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Tell Me Your HB Story

839 Views 13 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  annethcz
I am due Sept 1 with baby #2. My sister and I were both born at home on my mothers bedroom floor. She wants me to give birth at home and I am not opposed to the idea but do have thoughts that only I could think.

On another thread they were commenting on how poor people give birth at home which is totally wrong. I had my first in a hospital because I was on medicare. Although the experience wasn't bad because i was lucky to get a very good ob and a newly built birth center that wasn't physically attached to the hospital (but medically it was) I still didn't like it. I HAD to have a hep lock (stuck me twice for that stupid thing which i never needed). They HAD to moniter me for 1/4 of every hour. They HAD to keep asking me if they could break my water which always brought on a contraction one right after the other... They HAD to do all that apgar, fetal tests, heel sticks, vit k and such and take him to the nursery for like an hour i think, not sure.

Of course you know all the stuff they tell you thats completely stupid. I am now fighting my insurance company to cover a freestanding birth center (thats another post though...) because I would be totally comfortable with that AND still have all that nice equipment..water....

The question I am asking is this. When you had your home birth how did you focus on the birth only? I feel that at first I would be trying to get stuff done because I know that in a little while and then the next few days I would be sleeping. I feel that I would be trying to get all the laundry and dishes done, trying to reassure my son and make sure he is ok through it all. Also I know that a household water heater is only going to give me a certain amount of relief. I wanted to take some hot showers with my first but the ENTIRE hospital was out of hot water. Stood under barely lukewarm water for 20 min and got nothing...irked me bad... To say the least i would LOVE to be in a large round tub with warm water to relax. I am not saying I would water birth but if it happens it happens. Eithers ok with me. I am not a rich person so i can't afford to rent a hot tub either (unless anyone knows that cnms will "hike" their cost a little to pay for the tub....
) Also another big concern for me. I can't afford a new bed, what happens when your water breaks, wheres all the blood going to go? My floors and bed. I don't want to think about having to clean that up when i just gave birth or have to get a cleaner in there with a one week old. These are the things I think about with homebirth and thats really the thing that holds be back from just going for it. In a birth center and ugh...a hospital at least they clean everything up for you and you just take your bag and precious bundle home, leave the mess and water bill....

So if you have a story of what happened at your home birth PLEASE tell me!! Be speicific on what made you "transition" your mind from that place being your home with chores to being your "birth room"

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only have a few minutes, but here are my thoughts:

- birthing at home made me feel more comfortable, more at ease.. sure there were things I could do (clean up, cooking, etc.) but once I realized my baby would be coming that day, I was just trying to cherish those last hours before the birth and enjoy the whole process.
- I bought a blow-up kiddie pool (do a search here, or maybe someone will post a link - it's been discussed a lot) and an aquarium water changing thing
and a cheap painting plastic floor cover. Cost for it all was under $50. Clean up was easy and our wood floors got through it fine. We put the water heater on the highest setting that day and it wasn't a problem. Has plenty of hot water.

Having my son at home was absolutely amazing. (I had dd at a hospital after a transfer from a birthing center. And the birthing center is nice and homey, but still not home)

I wish you all the best and hope you stick around, you'll get a lot of support and information here!!!!
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I had a whole list of foods and snacks that everyone could have while i laboured, and tried to keep on top of things as my due date approached, and of course there was a load of dishes in the sink and i completely forgot about the snack list when it was go time. That's what husbands and mothers/family are for!

As for mess and that....I didn't have to lift a finger. I bought a vinyl sheet to cover our matress and got an old fitted sheet from a second-hand store and sterilized it (in the oven) but the M.W.s are equipped for the mess, they had dozens of absorbant sheets to lay under me. They cleaned everything up behind them. We have hard-wood, but if you have carpet you could just lay down a runner or sheets or something leading to the bathroom.

As for the apgar and vit. K the midwives still do that at home (the vit. k is optional) they are fully trained to do any ressussitating that's needed if at all.

I found birthing at home to be a truly empowering experience. It was lots of hard work, don't get me wrong, but it was labour the way it was meant to be. The midwives were very repectful of me, and my husband's role in the birth- he was a huge support for me throughout labour and wasn't pushed aside like many fathers are at hospital births.

Showers were great, but they didn't last long for me....stinkin' water heater!!...if you could get a tub I'd recomend it (I definitely will if I do it again).

As for going from home to birth room....your body lets you know, all of a sudden the dishes and that become so obsolete, you focus on baby and what you need to do. And for me, there was time to get things done in early labour (I was downstairs doing the dishes at 3:00a.m. during contractions). Set up your room or wherever you plan dto birth to be your little birthing haven, have a box of things that you can set up in early labour that you'll need- like a plastic sheet and old bedding, birth time snacks, etc.

