Home birth questions

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raingirl28's picture
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Home birth questions

For those of you who have done a home birth, this may sound like a stupid question, but how do you know where you want to give birth??

Let me explain. DH and I were at the midwife on Tuesday. DH asked if we will get a list of things we need prior to the birth so we can prepare (DH wasn't as crazy this appointment). So the midwife gave us a few ideas of things to start thinking about such as they recommend double/triple coating the bed with layers. So, we already have a rubber coated waterproof allergy cover, that would go first. Then there are plastic fitted sheets you can buy but she said to just get a shower curtain from the dollar store or something, lay it down, then put a fitted sheet over that. Then she said to do the same thing, but a double layer of shower curtain this time, then another fitted sheet. They would then put down absorbant pads and things.... Then after the birth they can strip the first layer, and we have a nice clean layer for relaxing with the new baby plus the mattress is still covered for any leaks, etc.

So then I thought...what if I don't want to give birth in bed? I know it's one of those instinctual things where I may want to move around a lot. I'm just wondering what other items I should consider protecting or whatnot?

Also, we have a king size bed and I'm not sure a shower curtain would fit so I might opt for the fitted plastic king size sheet instead anyway. And I also want to get some of that mesh hospital type underwear stuff (I had some when I had my LAP surgery and they are awesome). I presume both of these could be bought at a medical supply type store?

Should I consider getting some new/cheaper king size sheets because of potential stains? Right now I have only two sets, both in white. I'm thinking that in the first few weeks after birth there could be stains of various kinds and lots of sheet changes so maybe pick up a few pairs that I can wash and dry quick and leave my good thick white ones aside for now?

Last question - anyone heard of getting an IV with a home birth? Because I have fibroids, the midwife said there is a small risk of uncontrolled bleeding after the birth due to the fibroids causing issues with the uterus contracting and shrinking. She said they can put in a IV just in case but obviously not connected to anything. That way it's there in my hand if they need to give me anything or if they need to take me to the hospital. I have no problems with this, I just didn't know they could do that with a home birth.

I'm sure I'll have more questions eventually!!

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Instead of the mess panties, I would recommend depends/tena. You don't have to wrestle with the giant pads shifting. One pack got my through the first 4-5 days and after that the bleeding had gone down to period-amount bleeding.

cactuswren's picture
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I haven't had a homebirth, but if I was planning one, I would personally go to Target and pick up some extra sheets to save my nice ones, yes! They have individual ones so you don't have to buy a whole set, too, if you don't want to Smile

I think the midwives will probably handle getting some chux pads under you if you end up in a weird place other than the bed...I'd scrub out the tub pretty well, for sure, in case you want to be in there, but otherwise I wouldn't worry about it and just trust them to have you covered. I think a lot of the mess will happen after the baby, when you will likely move to the bed no matter what (for the placenta delivery, and whatnot) so their recommendations make a lot of sense to me Smile

raingirl28's picture
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Oh, I didn't think of that. Good idea. Do you use a pad with them, or are they absorbent in themselves (sorry, I'm ignorant on much of this stuff!)

I haven't used any commercial products for menstruation or anything in over a year as I've been a Diva Cup user. I probably should stock up on some items at some point just in case...

Ok, makes sense to get new/cheap sheets then. Wink

I found a medical supply place that sells vinyl king size fitted sheets for $12.95 so not bad. I will probably drop by and get a couple.

CamelNoodle's picture
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Depends are absorbent themselves.

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I really liked the Kotex overnight pads for my (normal) postpartum bleeding. They are very thin but absorbent enough that I never had an issue. I recommend getting some for when you don't need Depends-level padding anymore.

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The depends are awesome! My water broke and those were a God send! As for getting things ready, I did a water birth but we still prepped the bed for a bed birth just in case. It was nice because I didn't have worry about getting my bed nasty after having the baby and moving to the bed. I would personally just buy an old ugly sheet from a yard sale or a thrift store because it will most likely get ruined or very messy at least. And really the midwifes are pretty awesome at getting things ready and if the birth place changes they will move things to the new birth place for you. Don't worry too much, things will work out amazing! midwives are amazing help and you wont even know it until after the baby is born. The only thing I really did was blow up the birth pool before hand and get things in my bedroom where the midwives could access it easily to prep things. The biggest thing is ORGANIZE your birth supplies in the room you plan to give birth in or in a central location. Keep it all together and organized. I did that and you wouldn't believe how happy my midwives were. They absolutely loved it!

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Sadly, I just got a call from my midwife that I might not get to have a home birth after all. She was reviewing my file with the midwife team (I get 3 assigned to me) and unfortunately my surgery to have my uterine septum removed last October might "disqualify" me from a home birth. The "College" (organization) that governs midwife care here is required, by law so no options, to refer me to an OB to have my file reviewed. Only after the OB reviews my case and meets with me and only if he/she gives the go ahead, and still at the discretion of the midwife clinic, can I have a home birth.

So now I wait.

I don't blame the midwife. She's just covering her bases and doing what she has to do. I'm still sad though but I knew it could happen. With everything we went through to get here, I didn't think it would be all easy going. I hope the referral doesn't take that long though! I'm a planner and I hate waiting.

