TGIT! How’s your week going so far?! We’ve had a busy but good one – filled with lots of teething, playdates, army crawling, swim lessons, new foods, ‘dada’ and squeaking!
After I posted the first part of our birth story , I had quite a few questions about why we were in the hospital for so long and what in the world I did to keep myself busy! You can read the first part about why we landed ourselves a
6 week 3.5 week stay in the hospital here.
I was very fortunate to have time to plan for our hospital stay. I found out I would be hospitalized at 28 weeks when I was diagnosed with vasa previa (VP) at 19 weeks. That gave me 9 weeks to do all of the research humanly possible and prepare for our stay. I scoured the internet for as many blogs as I could possibly find looking for any insight as to what it would be like, how to prepare, what to bring, any tips… literally anything I could find. Let me tell you – there wasn’t much. I think I found maybe 3 blogs from women who had been in this position. While I was in the hospital, I joined a Vasa Previa Facebook group which was so helpful to get advice and hear from women who were in the exact same position, but that didn’t help me before I went in.
I know most women don’t get the opportunity to plan like I did, but seeing as I had 9 weeks of modified bed rest before I went in, I took full advantage. One of the main questions that gets asked in our FB group is what to bring and what to expect going into the hospital. This list of what to bring is solely from my experience and having time to plan. I know most women don’t get that chance, but hopefully some of these tips can help you too!
What to bring:
1. Comfy but cute clothes: I was working full time when I got pulled to bed rest and I made it a point to get up, shower, put makeup on, and do my hair 5/7 days of the week and I carried this over to the hospital as well. Was I huge? Yes. Was I out seeing anyone? No. Did it really matter? Yes… for my own sanity. I started to not feel human in a lot of ways. Literally my only job in life was to sit and grow two peanuts, but: getting up, putting cute clothes on, and doing my makeup made me feel better about myself! And let’s be honest, it took up time in the day 🙂 Some of my favs: maxi skirt; tank top; comfy dress; I’ve had my eye on this tank for round 2, crop leggings; or these leggings; and this was my most fav tank!
2. Books and magazines: I killed a couple of books – my fav was Girl on the Train! Sudoku was another fav!
3. Computer: I don’t think I could have survived without my computer – Netflix, blogs, Facebook, games…this is a necessity.
4. CountUP Calendar: This was something I made the day after I found out I was on bedrest and it was huge for me. My doc told me that it was a ‘count-up’ and that for every day I could keep the girls inside, it was 3 less days they would spend in the NICU. I LOVED crossing each day off and I also put happy things (visitors, doctor apts) on my calendar so I had things to look forward to as well! I made it cute so I could hang it where I could see.
5. A nice blanket: My mom brought me a cute and nice blanket to put on my bed. Although the really cute brown hospital blanket is nice (kidding), this gave my bed a cozy feeling.
6. A mattress pad: I think this depends on how long you’re going to be there. I was hoping to be there 6 weeks (to get to 34) and knew I would be spending most of my day in my bed. This helped significantly to give the mattress more padding.
7. Pregnancy pillow and your own pillow: My thoughtful hubby got this for me when I got pregnant and it was a lifesaver through my entire pregnancy (and 10 months after!)
8. Jams: Again, I tried to make these cute, however this got difficult in the last week – my sis had to go get me bigger night gowns! Sometimes I wore Zachs shirts – it made me feel better on nights he wasn’t with me. My dog slippers were a must too 🙂 Love these!
9. Good smelling hand soap and lotion: Hospitals are dry + the hand soap sucks. Bring your own.. it’s a nice little pick-me up!
10. Good shower products: I got brand new good smelling body soap, shampoo and conditioner and saved it for the hospital. It sounds so stupid, but I swear it made me feel like I was pampering myself. I loved pretending I’m on a beach (ha!) and this Bobbi Brown shower gel and lotion was the BOMB.
11. Handheld mirror and makeup: I could sit in my bed and do my makeup, hair and eyebrows – yep, did that too. You have a lot of time on your hands, ladies. Take advantage.
12. Decorations: Again, necessary? Absolutely not. But this made ALLLLL the difference in the stinking world. Bless my mom and sister’s hearts…. I actually used the decorations from my shower but they decked it out. Signs, picture frames… It looked like a baby shower threw up in my room, and I loved it and so did my nurses and docs. I had staff from all over the hospital come in to see my room. I was that patient. But, everyone who came in smiled and it just made it a happier place for me. My mom even brought a framed picture of each of the girls’ cribs at home since I couldn’t be there to enjoy it.
13. A framed ultrasound picture: Keep this one on your nightstand. It’s a constant reminder of why you are there. Plus, you get to show your babe(s) off to anyone who comes in – and trust me, people love to hear!
14. A smile and a grateful heart: This is the toughest one. You are terrified… and alone. This isn’t how your pregnancy was supposed to be… and I don’t know your circumstances, but I know if it is bad enough for you to be sitting in a hospital, it’s scary. Just know that the staff are there to help you and care for you and your baby(ies)… but it’s a team effort. Try to smile at your nurses, the cafeteria staff, the people taking your blood, ask them how their day is going… be kind. I was amazed when staff would say how nice it was to see a smiling face and how nice I was. I was shocked. I made friends while I was there.. Remember Olivia? I’m actually having lunch with her in a week or two and I’m so excited. I try to go back every couple of months and visit them. They are the people who saved my girls’ lives and for that I will ALWAYS be grateful.
If you are a momma facing this scary scenario, remember, you are STRONG. You CAN do this. You WILL DO THIS. Every night when I lay my sweet babes down to sleep, I say a prayer for everyone who has to go through what we went through… so just know, you have someone praying for you and your babe.
Question: What did you bring to the hospital that helped you make it through?! Please add to this list!
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions! I will post another post soon about what to expect during a hospital bedrest.