My thoughts are kind of jumbled, it would be a long story to tell it all. Hope you could pick some info out of here.

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HI there! I am just checking in and am on my way to nap while my kiddo's are napping but I wanted to say that I put a plastic mattress cover over my mattress a few weeks before my births. With a mattress pad over it it wasn't to bad as we got used to it quick and slept fine. I think they are less than $10 or so. Also, during the birth we put a paint cloth on the floor to protect the carpet. They have cheap plastic and cloth or you could use old sheets. Just a few ideas. Congratulations on #2
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I got to a point in my labor that I just didn't care what else was going on.

Also- fwiw midwives bring everything you'd have at a birthing center.

I'll add my two cents, but I'm not sure I can totally put your mind at ease because I think we have different personalities

I never felt the nesting urge to get everything done before birth....and that's not really like me anyway. I can't help you on that front. I did end up giving birth in the water so obviously all the "mess" went into the pool. We had our bed prepped with plastic covered with old sheets in case water broke on there and we also had lots of chux that we could put down. That was a good idea because the biggest pads I got for after the birth I actually bled through the first few hours but we had the chux under me. I honestly chose homebirth because I just don't see the necessity of going to the hospital. I was actually in the ER the other day with my DD and I was looking around at all the machines and equipment and thanking God that I wasn't giving birth again in that atmosphere. That is just my opinion though, I hope you can do what feels right for you and your baby. Good luck!
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Please go look at the homebirth stories here. They are wonderful.
I was not concerned with the house during labor. I was before of course= but not during or after for that matter!
And you can get a fishy pool or other from your mw- it is only 25 dollars or so.
Just had to add my thoughts!

I recently delivered my second babe at home and it was great. Primarily because I was completely relaxed through the whole laboring process, my husband was stunned! At our first birth, in a very nice hospital, he was my crutch, I could not let go of him. Looking back I guess I was terrified!
I attribute my relaxed attitude this time around to two things; it was the second time I had gone through this so I knew what to expect (roughly) and I was in a completely secure environment. So many times as a contraction passed I said to my hubby "I am so glad I don't have to go anywhere!" Keep in mind it was Feb in Maine, so going anywhere is not fun!

Once I got to transition it was just rough and would have been that way anywhere, but I had lots of energy and was more able to deal with it.

As for the mess, perhaps I was just lucky but I didn't do a thing! My wonderful midwives came, set up, delivered, helped me shower and cleaned up everything. I got out of the shower to a spotless bedroom, clean soft sheets (my own not nasty hospital ones!!) and my gorgeous family and friends all there waiting to get me things! I know there was a large trash bag but I have no idea what happened to it!!

My point is (finally) if you choose to birth at home do it for the actual birth experience, the clean up etc. is not an issue. You need to really want that particular birth experience before anything else, and not everybody does.

Good luck on your decision, make it your own.

Peace, Olivia

PS I have white carpet, and it's still white!
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Honestly, Danielle, whenyou're in transition you wont care about any mess.
I've never had my water break and come out all at once. Two of my four kids were born at home and they were a thousand times nicer than my hospital births. The fitted plastic sheet on the bed will protect it enough. The midwifes will tidy up before they go, dh will just have a couple of loads of sheets and towels to wash. Go for it, especially with the support of your mother, a rare and amazing thing!
Its great to hear that the midwifes also help with clean up, eating and such. I found out that my insurance has just approved my local birth center and since we will be moving into a house that still isn't "home" to me I will be birthing there.

From this information though I know that if I have another and am somewhere that i feel at home (or if theres no birth center) I will have the baby at home. I really appreciate the feedback.
I've had my 3 at home. And they all follow about the same pattern for me. I'm usually getting stuff ready and nesting right before I head to bed. Most everything is "ready". I lay down. With my boys my waterbroke within minutes of me laying down for bed. With my DD I actually got a couple hours of sleep before it broke. My mattress didn't get soaked at all. My carpet did when I stood up but nothing my DH couldn't clean up. It was clear and left no stains. Honestly, it would have still been an issue even if I was going to the hospital. But you could always put a waterprrofing sheet under to protect your mattress. I did with my last one since there was a good chance my water would go first.

