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Planning a homebirth - what have I missed?

(30 Posts)
ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 10:47:31

So far I've got

- Two large waterproof sheets to protect the floor.
- Birthing pool
- Tens machine
- Pile of soft, dark coloured towels
- arnica
- oils for massage
- pampers disposable changing mats in case they don't bring enough inco pads
- mirror
- sieve
- snacks and drinks for everyone.
- raspberry leaf tea for me
- bottle of bubbly to toast baby afterwards.

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 10:49:22

Also, hired a waterproof birthing mat/mattress as I don't want to ruin our mattress.

mou Mon 15-Sep-08 11:08:28

Hope you have a lovely lovely experience. I had DD at home and it was amazing. DS held her within 1/2 hr of being born, beautiful moment, never ever forget... all the very best smile

Yorky Mon 15-Sep-08 11:09:51

You sound far more organised than I was!
Midwife may want a torch or extra lamp depending where your pool is and where you chose to deliver
I packed 2 hospital bags as wel, even though the home birth was planned - one for me and one for baby so everything was together and DH knew where to look when MW said, shall we put a nappy on him now?
Batteries for camera
CD player
A friend suggested having lavender in an oil burner for relaxation, but I didn't use it in the end
Presume your birth pool ready includes hosepipe, and DH knows how to empty it

You've got the big stuff sorted, good luck

foxytocin Mon 15-Sep-08 11:17:51

water thermometer? I got mine from the aquarium shop.

i still need the waterproof sheets. where did you get yours.

I have decided that there is no need to pack a hospital bag. grin

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 11:28:46

Thanks ladies, My pool comes with the tens machine, mat, waterproof sheets, thermometer, hose, hose connector and pump. It's one of the posh, heated filtered ones. I've been saving for the past 2 years. I can't trust DH to run around with buckets for hot water... he flaps so much I'd end up in A&E with scalds.

We were looking at tarps from homebase but were worried they might be slippery.
You can buy the non-slip ones at

£6.99 each so cheaper than tarps.

Tangle Mon 15-Sep-08 11:44:52

I think you've got all the important things, but there's a pretty good list that Mary Cronk put together here

Hope it goes well for you

ps - I had one of those pools and it was fantastic. Especially in the last couple of weeks when I felt like a hippo and our bath was no where NEAR big enough for me to wallow in...

minkersmum Mon 15-Sep-08 13:16:28

Hilarious just read the list by Mary Cronk lol at her 'building site type tea, not poncy earl grey tea' i love the down to 'earthness' of this but feel slightly blush because i love 'lady grey' tea which is def more poncy than 'earl' !!

Thing is we're not poncy people, far from it, a farts a fart in our house but lady grey just so much nicer than tetley!!

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 13:31:02

The MW that I saw last time was very down to earth too.

I didn't get to have my homebirth last time but lots of strong tea and a big loaf of white bread for making toast was on her list of must haves.

minkersmum Mon 15-Sep-08 14:08:05

My midwife said to me 'make sure you have plenty tea and biscuits in for the midwives'.
I have to say that i thought that was hilarious. Was thinking yeah right when i FINALLY go into labour i'm sure my first thought will be 'have i got tea and biscuits for the midwives'... eh no. Esp as some of them clearly feel they're doing me a big favour in 'allowing' me to have a homebirth.

As a midwife i would never expect a labouring women to have to even think about my refreshments, i'd take a flask and some sandwiches.

Its a bit different to offering the painter and decorator a cuppa, labour in my experience is rather all consuming! But they are more than welcome to help themselves to whatevers there.

OneLieIn Mon 15-Sep-08 14:10:34

Actually minkers, I would love to know where you are as that is EXACTLY word for word what my m/w said to me.

M/W did munch her way through nearly a whole tin of biccies! I had to interrupt her to catch the baby!

hellsbells76 Mon 15-Sep-08 14:18:14

my midwife still talks about the home made ginger biscuits i served up during my homebirth [martha stewart emoticon]

i had to take dd down to somerfield at 1 day old to replace all the teabags she'd got through too!

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 14:18:23

My (NHS) MW last time was lovely, she'd have made the tea and toast for everyone.

She took me to the hospital herself when I had a scare while pregnant.

Told me she'd let me have a homebirth right up until the morning of my induction even though I was considered high risk by the consultant.

Changed DS's nappy when he filled it while she was cuddling him and popped in when he as about 9 months old as she was visiting another mum in the street and wanted to see how we were doing.

She's retired now unfortunately. A great loss to all the local mums.

minkersmum Mon 15-Sep-08 14:26:24

I'm in the highlands. But had my first 2 kids in Ayrshire and think its a common theme!!

