March 1, 2017
by Bethany

Hospital Bag Review // AFTER Birth

Alright guys, I said I would do this for you, & after 7 weeks, I’ve finally found the time. :) I’m going to list my hospital bag checklist items (that I brought to the hospital or planned on bringing), & next to each item, I will let you know how important it was for me to have. Hopefully this will help you (and me for my next birth) plan for your hospital bag, whether that’s coming soon or later in the future. So… I hope this helps you!


  • Copies of birth plan // So glad I brought this, which is probably obvious, but %100 don’t forget this item (see mine for reference).
  • Insurance card // I don’t know if we needed this or not because my husband checked me in while I was having contractions lol.


  • Labor clothes (I will probably wear the hospital gown, but I want to have another option) // I wore a sports bra & hospital gown (on & off) while laboring. I personally think the hospital gowns they give you work just fine for birthing & nursing, but some people prefer a cuter option, & that’s totally fine, however, I would for sure bring a sports bra.
  • Warm socks, slippers, comfy shoes, or flip flops // I had many people tell me to bring my slippers, but I never wore them. I wore the hospital socks the whole time.
  • Zip up hoodie or cardigan // something warm but easy to take off // I wore a hoodie to go home in, but I never took my gown off while in the hospital, & my room was never too cold for me. Looking back, I would still take one of these.
  • Pajama pants/sweatpants/leggings // Sweatpants/PJ pants were a must for me because I wore them at night w/ my gown, but I never wore my leggings. The healing process can be pretty painful, & leggings are harder to put on than sweats.
  • Clean & comfy outfit to leave hospital in // easy access to nurse // Yes to this of course! I wore my sweats, sneakers, a tank, & a zip up hoodie home.
  • Ponytail holders & bobby pins // I definitely used both of these.
  • Sports bra & tank tops // Yes!


  • Body soap // I only took one shower, but I used the soap the hospital provided.
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste // For sure!
  • Deodorant // 100% yes!
  • Coconut oil // I would bring this as nipple cream if you don’t get the nipple butter I suggested (under breastfeeding).
  • Chapstick // For sure, I’m a chapstick junkie.
  • Shampoo & conditioner // Yes, I don’t like cheap shampoo/conditioners like the ones hospitals & hotels have.
  • Dry shampoo // I most definitely used this & would pack it again next time.
  • Hairspray // I personally didn’t need this, but I rarely use hairspray anyway. If you use it regularly, bring it!
  • Facial care creams & wash // Yes, I used these.
  • Make-up // I’m so glad I brought my makeup.


  • Nipple cream // As I said earlier, bring this or coconut oil. I really disliked the nipple cream my hospital provided (Lanolin)… it was sticky & thick. This nipple cream I bought is so soft & healing! Definitely buy this product!
  • Nursing bra & nursing tanks (I’m just bringing regular tanks) // I don’t have any nursing tanks, but I wish I had one or two for going out. If you don’t want to wear the hospital gown, I would personally buy a nursing tank. A nursing bra, on the other hand, for me, was/is needed! So glad I brought mine. 
  • Nursing pads (I’m bringing just a couple because my hospital provides them) // I didn’t need any because I didn’t start leaking until I was home & my milk came on. Maybe bring one pair just incase. However, you WILL need these once your milk comes in!!

Postpartum Care:

  • Motherlove Sitz bath spray // The spray my hospital provided me is what I used there, but at home I used this. I would bring it unless you know your hospital has something similar.
  • Magnesium and/or Miralax (especially if you have an epidural or will take pain meds) // The nurses gave me stool softeners, so I didn’t need to bring this, but I would have some on hand at home for later.


  • Rice bag or heat pad for back labor & after birth pains // For your first birth, you don’t usually have as many after birth pains, so I didn’t need this, but I still may bring it for my next. They say the pain is worse after each baby.

Essential Oils & Natural Remedies:

  • Orange, lemon, or citrus oils to energize // I brought my lemon oil & used it during the day every day we were there, even during labor. Soooo glad I brought my oils & diffuser.
  • Lavender oil for relaxation // Used this at night… again, would bring it next time for sure.
  • Frankincense oil to help stay focused // I didn’t actually bring this because I ran out before. I would keep this expensive oil at home for other uses. It’s one of my favorites, but not for labor.
  • Oil diffuser // YES!!!
  • Magnesium oil or BioFreeze for back labor // I didn’t use this, but I didn’t have back labor.


