I’m packing my bag!

Coming down the home stretch in her pregnancy, Megan shares her journey. Is she prepared?

I am 36 weeks pregnant and ready to go. I know baby needs to bake four more weeks, but I am so ready for this one to come out! The nursery is as ready as it’s going to get. Paint is on the walls, and all the furniture is in there. The cute decorating will have to come after baby, because I am struggling with a gender-neutral nursery.

I’ve dug the essential baby gear out from the basement (car seat, car seat base, Rock ‘n Play, baby bath, Snap-N-Go stroller) and washed the few gender-neutral clothes I found from my first two. I feel my nesting days coming to a close. The only thing left to do is get my bag ready for the hospital.

Here’s what I recommend you take with you:

The important stuff: insurance cards, photo ID and birth plan if you have one

Phone, charger and camera: to capture the moment

Toiletries: glasses/contacts, toothbrush, showering items, deodorant and, if you’re really good, makeup

Clothing: loose-fitting clothes/pajamas for you, socks, slippers, underwear (not your sexy kind, ladies — granny panties are preferred), regular or nursing bra and comfy clothes to wear home

Baby items: outfit for baby to wear home, car seat and a blanket for baby

Nice to have: magazines, music, snacks for your hospital stay and presents from baby for your big kids

Once you are packed, it’s a waiting game until baby comes. With my first baby, I was induced three days past my due date, so I didn’t get to experience contractions on my own. I didn’t have the “Is it time to go to the hospital now or not?” discussion with my husband.

I do know that once your contractions are consistently 5 minutes apart, then it is time to go! With baby No. 2, my water broke at home two weeks early, so it was easy to tell that it was time to go. I still had to be induced at the hospital because I wasn’t having contractions yet. For this baby, I would love to experience contractions at home and know I am in labor before heading out the door. We will just have to wait a few more weeks and see!

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