Headed towards a much anticipated HBAC here in a month or so and REALLY excited. So excited I can hardly think clearly! Wait, that's probably the hormones and the 2.5 year old I chase around... Anyway, I am planning a water birth but am unsure where I want to set up the tub. Here's what I have to work with: A 1 BD house, no room in the bedroom but I have...
room in the living room (OPTION 1)- PLUS for putting it in the living room is that I have AC so if its really hot outside, it doesn't matter. Also it's close to the bathroom and bedroom in case I choose to birth there instead. Here I could turn on my battery-powered candles and set the mood that way. MINUS is that I plan on having my toddler around for the labor, with someone to scoop her away if needed but she won't be able to watch movies in the living room as distraction. Also I could easily see/hear anyone messing about in the kitchen.
(OPTION 2)- I have a covered concrete back porch. PLUS we have twinkle lights set up out there so if it were a night birth it'd be pretty magical looking. And I could easily be away from everyone. MINUS mosquitoes. Heat in the day. A walk up concrete stairs to get to the bathroom/bedroom.
(OPTION 3) I have a one room cottage in my backyard. PLUS easily VERY private and easy to customize birth space 100% how I want it. MINUS can get a bit hot in there. Far from bathroom. Not sure about weight-bearing capacity of the floor and unsure how to check.
My first birth was a CS due to failure to progress past 2.5cm after 70 hours of labor with her posterior and oblique. I had a home/water birth all set up at our house at the time. This is my last baby, and this birth experience means the world to me. Where would you choose???
Man that is a hard one. That is a lot of choices!
Living Room- I personally did one of my births in the living room (and might need to do this one there if we don't move before hand) and I wasn't fond of the lack of privacy. Kids were running through and all guests were pretty much right there. I like my distance. I enjoyed the bedroom better.
In regards to movies...could maybe you move the movie player to a different room or maybe set her up with a laptop with movies or games? As far as kitchen noise goes...just tell guests not to be messing around in the kitchen.
Porch- It sounds like it could be a great if all of the variables lined up right....but to me there are too many variables. You don't know time of birth, so you don't know if weather is going to be acceptable. And mosquitoes would be a huge bother. Plus I don't know about where you live, but where I live I couldn't get away with it because of neighbors. They would either be able to see or hear and I wouldn't like that.
Cottage- This sounds like a great idea. You could have it all set up ahead of time and not be in your way (one of the biggest annoyances I have with homebirth). In regards to bathrooms.....I personally don't find myself getting up to go to the bathroom during birthing. Now I will say that while birthing, things tend to happen, but that wouldn't be changed by the presence of a toilet unless I was birthing over a toilet! Outside of guests needing a potty, I don't think I would worry about it....and they can run to the house if needed. If you really want a toilet available, you could get into camping toilets. You could buy one or make one.
In regards to heat, I know with me personally with all of my water births I was more cold because the water had a hard time staying up to the temp I wanted. My last delivery I was shaking because it was so cold and that was even with them panning in hot water from the stove occasionally. And if you get hot, they can add cool water or you could have them spritz you or give you cool cloth. But with me, warm was my friend. =) Also, if the cottage has windows you could open them and get some breeze. You could also have fans or perhaps even invest in a window ac unit or maybe borrow one if you know someone that has one that they don't use. Or you could make a few "hillbilly air conditioners".
Have you also thought about how you are getting warm water in the tub. We chose our living room location because it could reach with a hose to the kitchen sink ( we couldn't have done the bedroom because it's so far from a water source.) Will you have to carry buckets out to the cottage? Make sure your partner or birth team is up for the challenge
I found in the earlier/middle part of labor I didn't want anyone around so I went in the bedroom, bathroom or back hallway. I didn't use the pool until the very end really. I had gotten in it once earlier but it seemed to slow things down. So you can always labor in other areas for part of the time and then make everyone clear out when you really want the tub.
for my last birth in July 2012, we set up the tub on our deck, just outside the back door. Even though it was 100 degrees that day, when I gave birth at 4am, it was 78 degrees and a perfect outdoor temperature. We had a fan blowing, so I didn't notice any bugs/mosquitos and I actually got chills. Here is a pic of our set-up:
Laura ~ Mama to three wild and wonderful boys , our rainbow baby girl on 7/2/12 and expecting #5 on 12/24/14