What I actually needed from my hospital bag

I was preparing a lot of things during my pregnancy and one of them was the hospital bag. Just type in hospital bag on pinterest and you’ll see how many different suggestions pop up. Which is of course good, but also makes it a lot harder to know what is the right things for you. So here is a list of the things that I actually needed from my hospital bag.

For baby
Now obviously this can differ a bit depending on the weather. Giving birth in the middle of summer in Spain makes it a lot easier to pack for baby.

  • Diapers
  • Cleansing wipes
  • A few onesies
  • Hat
  • Blanket
  • Car seat

For me
I read all about all the different clothes and stuff I needed to bring, and sure it’s since you don’t know it’s good to have options so that you’re comfortable.

  • A top that will be easy to breastfeed in if you’re planning on doing that
  • Big as panties for those big as pads (the pads I got at the hospital)
  • Slippers
  • Shower products
  • A few skincare products
  • Contact and glasses
  • Clothes to go home in, comfortable clothes, no tight pants!

This is different for all people, but straightening iron, make-up and all that was definitely not something I needed.

Other stuff you might need, dependent on what you like and usually use and need. We spend a lot of time watching Netflix, but I also loved having my journal so I could right about all the things I had just gone through and was going through.

  • Speaker to play music (I didn’t use mine)
  • Laptop (with Netflix)
  • A book
  • Notebook
  • Baby book/journal
  • A lot of liquids, vitamin drinks and water
  • Some snacks

If I would pack my bag again I would definitely go more basic. But it’s also different for us who don’t really have anyone here. We couldn’t just ask someone to bring us something, we had what we had haha. And having never given birth before, obviously I had no idea. So hopefully this can be of help to someone else!

Meeting the grandparents

My parents came to visit the other day. It was a good time, cause we got about a week with her alone to find our own way and then my parents arrived to help out at the exact right time. It was really weird for us though. Most people are in a baby bubble for a while but they have people coming to visit probably from the first or at least second day. We have really been in a bubble and it kind of made the whole situation even more unreal since we were alone with her here all that time and nobody actually met her.

It was really emotional for all of us, seeing my mum with her, and I guess for my mum to see me with her. It feels amazing to have them here but it also makes me a little sad since it makes me think of all the people who are not here to see her and won’t see her for another 2 months. It’s hard to be away from family and friend at a time like this. Not that I would want to live anywhere else, but I would just want them all here right now.

When they’re here we’re also gonna take some time to be just us, which will be hard, since I can barely be away from her at all. But it’s good to practice to go out and do stuff on your own. It’s also good to have them here to suggest going out for lunch and stuff like that so we’re not completely stuck in the house but slowly and surely taking baby steps out of our bubble and comfort zone.

One week with our little girl

It’s been a week with our little girl and we are doing good. I has been a huge transformation and we’re still getting used to it and getting to know her and ourselves in this new situation. It is completely overwhelming and feels completely natural at the same time.

What has surprised me the most are all the emotions I’m dealing with and it’s completely normal I guess, with the hormones, but oh god how strong they are. Being away from her for too long literally hurts me. I always kind of thought that people were just being a little ridiculous but it’s so real and so strong.

We’re slowly finding somewhat of a routine together, except for when she decides to change it up and keep us up all night. And I am working on incorporating my own routine into that too. Even if we need to rest and just be it’s also important for me to find my way back to my self care routine, or at least a new one, to take care of my mind. We’re taking our time and finding our way and we’re doing great, I think.

Our first days at home

So we got home from the hospital and the first thing to do was introducing little Emma to the dogs. She was sleeping so she didn’t even notice them, but they were really confused and also excited. We put her down in the car seat for just a little so they could smell her and then we decided to wait a while. They were confused and a little stressed for a little while but they got used to her being around pretty quickly.

It was so amazing to come home. But also completely surreal. All of sudden we’re just here with this little baby. She slept most of the evening the first night. And we just sat on the couch just letting it all sink in. Anna came home and got to meet little Emma for the first time.

We’ve just spent the last days figuring it all out, trying to learn and get to know her. I had decided to breastfeed, and one would think that the baby just latches on and that’s that. But it’s actually quite complicated. What position to hold the baby, for the baby to latch properly, for the milk to come in, which usually takes 3-5 days. And the pain…

The personal at the hospital tried to be helpful but I ended up just feeling super stressed and I was questioning if I even wanted to breastfeed. The baby is of course also more fussy since she’s not getting proper milk and you try and try while it feels like someone is ripping your nipples off. But when we got home I felt more comfortable and got tips and advice from our doula both with how to do it and also for creams and tricks for it not to hurt as much.

