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What do you wish you would have known beforehand? - Page 9

post #161 of 350
subbing... Thanks all for great tips and advice...
post #162 of 350
That even not all midwives truly believe in birth and their fears can get in the way of your (my) birth!
post #163 of 350
Adding my wish-I-had's too the list.

1. I went into labor early on a Friday morning. As soon as the sun rose, my husband (in his nervous excitement) started calling family members to tell them that I was in labor. But labor had stopped by early afternoon and all evening long people were calling to find out what was going on. So next time, no phone calls until after baby is born.
2. I am WAY too independent for my own good - I wish I had arranged to have people do housework for me after the birth. Especially dishes; they only got done once a week or so for the first month.
3. I wish I had prepared more meals in advance. I had some, but not enough to get us through even the first week (I had severely underestimated how little I would actually be able to get done). Along with that, I should have portioned the meals BEFORE I froze them. Nothing worse than having to heat an entire casserole for my lunch.
4. Also, no one told me that EVERY muscle in my body would ache. I was expecting the vaginal/abdominal soreness, but even my fingers felt like they had gone through the wringer.

And here are my whew-am-I-ever-glad-I-did's.

1. Before the birth we informed family and friends that we would not be receiving visitors for the first week of the baby's life. I changed my mind immediately after the baby was born, but it gave us the space we needed. We were able to call and invite people over to see the baby, as opposed to people just "dropping by".
2. I CANNOT stress enough the importance of bendy straws. Not only was I able to drink "hands-free" during the labor and delivery, but so was my husband. Which leads to...
3. Make sure there is someone to look after your partner's needs as well. They get hungry and thirsty too.
4. Finally, we put all the baby info on our phone messages and turned the ringers off whenever we wanted quiet those first few days (thanks to my sister for that tip!).
post #164 of 350
I had my homebirth after the previous one being a c-sec, and what a difference!

Someone loaned me an inflatable 100 gallon birthing/labor pool and wow it helped. Until the pushing urge and then I wanted to be in my bedroom on all fours, so that's where I went and that's where and how I birthed.
But that labor pool really helped, and I would have birthed in it if I had felt inclined.

I also labored standing up and during hard contractions, would bend over and put my head on the kitchen counter, squat, and fan my knees open and shut like a cat or dog taking a large poo (sorry for the imagery). It really helped, and later the mw's told me that was a great instinct, for it was opening my pelvis and helping the head descend.
Any attempt to lie down made the pain terrible. Every woman has to find her own best labor positions.

And one thing I did that really helped was send my DH on errands in active labor, because he was scared, and I really wanted that chance to take a shower, listen to loud Sarah McLaughlin, cry tears of joy, and really commune with the powerful transformation taking place. It was truly sacred, that solitude.

The best advice I can give is to tune into and trust your instincts, and get used to listening to them and acting on them without wondering about rationale.
DD 8 lb section 2004
DS 10 lb HBAC 2007
post #165 of 350
I posted a few months ago about my "wish I'd knowns" for my first homebirth, and here are mine for my second birth.

I wish I'd been more mentally prepared for a longer labor. My first was 7.5 hours and I was prepared to have a fast labor this time, but it ended up being the same length as the first. I sort of felt (and still do to some extent) that I must have done something wrong because I didn't have a faster labor.

Since labor seemed like it was taking a long time and I didn't ever really have a consistent contraction pattern (I'd have long breaks in between contractions at times), even with no apparent positioning issues, I did some squatting between contractions. Maybe it was necessary, but it was REALLY uncomfortable and I think if I have another baby I'll skip the squatting entirely and just let labor take longer if necessary.

Also, I really wanted to lay down at times (4.5 hours of sleep on top of the exhaustation I'd been dealing with the whole pregnancy probably helped here) but didn't because I wanted to be upright to get labor moving along. I wish I'd just laid down and let labor take however long it was going to take.