  • Nut butters, trail mix, & other high calorie foods for energy // Basically all snacks I would bring again. My mother-in-law also brought some desserts & other snacks that I was soooo glad to have. Nursing makes you really hungry!
  • Nut or protein bars
  • Honey sticks, Lara bars, or energy balls
  • Coconut water
  • Gatorade
  • Meals & snacks in a cooler for middle of the night hunger


  • Camera & lenses // Definitely needed these items because I’m all about photos & videos, even if just for me & my family.
  • Camera charger
  • GoPro & charger
  • SD cards
  • Laptop & charger
  • iPhone chargers


  • Pillows/blankets for hubby (hospital beds are uncomfortable) // We forgot to bring these, but I will remember next time because Griffin definitely wanted his pillow.
  • Cooler for placenta (if you’re saving yours) // Needed item if you’re saving your placenta.
  • Journal (have someone to document everything) // Glad I brought this because it’s what Griffin used to write down my labor story timeline.
  • Husband’s clothes // Duh!!

For Baby:

  • Receiving blankets 2 // newborn clothing // Perhaps you could bring 1 of your favorite swaddles for photos, but we used the swaddles & blankets the hospital provided. Other than that, Myler just wore his diaper & a hat the whole time. I would only bring 1 going home outfit for baby & 1 extra onesie for backup.
    • 2 “going home” outfits w/ hats, socks, & mittens // 1 as backup
    • 1 short sleeve onesie // 1 long sleeve onesie (as backup)
  • Diapers & wipes (as backup) // Don’t worry about these unless you want a specific brand. Use what the hospital gives you.
  • Car seat (installed properly in car) // Can’t go home without this! :)
  • Baby nail clippers/file // I’m glad we brought these because we had to trim his nails basically right away.

I hope you found this reviewed hospital bag checklist helpful! I’m definitely glad I was extra prepared for my first, even though we had a lot of stuff we didn’t use. But next time I will come back to this post & use this as a guideline again. :)


February 15, 2017
by Bethany
1 Comment

Month 1 // Journal Entry

Week One:

Our 1st week with you was definitely one with mixed emotions. We had waited so long for you, & now you were actually here in our arms. I felt relieved, happy, & scared all at the same time. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the lack of sleep or the struggle of nursing. Thankfully we had your dad with us that 1st week. I don’t know what we would do without him. We are happy you love your carseat & riding in the car. This made driving home from the hospital a lot easier on us. However, I still had to sit in the backseat with you because the front seat was obviously too far away. :) As hard as this week was, it went by so quickly. You lost some birth weight, but then gained about 2 oz a day after that this week. Good job!

Week Two:

Your dad had to go back to work this week, & wow, that was tough for us both. We had your Mimi in town with us which was super helpful. Mimi loves holding you & even changing your diapers. By the way, you hate getting your diaper changed at this age, & you pee just about every time. I tried taking some photos of you, but it’s not the easiest being the mom, nursing you, & being the photographer. However, you’re so cute no matter what. We tried the pacifier this week, & you liked it! PTL!! Before that I was the “human pacifier” & barely got any rest at all. As in the bottom picture, dad had to hold you in his baseball glove. While you clearly didn’t like it, it sure is adorable!

Week Three:

Week 3 was quite eventful for you. You flew on your first airplane (& did great, by the way), attended your first DYD Conference, met your papa, your cousins, Aunt Lindsay, & Uncle Kyle for the first time (they absolutely adore you), & I also caught your smile on camera. :) You did really great at the conference, & it was so fun for us to let all our DYD friends meet you. They have been praying for you since before you were born.

Week Four:
This week was probably the most eventful week of your life so far! We went on our annual network tour with our network staff, traveling all over (literally) Arizona. The whole trip was about 1,000 miles. We started out in Globe where you attended your first network meeting, then went north to the Grand Canyon, & from there we traveled south to Wellton where you “held” your first gun. Don’t worry though, it wasn’t loaded. Anyone that knows me would know that. ;) We got very little sleep on this trip because of the packed schedule, but you slept great in the car most of the time. This week you also took your first bottle & did great! We are so proud of you!!

Week Five:
We finally got home after 2 weeks out of town, & every day is fun getting to know your personality. Thankfully by now, you are usually calm during diaper changes & barely any peeing is involved during the actual changing these days. You’re starting to look at things more & even give us a smirk every once in a while. This week you got to see your McGrath uncles all at once, & we took the 1st official McGrath boy photo. It was also the last time we will see Uncle Connor for a while as he just moved to Hawaii. At least it’s somewhere we will want to visit. :) We got to celebrate Nana’s 89th birthday together this week. She sure loves you, & her favorite thing to say to you is “ohhh, bless his heart.” Your dad is in Seattle taking his master’s classes, so Papa Whitlock came to help me out. I love seeing you grow & pack on some weight. We will be at the doctor soon to see how much you weigh. Way to go bubba!