38 weeks

Self-portrait, 38 weeks, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

This Friday will be 39 weeks, which was when Ben was born. Not to get too attached of course, but I can’t really imagine going past 39 this time either. So I’m preparing over here, filling my hospital bag with coconut water and other treats I might want in labor.

Too exhausted to write, but wanted to keep you all posted. Oh, and since you are all full of fabulous advice, I’ve totally forgotten how to pack a bag for the hospital. Does anyone have any hot tips?

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. gayle

    I really have no good personal experience advice as I will be having to pack my own hospital bag for the first time at the end of March. The only things I can think that must be in it are a phone charger, my pillow, a soft hospital gown (planning on making my own), my slippers, pj bottoms to wear home. I will leave all the super practical stuff to my husband – that is his job in this relationship – being the practical one. Me not so much.
    I have already enlisted the help of our friend Jesse to bring me a plate of all the cheeses I have had to give up, a box of sushi and a side of hollandaise sauce.
    Happy birthing, Andrea!

  2. Paula

    Your belly is so beautiful!
    A few suggestions for your bag: snacks like almonds, crackers, and energy bars. A short robe. Nursing bras, undies, pads, cozy clothes. Music player and charger. Notebook and pen. Glasses and reading material. Camera. Phone and charger. Wee gift or treat for Ben. Change of clothes for Matt.
    Best wishes for an amazing birth,

  3. Anna

    No idea on the hospital bag, but I wanted to wish you all well.
    I am holding little Ben especially close while he gets used to sharing his family! 🙂 I am sure he will be a fantabulous big brother.
    So excited about another lil superhero joining the world! Gives me hope for the future!!

  4. crissy

    Krishna Das on iPod! Things that smell good… your fave essential oils. A little satchet of balsam needles and lavender works really well. Your own pillows. A cozy blanket from home plus a comforter or blanket for Matt to stay warm too. And last but not least, EARPLUGS + SLEEP MASK!!! Best wishes Andrea!!! You look ripe and beautiful!

  5. Yolanda

    We packed a laundry basket instead of a bag. It made it so much easier to access our stuff (especially since our stay wound up being 5 days longer than I anticipated). I sleep best with my own pillow (smells from home) and if you put a pretty pillowcase on it, it makes for nice pictures.

  6. Amber

    Not sure if you are giving birth in Berkeley… but we made sure I had some Ici as soon as possible–and its just around the corner, so perfect! With the birth of my second, I learned how to stay out of the hospital as long as possible… so about all we had time to do when we arrived was plug in the iPod… and then Will was born an hour later!
    We packed stickers & presents & books for my older child, and a pair of comfy, comfy pajamas… in still-pregnant-size (no more delusions with the second child!). And lots of coffee drinks for my husband. And the camera. Sending peaceful thoughts your way for a beautiful birth!

  7. Amelia

    After my son was born, I left the hospital promising myself that I would bring my own pillow and towel next time (the hospital towels are the size of a throw pillow). I also enjoyed going to the store and picking out sample size shampoo etc that I hadn’t used before so that I had a little something to look forward to for that first shower. And the one thing that we forgot? The charger for my cell phone, so I would just throw it out there to remember the power cords for any electronics you bring. Best of luck to you and the little one waiting to join the world!

  8. Puanani

    Hi, Baby! Hurry up.

  9. rowena

    I wanted my carmex, flip flops, yoga pants and nursing tanks and cardigans (I didn’t want to be in pjs all day, so I wore yoga clothes) lots of magazines since I couldn’t sleep and was too dazed to focus, and my cozy pillow from home, in a colored pillow case so the nurses didn’t think it was theirs. Then I wanted sushi, milkshakes, and chocolate cake. but that is not for the bag. That’s for papa to get later. Good luck and happy adventure.