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Ugh, sorry that's a possibility! If so, would you be eligible for a birth center birth, or are the only choices home or hospital?

raingirl28's picture
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We don't have any birth centres in our area. The province I'm in just opened the first two ever on a trial basis this past summer (actually, the might have been delayed and might not be open yet). Even though I'm in the "greater Toronto area" and one is in Toronto, I believe it's on the east side and I'm west, which would mean an hour drive. Plus, they probably have strict rules since it's a trial basis on who is allowed there so I doubt I would be able to get in anyway.

So, the only other option is a hospital which is 5 min drive north of us. Sadly, the hospital has horrible reviews so I'm sort of scared of that option.

I'm just hoping that when the OB reviews all the documents from my surgery from the fertility clinic and what not that she will deem us safe for a home birth. Even with that though, it's still up to the midwives to say yes/no if the feel comfortable. I'm already walking a thin line due to my fibroid and previous anemia issues. I just hope all those together don't disqualify me!! Ug....

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Yikes...fingers very crossed for you! Do the midwives ever deliver at the hospital? I assume you would have mentioned that if it was a possibility, but I know it makes me feel a LOT better about going to the hospital as a possibility knowing my MW will still be there backing me up if it comes to that....worst case, could you at least look into a doula? Maybe one with experience at that hospital? A strong advocate can go a long way...

KUP!

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Fingers crossed that you get the go-ahead. Did they do that surgery vaginally through your cervix? If so, then it absolutely should NOT impede a home birth, and if they says it does, then appeal & make them justify it medically because they can't. If they did it through the uterus with a horizontal incision, and if you've had a full year to heal, then you should be able to move ahead with home birth because it's no different than if you had a c-section; if you haven't had that much time to heal then there's a risk of premature labor but you should be able to plan on home birth in case that doesn't happen. If they made a vertical scar on your uterus, with this little time healing before pregnancy, sadly I have to tell you that it will probably impact your chances for a vaginal birth because the risk of rupture increases pretty dramatically both with a vertical uterine scar and with such little healing time. If you know the specifics of your surgery, then you should be able to know if this is a fight you might win.

As for organizing for home birth, my midwives gave me a list of things to prepare: paper bag of clean towels, baby blankets, & other things, each bag stapled shut & labeled & sitting out somewhere when I went into labor. I planned a homebirth so had the tub ready, but also prepped a small bed in our front room with a plastic sheet, good sheets, plastic sheet, old sheets, so that the top layer could be removed after birth. After my water broke & I was pacing the hall, they put down Chux pads because we couldn't find where my DH had put away the Depends. We also were to have two full bottles of peroxide so they could clean up any blood stains.

raingirl28's picture
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"cactuswren" wrote:

Yikes...fingers very crossed for you! Do the midwives ever deliver at the hospital? I assume you would have mentioned that if it was a possibility, but I know it makes me feel a LOT better about going to the hospital as a possibility knowing my MW will still be there backing me up if it comes to that....worst case, could you at least look into a doula? Maybe one with experience at that hospital? A strong advocate can go a long way...

KUP!

The same midwife clinic we are with will still do the hospital birth with us so I'm not worried there. Only 25% of births with midwifes in my province are home birth, the rest are hospital births. At least I don't need to change doctors so far!!

"Spacers" wrote:

Fingers crossed that you get the go-ahead. Did they do that surgery vaginally through your cervix? If so, then it absolutely should NOT impede a home birth, and if they says it does, then appeal & make them justify it medically because they can't. If they did it through the uterus with a horizontal incision, and if you've had a full year to heal, then you should be able to move ahead with home birth because it's no different than if you had a c-section; if you haven't had that much time to heal then there's a risk of premature labor but you should be able to plan on home birth in case that doesn't happen. If they made a vertical scar on your uterus, with this little time healing before pregnancy, sadly I have to tell you that it will probably impact your chances for a vaginal birth because the risk of rupture increases pretty dramatically both with a vertical uterine scar and with such little healing time. If you know the specifics of your surgery, then you should be able to know if this is a fight you might win.

As for organizing for home birth, my midwives gave me a list of things to prepare: paper bag of clean towels, baby blankets, & other things, each bag stapled shut & labeled & sitting out somewhere when I went into labor. I planned a homebirth so had the tub ready, but also prepped a small bed in our front room with a plastic sheet, good sheets, plastic sheet, old sheets, so that the top layer could be removed after birth. After my water broke & I was pacing the hall, they put down Chux pads because we couldn't find where my DH had put away the Depends. We also were to have two full bottles of peroxide so they could clean up any blood stains.

I had a LAP surgery for fertility investigations. I had four small incisions in my belly but I don't know the exact details of everything they did or how they did it. I had a cyst removed on my left ovary and a partial uterine septum removed from the uterus. I believe they did that vaginally but I don't know 100%. I also had some mild endo burned off. I don't think they did any incisions in my uterus though as we were told to TTC two months after the surgery. All my notes from the fertility doc were set to the midwife, so I presume she will forward those to the OB. But the septum was fairly big/large and I think that's what they are concerned about. Even if there were no uterine incisions, it was a fairly rough surgery to the inside of the uterus.