Midwives are obviously human (well most of themgrin and are so variable. I know a few lovely ones and a few jobsworths (and some absolute bitches!!). Its your luck who you come across.

I think the true dedicated ones are few and far between. The ones with true passion for it. Sad but true.

Tangle Mon 15-Sep-08 20:48:10

Minkersmum - I think a lot of the truly dedicated, passionate midwives are now independent. It often seems to have been the only way they can retain their enthusiasm. God help women if they do get made illegal

Thankyouandgoodnight Mon 15-Sep-08 22:01:43

Thermometer for the pool
Gym ball to sit on during contractions before you get in the pool - makes a huge difference.

Spidermama Mon 15-Sep-08 22:04:17

Straws so someone can give you drinks of water when you so desperately need them in between contractions.

I had four homebirths and straws topped my list of things to get every time.

All the best. smile

Wade Tue 16-Sep-08 14:11:26

The midwives like somewhere (desk/table) to lay all their equipment out eg oxygen for baby just in case, vitamin K, injection for you if you're having it, notes, monitor.

zazen Tue 16-Sep-08 14:46:58

I love the sound of your homebirth!

The thing above all you will need is LUCK.

I had planned one also and had the pool and the rest of it.

Without sounding like doom and gloom, I think you also need to bring with you an understanding that the birth is a dance between your baby and your body. Sometimes with all the best preparations the dance is to a tune that isn't right for a homebirth.

For example: my waters broke with meuconium and my temperature went up and I was admitted to hospital and induced: labour was augmented and medicalised and we ended up three horrible crowded hospital days later with a botched crash cesarean. I only knew my midwife team, and just had a stranger - a hospital registrar to operate.

I thought everything would go brilliantly for me as I was all prepared for my homebirth, and had done yoga and was fit (as fit as you can be!! lol)had the drinking straws etc.. but my babe had other plans for me - she didn't like the crushing contractions and went into distress. Birth is a two person event (minumim!) sometimes your birth partners (your babe/s) have different plans.

thinking back, even though it would have seemed 'defeatist' IYSWIM at the time, i wish I'd been a little more realistic about birth, and that I'd packed a hospital bag, as I had to pack one when having contractions with meuconium spilling everywhere (even though I had a baby nappy in my pants) and my DH was in such a flap.

I have my fingers crossed you will birth your baby as you wish and hope your babe has that plan in mind for you also. Birth is not a willpower event, it's an organic dance that changes over time.

I loved labour, my contractions were fab and a bit orgasmic tbh!! but my babe didn't like it at all, and in the end she dictated to me how she would be born.

So I'm sending you LUCK because it's the most important thing to have.

ajm200 Tue 16-Sep-08 14:56:23

This homebirth may be going the same way as my last attempt. Last time, I suddenly developed PE the day after the kit was delivered and ended up in hospital.

This time round it seems baby may be too early. Had a few big BHs this am, loads of pressure, mild cramping but enough to make me stop and wait for them to go off. A MW friend was with me and was so determined that they were the real thing that I had to go back to her house for her to keep an eye on me as I wouldn't go to hospital. They stopped after a couple of hours so I'm sure that they were just BHs but as I've had preterm labour already, she checked what was hsppening and found I've gone from 2cm to 4cm dilated and my cervix is almost gone (sorry if TMI) so now have friend on standby for childcare and bags packed.

Just need to last another 2 weeks to get my dream.. so baby must stay in..

ajm200 Tue 16-Sep-08 14:57:17

Very excited, slightly scared and slightly disappointed all at once.. feels odd.

zazen Tue 16-Sep-08 15:09:41

I'm thinking of your ajm200. best laid plans.. eh? babies are tricksy!

Hopefully your babe will stay put until the appropriate time.

Sending you sparkly rainbows smile

foxytocin Wed 17-Sep-08 01:26:05

I hope things stabilise for your ajm or is better than they seem. YOu have planned so long and hard for a HB.

foxytocin Wed 17-Sep-08 01:27:46

how far along are you?

ajm200 Wed 17-Sep-08 08:34:09

I'm at 35 weeks today. The MWs are coming on Saturday to book the HB. They originally were coming in at 34 weeks but cancelled as I've been poorly for most of the pregnancy and were reluctant to go with the HB until my health improved.

The BHs didn't come back and I'm not too sure that my friends 4cm estimate wasn't a bit generous. I just need to keep this LO in for two more weeks so after cleaning the house thoroughly today, I intend to take it fairly easy until the HB kit arrives.

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