For baby #3, I really want to do a homebirth, specifically a water birth at home. However, our hot water heater is cranked ALL the way up, and we still can only get 5-10 minutes of hot water every 2-3 hours... obviously not ideal for filling up a large birthing tub :P. Does anyone have any advice on what to do? Could I boil water and put it in the birth tub? Also, we're looking to rent an Aqua Doula if that makes any difference!
Water birth with a bad hot water heater...
I've had long labors with both kiddos, so I do expect another long labor with #3(I know all births are different, but odds are against an easy peasy quick labor lol!). I wasn't sure if boiling water would ruin the birth tub or not(I plan to rent it, so probably need to return it in good condition)
I looked on the AquaDoula site, and can't really find anything if it comes with a heater :(
A trial run would give you a good idea as to how long it would take. A digital thermometer may keep you on track. Not sure how practical that is with the AD, I've only used inflatables. With all pools I believe you put cold water in first and, of course, never pour boiling water onto the sides of the pool. Even filling from a hot water heater you'd do cold water, hot water, finish with cold water.
I looked and the AquaDoula does come with a heating system. I think that's more for maintaing temp rather than heating up cold water. At least once you got your temperature right it looks like you wouldn't have to worry about keeping water boiling. I'm not sure how far in advance it all works but seems like a great option for you!
Our water heater in the apt building is not the greatest. I only spent a little time in the tub (transfer to hospital was needed). But we did fill it once.
Before the birth, we went to our local charity shop, bought a bunch of big old soup pots, and did the stove top thing. My midwives would pour boiling water into a pticher or other container with water right from the cold tap to create warm water then pour into the tub. We also had the neighbors standing by to help with heating water if we needed it. I think if we hadn't done that maybe an extra hotplate would've come in handy.
OK- perhaps it is time to get a new hot water heater? If you rent- it should be fine to tell them it is NOT working properly. If you don't rent and are electric you can get them from your utility for like $100 usually. If you are propane or gas you might need a service call- because you should have plenty of hot water to do this.
Aqua Doula is large, the heating elements only maintain lukewarm water, does not heat cold water. Buying a $35. "kiddie pool" from Your Waterbirth or In His Hands, is a little smaller, not to mention much cheaper! It serves well as a birth tub. I like the inflatable tubs better in general than the hard sided ones, much more comfortable to lean on! And they have softer (inflatable) bottoms, which the AD doesn't. I think B-p-i-a-b is way too large for comfort & most water heaters. Heating water on the stove in large canning pots works well.
Small world dept.: I went up to Anchorage for a birth once! ;)