Packing. I hate it.
Whether it’s for an overnight stay, a two-week island hop or six weeks in Europe it still draws the same ire for me.
What do I bring? What don’t I bring? Will five pairs of shoes be enough? Can I really survive one night without my GHDs?
Nine times out of 10 I will forget something and pretty much every time I will over-pack. Quite often I’ll leave out something practical like pyjama bottoms only to find I have included something useless like a gold-sequinned evening bag – for an overnight stay at mum and dad’s.
I abide by the ‘what-if’ rule of packing.
What if – despite the humidity and my propensity to down cocktails at the swim-up bar everyday – I decide to use the hotel gym while in Bali? I better bring my runners and workout clothes.
What if – despite being on a Contiki tour with budget-conscious travellers who’d rather spend their holiday money skolling steins than indulging in fine dining – I decide to dine at a Michelin-star restaurant? I better bring a cocktail dress, heels and matching clutch.
What if – despite it being the middle of winter in Melbourne with skin so pale I’d be loath to flash even a wrist – I decide to hit the beach? I simply can’t leave my three bathing suits and cover-up at home.
Recently The Boy and I went away for four nights to stay with his brother in Brisbane. The Boy brought one bag – the size of my carry-on luggage – to hold his clothes, shoes and toiletries. Meanwhile I lugged a massive suitcase bulging with shoes, dresses, three pairs of jeans, a selection of tops, hair-dryer, hair straightener, make-up, styling products and a box of accessories which I had matched to each one of my outfits.
Ridiculous because our itinerary was to involve going to his Uncle’s birthday party – which I ended up buying a brand-new dress for while I was over there anyway, a visit to Australia Zoo, a day trip to Surfers Paradise and spending time with family.
I may sound like I’m high-maintenance but I assure you I am not, I just like to be prepared. Hmm okay maybe I am just a little.
Which brings me to this week’s inevitable and unenviable task of packing my hospital bag.
With just five weeks to go until Predator’s arrival it is high-time I put my lack-of packing skills to use and sort out what necessities I need to bring.
Already on the list are four pairs of pyjamas. Yes four pairs. Why? Because I can’t decide which ones to bring and what if I wish I brought one of the pairs I left at home? I know this logic is crazy especially as I’ll only be in hospital for five days and I’m sure The Boy can bring in an extra pair if I do regret bringing the dessert print ones over the leopard print ones. But what if?
I have a nightie for when I am in labour but have already started canvassing the shops in case I find a better one even though it will be more than likely end up in the bin after it’s been covered in after-birth and God knows what else. So more than likely I will have two nighties in my bag and a dressing gown.
What is a new mother to wear while in hospital? I had planned on rotating my selection of pretty pyjamas but alas the midwife has recommended bringing in comfortable day clothes.
This is not music to my ears. I pretty much live in dresses and tights/leggings or jeans. A friend recommended track pants – no.
So what am I meant to bring? I’m thinking a couple of pairs of leggings and a selection of longer loose-fitting tops.
When it comes to shoes I’ve decided on two pairs – my new pink fluffy slippers and a pair of ballet flats for the drive in and home. SORTED.
After much careful consideration I have also chosen Predator’s going home outfit. Ugh make that outfits. What if our mini-human is a boy? The red-striped ensemble might look a little girly and what if the cute little duck outfit screams too casual? Oh what a conundrum.
Luckily our chosen hospital supplies nappies, singlets, wraps and everything else Predator will require for his/her’s first few days in the world – thank God.
Can you imagine if I had to bring all of this too? Would I bring the muslin wraps or the flannelette wraps? The bunny-covered cloth nappies or the bright swirly patterned ones? I know what I’d do – I’d bring them all. Just. In. Case.
Then there’s the necessities – maternity pads (more like adult nappies), breast pads, toiletries, maternity bras, multiple pairs of full-brief underwear, bikini top for the shower/bath during labour, camera, video camera, phone charger, make-up, hair-dryer, music, birth plan, heat packs etc.
No wonder Beyoncé booked out an entire floor for the birth of Ivy Blue – I can’t imagine her to pack lightly so it was probably needed to store all of her belongings!
A lot of magazines/websites suggest packing a bag for the labour and a bag for the hospital stay, also a bag for dad. Well The Boy can pack his own bag and I’m going to bring one bag and one bag only. It may be bursting at the seams but if I have to pack two separate bags I’ll lose my mind and more than likely bring twice as much stuff.
Next step – to find a bag big enough.
If you have any packing tips for me please leave a comment below or perhaps you have a list of hospital must-haves which I haven’t included.
Maternally yours, What-If-I-Forget-Something?