Childbirth

I’m 38 weeks pregnant with our fifth child and ready to pack the bags.  Here are some of the things that I pack.  I like to pack two separate bags.  One for birthing and one for post baby.  Normally my husband can fetch the post baby bag later from the car.  Here’s what I’ve normally packed in my very catholic birthing bag.

Birth plan

I’m one of those people who shy away from taking medicine even for headaches.  I prefer nature more than interventions when it comes to the process of birthing.  I trust that God made my body to birth and he’ll help me through it.  I try to stay away from epidurals except for emergencies.  I find the pain of labor somewhat redemptive and endure it for love of God.

I’ve always prayed hard for normal deliveries with healthy babies.  I’m terrified of C-sections. I did have one emergency C-section but it helped me to learn to trust God for what’s best. Also God taught me an important lesson on unanswered prayers.  Not all prayers are answered and I had to learn to trust God even when things aren’t going according my birth plan.

I take several printouts of my birth plan for the hospital staff.  It’s also good to give it to the provider towards the last appointment.

My birth plan asks for birthing to be as private as possible with no unnecessary staff or trainees and ask for the least amount of interventions.  Birth plan options to consider while making your own.

Comfort Measures

Socks and Toe warmer packets – With the rush of hormones sometimes I’m hot and other times cold. These are really handy since feet tend to be cold a lot. Even more so if an emergency C section is needed.
Back pain patches – My husband will run out and get a few of these at early signs of labor. I almost always have really bad back pain during labor and this really helps. Early labor at home I tend to rely on water jet in the tub but later stages these are handy.
Tylenol – Most people would laugh but I do take about 4 of these during labor to help take the edge of pain during active labor to transition time. Maybe it’s the placebo effect when enduring labor with no epidural.
Birthing ball – Normally I call ahead and find out that they have a birthing ball at the hospital. These are really good when standing is hard and you need the help of gravity during the contractions.
CD player with relaxing music – Since relaxing is key to pain control I ask for the lights to be down and put in music to breath through those contractions.
Snack bars – In case I’m in for a long labor.  Also for the hungry husband post delivery when he is all forgotten by the staff.
Water bottle – To hide in my bag and take drinks since they only feed you ice chips at the hospital.  I’m always parched.

Holy Comfort Measures

Rosary – Holding on to rosary feels a lot like holding Mother Mary’s hands so I either hold one or put one around my neck. Make sure it’s not a metal one so C-section friendly in case it’s needed.
Scapular – I can never have enough sacramentals around when trying to tap into all sources of grace during labor.
Holy Water – Never know if you need a quick infant baptism or not but I like to bless my baby with holy water and say a prayer of thanksgiving as soon as I’m able to.
Consecration Prayers – I like to take prayers consecrating my child to the immaculate heart of Mary and Jesus.
Mother’s manual prayer book – These have such great prayers for the new baby. If you don’t have this book already I highly recommend it. I leave it in the bathroom of our house so first thing in the morning I’m praying the consecration prayer and few of the following ones for all my children.
Holy Images – I take two blessed picture frames of Jesus and Mary with me to labor to direct my thoughts to God and to help remind me the presence of God. They also help take the mind off the pain.
Index cards with encouraging verses – I hold on to these and repeat them through out labor. Helps to turn each contraction into a prayer and to cling on to especially during painful contractions.

  • Isaiah 66:9 – Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery? says the Lord.  Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb? says your God.
  • Psalm 127:3 – Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
  • Psalm 71:6 – By you I have been sustained from my birth; You are he who took me from my mother’s womb; my praise is continually of you.
  • Psalm 139:13 – For you formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb.

Post baby bag essentials

Comfy night gown
Sleep Nursing Bras
Regular Nursing Bra
Boppy pillow
Nursing cover
Toiletries
Book for Meditation
Journal
Cute baby outfit for hospital pictures
Baby socks
An outfit for me to come home in

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