  10. beth

    all the suggestions above are great…..but add socks !….my feet always freeze when i’m in the hospital !!
    bring a photo of ben to be taped in the plastic baby bed with a sign stating that he’s the big brother….he’ll feel so special !
    and last but not least, deodorant….just saying. sometimes the hospital doesn’t have any.

  11. Sam

    Snacks, definitely snacks! (But coconut water sounds DELICIOUS!) You may end up giving birth in the middle of the night and nothing’s open…so your favorite snacks, or something you can eat to get you through until breakfast comes. I was STARVING as I didn’t eat much of anything the day I was in labor…
    Hope your birth is amazing! I can’t wait to meet the little guy. We’ll be sending you love from Squam by the Sea, for sure.

  12. marcy

    I found it tempting to bring everything I could think that I might want my advice is take the things you love that are comfy and leave as much technology at home as you can comfortably live without. Time to be focused on you, baby. matt and ben. happy birthing.

  13. sparkyd

    With my first I had wicked heartburn while in labour, even though I never had it that bad during the pregnancy. I was very grateful that I had some tums in my purse, so that is always my advice for a non-standard hospital bag item, tums.

  14. Elizabeth

    A pillow from home, a phone charger, camera and your iPod are all high on the list, but I also recommend some fabulous shower gel…for that first post delivery shower. And chenille slipper socks.
    Wishing you and your family all the best.

  15. careyq

    We were at a city hospital and when we arrived the nurses had just ordered pizza and it smelled so good. After my daughter was born my hubby ordered pizza…and it was terrific. So bring food you like to eat (or the number of a great place that delivers), we had a fridge that we could use in the nearby hallway – great, I know! I shared a bathroom with another room – I would’ve loved bubble bath (the same ones from hotels)…those cold packs – only works if the nurses have a nearby fridge freezer to share. A mug that you can send hubby to refill with water/ice…comfy pjs, nice pair of stretchy pants to go home in but ones that look/feel good – hey, when you’re already hormonal -who wants to feel like they’re going home in polyester pants?! A pre-written love note for hubby and son – to tell them how much they are loved – a little card kind of thing that you can pull out after the fact…(My partner reminds me that I threw ice cubes at him that day.) A small camera, extra batteries (just in case), a baby seat for the car (we almost forgot this. I kid you not), little ittie bittie diapers, a small outfit/sleeper, extra shirt for you in case you leak earlier than expected, nursing bra?, not sure about weather where you are -small baby receiving blanket?, I am not sure if I have any other thoughts. Oh, bathroom stuff. Big pads for afterbirth bleeding, bathroom stuff-toothbrush, comb, makeup if you want for photos (I just wanted my special undereye natural cream to get rid of the I’ve-been-dancing-all-night-at-a-rave look that I had going.)…special toy for Ben….hmm I cannot think of anything else. Good luck 😉 and enjoy.

  16. Tina

    No hot tips for you, just wanting to wish you all the best for a smooth arrival of baby.
    Much love from a Mondo Beyondo alum,
    Tina x

  17. Jennifer

    Our room this time (I just gave birth to my third a few months ago) had a fridge in it and a DVD player. These were my two favorite amenities. I brought fruit from home, like chunks of melon and pineapple, which tasted so great after labor. My husband was thoughtful enough to purchase a couple of DVD’s he thought I would like and bring them to the hospital. I could have used them during labor, but I barely made it to the hospital before our son was born, so we watched them the next day, which was nice.
    Also, I recommend throwing your favorite chapstick and maybe face moisturizer into your bag. I always need it.
    Best wishes to you! Enjoy the quiet before all of the activity begins.

  18. Robyn

    You look fabulous Andrea at 38 almost 39 weeks! (I’m currently almost 30 & half weeks) with baby boy #3 (found out it was a boy not a girl!) Can’t wait to hear all about your 2nd boy. Hope you have a good & easy labor & delivery. All the best to you guys!

