April 22, 2008

Prepping for the Home Birth

My due date is April 30th - 8 days away. My baby dropped a little over a week ago, so if I stick to the average then my baby should be coming soon. I think this is a possibility because I've been having contractions. They haven't been getting longer, stronger and closer together, but they have been happening since yesterday morning.

Here's a run down of THE DAY.

The people who will be at the birth:
Bernice, my midwife
one of Bernice's assistants (probably Brandy from Peoria who is training to be a home birth midwife)
Laura, my good friend from high school. She delivered her second boy at home and has considered training to be a doula (birthing assistant).

When people will be called:
The beginning of labor will be just me and Travis (he'll come home from work if needed). As I time contractions and recognize that they are progressing (and it's the real thing) I'll call Bernice and Laura to give them both a head's up.

Once the contractions are 5 minutes apart and about a minute long I'll call Bernice and she'll come down. (She lives about an hour north.) I will also call Laura, who lives 10 minutes away but will have to take her boys to grandma's.

What will everyone do once they get to our house?
Bernice and her assistant will monitor me and the baby on a regular basis. Everyone present will help me as little or as much as I'd like or need. There will be suggestions for positions for easier laboring. Counter pressure and massage will be used to ease pain. Encouragement will be given. I'll probably labor some in the shower and on all fours since both have offered a lot of relief already.

I honestly think I'll probably want just Travis with me for a lot of it. But the others will be available for his breaks.

Laura will also be serving as our "house fairy" running errands or throwing in a load of towels if needed. She also has the assignment of making the Birth Day Cake, pineapple upside down cake, please. :)

What if there are problems?
Then we will go to OSF 20 minutes away, driving the speed limit, and Bernice's consulting doctor will take over there. We will probably go in Bernice's mini van because there is more room for me to sprawl out.

Statistically speaking, a home birth is riskier for a first time mother. But the chances of me having complications are still less than if I were having a planned hospital birth because "interventions" like inducing labor and giving epidurals often lead to more interventions which can lead to more complications, including c-sections.

Since my baby is not breech and my pregnancy has been a healthy one, and I haven't gained too much weight, all signs are pointing to a normal delivery.

And when the baby's crowning and out - then what happens?
Travis and Bernice will be catching the baby together. He will then pass our child up to me and I will warm him with skin to skin contact. As Trav and I are lovin' on the baby Bernice and her assistant will check him out and wipe him off. We will be able to hold the baby as long as there is nothing wrong. (If there is something wrong they will have medical equipment with them.)

The cord will be cut once it has stopped pulsing so that baby gets all the nutrients he can. I will deliver the afterbirth naturally, it won't be tugged or cranked out like they sometimes do in hospitals.

I will begin nursing as soon as possible.

Bernice and the others will stay for a few hours to continue to monitor the baby and I. We will also call our parents and ask them to spread the word and come on over.


  1. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! 8 days! I am so excited. I can't believe it's here already. Can you?

  2. 8 days?!? That's fantastic and exciting and a little scary all at once.....mostly just fantastic =) I'm thinking of you suitey!

  3. 8 days is too long if you ask me! I'm ready NOW! Get this kid out of me!