I enjoyed the process and it scratched part of my nesting itch. I don't regret spending the time or energy on it but I did buy/pack some stuff that I just didn't need and now have no use for. Also, there were a few things I wish I had have packed more of. Here is my labor bag recap:
Things that helped A LOT:
Lip balm. Wow. Do NOT forget this. My lips were so dry from all the breathing I did.
Fuzzy Socks: I wish I had have brought more pairs. Mine got pretty ragged on the hospital floors. I had two pairs but could have used two more.
Toiletries: It is so nice to have luxurious products to use with the first couple of post partum showers. I like to pack things that are aromatherapy-based: minty and/or tea tree shampoo, lavender body wash and moisturizer, rose face cleanser. It's also nice to use products that are different from what you would use daily normally. For me, smelling the products will always remind me of the hospital and while that is not a bad thing, I like to take all different products.
Stuff to Read: I am not a tv person, so having a good book was essential. I wish I had have brought more and a few magazines.
Applying Makeup: I certainly didn't feel like doing this right after birth but the next morning after I showered feeling like I looked like my normal self really helped me feel better. And I actually looked good in a few photos. :)
Comfy, dark-colored clothes: I packed a black nightgown, black yoga pants and a soft black cotton dress. I wish I had have packed more yoga pants and another flowy nightgown or dress.
Sweater: I packed a thin cotton hoodie that I bought while I was pregnant but never got to wear because it was too hot. Hospitals are cold and it was comforting to be in a cozy, soft long sleeve shirt. The pockets came in handy for my lip balm ;)
My pillow: I became ridiculously attached to my pregnancy pillow and used it at the hospital to prop me up on top of the regular ones. I also used it for nursing.
***This is not me, this is some lady from Amazon..
And now...things I just did NOT need:
First aid stuff: Didn't need Depends (the mesh undies they provide are fine) or dermoplast spray (they gave me some) or Tucks (ditto) or pads (they gave me ones the size of a twin mattress) Stool softener (I use it at home but they give it at the hospital)
Essential oils: When did I figure I'd be sniffing these? I could have applied them to my pillow....or just skipped brining altogether.
Too much baby stuff: All he needed was a onesie, some socks and a thin blanket. I had tiny pants, a few outfits, a few hats, mitten things, nail clippers...I could have left most of it at home.
Snacks: The hospital has room service. And it's not terrible. And it's covered by insurance.
Birth Ball: Seriously. This just took up a bunch of space and I didn't even look at it once.
Music: I guess this could have come in handy at some point but....in all the excitement I didn't even think of turning it on.
From the Hospital:
The hospital sent me home with a squirt bottle, a sitz bath and single use cold packs. They all helped immensely, especially the first few days.
The sitz bath was the best in the hospital but it's a bit of a hassle now at home, I've been mostly using the shower head on my stitches, but it really did help the first day or two when they were the most sore.
The squirt bottle I will use until the stitches dissolve, toilet paper snags on my stitches without it...ouch.
I just used the last ice pack today. They didn't have those when I had the boys 6 years ago...they are giant single use chemical pads that snap open and get cold to soothe things down there. I don't need them anymore, but I really did like using them. I would recommend that anyone take advantage of all the stuff they provide because all of it is much more effective than anything available at Walgreens, and I did pay for it with my insurance so why not?