And I wish I'd gotten in the birth pool sooner. The contractions were really intense and I couldn't really relax in between (and I don't even think it was a transition thing) but again I didn't want to get in the pool in case it slowed things down. When I finally did, I was able to relax after the first contraction, felt the urge to push starting on the second one, and he was born 3.5 contractions later.
post #166 of 350
I wish I had known how emotionally overwhelming (in a good way) the aftermath of my daughter's birth would be. Having her at home was an incredibly transformative and spiritual experience. I felt such gratitude to my midwife and husband for helping me during the last difficult hours that I couldn't adequately express myself. I spent two weeks walking around in an emotionally euphoric state, and I really needed to talk about the experience and share it, but I simply didn't have anyone around me (in person) who could understand. I wish I had.
post #167 of 350
First, I wish I had really believed I was in labor! I had painful BH contractions (sometimes for an hour) in the week before I had her, so when labor finally hit, I waited...and waited...to call my midwife. She arrived just 15 minutes before I had her. I was already ready to push, and had her out in less than 10 minutes. And most of my friends didn't arrive on time for the birth.

I wish I had all the supplies in one spot. I was being asked "where's this and that" while in active labor, during transition, and in between pushes.

I wish I had designated someone to record and take pictures. Luckily, someone picked up the video camera right when midwife arrived, so her actual birth was on film, but most of my labor wasn't. And I have very few pictures.

Basically, just being prepared beforehand would have been good.
post #168 of 350
I want to thank EVERYONE for all this advice! I will be TTC in the fall and I plan on having a HB!!! This info is going to be very valuable.
post #169 of 350
I am so glad to have read this list...it took a while, but was worth it!!! I am due in November and would really like to have a hb. We haven't decided for sure, but dh is much more open to it now. Any additional advise on helping dh be ready is welcome. It's hard for me to remember and tell him about everything I've read. I just assume I've told him or that he knows these things!
post #170 of 350
Well, with my daughter I was on the bed dealing with pushing contractions and asked my husband (standing next to the bed) to apply counter-pressure to my back, since our baby was moving down my spine and it was incredibly painful. We had spread a shower curtain on the floor to protect the carpet, though, so he went to push on my back, slid backwards, and said, "Yahhh, I'm standing on plastic!" I burst out laughing--everyone thought it was very funny that he had managed to make me crack up in the middle of a pushing contraction!

So, I'm 20 weeks along with my second now--and next time, no shower curtains by the bed!
post #171 of 350
i wish i had prepared well for the possibility of a transfer. i ended up transferring and i was taken to a different hospital than the one my back up ob was with, and i didnt have a bag packed at all.

i also wish i'd arranged for better one on one care for my older dd.
post #172 of 350
This is an awesome thread. We're TTC right now, and this thread is exactly what I was looking for - real homebirth moms with the nitty-gritty, not just flower-empowering stuff.

Keep it coming!
post #173 of 350

subbing! I've read this far and taken lots of notes for my HB in June! I don't want to miss any new info...
post #174 of 350
Originally Posted by StacyL View Post

I also used the Depends underwear because pads were too painful.

Also, stuffing ice into the liner of a newborn-size disposable diaper and putting that in your shorts for 10 minutes helps a lot with pain & swelling.
I'm planning on a homebirth when #2 is en route as well! Great post ladies. Okay, so Tucks were the best thing ever after giving birth and not just for bottom problems. The nurse put a row of 4 in my panties on top of the icepack-pad. It looked like a subway sandwich. I cannot describe how good that cold witch hazel felt on my (untorn and uncut but swollen) perineum.

Hope you have an awesome experience!
post #175 of 350
Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
Can I add one?

I wish I'd known to have at least one peri bottle for every bathroom in the house! Perhaps even an extra one, just in case. And to be religious about refilling them when I was done. Because there's nothing worse than juggling a newborn and a peri bottle and a cold sink while you're doing the pee-pee dance two days after you've had a baby.
Amen! Refill it scalding hot, and it will be the right temp when you need it again.

I also wish I had let our doula take pics during pushing, crowning, etc. My absolute favorite is DD latching on for the first time...makes me wish we had more.
post #176 of 350
I've just gone through all 9 pages, taking notes as I go. This therad has got to be one of the most useful threads I have ever read, thank you SO much to those who took the time to respond. I am baking baby #6 and preparing for my first homebirth
post #177 of 350
A wonderful thread! I have two things to contribute:

1. A friend of mine labeled 2 boxes for their HB supplies: during labor and postpartum. She even made a list of what was in the box. Then a big bag of clean linens.

2. I share this with anyone that is having a baby, I got the Postpartum Meal Tree idea from a friend and then I discovered it in Robin Lim's book 'After the Baby's Birth'. Here is an excerpt from page 7:

"After the arrival of the new baby, the mother's friends and family can activate this postpartum meal tree. It is simple to ask people to sign up at the blessingway party or baby shower, before the actual birth. However, 'the tree' may be organized at anytime, even after the happy event.

