Preparing for Home Birth

 Before I begin, I just wanted to let y'all know that we have a winner for last week's giveaway!  Congratulations, Julie!

Hi.  Well, I know I've hinted about it in different posts I've written throughout this pregnancy, but I haven't just come out and said it yet (at least I don't think so)...
I plan to give birth at home in the water.

The key word there is "plan." Because...
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. 
(Proverbs 19:21)

So, yep, I'm planning for, and to be honest, excited about, giving birth in our home, and hopefully in a big inflatable birth tub full of warm water.

For some of you that sounds really awesome and you want to do that too, or have done it, and you're totally on board and think it's the greatest thing in the world...

And then there may be some of you who might think I'm some feminist anti-hospital hippy trying to be super woman and running a high and unnecessary risk...

Well, I don't really feel like writing a big essay about why I want to have a home-birth, but I can tell you that I'm not trying to make any kind of "I am woman, hear me roar" statement, and I don't think I'm very hippy (maybe a little granola at times, but not hippy).

I'm also not convinced that I'm putting myself or our baby at risk.  In fact, I think that if we are fortunate to have an uncomplicated birth, we're bringing our baby into the world in a calm, soothing, and safe environment that is "home."  What better place to begin life but home?

And I'm not anti-hospital.  I think it is a huge blessing to have medical experts and technology available and close by, but I feel it's only necessary to go there when there are complications or the birth is no longer considered low-risk.  So far I've had a very healthy pregnancy, our baby is head-down, and my blood work and tests show that I'm very low risk, so I hope to have the privilege of giving natural birth to our baby at home.  If complications arise, we won't be stubborn, we'll be off to the hospital lickety-split.

And why in the water??  Well, heat is a natural (and very effective) pain reliever.  Water gives buoyancy to move around and take weight off of the mother's muscles and joints.  The water is a familiar environment for the baby to enter into (warm & wet).  Warm water improves the skin's elasticity (something that is very helpful when you're pushing ;)  The list goes on, but these are some of the reasons that really appeal to me.

Again, this is our plan, but we'll see how things actually turn out!  We realize that things could change in an instant and we're just hoping for a healthy baby when it's all said and done.  Our standard of "success" is having a baby...it doesn't really matter to us in the end how the baby gets here.

So, I thought I'd share with you how things are going around the house here as we set the place up for a home birth.  Baby could come any day now so we want to be prepared!  (Our due date is next weekend!!!)
Here's the table in our bedroom.  From left to right: there's a crockpot for keeping warm washcloths (pain relief), a bag of clean bedsheets & a spare mattress cover, a box of "underpads" (for soaking up fluids), extra trash bags, a candle I like :), a box of birth supplies (sterile guaze, cord clamp, gloves, antiseptic, etc), and a basket of misc items.
inside the misc. basket, for example, we've got gum (for fresh breath :), a nice candle, pens, lip balm, hairbands, and we'll soon add the camera & other little doo-dads we think we might need.
Then we had to make room for this monster!
Tedd is a planner, so he was eager to blow this thing up this week to make sure it didn't have any slow leaks and to make sure he knew how it worked.  This picture makes it look way smaller than it is.

I'm glad now that he went ahead and inflated it so I could re-arrange the room a bit...it's pretty huge, which is a good thing, because it's very spacious and sturdy.  This is the "Birth Pool In a Box" brand.
So then we moved a recliner over here with a lamp (for low light), along with the bassinet that has diapers, clean baby clothes, & receiving blankets ready to go, along with the birth certificate and a "foot-printer."

This is the bag that's packed & ready should we need to transfer to the hospital.

In the kitchen we have a basket of food for the attendants & visitors, along with a note telling them where to find foods for me while I'm in labor if necessary (dried apricots, natural lime popsicles, almonds, orange juice, etc).

In the living room, I started a little pin-board of well-wishes and prayers along with Tedd's & my baby photos, our anniversary photo books, a sort of "guest book," and some hand sanitizer for any visitors that may come by after the baby is born.  I didn't really have this set-up in mind ahead of time, it just sort of happened as I was getting things ready.

And who's gonna be there?  Well, we have a very experienced midwife & her great assistant, then there's a wonderful friend who is coming as our doula, my mom, and then of course, Tedd - the best birth partner I could ever hope for!

So there you have it!  The who, the what, the where, and the why...I just can't tell you when :)  
(I wish I knew!)

I just hope that we have the blessing of having a healthy baby in the comfort and security of our home...but we're as ready as we can be for whatever!

Ever thought of doing a home birth?
Have you ever given birth at home or in the water?  Any tips??

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