I had a routine checkup today with my doctor and while I was there also had my Group B Strep Test, my doctor asked if I’d like to go ahead and have my cervix examined. Sure, why not? Come to find out I’m dilated at 3 cm ? wait, what? What does that mean? My doctor said it basically meant that I was off to a good start and if I have signs of labor “just head on over to labor and delivery”. Oh my gosh. This is not a drill. I’m not ready! I’ll admit I panicked quite a bit right away, I mean we are still 5 weeks away, I’m supposed to have more time! After the hubby and I went to lunch and I started to calm down I decided to do a little research on what it really meant to be dilated at 35 weeks. I was happy and relieved to find that this is very common and I could still go full term being dilated at this stage and in fact many women are dilated early and go full term and even past their due date. Whew. What a relief!
Now that I have had time to calm down (a bit) I’m determined to get moving on all of the things I’ve been putting off. Like writing out a birth plan, cleaning out Joaquins room to make room for baby girls items (where is all of her stuff going to go?!), making my husband go up to the attic and bring items down that we’re going to need (swing, baby swaddles, that vibrating bouncer Joa loved), moving furniture around, setting up the glider in our bedroom for nursing/pumping….holy crap I have so much to do! What the hell have I been doing for the past 8 months?! Oh and pack a bag….I really need to pack a bag! This time I’m doing it right though, I’m going to be prepared. In fact, let’s talk about the bag.
Packing the Bag
I had no idea what to expect the first time around. Sure I read books and check lists but until you experience it you just don’t know. Here are my essentials:
- Comfy maternity pj’s
- Heavy duty pads. No, I don’t want to wear those adorable diapers they give you. Thanks though!
- My makeup. I don’t care who you are, don’t tell me you want to sit there looking like a hot mess while people come and visit you!
- A book. Yes, there’s going to be little downtime for relaxing but you may get some time to just zone out and I’d like something to keep my mind busy.
- My birth plan. You might hear some people say that a birth plan is useless because you can’t “plan” everything out. Well I’m here to tell you, it’s not. I loved my birth plan with Joaquin and I wrote it in such a way as to not be bossy to the hospital staff but to introduce myself, give them some background on me and let them know how I felt about certain procedures. My birth plan will state that no matter my preferences the safety and health of my baby girl is the number one priority at all times.
- Headphones. Sometimes you just need to tune people out.
- Prenatal vitamins. I buy mine at Costco, I’m not about to get charged for taking some from the hospital!
There you have it, those are my essentials. You live and you learn. I didn’t have slippers, comfy pj’s, pads, headphones or my vitamins going in with Joaquin and I wish I had. Those hospital gowns are no fun to be in, I absolutely felt ridiculous wearing those diaper like undies and there were a few times I could have really used some headphones!
I’d love to hear, what were your bag essentials? Are there things you wish you would have left out/included? Also, were you dilated early? Give me the deets!