How Much Stuff Do We Really Need?
You know how when you go on a trip, you pack what you need, what you think you need, and then anything else that fits in your luggage?
Packing for your stay at the hospital is a little different than packing for a tropical island getaway. You’ll kinda’ sorta’ be on an island. One where only new parents and tiny babies are allowed. No drinks with fancy umbrellas in them, but there’ll be plenty of cups filled to the rim with ice chips.
I packed for three days, never realizing I’d stay for four. There’s something so unappealing about the drab hospital gowns, so it makes sense if you want to take your own comfy pj’s. But you may not actually get a chance to wear them. Think about all the photos you see with moms holding their newborns. Notice any stylish stuff from Victoria’s Secret? Nope. It’s usually that faded blueish-gray cotton getup the hospital provides.
Makeup? With waves of happy tears coming every few hours, it’ll just run. What’s worse? Going without makeup or looking like you got socked in both eyes? And your baby is so not concerned with whether or not you’re wearing lipstick. Or Chanel Number 5. Or blingy earrings.
Take the curling iron if you feel like it, but with your hormones slightly out of whack, you’ll be sporting occasional beads of sweat. That equals a few days of not-so-great hair. Barrettes, scrunchies, and gobs of hair gel may do the trick. Or do nothing, and use post-delivery as an excuse to go au natural. Who’d dare tell a new mom she looks bad?
And really, who doesn’t love picking out baby outfits? We are total suckers for anything that’s made for anyone who weighs less than 10 pounds. Picking out the outfits for the baby was like dressing a rock star. Is blue too predictable? Should I put that matching hat on his head? Is a plain outfit okay, or will he like a print?
I had brought a few different outfits, but every one of them swallowed him. It took easily half an hour to choose three different baby blankets to take to the hospital. In the end, I begged the staff to let me take him home in the one he was swaddled in at the hospital. The one with thinning fabric and faded colors that had undoubtedly been worn by hundreds of babies before him.
It seems like you never really know the exact amount to take. It’s a lot like how we live our lives: what we need, what we think we need, and anything else that fits.