36 Weeks, and packing The Bag.

Yesterday marked my 36th week of pregnancy. This actually only dawned on me as I was walking into town last night to meet my friend. Maternity leave has a way of making me forget what day it is… (I suppose I better get used to that).

I should really apologise for my blogging absence. It has been one month and 5 days since my last post. I am still here. I am still a rubbish blogger. Since then, I have started my maternity leave. I had planned to do a blog post about how weird it was to leave the world of full time work after 14 years, knowing I wouldn’t be returning for quite some time and how it was affecting my sense of who I was and how I thought I would cope with the transition, but as it turned out, the answer to those questions was ‘it didn’t’ and ‘seamlessly’, which I didn’t think warranted a blog post.

I thought perhaps once I was on Maternity Leave I would have lots of time to fill… I thought I could blog about all the cutesy craft projects I was undertaking. Except the reality was that I spent the first week sleeping and doing intensive driving lessons.

I was going to do a post on the nursery… which I think I’ll still do, however I thought I would take stage by stage blog worthy photographs, which I didn’t, because I spent an hour up a step ladder hammering cable tacks into the ceiling but then had to go and have a nap because of the exertion,  I repeated step laddering and hammering daily, and usually in just my bra and pants as it was so hot, so again, didn’t feel I had the ability to ham that up into a blog post.

I thought I would be super prepared by now. I’m not. So this blog post comes to you straight from the OH GOD I’M THIRTY SIX WEEKS PREGNANT part of my brain, and the fact that my midwife is visiting on Thursday and she will tell me off if I haven’t packed The Bag.

I have been following various pregnant lady Facebook groups, and making notes anytime someone asks about The Bag, I figured if I wrote down everything then I wouldn’t miss a thing. Also, I REALLY like lists.

  • Dry hair shampoo (I need this all the time due to having a fringe… so this was a no brainer – my mum thought I was mad but I figured maybe I wouldn’t want to be the ultimate grease-ball in all photographs of my perfect new babe)
  • Zinc (I don’t know why… but someone mentioned it)
  • Dried fruit (This is funny, for energy apparently, but clearly they mean jelly beans. but yes, “dried fruit”)
  • Lip Balm (I’m rubbish at putting lip balm on… but hive mind list dictates that it is very important to have lip balm)
  • Ear Plugs (for the sleeping if I have to stay in)
  • Hand cream (well I suppose L’Occitane is better than NHS standard issue)
  • Water bottle x2 (NOW THIS IS CLEVER… one, obviously for water for drinking, and the other important not to confuse the two for weeing. I would never have thought of this but more seasoned mamas suggest that having a water bottle with sports cap full of warm water makes The First Wee far more bearable, which if you think about it and the general state of your nethers once it’s expelled a little human makes ALL of the sense. 10/10 suggestion).
  • Boob pads.(I have bought some Tommy Tippee disposable ones, but my friend kindly bestowed some reusable ones upon me and I can’t wait to use them. They’re really soft and absorbent and you can just chuck them in the washing machine with the 27 baby grows I’m going to go through a day).
  • Witch Hazel (self explanatory).
  • BIG pants (I found this slightly amusing as ALL my pants have been pretty massive for months now, but big pants I shall take, instead of the paper pants that some lists suggest, because… well.. because paper pants, that’s why).
  • Instant ice pack (obvious reasons)
  • Boob cream
  • Nursing Bras. (I should really go buy some of these).
  • Phone, Ipad and chargers
  • Flip Flops (for wandering around)
  • Maternity pads
  • Pjs, nightie and dressing gown
  • Socks
  • Blanket for baby
  • Nappies
  • Sleepsuits
  • Hat
  • Baby wipes
  • Cotton wool
  • Birth Plan and Notes
  • Food, other than the dried fruit jelly beans, I guess taking some food would be a good idea. Apparently oats are really good for your milk supply, I don’t need anyone to twist my arm to eat a pack of Hob-Nobs to be honest.
  • Cash for more food and/or parking
  • Hand held fan
  • Pillow
  • Tankini (I hurriedly purchased a maternity tankini from ebay a few weeks ago in case I am able to get in a pool)
  • Shampoo and shower gel
  • Flannel
  • Towel (I saw one lady describe how she had to dry herself off with Blue Roll after her shower as there were no towels available, so a towel I shall take)
  • make up (positive thinking)!
  • contact lenses and glasses
  • hair brush
  • hair bands and bobby pins
  • deodorant
  • muslins
  • FUN FACT: Quite a few people suggested Arnica, which to me seamed sensible given bruising etc, however, DID YOU KNOW that taking Arnica after birth is actually really bad as it can increase heart rate and blood pressure and can also increase the chance of bleeding, and can also interact with various medications that may be given to you by doctors. So no Arnica.

