We have a spa-in-the-box (rented from my midwives) that's sitting in my house ready to be filled and I find myself with several questions.
It's really big, 6' in diameter. We plan to put it in our living room on our first floor over a basement because it has the most space and would be the easiest on us for various reasons (our midwife actually suggested our bedroom which is on the second floor because it's closer to the bathroom and my bed.)
Because of its size, filling it all the way with hot water won't work. I guess you basically drain your hot water heater and then fill it the rest of the way with cold and it can take 24 hours to get it up to temp. (it comes with an external heater and a locking cover). Because the water isn't chemically treated, and I'm assuming especially if you're using it, you're meant to change the water at least every 5 days.
So here are my questions:
1) How do I best time filling it? Should I just suck it up and except that I'm probably going to have to refill it at least once? My first labor was fast- 9 hours start to finish-and baby came between 38-39 weeks. I'm 38 weeks today.
2) My midwife said nothing about the potential structural concerns of using this tub given it's quite heavy when filled with water. My house is old (1910) but well built and very sturdy from what we know. I plan to check what exactly is going on under the floor where we're putting it but how mindful were you all about the possibility of the tub compromising the integrity of the floor? I posted these questions somewhere else and was kind of surprised how freaked people were about the potential danger of this tub going through the floor. But maybe that's because I live in Boston and my house doesn't seem that old by Boston standards?
3) Does anyone add anything to water to help keep it clean that's safe for birth... or maybe add anything just because it's beneficial for birth? (My mom mentioned epson salts for example)
If any of you have used this particular tub I would love to hear your experiences.
I had a Spa-in-the-Box in the upstairs of my older house (built 1940). We were worried about structural issues, but it was fine. Those older houses were better made than the newer ones.
We filled the tub with all hot water: We filled the tub until the water ran cold, then waited 45 minutes or so for the hot water heater to be ready, and filled it again. We kept the tub filled and ready from 38 weeks until 41, so we ended up draining and refilling it quite a few times. We were told to refill it every 2 days.
I think it was worth it keeping the tub ready all the time, though, because I had a short labor (just about 3 hours from the point when I knew I was in labor), so there wouldn't have been time to fill the tub after my labor started.