Homebirth in a small apartment? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am currently TTC and planning an HBAC. I manage an apartment complex and live in one of the units. My apartment is pretty small and, while this does not deter me from having a HB, I was just pondering the logistics of it. I am in a building surrounded by four other units. Having the birthing tub would be totally against the lease, but I plan on doing it anyway...never mind the fact that it will take up the whole living room and I have NO idea what I will do with our furniture. I know I *can* get a little fishy-type pool, but the whole point for me would be to be deeply submerged and have a lot of room for movement, kwim?

Also, I go back and forth about who I even want there. Ideally I would like to have my mom, sister and best friend in the house but might not want them around when I get into truly active/intense labor. It's not like I can say "hey go downstairs now so I can have the top floor"...but I want them nearby at the same time.

I just know that the old man next door is gonna have a heart attack if/when he hears me in labor over here

Anyone here ever had a HB in an apartment?

Marilyn, married to my soulmate Jay and mommy to Elijah Blaze 08/04/2003 and Mila Soleil 10/02/2011 . 
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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Hi there,
I haven't had one yet, but will be having one soon in a pre-war apartment building. I had similar anxieties before we made the decision to hb, but everyone I spoke to who had done it said not to worry. We've told the neighbors just adjacent to us and if necessary will put a sign on the door saying 'birth in progress' so there is no confusion should my sounds be misinterpreted.

We have invited some family in addition to our midwife and doula, but told them they have to understand that I might kick them out - I just don't know how I will feel during labor.

The bottom line is whether or not you will feel comfortable at home. If you think your worries will outweigh the benefits of being in your personal space, then it might be worth rethinking.

I'm sure your birth will be beautiful! Good thoughts and energy to you!

mom to DD and one on the way, wife since 1997 to a great guy

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Old 06-08-2008, 08:23 PM
 
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Hi! I had my ds in an apartment, and it was wonderful. We had a birth tub, and we just flipped our table on end against a wall and that made the perfect amount of space for the tub. That way we still had our couches and chairs availiable for birth/sitting on.

As for people, I retreated to the bathroom and bedroom when I wanted some space and also told my dh it was his job to ask everyone to go to the coffee shop near by if I needed the space.

Good luck!

I am not crunchy enough for this forum. Everyday I get a little crunchier though! :
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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We had a homebirth in a small apartment last fall. We talked to all our neighbors in advance to let them know we would be birthing at home. Our upstairs neighbors said that it was no big deal. In the country they were from everbody gives birth at home. The people on the other side it didn't bother them either. They were intriged by it.

When I was actually in labor we put up a sign on the door that said "birth in progress, do not disturb" Nobody disturbed us. We had moved our dining room table over in front of the tv. Nobody was going to be watching it while I was in labor anyway. My midwives used it to put all their stuff on.

We used La bassine birth pool. We set it up where our dining room table normally is. Here's a picture montage of the birth. You can tell we're in a very small apartment, but it didn't really interfere with the birth. I spent most of my labor on the toilet and then moved to the birth pool for pushing.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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i did it with my last one, we lived in a tiny apartment and i told my neighbors what would be happening in case they heard any screams.
it was actually wonderful.. it was small and cozy.

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Old 06-09-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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I haven't done it yet but am planning to in July!

Our apartment is not tiny, but it's a fairly small two-bedroom, and the building is such that from the very echo-y hallway, one can hear almost everything if you happen to be near someone's front door.

So, I've definitely had the same concern, but for me the benefits far outweigh any self-consciousness. Although, I'm not the building manager.

As for who to invite, as someone who once invited far more people than I ended up being comfortable with, I'd simply suggest you think long and hard about whether you might just prefer to have privacy. Sometimes a room full of people sounds so good in theory, but in reality ... kwim? But, everyone is different.

Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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I should add that I had my baby early on a saturday morning. I made a lot of noise. None of my neighbors claim to have heard me.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

Yea, I am not comfortable birthing anywhere other than my home - period....but I have been thinking about all the logistics and wondering what others have done. Good idea about the sign on the door...I think I would especially need to do that, since I do get people knocking on my door all the time

Marilyn, married to my soulmate Jay and mommy to Elijah Blaze 08/04/2003 and Mila Soleil 10/02/2011 . 
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:36 AM
 
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I am planning a small-apartment-birth myself. We've definitely lived in smaller places, but it's still small enough that I'll need to be rearranging some furniture to make room for the pool. It's a good thing I only plan on having DH, DS, and my MWs present, or I might have to limit the amount of spectators, since it will surely be a little cramped already. We have notoriously thin walls AND floor, but I don't really give a whit if my neighbors hear me - what I do in my own apartment is none of their business! I do plan on putting a sign on the door that says "Mom in labor - no visitors please!" and DH or one of the MWs can run interference, if, for whatever reason, someone gets too curious about all the ruckus.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:01 AM
 
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I'm looking at this in a few months. I'm just not stressing about it. I have no idea why a short term pool in the apartment is a problem for the lease terms though.

