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What do you wish you would have known beforehand? - Page 3

post #41 of 350
Seems like everyone has the basics covered.
1. freeze meals
2. water tub
3. birthing stool

BE PREPARED for a quick delivery. My 1st was 6 hours (6 lbs). My 2nd was 12 1/2 hours (6 lbs 15oz). My 3rd was 35 minutes (9lbs 10oz). My 4th was 21 minutes (8lbs 13oz)!

BE PREPARED for a harder delivery. My 2nd child was very diffucult to delivery, I was prepared for a fairly easy, less painful delivery, and it was very very painful (turned wrong, elbow by head, fist tucked under chin). I had to dialate to accomodate a head that was not molded, and the baby was turned wrong.

BE PREPARED for an unassisted delivery, as this was the case with my 3rd child. Our midwife left as soon as we called but missed the birth by 1 1/2 hours. My husband and I did it alone while our 3 year old and 16 month old ran in and out of the bathroom. They seemed fine with it - without anyone there to care for them.

Having premade meals frozen and on hand is very helpful.

I gave birth to my first 2 on a birthing stool, and my last 2 in the water.

My last child I delivered in tub on my hands and knees, It was a little more painful than being able to squat and double over.

I enjoyed squatting in the bathtub full of water the best. (I recommend not getting into the tub until the contractions are started to feel overwhelming - you feel the effect of the tub the best at that time - about 7-8 centimeters - you'll know when your at that point!

MY BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE THAT I WISH I HAD KNOWN AHEAD OF TIME IS: DO NOT be induced if at all possible. I had to be induced with my 1st because of preeclampsia, and with my 2nd - I wasn't feeling well and my midwife stopped to check on me and went ahead and broke my water - the delivery was long and very painful. It is so much easier if you can go on your own, I absolutely will NEVER let anyone break my water again, or induce me- NEVER! (As you can tell my last two deliveries that were not induced were very quick compared to my first two that were induced!)

It's all about your personal preference!

Good Luck and be mentally prepared for anything - as anything is possible!
post #42 of 350
The one thing that I wish that I had known beforehand was how absolutley perfect and beautiful it would be. I had my 1st two in the hospital but had I known....
post #43 of 350

Good suggestions

I 2nd the suggestions to have pads in the freezer that had comfrey tea on them. They are so nice for a sore postpartum perineum.

Goldenseal powder is awesome for umbilical cords. I used alcohol with #1 (took 2 weeks). I didn't use anything with #2 and it really stank! The powder makes it heal quickly and covers the smell!

One more suggestion: have a labor project to do. I LIKE having some housework to do to get my mind off of the contractions. I got this idea from my midwife who attends Amish women. They just keep doing stuff until they need to concentrate too hard to do any work. Keep it something easy that doesn't require much concentration and something that doesn't matter if it doesn't get done.

post #44 of 350
Thanks ladies great suggestions!! I took notes!
post #45 of 350
The things that stand out to me from my two HB:

1. Having orange juice and water ready for after I delivered. Also having some yummy thick soup for eating afterward! I always labored all night so food the next day was a must or I would just start feeling faint. Starting a pot of soup or cream of chicken, some comfort food basically, is a great early labor chore. But in case you have a short labor, having something easy to heat up is a good idea too.

2. I had a friend at both births whose only job was to play the hostess. She is my best friend and felt completely comfortable getting into my cupboards and closets. She answered the door, answered the phone, got people refreshments (which I would have felt the need to do if she didn't ), and she took pictures. After my last birth she stayed and helped me up to the shower. She helped me clean up and even washed my hair for me. I will never forget her servant heart and true doula spirit!

3. Had dedicated childcare people there that did not mind if they missed the birth b/c the kids wanted to leave (which they didn't). They helped the kids help me, which was very meaningful to them and me.

4. I second (or third or fourth? ) the tub! And the visitor's policy. And having someone come to watch your kids after the birth b/c you and your support team are tired! And letting dh know all about what to do if it turns out UC (yea, had that too!)

5. The super big maxi pads....already crushed ice (even if you have to buy it) for after...and I think that is it.

Relax, know that your body and has done it. It can be the hardes thing in the world to let go and make it your only job not to FIGHT your body, but let it do the work!
post #46 of 350
Oh, and also regarding childcare- it was a GREAT idea that my in-laws parked their vacation trailer in my driveway for the whole family to stay in during my labor and birth (I was one of those that didn't want anyone but my husband, mw and doula to see me laboring/birthing) and when the baby was born they came in the house to meet the new baby. And my 2 y.o. had a place to sleep while I labored and I made all the noise I wanted.
It was also a godsend to have my mil stay out in the trailer for 2 weeks and come in during the day to help me with dd1.
post #47 of 350
Bump! Great thread!

My water broke at 37 weeks (three days after Christmas), and my house was dirty! My first baby came at 42 weeks, so I was really planning on having more time!

So know that subsequent births can come earlier that previous births, and be ready!

This time I'm hiring house cleaners to come the day before I turn 37 weeks (the first day I am "eligible" for my hb).

post #48 of 350
post #49 of 350
When I was expecting the second time, I told my husband,
"If I whisper something- just one time, your job is to enforce what I ask. Please protect my space during labor"
and I told him
"You are my protector and defender. I am counting on you."
An example,
"Please don't talk / laugh while I am having a contraction/" :
"Please don't touch me." :

Saying ANYTHING during labor took such an amazing amount of energy away from labor.... so I told him to treat anything I asked as is it where the most important thing. ( because it is!)
post #50 of 350
Originally Posted by yaboobarb View Post
When I was expecting the second time, I told my husband,

and I told him

An example,
"Please don't talk / laugh while I am having a contraction/" :
"Please don't touch me." :

Saying ANYTHING during labor took such an amazing amount of energy away from labor.... si I told him to trats anything I asked as is it where the most important thing. ( because it is!)
I think that what you said is VERY VERY important. Its quite different to birth at home than in the hospital. In the hospital it is basicly understood that you are giving up your privacy and a great deal of your autonomy. At home though you are in control. A lot of women find that they really want privacy when they are at home. Its very important for partners to listen up and protect the mother.

