In true ‘pregnancy is unpredictable’ spirit, I found myself at Los Angeles’ Cedars Sinai Hospital this past weekend after a ‘did my water just break??’ false alarm. More on THAT in a minute. Although Micah and I still have several things to get in time for baby boy’s arrival, I am most appreciative that my hospital bag was packed and in hindsight, packed appropriately. After posting an aggressively personal look into said bag, I decided to put all of my items in ONE PLACE so anyone packing their own bag could refer to my items as needed.
Before I launch into my hospital must-haves, I think it’s important to note that, at 34 weeks, it doesn’t take much for a good doctor to advise you to go “Labor and Delivery’ if they are at all worried about the state of your baby. Case in point, here’s a transcript of my phone call with my OBGYN on Friday morning:
Me: Over the last two days, I have had a bit of water leaking out of me, specifically after I wake up and pee a little.
Nurse: How much water?
Me: Probably a tablespoon, maybe two.
Nurse: Has there been anything else coming out?
Me: (My first thought was to say, ‘A coupla hundred dollar bills’ but instead I opted for a mature and safe, “No, just water.”
Nurse: Ok, the doctor wants you to go to Labor and Delivery immediately. It’s possible your water broke.
Me: (Dead silence)
My jaw dropped. You see, I wasn’t even going to call. I thought I was being TOO cautious, and now I was on my way to Cedars Sinai to possible deliver a baby?? I immediately called Micah, who left work, to meet me at the hospital. So there I was, on August 2nd, at 1:30 PM, in a robe in a triage room talking about my ‘options’ should my amniotic fluid swab come pack positive.
Which, an hour later, it did. My water bag had a tear and I was officially leaking amniotic fluid.
When I tell you I can’t explain the terror and panic that ensued as a result of this news, I mean it. The resident doctor gave Micah and I a few minutes to process the news while my mind needed an extra 5 weeks. Tears streamed down my face as I hugged Micah and repeated, “I’m not ready.” In the moment, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I figured the fluid was discharge or heck, even urine from a compressed bladder. But amniotic fluid? No way.
What happened next was a bit of a blur. I was taken into a bigger, more comfortable triage room, while the doctors monitored me for the day. I wore diapers (the cute ones I brought in my hospital bag thankyouverymuch) to monitor any ‘leakage’ and a monitor was set up to keep an eye and ear on baby boy’s heartbeat. The plan was to keep me monitored until Monday, wherein they would then induce me. I was to be given a steroid shot, to escalate the maturation of baby boy’s lungs, and antibiotics to offset any bacteria that might have entered the bag upon tearing. So, there we were. In the moment. Taking it all in.
Now, as you all might know, I’m sitting here writing this on my living room couch with no baby, so allow me to jog the story forward. Over the course of the next 36 hours, my fluid levels remained the same. There were zero signs of leakage. Baby boy’s heartbeat and overall disposition was normal and A-OK. My doctor performed an ultrasound and my fluid levels were actually higher than the day before. It looked as though the high tear had repaired itself! I couldn’t believe it. And to top if off, I was being discharged that evening! What began as an unexpected twist ended with relief and a serious ‘practice round’ for the real thing. From where to park to where to check in and what I ACTUALLY used in my hospital bag, I can say this experience left me confident and prepared in ways I will forever be grateful for.
Similarly, it made me realize that this entire experience is largely about the unknown. You never really know what you’re going to get – baby wise, birth plan wise, labor wise. So for that reason, this weekend was truly a blessing in disguise. While I still don’t know what the next 4 and a half weeks will bring, I am am comforted by this experience immensely. Where there was fear on Friday, there is now teamwork, optimism, and an embrace of grace. Onward and upward….here we come September 9th :)
My Hospital Bag
As promised, here is everything in my hospital bag. I’m not changing a thing come the big day! Visit our IG to see the ‘BABY’ highlight reel of everything up close and personal. Warning/Fun Fact: Adult diapers are worn on my head. That is all. Ok, let me know what questions you have about the below. Happy hospital bag shopping!
Frida Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit
- Disposable Underwear
- Ice Maxi Absorbency Pads
- Cooling Witch Hazel Medicated Pad Liners
- Perineal Medicated Healing Foam –
- Fridababy Peri Bottle
- Postpartum Diapers (also great as a hat as seen by IG story)
- Nursing Bras for after the birth
- Sleeveless Nightgown (Will unbutton for breastfeeding) but also just makes you feel cuter than a hospital robe. I’ll take selfcare anywhere I can get it.
- Washable and Sustainable Nursing Pads
- Cotton Robe for lounging during the day (and it gets me out of the hospital robe which can make you feel less able and more sick):
- Foldable Travel Duffle Bag in Z-Bird Floral
- Earth’s Best Baby Formula (just in case your milk doesn’t come in or you aren’t breastfeeding and don’t want to be stuck with the hospital formula)
- Lip Balm of Your Choice – Hospitals are dry! You’ll want this, trust me.
- Nuun Electrolytes – If you’re prone to dehydration or fatigue, bring these. One a day will make all the difference, especially if you’re bad about getting in your water for the day as it is.
- Grippy Socks – so you don’t slide along the hospital floor pregnant – it happens apparently (a lot).
- All of the shampoo and skincare and makeup samples you get with online orders or goodie bags…bring them! It’s a great way to try new things (which is a small luxury and bit of fun while in the hospital) – I brought Evolv Travel Shampoo and Conditioner as well as SkinOwl sample sized products for ease. You can purchase SkinOwl travel samples here.
- My own pillows and towels from home – might as well feel at home! These are the towels I got in mintgreen.