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My first HomeBirth. I REALLY need some advice.

927 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  mamabbbg?
Ok so this is my second child and we decided we wanted to try a birth center this time around. I have been seeing a midwife since 4 weeks. Well the other day I got a note from my BC saying that it is closing at the end of the month due to poor insurance and patient reimbursment. I was really sad but she gave us a great list of referrals so I called the only other out of hospital midwife there was on the list and she only does homebirths. My dh was a little scared about it at first but he is ok with it now. We meet with the new midwife tonight at 6 for our consultation. So my question is...what are some things I should ask and what am I to expect at my homebirth? I have looked at a lot of sites on it but can't really find one that has the piddly things like tips, advice and how to clean up. I want to know everything possible so I feel prepared and make it a great experience. Thanks in advance for replies.
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wow, well there are a lot of things to know... but at the same time, not much ya know?!

Congrats on your homebirth decision, we are planning one if our baby EVER decides to come out (she is 10 days late!)...

As far as questions... I would ask standard questions like:

What is your philosophy on birth?

How long have you been practicing?

How many births have you attended?

What is the earliest you would consider delivering at home/latest? (36 weeks/43 weeks for example)

What is your hospital transfer rate and under what exact circumstances do you transfer? (for example some midwives transfer right away for any meconium in the water, some don't...some transfer right away for breech, some don't etc)

How would you treat GBS...gestational diabetes...high blood pressure... and would any of those things be an issue? (warrant transfer or parallell care to an ob for instance)

At what point should I call you when labor begins?

What equipment do you have on hand to monitor the baby or in case of an *emergency?* (most midwives have a doppler for heart tones, pitocin in the event of post partum hemmorage and oxygen in case baby needs help breathing etc)

Would you accompany us to the hospital as an advocate/support in the event of a transfer? (any good midwife should do this even if they can't deliver in a hospital)

What kind of back-up support do you have in the event you are attending another birth when I go into labor? (this is very rare, but it happens, and she should have good back-up support)

What supplies do you provide and do you have a list of things I should supply? (most midwives have some supplies in the "birth kit" they give you... but you have to provide some things like clean fresh towels, paper towels (for hand washing), hydrogen peroxide (to get blood out and to steralize anything)... plastic for your bed (in case you birth there, you put it under an old fitted sheet so clean up is easy) ... things like that...)

That is about all I can think of at the moment, I am sure more will come to me but stick around, I am sure these mamas will have lots of tips and advice for you!!

Good luck and congrats!!

Oh, the best question you can ask a midwife too, is just a general "I realize every birth is unique, but can you tell me generally what services you provide and walk me through what a normal homebirth entails?" That should get you A LOT of info with that one little question!!

Also AS important is how you FEEL with her... I switched midwives at 38 weeks because I was NOT clicking with my previous midwife though I am confident she was more than "able" to deliver a baby... you have to feel comfortable and like you can trust this person.. and I realize that doesn't always happen in one visit or whatever... but at the first visit you should be able to gauge whether or not it is someone you click your gut!

Good luck!
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Wow - that's a big question. First of all, congrats on deciding to have a home birth. For me it was one of the best decisions in my life. So - what's it like? In a nutshell, it's great. It's great because it is what you want it to be. You really are able to make the environment what you want it - who is there, who isn't, lights on of off, music playing or not, candles burning or not, you can be fully naked or fully clothed (well, not fully clothed the whole time
), etc. etc.

So the basic logistics - my midwife came and left a couple time while I was in early labor then stayed for good once I moved into active. I had my husband of course, my sister and her husband and daughter, my brother and his wife, my mom, my husband's mom and dad here during labor and I pretty much moved throughout the house a lot - walking and walking until I went into transition. Then I wanted to be in my tub (very deep jacuzzi tub perfect for labor!) with just my husband and my sister in the room. When I felt like I was ready to push I got out of the tub (decided then that I didn't want to stay in the water) and got in bed. My husband went out and got my midwife and birth assistant and they came in and got ready for me to push. I pushed one time in the bed and knew that would not work so I got up and squatted at the end of my bed - and pushed for about 20 minutes. While I was pushing they applied lots of olive oil and hot wash cloths to help prevent tearing (which I didn't - yay). During the time I was pushing I was very quiet and focused so everyone in the room followed that lead and they were very quiet too. As soon as Jake was born I asked my sister to open the bedroom and let everyone in. It was perfect. I did get back up in bed to deliver the placenta - my legs were very tired from squatting. After the placenta was delievered I got up and took a shower then came back into bed with my precious baby and husband. While I was in the shower, my midwife and her assistant changed the sheets on the bed and cleaned everything up. By the time I got out the room was all back to "normal." All the newborn procedures (measuring, weighing, etc) were done right there in bed and Jake nursed on and off the whole time. After a couple hours, everyone left and we all fell asleep for a little while. The next morning we took Jake to the pediatrician for his 24 hour check. That's the WAY condensed story