Meals should be prepared with the purest possible ingredients. Organic foods are always best. Spices should be minimal. Remember, what is consumed by the mother goes into her milk. Onions, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower tend to upset nursing baby's tummies when eaten by their mothers. Don't forget to take into consideration any food preferences or allergies. Is the family vegetarian? Are they allergic to wheat or dairy? Make enough to feed the entire family, and then some. Have the mealtime delivered at noontime (or a specific time, dinner time works better for working families). What is not entirely eaten at lunch will make wonderful leftover snacks or dinner. The casserole dishes, plates, bowls, and so on can be picked up later.

Activating the meal tree: At the top of the list should be the new mother's best friend. She will call when the baby is Earth-side. Meanwhile she has organized a list of friends, who in turn get calls from her (at least one week, two weeks is perfect). This serves two purposes: to announce the baby's arrival and activate the meal tree. Each volunteer cook chooses a day or two, prepares, and then delivers her contribution. This gives her or him (it may well be a male friend), a chance to peek in on the mother and baby. Remind the cooks not to stay too long and wear out the mother. They can fold a load of laundry while they visit and let the family know that they don't expect serving dishes to be washed when they quietly pick them up the following day. What a wonderful way to build community while selflessly serving a postpartum woman and her family!"

"Love is delicate, and, at the same time, it is most vital and strong. A tiny, tender wave of love rocks the boat of life." ~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
post #178 of 350
Originally Posted by sarenka View Post
Thanks for askingthe question, I'm also homebirthing after a hospital birth, some good ideas here - bobandjess I agree about the pain...alos I wish I knew that transition can bring you to the stage where you can't endure anymore and that's a good sign! Also that shit comes out and that it isn't the baby I suppose if I were more relaxed it wouldn't matter what was coming out, but I was worrying about 'how to push' I think...
What about putting a note on the door for unexpected callers, postmen etc? Warning neighbours of possible torture-like sounds coming through the wall? Depends where you live of course...
Note to self: have enema on hand LOL I will probably have several people there with me, don't want to put on too much of a show
post #179 of 350
Originally Posted by thehappydeer View Post
Im planning my first homebirth too, and my birth class teacher recommended these things as her most cherished items:

A "Rice Sock" Basically a long tube sock filled with raw rice w/ a knot tied at the end. This can be heated in the oven or microwave and stretched around a mama's lower back/abdomen during contractions. She said if she's running to a birth and coud only grab one thing, this would be it! I'm planning to make 2 so I can have one on me and one in the over heating up.
Oh yeah, after I had DS I had terrible cramps while BFing him the first few days, heat packs certainly come in handy.
post #180 of 350
Originally Posted by bratmobile View Post
This will be our first HB after 1 hospital birth. I feel like I am starting all over with this pregnancy and am starting to gear up for labor now. Is there anything about HB specifically that you wish you would have known beforehand? Logistically or otherwise? Anything that you wish you could have prepared first? Or wish you'd had on hand?

I know these are broad vague questions but maybe I'll edit if I can pin point what it is I'm getting at better.

I guess with my first hospital birth I wish someone would have told me to BRING my nursing pillow with me and to get some freaking lanolin! I was SO much more comfortable after I discovered those things at home. And my friend who just had a great HB with her 3rd told me she'd never give birth without a tub again so I rented an aquadoula Are there any invaluable little things you had or did to your house to help? Anything you wouldn't be without?

I wish someone would have told me that I wasn't going to labor for 2 hours and pop a kid out like my mom did 8 times...and that instead of camping out in our hot, stuffy, boring apartment for 3 days I should have gone outside and ignored labor for the first 2 days haha.

Let's see...rice socks kept me from transferring for pain/exhaustion. Just some old socks with dry rice in them. Several sets is a good idea so you can have some warming at the same time. I loved the Arnica cream from our natural food store. It felt really good on my lovehandle area during the transition contractions.

Also, if it's important to you to record the event...set that up way beforehand. A week and a half before she was born, my videocamera AND camera broke...instead of seeing it as the terribly stroke of luck it was, I wrote it off as a coincidence and told myself I'd fix it later. I have one photo taken about 5 minutes after her birth by my dad's cellphone.
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