  19. christine

    I am giddy over here, waiting to hear the good news and meet the new little guy!
    My only tip: Pack two bags. 1) A smaller one with the stuff you want with you during labor. 2) Another with your overnight stuff like change of clothes, toiletries, an outfit for the little man, a swaddling blanket, etc. Bring the labor bag with you but leave the overnight bag in the car. You can send sweet Matt to get the other one after you’ve delivered. That way, neither of you don’t have to carry too much during the excitement of it all and nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

  20. Susie

    You look so adorable Andrea! Sending you and your sweet family much love 🙂

  21. Leia

    Hi Andrea! So excited for you:) I had a successful VBAC on 9/28 w/ our baby boy Noah!! I was suppose to be due on 9/13 based on my 16 week u/s w/ the specialist who did my amnio but 9/20 based on my 1st u/s w/ my OB. Well, he did not arrive until 9/28!! I was in labor for 3 days and nights before he was born ( I was in the hospital by the 3rd evening and he came early the following morning). It was an awesome birth for me!:) Everything went the way it was suppose to. Here’s what I packed (and my doula brought a few things but we never used them): I packed lavendar oil spray which made the room smell great and relaxed me (I was exhausted by the time I got to the hospital but also very excited!), I brought a buckwheat neck wrap that we could warm in the microwave and spray w/ lavender and that felt so good on my back, neck and just to hug when I was in my side. I brought a few tubes of my favorite Burt’s Bees lip balms to sooth my dry lips, you can a bring your own pillow which I did at our 1st birth but not this time, California Baby Calendula cream smells good and soothes dry hands or feels good on feet, hair band, warm fluffy socks, comfy clothes for the next day if you want. Nursing bra, nursing pads (they have them there), an outfit for the baby to bring him home in, I brought a folder for all of the paper work they give you to take home, your favorite toiletries, a tooth brush, obviously you won’t forget your camera and that’s about it. Lots of love, peace, harmony and wishes for a beautiful birthing experience being sent your way:)!

  22. Leia

    P.s. Our little Noah is a beautiful angel and we could not be more in love! He was 9.9 oz at birth and is a good nurser and sleeps well too. It has been so different this time for us. Both our boys are so amazing, it’s like the universe was just waiting to send them to us and it feels like they have both always been w/ us. Sam did so well when we were in the hospital and he is doing great now even though his world is now so different. He loves his brother and at only 3 weeks old (as of tomorrow) Noah is already smiling at his big bro. Again, I am so very happy and excited for you! Brothers are so special:) Ben will do so great! Can’t wait for you to all meet your newest family member. xo -L

  23. jenn

    water. bottled water. and lots of it.

  24. Susie M

    Andrea! I’m so excited for you and so excited to have found you. Just poking around the web of blogs I love to explore every morning and I found yours (through Susannah Conway’s and then Brene Brown’s). We used to write together at Laurie’s and then I moved out to the country…anyhoo, so happy for you with a new baby coming soon. Blessings on your journey into motherhood of two! That was a huge change in our family, as the first beloved was pushed a little out of the Garden of Eden =(…but there is so much joy in all of it, too. Congrats, mazal tov…looking forward to reading more of your blog now!

  25. Leah

    Here’s what I forgot to pack in my hospital bag: a pen! I really needed one for filling out forms and they didn’t have spares to lend me at the nurse’s station.
    Good luck and I can’t wait to see pictures of the new little guy.

  26. Abigail

    Here’s a crazy thing we brought that I loved having — a nice bedside lamp with a soft bulb. I really loathe overhead light under most circumstances — it makes me feel agitated. So having a pleasant light was really nice! The nurses thought we were nuts, of course.
    Also, if you’ll have a big tub to labor in, be sure to bring trunks and a bathrobe or something for Matt. My sweetie was in the tub with me, and then was shivering in a wet suit after because we didn’t have a robe for her, and I wouldn’t let her leave me long enough to change.
    Otherwise, I second the suggestions for really delicious snacks for after the birth. Best wishes!

