When I went into labor with Grant we had to drive 45 minutes to the hospital at 3:30 am with me having contractions every 3 minutes. It was miserable. Once we got to the hospital I was more concerned with getting out of the car and into the hospital room to try and get some relief and my husband was only thinking about getting the car parked and getting inside to be with me. Neither one of us thought about bringing my hospital bag inside and once we got to the room I refused to let Derrick leave my side to go get it.
Since it was so early in the morning when we left and every time I tried to stand up straight or move or pretty much do anything a contractions would hit me like a mac truck, I didn't take a shower or brush my teeth or anything else.
Of course I wasn't at all concerned about this while I was in labor. How I looked or how horrible my breath smelled was the very last thing on my mind. However once Grant was born and visitors started coming in to see us it dawned on me that I probably looked like a hot mess, with raunchy morning breath, and leftover makeup from the day before. I vowed the next time I had a baby I would be better prepared.
That's where the Labor Day Bag comes into play. This isn't the bag you pack for your hospital stay this is the small bag you have with essentials for a quick clean up before the guests start coming in and before you can actually take a shower, which is all you really want to do after you give birth.
Here are my essentials:
Colgate Wisps- these little baby's are fantastic to have for a quick brushing of the teeth. You will have a regular toothbrush and toothpaste in your overnight bag but chances are you won't even have time to get out of the bed before the Grandparents are going to wanna come in and see your little one. A quick once over with these and your mouth feels refreshed and your breath is no longer smelled from the other side of the room.
Headband- If you have an epidural maybe you won't be sweaty but if you are like me and go the natural route chances are you have spent hours upon hours in horrendous pain and sweating. A headband will take care of some of those flyaways and hide some of the grossness of you not taking a shower that morning.
Face Wipes- To wipe away any leftover makeup from the night before and give you a quick freshening up.
Chapstick- labor makes your lips dry, it's a fact.
Mascara- Ok so you can live without this one in your bag but people will have cameras and you will inevitably be in the pictures. After using your face wipes a quick swipe of mascara (no need for the works) and you will feel like a new woman.
Wash Cloth- Towards the end of labor all I wanted was a cold wet cloth on my forehead. Yes the nurse can get you one but nurses are pretty busy since you are not their only patient. I'm not one that wants to wait for anything while I'm in labor. I didn't get an epidural with Grant and don't plan on getting one with this one either. When I'm to the point I want a cold cloth I want to be able to tell Derrick and him have it readily available, not have to call the nurse and wait until she has the chance to bring one to us.
You want everything to fit in a small bag you can throw in your purse or carry as your purse. There will be time to get your overnight bag later and this way you have one less thing to worry about.
I also made a Labor Day bag for my husband. I vividly remember how horrible his breath was during my labor and I have already informed him I couldn't take that again for 9 hours straight. I needed him to be minty fresh this time around. Here's what I put in his bag:
Colgate wisps- for a quick teeth cleaning
Gum- just in case the wisps aren't strong enough, haha
Granola Bars and a Snickers bar- I refuse to have him eating anything major while I'm suffering and can't have anything but he will need something to hold him over if the labor is a long one.
Butterscotch candy- in case he just needs something to keep his mouth from being dry.
Water Bottle- The nurses can get you these but once again I like to have everything I can so I don't have to wait around for someone else to have time in their schedules.
Camera/Batteries-One of the few regrets I have about Grant's birth was not getting a single picture of the 3 of us or even him and I. I swore I wouldn't let this happen again so this all goes in Derrick's bag. I know everyone has a phone these days but I want actual pictures with a real camera.