So there are few things I still need to get, but I do have most of the stuff. If anyone can suggest anything that they found invaluable, do please let me know!

I have decided to breast feed… and have been trying to mentally prepare an BF friendly autumn wardrobe. I have also invested in nipple shields which sound like they might just be the best thing ever. Although boobing is arguably the best way to feed your baby, I have heard so many horror stories that I am determined to not punish myself if it doesn’t work out. I’ve read so many stories of mama’s who have spiraled when trying to breast feed, feeling guilty and like they’re bad mothers, which sounds awful. I guess I may feel differently if I come across significant difficulty, but I am going to try really hard to breast feed but if it doesn’t work out, i’ll try and not beat myself up about it.

As I write all this, I’m still struggling to try and get my head round the fact that this time next month I will be a mum. It still doesn’t seem real. We have the pram set up in the dining room and every time I walk past it my eyes go like dinner plates as my brain struggles to work out that this bump is going to be a tiny person lying in there… the same happens when I’m washing her clothes. I just stood and stared at the washing line adorned with tiny sleepsuits the other day, for about 20 minutes, quietly muttering.. “Oh god…” Simultaneously swinging between being absolutely terrified and so excited I could burst (literally), then settling somewhere in the middle.

Tonight we are going to look round the Midwife Led Unit where we’re planning on having her. I daresay that will make it even more real. Although many people have said to me that it doesn’t seem real until you get them home. Which I can completely understand, how on earth they just let you leave with a tiny little person that you are solely responsible for without doing some kind of exam, or test is beyond me. However, with that said, I CAN NOT WAIT to meet her. I’m so excited. And scared. Even writing the last few sentences made my eyes well up.

Good and bad, I’m really looking forward to this adventure, (once I’ve packed my bag, of course).

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6 thoughts on “36 Weeks, and packing The Bag.

  1. Hoping it doesn’t happen but lots of people recommend sanitary towels – apparently they are much better than maternity pads (I have multiple packs of both!) and also if you have an emergency c-section, which hopefully you won’t, you can use them to put over your scar.

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    1. I do have both, but I read somewhere that at first the midwives prefer maternity pads because they’re not so absorbent and they can tell if you’re bleeding the ‘normal’ amount and that you’re not retaining any placenta. Lord, this is glamourous!!

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  2. Ah good tip thanks! My sentences above were quite jumbled but I was trying to say that hopefully you won’t an emergency section! It’s not glamorous at all & pretty scary but I’m reaching the excited stage now & that’s awesome!

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  3. Hi Caroline, I’m a friend of Toms 🙂 its so exciting that your little girl is almost here. I think your list is great and to be honest I think I took half of that but also like you packed last minute and only when I went in did it seem real. I got so bored on my maternity leave before she arrived but stocked up on box sets and had Netflix to keep me going. This was also especially important for when my little girl was here for my sanity during breastfeeding. I sat on the sofa so long my side is now perfectly moulded to my bum (no joke) sometimes especially in first 6-8 weeks you will feed non stop as until they suckle more effectively it can take them that long to get what they need. They also love snuggling to sleep on mum (which is quite understandable seeing as not too long ago they were inside you). You seem all clued up but one thing I would say is check you’ve had 6-8 wet nappies a day and I was told for a disposable to be classed as wet it should weigh about the same as holding 60-90ml of water. Also nipple shields are great but only use if you need them as they can affect your supply and may cause your body not to make enough. If little one falls asleep whilst feeding I used to tickle her ears or feet to keep her suckling so she got the full feed 🙂 I have been breastfeeding for 7 months now and although so hard in the beginning its extremely rewarding and wish you the best of luck with everything. Any questions I’m also happy to answer 😀 the milk Meg and breast is best on Facebook are also great for tips 🙂 take care xxx

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  4. After first baby left me a little “frilly” round the edges weeing was so difficult that I would resort to sitting in the baby bath semi filled with cold salty water, wee in that and swirl the water round so the urine didn’t sting my delicate frills. Second baby I invested in http://www.lifepharmacy.co.nz/p/Ural-Effervescent-Powder-Urinary-Tract-Infection-Relief-Sachets-28s?i=103428 and started drinking them as soon as I knew baby was definitely on their way. Not sure if you can get it and you should check with your midwife too. Pretty bloody good list you’ve got. Jelly beans will come in when you realise you forgot to eat because of the ‘distraction’ and need an urgent energy hit. Good luck.

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