With some practice and the most amazing nipple cream we started to get a hang of it and the milk finally came through. It made everything a lot easier since when she’s hungry she eats and then sleeps, while before she would latch on for a while, still not be satisfied, cry again and then it went on and on like that. Now she sleeps like an angel.

I do believe that we’re pretty lucky. FOR NOW (I will probably regret saying this) she’s easy to get to sleep, the breastfeeding is going well and she’s just so cuddly and cute.

Giving birth with a doula

So as you might know we decided to hire a doula pretty early in the pregnancy and we have been happy about it throughout. We’ve gotten great support, we had a great birth class and most of all it was just nice to have one person that was constant since we got different midwifes through the whole pregnancy. But by the time of the birth we really realized what an amazing decision it actually was.

First of all, we would have gone to the hospital a few times and been sent home if it wasn’t for her advise. We were in contact from when the contractions started and she helped us with advise on how to handle the pain. She came to meet us at the hospital and she helped out with the language and with explaining everything that was happening and what has about to happen.

She was an amazing support through the birth. I feel like I literally couldn’t have done it without her. She was there with us, talking us through it all, helping me handle the pain and understanding what was going on. And especially when pushing, Odi didn’t really know what to do, obviously, and she helped both him with what to do and me with surviving haha. She just knew what to do and say and how to say it to make me feel like I could actually do it! She also helped a lot just afterwards with just being there and being supportive. And in a little bit she’ll also do a home visit.

I am so happy that we made the decision to work with a doula and specifically with our doula, it was literally a perfect match and I am so grateful for her help that I don’t even know how to express myself. So if you’re in Barcelona, in need of a doula recommendation, you know who to ask!

The first days in the hospital

So I meet our daughter for the first time, and we stayed in the birth room for a while to just be and let it all sink in. After a while they came to move us up to our room. And during the next 48 hours that’s where we were. I’m really happy with our choice of hospital, it was such a great choice. The hospital and the personal were really amazing. But spending 48 hours in a room is not fun, no matter if the room is good and the personal is nice.

I got a proper bed, Emma got a proper bed and Odi got a sofa bed. We got checked on and we got served food. We got to sleep and shower and rest. And we got to start to get to know our little girl. We also of course called around to everyone to let them know that she had arrived and all the grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles were overjoyed.

It’s all kind of confusing and overwhelming. I all of a sudden life was completely changed and there was this little creature needing us and non of us ever changed a diaper before. But slowly but surely we started figuring it out. It is a bit stressful to have people running in and out all the time and you feel a little watched. So eventually we were just longing to get home to get some space and find our own way.

It was a huge relief to get to leave the hospital. They had us waiting for like 4-5 hours more than they initially said so by that point we weren’t really nervous anymore but just impatient. And finally we got to leave. She slept the whole trip home and it was amazing to come home with our new little family member.

Meeting my daughter for the first time

After 36 hours and the traumatic experience of pushing a baby out of your body, and all of a sudden she’s there. She’s just there. And all the movies show you that as soon as they give her to you all the pain goes away and you just sit there and cuddle your beautiful baby. What the movies don’t tell you is that there is still a placenta to give birth to, and probably stitches to get, and that the baby actually almost looks dead when it first comes out.

For me it was so hard to understand that what they put on my stomach was actually a baby, and that it was my baby, and that I just gave birth to her. I was dizzy and confused and exhausted and I just wanted to lay down properly without my legs in the air. But I needed to stay where I was. So she was laying on me but my arms were weak and my mind was focused on getting the rest of the pain over with. So our doula made sure she stayed there.

All I could think was just that I didn’t want this painful moment to be the first meeting with my baby. I wanted to be done with all of that so I could focus on her and it felt like it took forever. Finally, it was done and I could put my legs down and lay in a some what okay position and even if I was obviously still in pain, there wasn’t more to be done by me or to me. And I could hold my baby girl properly for the first time and really look at her.

It was actually really scary to feel that way. To feel like I didn’t want to hold her at first. It felt wrong somehow. And especially since you have this picture in your mind of it all being happiness and smiles as soon as she’s out. And the picture of feeling that instant connection. It really had me worried that something was wrong with me.

But nothing was wrong with me, I was traumatized from the experience, completely exhausted, confused and dizzy and in a hell of a lot of pain. But as soon as it was all over with, really over with, I did get to feel that connection, however unreal it felt to be holding a baby that is your own child. Seriously does it ever start making sense?

And still, she’s completely unreal to me. Sometimes I just need to sit and stare at her for a while. It completely blows my mind that it was her in there all this time. And now she’s here. And today we’re leaving the hospital to take her home!