We’re nearing the end of pregnancy #2 and I feel like there’s more to share that I haven’t done while pregnant with Valentina. I’ve almost got my bag packed and the thought of it makes me laugh. I thought about what American women might pack in their hospital bags to have at the hospital with them.
So, I thought I’d do a little survey. I asked my friends on Facebook the following question:
Did your hospital give you a list of what to take in your bag for the BIG DAY? I’m writing a post and want to compare. Is there anything you were supposed to take and didn’t use? Or.. something you should have taken but wasn’t on the list?
I got the typical (and old school) answers:
Paper and pen
Address Book/Cellphone and charger
While you may think that these seem normal (and they are.. for Americans) It’s not the first thing you’d think of for an Italian birthing experience. The What to Expect When you’re Expecting book (aka the Pregnancy bible) tells you to bring these things, they really don’t help me much here. Because.. do I really need to bring:
my What to Expect Journal and Organizer?
Multiple copies of my birthing plan? (this one will make the staff laugh at you for sure)
a watch with a second hand/ stop watch (really?)
Entertainment (yeah.. if you have an epidural and aren’t feeling your contractions)
pillow/blanket of your own to make you feel more comfortable (this one will also get you some stares)
While I understand that some things are needed regardless of where you are (like snacks for your coach) some is not even a second thought in my mind. One of my cousins took her memory book and the nurses kindly stamped the baby’s foot print in it which I love! Here in Italy, they don’t do the footprints so that not really something I would think about. Newborn mittens are not something you see unless it’s part of a bunting suit. Another friend bought her son a kids’ camera so he could take his own pictures of his baby sister.
Now I’m giving you.. the Italian Version. This is the exact list that was given to me for Valentina:
Blood work in chronological order
List of medications you’re allergic to
Cotton night gown
Underwear or Single use netted underwear
Towels for face and bidet
Bag for dirty clothes
Clothes for entire stay
Going home outfit
Small basin for bidet
Intimate hygiene detergent
Amuchina (sterilization solution)
Do you see a difference there? There’s also a small list of things that my fellow expats wish they would have taken/told to do. While most of the items are they listed are above there were a few more:
Should have brought/done:
Shave for C-section
Have baby’s name embroidered in clothes
to have a “maglietta della fortuna” (silk shirt for baby to bring good luck)
I honestly laugh every time I have this conversation with people. While I think Breast pads are very important, I think it’s funny that the hospital omitted it from the list but yet, they want you to bring your own utensils even though they provide plastic ones for you. With Valentina, they didn’t offer Juice or Milk with breakfast so, I had to drink water because I don’t drink Coffee or Tea which is the only thing they offered.
This time around, I’m so much more prepared and I can’t wait to meet this little one…. VERY SOON!