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Confident about the birth, stressed about the home

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I don't even know where to start. I don't post here often, and I feel a little bad only posting when I need something, but I'm at whit's end. I am planning a home birth sometime in mid-January. I fully believe in natural childbirth and have had 3 progressively natural births before this one. I am sick with fighting with hospitals over interventions--especially in neonatal care--so I decided to have this last one at home.


The reason I have not considered homebirth sooner, and the reason I am doubting this one, is that my home is probably the biggest stressor in my life. My husband was a slob before I met him, and I've never been the neatest person either. Add three kids under 6 and this place is a disaster. I'm lucky if I can manage to get everyone fed, keep up with the dishes, and get the laundry washed (rarely folded or put away). The dining room table is piled high with clean laundry. The furniture is covered with soil from dirty little hands. The floors are littered with random items, dirt, and some trash. It's bad enough that I never invite friends or family here. Not exactly an ideal location for a birth. And what if something goes wrong and we end up with a transfer? The local hospital wanted to report us to CPS for refusing antibiotic ointment in the baby's eyes, so who knows what they would do about a homebirth. If a social worker came in here to inspect, I might lose my older children as well. Maybe it's just my hormones but it's really stressing me out.


DH is practically insistent on a homebirth. He is also a big supporter of natural birth, but I suspect his insistence is largely for financial reasons--we don't have maternity insurance. When it comes to preparing our home for the birth, he isn't much help, and I haven't found a good way to improve this. There are no family or friends I can ask--partially because we are keeping the homebirth a secret, but mostly because they are either unhelpful or judgmental, which would just cause more stress. We are now 6 weeks out from our home visit, and I am starting to feel very stressed and hopeless about it.


In short, I really want a homebirth, but I'm concerned that the house will cause undue stress that will impact my labor. What do you think? Should I go ahead with the homebirth and just work very hard to get things passable? Should I look into other options?

post #2 of 9

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You don't have to do everything.  Just a little at a time and you'll be amazed.


Honestly, I am a skeptic, can't stand to be a follower, I don't even do 1/4 of what they recommend-- and my life is waaaaay better for it.

post #3 of 9

I'm assuming you have a midwife because you said you will soon have your home visit. If you have to go to the hospital, you'll have your midwife with you, and she won't let them push you around and accuse you of being a poor mother. Social services will have no reason to come inspect your home.


Your midwife will probably insist you get the place cleaned up a bit. If she's anything like the midwife I had, she'll look straight at your husband as she says this. I know housework can get overwhelming, but you two can do it. And daddy has to help, especially if he's insisting on the home birth. Best of luck to you!

post #4 of 9

When I tell my kids to go "pick up the toys" their little faces fall.  They can't do it.  But, if I say, dd1, you put those blocks in the basket, and ds, you take the books to the shelf, they are good to go.


I like to think I'm a grownup and can handle more, but really, I'm like that, too.  If I walk into the kitchen and it is trashed, I just feel hopeless.  Not only will it take me all day to clean up, BUT, it's just going to look that way again right after lunch.  Why bother.  Sigh.  Totally how I feel. 

So, I have taught myself to have tunnel vision.  It's not about cleaning the kitchen.  It is about cleaning this section of counter.  I can do that.  After that, I pick the next thing.  One tiny thing at a time.


I will say, though, that the biggest problem with keeping a house clean, IMO, is clutter.  I would work really, really hard (one tiny pile at a time) to deal with clutter.  If an item doesn't get used regularly AND have an easy place to be put away, it needs to go.  Once the clutter is dealt with, wiping a counter or doing a load of dishes isn't that big of a deal.  For a long time I found myself babysitting our stuff.  I was a slave to it.  Once I got the clutter under control, everything else has been easy.


To help deal with the clutter faster and make you feel better about things, do you have an area in your house you could dedicate to a big pile of boxes?  A corner in the basement or a spare room, somewhere out of sight?  I would go around the house and pick up all that clutter.  Only leave out clothes, trash, and things you use on a daily basis.  Everything else goes in a box.  No sorting.  Just in the box.  Pile those boxes out of sight.  After you are done with that, using tunnel vision, clean your house. 


THEN, and only then, pull out ONE box, and put it in an easy to reach place, but not a stressful one.  As you wander around your (now clean) house, doing the regular little things that keep a house clean, grab an item out of that box and put it away.  You might be able to put away a whole box in a day.  It might take you 3 weeks to do a box.  Leave a box by the front door for items that can be donated, and be liberal in feeding the trash can.


You can change these habits, and you'll feel so much better about yourself if you do.  I know it's hard.  I have 4 children 6 and under, and I have moved 5 times in the last 7 years.  It's all about clutter and routine.  (And, teaching the kids to help.  My kids don't have chores, but they will cheerfully help anytime I give them a task.  The 2yo begs, "Mama, do you have a job for ME?")

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone. I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. You have provided some good suggestions, and I have been able to use many of them.


Things aren't perfect, but I definitely see an improvement, and I'm confident that it will be good enough in 3 weeks when we have our home visit. I think some of my problem is with perfectionism. I wanted the house to be immaculate, and I've come to accept that it won't be. It's freed me to get it to an acceptable condition.


Now to get back to work! :)

post #6 of 9

our farmhouse gets out of control too.  4 kids and my Dh and we do our best.  I vacuum and try to keep the dishes up the best I can.  The laundry goes on the couch.  One awesome thing with my home birth was the midwives picked up the house and did the dishes after we all ate.  It was awesome. Yes.  your DH needs to help.  

post #7 of 9

Just think about "cleaner that it was" - not "perfect"


I rarely have time or energy to do a cleaning job all the way through to the point of so clean that any critic would be silenced.  but I CAN make it cleaner than it was, a little bit at a time.  When I have a wet cloth or sponge in my hand, I can also wipe down just the top of one chair.  and stop.  When I am going potty and then I wash my hands, I can grab a paper towel (keep a roll in the bathroom) and just wipe the sink off really quick.  and stop.  


You can get there!  It's tough.  I myself am pregnant with the 4th and I feel ya, girl.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Interesting twist of events--I was due in the middle of January. We began to improve things, but we and planned to really buckle down after the holidays. Well, our little guy had different plans. He made his appearance on Christmas day! He was just far enough along for a homebirth. Fortunately DH had done a little picking up for the holiday, but our bedroom was embarrassing. And you know what? It didn't matter to me. By the time our midwife arrived, I was nearing transition and couldn't care less about a little clutter. She was very professional and even found things to compliment about our home. I felt so good the morning after the birth, I was able to help DH straighten up enough to welcome visitors. So it came out OK, even without the perfect environment I would have wanted.


Thanks again for all your support!

post #9 of 9


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