As for all the people you want in attendance, my suggestion is that they not be there. Perhaps your sister or best friend if they are really, really homebirth supportive. If they have no fears or concerns and are just excited to be there.

No way I'd want my mom there, well, unless I actually believed that she was all of the above things, which she isn't. I think having too many people around hinders birth for most women.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
I'm looking at this in a few months. I'm just not stressing about it. I have no idea why a short term pool in the apartment is a problem for the lease terms though.

As for all the people you want in attendance, my suggestion is that they not be there. Perhaps your sister or best friend if they are really, really homebirth supportive. If they have no fears or concerns and are just excited to be there.

No way I'd want my mom there, well, unless I actually believed that she was all of the above things, which she isn't. I think having too many people around hinders birth for most women.
I agree with that. I do have a very special connection to my mother and sister though...and would like them nearby, not necessarily with me...but in a small apartment like this there is really no middle ground. I will probably just have them hang out with me in early labor if I feel like it, and them send them to my cousin's house after that.

Marilyn, married to my soulmate Jay and mommy to Elijah Blaze 08/04/2003 and Mila Soleil 10/02/2011 . 
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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I've been pondering these things as well. We do live in an apartment, but it's in a house, where the bottom floor is a business and the 2nd and 3rd floors are us! So thankfully we won't have to worry about neighbors or anything...

We have this other scenario going on though that is stressing me out a bit... Our building is being sold to a new woman with a new business, and she is going to renovate the whole downstairs, change our entrance, expand our kitchen... And I'm pretty sure it's all going to be happening sometime around when the baby's due... So, yes it will be chaotic, which it is anyway for anyone during renovations. But I'm hoping that if I go into labor while the guys are here banging and sawing away, that we will be able to ask them to leave for the day...? We've spoken to the new landlord briefly, but not in depth about all of this. She does know we're planning a homebirth though and that this is our concern. And she actually seems okay about it, I think. I am just hoping that if this is how it plays out, that there will be a solution for everyone. The best case scenario is that they do all the construction and finish everything BEFORE the baby comes! (I've got my fingers crossed!)

Anyway, as we do live in an apartment, I've thought about the whole visitors thing, and I'm not sure where to "send" people if I don't want them around. I think the birth pool will need to go in the living room, and that seems like the most convenient room for anyone to hang out in. Our kitchen is tiny and not even big enough for a table & chairs. My partner's music/film editing studio is upstairs, we have a tiny spare bedroom... I just don't know... I'm not planning on inviting tons of people or anything, but even just my Mom or Dad... I have no idea how I'm going to feel about people being there while I'm giving birth. I know I want my partner there, and my midwife and her assistant will be there. I don't want anyone feeling "displaced" or like they don't know where to go if I don't want them nearby while in labor, but I'm sure we'll come up with something. And hopefully no one (like my Mom) will be terribly hurt if I decided I didn't want them around... Ultimately though, the birth is not about them, so it's not really my problem. It does make you feel better though when you can try to meet everyone's needs in a reasonable manner (ahead of time) so you won't have to worry about everything when the time comes...
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:17 AM
 
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yup, had my first in a small old apartment. Didnt have any family/friends there b/c I didnt want them there, so I could do my work.

I only told one neighbor and had another neighbor, an old crabby man across from us, he used to yell at us all the time for things; he came by the next day with an endearing goofy grin and congratulations.

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Old 06-10-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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Hi Mama,

Yes, we are having DS in an apartment. It's not exactly a small flat, but we do have the neighbors issue. I am hanging a sign on the door when somewhat into labor which says, "Planned Homebirth in Progress, please excuse the noise!" and hopefully this will keep the neighbors cool.

Having the birthing pool too, which I am so looking forward to. I don't think it's precisely permitted by the lease... but, I am not telling anyone and I don't expect it to be around the house for more than 12 hours. I don't think it'll be an issue.

My MW says they have lots of babies in apartments... here in Madison, WI, where many of the apartments are old. No problems with this yet!

Best,
-Xen

Mamma to Amelia (8/13/2006) Henry (7/28/2008), and Arthur (1/15/2011)
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Old 06-12-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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Hey,

I had my first homebirth in an apartment. no problems at all. I didn't have a birth pool...but I could have if I wanted to.

I didn't think about warning the neighbors, but it was all good and fine. No one complained. I had a 27.5 hour labor...so I am sure I would have heard something.
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:46 PM
 
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I had my ds in our small apartment. I didn't have a pool, but had one available, and a plan on where to put it if I decided I wanted it.

I made sure to borrow extra front door keys so that the midwives, etc... could come and go without ringing the phone to be let in (it's a "secure building").

I didn't tell the neighbors, and they could hear me next door when I was screaming directly at their bedroom wall. They called the police out of concern, but once me and my midwife assured the police that my husband was telling the truth, and not trying to kill me, they went away. Once the neighbours knew for sure what was happening they just turned up the tv a little and that took care of the issue.

My dd and dh hung out in the living room and I was in the bedroom and bathroom when the heavy stuff was going on (with 4 labour assistants), and it all worked out really well. I've lived in small apartments for so long that it felt very natural.
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