Friday, June 26, 2009

Homebirth 101

Northern bro checking in: Well, if all goes according to schedule, a rarity in Linda’s family where babies tend to come about 2 weeks late, then our newest arrival will make an appearance within the next month. Yikes!! Its strange – we feel both much more prepared for this arrival than the last and at the same time much less prepared. On the one hand we have a much better idea as to what to expect and what we will need. On the other hand, before Evelyn came along we could devote all our time to getting ready for the baby; we painted her room, assembled the crib, bought washed and folded onesies, diapers, etc. We were ready. This time, with a 3 year old to watch and experience under our belt we realize that folded diapers don’t stay that way, and a diaper straight from the clothesline is as good as a folded one anyway.

Of course, the fact that we have chosen homebirth complicates things a bit. Linda was keener on the idea than I. While nothing went terribly wrong with Evelyn’s birth, it was evident throughout the process that our preferences for the birthing process – and Linda had some very strong preferences – took a back seat to hospital regulations and the comfort of the hospital staff for as long as labor lasted. The bed they had Linda on for the final stages of delivery was so uncomfortable (no back support) that she still says that the periods between pushes were more painful than pushing. Not a good sign. So Linda was inclined to try homebirth from the beginning. Then, not to long after moving to our new home a year and a half ago she struck up a friendship with a woman who is… a naturopath and a midwife. Then we toured the local hospitals and saw our choices. That is where I came on board. The closest hospital was the one in which I was born all those years ago, and I swear they haven’t done anything to improve it in the intervening years.

So homebirth it is, and we are getting ready. We have had the orientation from the midwife. Our birth kit has arrived. A month ago I didn’t know what a birth kit was but – get this – you can place an on line order and viola, a few days later a box shows up that has all the antiseptics, latex gloves and other items I won’t mention needed to facilitate a home birth. We have the receiving blankets ready. The midwife is ready, complete with monitors, oxygen and who knows what else. We are in the process of turning the living room into a delivery room. We have the plastic sheets for the futon/bed that Linda will use when not in the birthing tub. Did I mention that we borrowed a birthing tub from another friend? Now all we have to do is figure out how to set it up….

I think if the baby were to arrive today we would be all set, even if a little startled by the early arrival. As Linda is fond of saying, pregnancy/birth is not a disease; there is not need to go to the place sick people go to when it is time to give birth. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the hospital is less than 5 minutes away just in case.

Talk about an adventure.


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