  27. nicole

    WOW you are gorgeous! Good luck and many, many congrats! (ps: maybe pack your favorite soft comfy shirt or scarf to wear whilst recovering … something that makes you feel yummy and warm and gooood.)

  28. Caroline

    Oooh, you look pretty. I like the haircut!

  29. Claudia

    Socks. Definitly, warm and cosy socks!
    And chocolate. And water. These were the three most important things with my second one this february.
    I wish you all the best!

  30. Carole

    My favorites: strawberry lip balm, cozy socks, and a favorite quote with a photo to focus on during labor/c-section prep (I chose an image of a strong, well-watered tree and a corresponding verse from the Bible). And a watermelon smoothie run for me was much appreciated, too!

  31. Carole

    Ooh – forgot to add, we also brought our own paper for them to make additional footprints – and then we framed them for grandparents and for our home, too.

  32. Alison

    My birthday is on 10/21 (Thursday!) and I’ve gotta say – it’s a fine birthday to have. 10 days before Halloween, just enough into the school year that birthday cupcakes are enough of a diversion from the norm to be super exciting (do kids still do that?), right on the tail end of Libra. These days I love that my birthday falls right in the middle of pumpkin and apple cider season. So yes, a mid-late October birthday is great indeed 🙂

  33. Kate

    I brought a pretty (and comfortable) nursing nightgown to the hospital for the time bonding with my baby after the birth. It made me feel good and look good in those magical photos that I will savor forever.
    Also, I brought clothes to labor in so I didn’t have to wear a hospital gown and feel like a patient. Very empowering.
    Blessings for a beautiful birth!

  34. Leslie

    oh you look fabulous…not an ounce of weight anywhere but your belly…looks like he will be here very soon!

  35. amy j

    You look great! Good luck. Can’t wait to meet the newest little one!
    Hugs to Ben.

  36. Amanda

    The most luxurious moisturizer and a scarf or lipstick in an uplifting color were my two creature comforts. Also, my mother ran out and got me a grapefruit juice mixed with bluegreen algae supplements. It was like a breath of fresh air, a rarity in the hospital.
    Another thing: I baked and baked and baked throughout my pregnancy so that each nurses shift would be plied with treats throughout our stay. This helped grease the skids when I needed help and they were short staffed. You may not have time to bake, but treats from a bakery would work equally well, I’d bet.

  37. Amy

    As a doula, I always tell dad to bring an extra pair of pants and a pair of swim trunks, so when labor gets really intense, mom and partner can go in the shower to work with the contractions.
    Chap stick is always so helpful and a sundress to labor in, if you don’t want to wear the hospital gown. Good lotion and socks that feel cozy on your feet. Music you love, and I had a client who’s husband strung christmas lights in the labor room, it made it like our own little den, it was great! Even bringing your own pillow can be nice and really comforting.
    I bring essential oils, a heating pad and homeopathic remedies to help mom’s body continue to endorphins and oxytocin flowing. You will probably have a fairly quick labor given it is your second birth, so all the extra supports you put in place beforehand, the better!
    Looking forward to seeing the little guy on the outside!

  38. suzy

    I had my baby girl on the 12th of October, at just under 40 weeks. The things I liked best from my hospital bag were Carmex lipbalm, a hair elastic, a couple of magazines to read for the couple of days after the birth, nice body wash to shower with, and lots of ginormous cotton knickers that were super comfy to wear after the baby was born and hold those monstrous maternity pads in place. Oh – and a couple of pretty button-front nighties.
    Good luck with the birth!

  39. stephlys

    Found my list
    stool softener – colace
    nipple cream
    empty water bottle to use a hot/cold compress
    baby nail clippers/file
    chap stick
    Pen and paper (people expect you to remember stuff when you aren’t writing any of it down)
    roll of soft TP
    morse bag for extra hospital supplies
    extra outfit for baby in case she messes up hers
    nursing pads

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