For me it was very empowering, and I think it set the tone for how I mother. I birthed in great confidence and peace and (most days
) I mother the same way. I don't know if I would have the same sense of ease with myself and confidence in my innate abilities to do right by my child if I had had a different birth experience.

There is SO much more that I could say but this is too long already (sorry). I hope your appointment goes well - I'm looking forward to hearing about it.

By the way, we are expecting a 2nd baby in December and are planning another home birth - and I can't wait!!
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captain crunchy already gave you some great questions so I'll just add my personal advice....

My biggest piece of advice is, as pp said, make sure you TRUST her- you feel she is competent, knowledgable, and has a good heart and can connect with you.

I had some complications during my labor and birth, but I was able to fully trust my midwife and know that if we needed to tranfer she would know and tell me. My trust in her allowed me to let go of my fears and go with the process

Also don't worry about clean-up! I gave birth, nursed him, got in the shower and when I got out all that was left of the birth was the pool which was draining! The midwives took care of it all!

Congrats and I hope the consult goes well!

definately read some homebirth stories here on MDC for a feel of what homebirth is like and how things usually go!
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Go with your heart ask youself "is this a good fit?"....very important to find someone who you will feel completely comfortable with.
I know I would not have had a better fit with my Midwives! I had three and I love them all dearly!

Diane ~ CD, ICBE, and Student Midwife
"Take birth back!"
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Hi there and congrats on the homebirth decision! I expect you're in Houston as I know of a recent birth-center closing, so feel free to PM me if you want more chatting
That said, interview more than one midwife. Find one who really meshes with what you want. I switched midwives at 28 weeks after my first one dumped me. I had asked all the right questions in the interview and she had responded like I hoped, but when it came down to it she had a totally different philosophy. FWIW she's a very popular midwife (quite possibly the one you've been given the name of) If you'd like more info and my opinions please PM me. I'll see if I can find my list of questions... I may have trashed them, but I'll post them if I can find them.

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captain crunchy -Thanks so much. I transferred everything to a word document so I can ask her tonight lol.

selazenby- Congrats on your second! That sounds like such a sweet story! I am so glad I have a garden tub now lol.

alegna- I will PM you right now! It's neat to know that someone is familiar with the Houston midwife scene.

Thanks so much for responding gals. I needed a board like this. My family thinks I'm nuts. They are VERY against this and would choose being knocked out during childbirth if they could.
PMed you back! You're not nuts! People who go to a hospital when they're not sick or injured are nuts!

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Another Houston homebirther here. Congrats on the homebirth decision! I'm so glad I chose this path, and I love my midwife.

My family had their doubts as well. I finally took my mom to meet our midwife and that really set her mind at ease (well mostly, she still sorta thinks I'm nuts but she knows that I'm not putting anyone at risk) and her acceptance put my sisters at ease, too.

The pps gave a lot of good information, and I second just going with your gut. We interviewed several midwives and finally chose the one we did because DH and I both felt like we really "clicked" with her.
Make sure you ask for references. And take time to check them out!
I'm due any day now new to homebirthing too. I have my supply list and seemed to already have almost everything. Some things that I don't have I wonder if I'll really need like a heating pad (hate them) and a crock pot. What do you think?
I never used the crock pot and don't have a heating pad....

BUT this was Houston in August, so I pretty much didn't want anything hot.... :LOL

I definitely recommend the crock pot for the heating the hot compresses. They feel soooooo good on a stretching perinium!
Thanks Angela,
I think I feel the same way. July in Florida.....I don't think anything hot sounds good either.
Thanks Kate!
Would a pan of hot water be an okay sub for the crock pot? I'm new to this so please let me know if I'm missing the point.
I'm just trying not to buy too many 'extras'.... especially since I am planning to labor in the warm water of the birth tub (rented-which explains my budget restaints:).
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