This time last year I was pregnant with our little girl, our third baby, and planning where her place of birth was to be. With it being Home Birth Awareness Week this week I thought I would share her birth story.
I had many conversations with other parents about home birth in the lead up to her birth. We’d already had one planned home birth, and it does spark a lot of interest with other people when it comes up. There’s a fair bit of curiosity about giving birth at home – lots of questions: “what about your other kids?” “what about pain relief?” “what if something goes wrong?” etc etc.
I felt prepared enough that I was in a good positive head space for giving birth at home. For me, that’s one of the most important things. Although I am 100% aware and knowledgable of the complications that can occur during birth, I am also of the belief and hold the knowledge that I wasn’t going buy into any of the fear surrounding child birth.
My body is amazing. It is capable. It knows what to do to bring a baby into the world. I also surround myself with an extremely excellent team of midwives, chosen carefully for their experience in home birth.
It obviously also helps my confidence that I have fast and complication free labours and births! Given this was my third baby (second home birth) I went into the weeks leading up to her birth relatively confident that she would be born at home, but also open minded that we could transfer if need be.
So I did all the usual prep that an expectant mother does, plus a little bit extra that’s required for a home birth:
I packed a hospital bag for just in case it was needed (it was).
I gathered old towels, blankets, containers, plastic bags, and made sure our house would be suitably warm for welcoming our baby girl.
I read some excellent home birthing books.
I pinned lots of positive birth mantras on pinterest to get myself in the right headspace.
We got the birthing pool from our midwife and practised putting it up (ha, that was a laugh for our two boys, aged almost 4 and 2.5 at the time, they thought it was time to go swimming – chaos!).
And last but not least I made my birth mat.
A birth mat is a mat that has multiple layers (including a waterproof one) and can be moved around with you as needed during/after the birth. It’s a super handy thing to have during a home birth, especially afterwards to deliver the placenta onto.
And for me, it’s an integral part of prepping for a home birth. To me, I didn’t feel “ready” to birth at home until I’d made mine (at about 38 weeks pregnant).
I made mine was from second hand goods, washed and put together in layers. I’d gone op shopping and found a shower curtain and a patterned duvet cover. The duvet cover was appropriate for me because the visualisation I use during labour is a flower opening. And, my favourite colour is purple. Perfect!
The shower curtain goes on the bottom. Then I taped newspaper layers to it. Next layer was an old single mattress cover. Then it all went into the duvet cover.
With that made, I felt well prepared to give birth to our baby girl at home!
In my next post I will share about the day of her birth – how our older children were involved, what I wish I’d done differently, and why I’m super grateful for the amazing medical system we have here in NZ.