As for the labor itself. Mine all went very fast after my water broke. The contractions started soon after at about 3 minutes apart. They were hard enough, I couldn't focus on anything except my labor. I had to go into my own little labot world to deal and get through them. So the other stuff had to wait and once the baby was there, I could really care less about the things that seemed so urgent in my nesting frenzy. My midwife cleaned everything up. She came and set up the bed, then when I was nursing my baby, she cleaned up the bed and made it again. Everything looked just like it always had. No blood, no mess. Aside from the chux pads around the room, you wouldn't know I had just given birth. My DH jokes that we really pay my dr and midwife to clean up after the birth and file the paperwork. But I know the clean up is what most people ask me about and honestly it ws DH's biggest worry before our first birth. Really, now that we've had 3 at home, it's a non-issue. The births have all been incredible and I can't see having my babies anywhere else.
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My water never broke so we didnt have to worry about a mess. LOL My daughter was born in her water bag (in a kiddie pool that I got for under $20 at quality inflatables.)

I didnt worry about my house too much in labor. When I was questioning when I was really in labor I told dh "go get the dishes out of the sink and make some coffee for everyone!" LOL It was picked up each day anyways so it wasnt too bad. I remember looking for a bandaid cause I had recently ripped off my big toe nail and I didnt want anyone to see it. HAHAHAHAHA What a weird thing to think about! It was just totally comfortable being in my own house. I walked around moaning and leaning on the table or back of the couch and in between contrax just chit chatted and made jokes with the midwife assistant and my mom and dh. LOL I ate a mandarin orange when I was hungry, drank when I was thirsty. I loved being at home.

Here is a link to my birth story and pics:
I had my 3rd baby at home (csec 1st, vbac 2nd) and am planning a homebirth w/ this one as well (due late Oct/early Nov).

Clean up was a breeze! I labored walking just about the entire time. DH described me as "restless" but it made me feel good to move about. I walked from br to bath to kitchen to lr and back again. I went to the bathroom when I wanted, ate when I wanted, rested when I wanted, etc.

I got in the shower at DH's suggestion, and it was great until the hot water ran out. That didn't matter though b/c as soon as I stepped out, my water broke (tile floor so easy cleanup, but it was clear so wouldn't have mattered anyway much I think), and she was born just a few minutes later into dh's hands!

MW tossed a chux on the floor just as I was birthing her and was totally hands off; she knew we wanted to do this ourselves but had called her "just in case" and she left us alone - no exams, etc. unless I asked for them. It was good she was there; she answered DH's questions and he did all I asked of him and more, usually reading my mind before I even asked!

He tossed the chux pad after the birth, threw the towels in the washing machine, and totally freaked out our best friend by showing him the placenta which was in a plastic bag in the freezer. ROTFL

MW gave me a few chux pads that I put under me in bed, and it was HEAVENLY! I'll never give birth in a hospital again unless it's a 100% emergency!

Oh, and for the few drops of blood that did hit the blue carpet, DH just poured a little peroxide on them, rubbed a bit with a wet cloth, and they were gone in seconds.
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Being at home and being surrounded by chores actually helped me. I can't tell you how many times I folded and re-folded the same basket of baby clothes while I was in labor. It was a great distraction, but I still felt like I was doing something worthwhile while laboring.

As to other children, with my first HB, I was incredibly annoyed with having my DH and DS at home, and I sent them out of the house during early labor. They went to the ILs for the day, and came back when it was DS's bedtime. It worked out really well, DS slept through his sister's birth. During my second HB, I actually enjoyed having my kids around playing while I labored. I kept visualizing what it would be like to be sitting around playing with 3 kids instead of 2. DH was around, so he took care of the kids during contractions.

Once I hit the serious laboring, during both of my births I unconsciously decided to stay in my bedroom until the baby was born. It was cozy and comfy there. I guess I just sought out the place that I knew would be quiet and safe.

As for the question of not having enough hot water, or wanting a hot tub... I always thought that I'd want to labor in the shower, but it turns out that laboring in the bathtub was much better for me. I could relax, run hot water every so often to keep the water warm. It's also possible to heat water on the stove if the hot water heater isn't keeping up. While in the tub, I had someone get me a hot towel to drape over my belly, and it was HEAVEN!!!

Cleaning up afterwards.... this is what my midwife recommends, and my bed is still in great condition. First, put on the sheets that you want after the birth. Then put on a plastic sheet/old shower curtain liner/waterproof matress cover. Then put on the old icky sheets you'll birth on. On top of that, you or your midwife can put lots of chux pads. This makes clean up VERY easy. After birth, I've never cleaned up, the midwives and my mom/sister take care of that while I shower off. I've never ended up with blood stains on ANYTHING, including the old, icky sheets I birthed on.
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