My 1st hb(baby#2) happened really fast and I labored alone. Midwife showed up just as I started pushing, so privacy wasn't an issue.

With my 2nd HB I had voiced my desire to my midwife that I wanted to labor and deliver alone with dh and that she was to be there IF I needed her. Well, I was in transition when she showed up and I was on the toilet. She checked FHTs and then hung out in there with me. Dh and I BOTH wish that he would have spoke up and ushered her out. He knew what I wanted, but at the time I could not voice my desires. It was such a small thing, but it bothered us both.

With my 3rd HB my dh was on the ball. He knew how to protect my space and didn't want to let that happen again. He even knew that the sound of my MIL and mom in the next room chatting was bothering me and went to suggest that they take the kids out for a walk.

So, I would agree. Make sure your partner knows what you want before hand, and let him know that he is there to protect your space and enforce what you say.
post #51 of 350
Some GREAT replies on this thread!!!

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is to have a water bottle WITH A STRAW ready for labor. It sounds stupid, but I would NOT have been able to hold my own water bottle and drink from it throughout contractions. My DP just held out the bottle for me and it was heaven!

Also, although it was very hard for me to keep anything down during labor, just having watermelon and popsicles to munch on and not have to concentrate on chewing/swallowing was helpful.

Everything else I can think of has been mentioned already.

Good luck mama!
post #52 of 350
bendy straws!
post #53 of 350
Originally Posted by jlpolzin View Post
I wish I would have made it perfectly clear to my husband where the birthing supplies were and how they were to be used. Our birth ended up being unassisted, so it would have been helpful for him to know what a receiving blanket was used for and where to find it!
This was *exactly* my experience w/my 2nd homebirth!
post #54 of 350
I wish I'd known how much less stressful it is! I would have had my older 2 at home too if I hadn't been so worried about details!
post #55 of 350
-backlabor is really hard (i had 26 hours of it), but hypnobirthing meditations really helped me keep my focus and stay in control

-cant have too many chux pads. i had heard that sometimes you poop a little during the pushing phase, but i had no idea i would be pooping all over the place! thank goodness we had lots of chux pads all over the floor and the midwives kept changing them as they got dirty. they are also good to lay on for the first few days when underwear and pads are too painful.

- a squeeze bottle with the sitz bath herb water in it, stationed on the back of the toilet.

-arnica gel rubbed on the belly did wonders for afterpains.

-a pp doula was the best money i ever spent. you will want her there every day for the first week.

-5 days in the bed, 5 days on the bed, 5 days around the bed. make sure you have enough help to make it happen. you deserve it!
post #56 of 350
arnica gel is great!!

be ready a couple weeks early. dd came about 5 days before I "knew" she would , lol, and my house was a wreck. nothing was where it needed to be.

emergen-c. yummy powder drink mix from the HFS. or juices or gatorade or whatever you like. have them ready in the fridge with a note that they are not for anyone but you!

I plan on having all the towels/baby blankets and stuff all washed and in a garbage bag in a plastic tub so all dh has to do is untie the bag and voila! fresh linens. same with birth kit. they will be kept in a known location with a list of things he might need to know.
post #57 of 350
Originally Posted by Inca View Post
I wish I had known that it is completely possible to have a very speedy (90 minute) labor even if your first birth was a 50 hour marathon..
amen to that! my first and second HB's were completely different and that caught me off guard.
post #58 of 350
I wish i had of lied to people....called them like three days after. Caie was born at 12:27 am on the tues and my dad(which is a-ok) showed up at 3 o'clock that afternoon...a friend of ours we called to come over...but then people started coming and never stopped!!!! They figured since we were home they could all stop by
BOOK TIMES!! When people say oh I'll be over in the afternoon tell them NO!!! WHAT TIME WILL YOU BE OVER?????
My moms fam was coming over on the sat afternoon so I wanted the whole day to just relax then my mominlaw(we live with them) woke me up to say oh be prepared..the neighbors are coming over in the morning and brocks aunt uncle and cousinsin the afternoon!!! then my mom was comin with stepdad,step bro and sis!!
BOOK TIMES!!! Say listen let me know so i can nap shower relax!!!
That was the worst thing ever!!
post #59 of 350
Make a sign for your door. Our MW had one all printed up that said:

"At homebirths we mother the mother. Please do something helpful/useful while you are here. Sweep the floor, quietly do the dishes, wash a load of laundry, or take out the trash. But most importantly, limit your stay to 15 minutes."

I liked their sign, but we didn't want visitors for a week. We printed one that told the baby's stats and that the new family was resting and getting to know eachother. We also put a date so they'd know when we would accept visitors, and instructions to call first. Then we just didn't answer the door.

After 1 week we used the MW's sign.
post #60 of 350
This is not about the birth, but POST-birth. I only learned this from my midwife for my 5th child; wish I had known it for the other four!

For those first few days of meconium diapers--coat the baby's bottom with petroleum jelly at each diaper change. The meconium-tar slides right off!

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