I am preparing for a homebirth (oh so soon, I’ll be 40 weeks on September 17, like, you know, tomorrow). You know, if I hadn’t told you fifteen eleven times already. And as much as I wanted to remember all the prep work that I’ve put into this I’ve also had quite a few questions. So I thought I would give you a few pics to look at, link up my amazing midwife’s website, and offer up a question and answer session that I will gladly address.
First of all, from left to right, top to bottom I’ll talk about the pics.
1. That’s a tarp, I have it to use under the birthing pool to protect our floor from getting in and out of the pool. I could’ve used a shower curtain or visqueen, but we figured we could always use a tarp later and it wasn’t very expensive so we bought it.
2. Next is the homebirth kit box that my midwife, Amy, suggested from In His Hands. Not only can you order individually whatever you want, but my midwife has a suggested list and all I had to do to easily access it was enter her name on the site. We talked about what to buy ahead of time (and why) and I placed the order. It showed up at my house 2 days later. It has all the nifty stuff from the hospital like the epi-bottle (I love that thing), the waterproof pads to protect beds, couches, and other such surfaces, those bend and shake ice packs for post partum (I love those things so much I ordered 6 extra over what she suggested, c’mon, I want comfort, people), the throw up-y bedpan thing, some herbal post partum stuff, gloves, there’s more, but I won’t list it all.
3. There are more waterproof pads and a stack of towels, since I’m planning on a waterbirth.
4. These are the supplies I have gathered per Amy’s list (non hospital supplies). A new waterhose (for the birthing pool, an extra blanket and sheets for my bed (one for laboring, one for after the birth), extra duty trash sacks (because there are going to be things like the pool liner that is sanitary and disposable, plus other gross stuff we’ll want thrown out), heavy duty pads and Depends (yes, Depends!), a flashlight (to see, um, stuff), a candle (pumpkin spice, because it’s fall y’all!), prescriptions (epifoam and Pitocin – for getting my uterus to clamp down after the delivery of the placenta in case of too heavy of bleeding), a large stew pot for adding hot water to the pool and for brewing a comforting herbal bath post partum, 2 large bowls for nausea and for warm water for wash cloths, peroxide for cleanup of surfaces after the birth.
5. The blue bag is the birthing pool and auto pump. It is rented from my midwife. The large exercise ball to sit on now for comfort and for comforting laboring positions, borrowed from my midwife.
6. & 7. My laboring snack bag. It’s a in a ziplock in the fridge to keep little hands out of my stuff. It is to help keep my energy up during laboring. Mine has cream of wheat and peaches, granola bars, string cheese, cheerios, dried cranberries, mixed nuts, and protein bars. I also have some yogurt in the fridge, honey on the counter, and Sonic ice in my freezer.
8. Gatorade and I have some of the powdery drink mixes that are the natural sweetener kind that I like. Unlike the hospital, my hydration will depend on actually drinking fluids as opposed to an IV (can I get a woohoo?!)
9. Bible verses written on index cards. My midwife is incredible. Have I mentioned that? As one of her many, many handouts to me, when I mentioned that I was more than a little scared about giving birth again (I always am), she gave me a list of favorite verses and suggested that some moms like to write them out and set them around for labor. I thought it was a marvelous idea, so I did it, in bold markers that make me happy. I’ve already begun dwelling on some of the verses.
In addition to the stuff, we have bags packed in the van for our kiddos (we have chosen to not have them here during the labor and delivery – it’s a personal preference). We have rearranged the front room to accommodate the pool. I have the kids pick up the house in the evening before bedtime so that if I go into labor in the night I won’t be stressing out on all the shoes and toys strewn about.
My midwife will have an extra midwife (who is an RN) to assist her during delivery, she will bring all of the delivery supplies that she owns, they will clean everything after the birth, set up my bathroom postpartum with all of my stuff in place to take care of me, they will fix me a simple meal while I nurse and cuddle and bond with the new baby. And all of their work will allow time to make sure all is well with the baby and me, and allow Matt to bond with us and not worry about clean up. My midwife has meetings and phone calls with my back up OB and we have emergency plans in place.
If you have questions my midwife’s site may cover a lot of them. You can check it out Natural State Midwife. Have I mentioned I have my midwife’s number in my phone that I text any time that I have questions or concerns. Anything from “hey, I’m standing in the store now, what was that vitamin we talked about for low iron?” to “hey, I’m really having a ‘I can’t do this, I’m scared to give birth again’” She’s answered, joyfully and promptly every one of them. In.cred.ible. So far, this whole home birth/midwife thing? Ahmazing. And not nearly as barbaric as I originally thought back in January when I began thinking about all of this. ;)