAT'S IN MY HOSPITAL BAG(S)?

This is the first of two bags that I will be bringing with me to the hospital. From my perspective, part of the challenge to pack for the hospital is not knowing how long I will be there and not knowing exactly how I will be feeling. After doing a lot of reading and watching different YouTube videos, these are the items that I decided on (What is not shown in this photo are my toiletries and husbands clothes. We will pack these when I am closer to giving birth). Many of these items I purchased from amazon. I am assuming that I will be wearing the hospital gown for the majority of my time at the hospital so much of these items are for extra comfort or to go home in.


Herschel Gray Duffel: https://amzn.to/3nxGw6V

Nursing Shirts: https://amzn.to/3Aeb9pC

Postpartum leggings: (I'm not sure if I'll want to use these after, but some women liked feeling their tummy compressed after giving birth) https://amzn.to/3OS3yB8

Nursing Bras: https://amzn.to/3bDRq8L

Compression Socks: https://amzn.to/3byRyGu

Comfy Pants: target.com

Fuzzy Jacket: https://www.eddiebauer.com

Baby Clothes: (Baby's going home clothes) https://www.carters.com

Socks with grip bottom: Hospital socks


HOSPITAL BAG#2 (POSTPARTUM ITEMS)


Herschel Strand Bag: https://amzn.to/3QR7fsR

Breast Pump: (This was advice from my sister who started pumping just after her babies were born. She said it helped her to start producing milk earlier) https://amzn.to/3a4Cpwg

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3OQKy6d

Disposable Underwear: https://amzn.to/3y80udk

Belly Band: https://amzn.to/3yuHNC7

Body Lotion: G&H Lotion

Ice Maxi Pads: https://amzn.to/3bFZRQY

Peri Bottle: https://amzn.to/3Oz0IkP

Perineal Healing Foam: https://amzn.to/3ytb9kk

Chapstick: https://amzn.to/3QRab8R


Honestly I don't know if I will actually be using these items, however it does make me feel better knowing that I have the option to use them if I need.


WHAT AM I CURRENTLY READING:

Throughout my pregnancy, I've picked up a few books to help me understand what is going on with my body and with baby. As I get closer to labor, I've started to pick up books that will prepare my mind for that experience. My favorite book so far and what I am currently reading is MINDFUL BIRTHING



Nancy Bardacke goes in depth about the importance of mindful meditation and the self awareness needed to be able to train the body and mind for a successful birth and delivery. Based off of Buddhist principles, this book helps to identify the importance of having a foundational breath, body awareness, and a focused and calm mind through the process. Personally, I like how these techniques and skills can help and empower women for all different types of deliveries. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels like me (a little anxious and worried about giving birth) to help calm nerves and to bring the mind back to the breath.


MAKING FREEZER FRIENDLY FOODS:

After baby is born, I do not want the stress of having to worry about what Reid and I will be eating for our meals. For the last couple weeks, I've slowly been making different recipes that would be good for breastfeeding and postpartum. These recipes include:

VEGETABLE SOUP

Here are the ingredients I used:

Olive oil (Coat bottom of the pan)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

28 oz canned diced tomatoes

32 oz vegetable broth

32 oz chicken broth

3 medium potatoes, diced

1 cup green beans, chopped

3 bay leaves salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup frozen sweet corn

1 cup frozen sweet peas

1 can kidney beans


DIRECTIONS: Heat pot and add olive oil. Add in onions, carrots, celery, and green beans. Once vegetables are soft, add in broth, bay leaves, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add in corn, peas, kidney beans, and potatoes. Cook on medium to low for one hour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


BEEF STEW

1 lb stew meat

2 carrots, diced

2-3 potatoes, diced

2 celery, diced

1 large onion, diced

4 C. beef broth

1/3-1/2 C. wine

1/4 C. flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. pepper

2 T. Tomato paste


Slow Cooker: https://amzn.to/3xUZitL

Mix meat with flour, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Brown meat. Add meat to slow cooker. Add in liquids (beef broth, wine, and tomato paste). Add in vegetables. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you are in a rush, cook on high for 3-4 hours.


CHOCOLATE OATMEAL MUFFINS


1 cup oats

1 cup milk ( I used oat milk)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips https://amzn.to/3yhsNaC


Banana Bread Muffins


Check out my blog post for this recipe! https://www.hawaiifoodandfamily.com/post/local-hawaiian-banana-bread-my-grandma-s-recipe


AND NOW I WAIT...

As I get closer to my due date, time seems to pass a little more slowly. Every movement and/or symptom now makes me wonder if labor is starting. I realize that I am still weeks away but again just not knowing when baby will come is constantly top of mind. Everyone that I see continues to ask if I am ready to be a parent... and my standard answer is " as ready as I can be." But honestly, is anyone ever ready for parenthood? As long as we take it one day at a time and give it our best... does that mean that we are ready?


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