A home birth was the logical choice for me, so even before we were expecting our second baby I knew I would want to give birth at home, if we were lucky enough to get pregnant again. I didn’t plan to have Rosalie at home, it just happened that way – my labour was very fast and there was no way we would have made it to the hospital, so she was delivered by ambulance crew on the living room floor. You can read her full birth story if you’re interested.
Although I am certain that a home birth is the right choice for us this time around, there are a few things that I’d like to happen differently – like having a midwife present for one! It was a little bit frightening going into labour and starting to push my daughter out without any medical presence. But my midwife has written all over my file ‘precipitous labour’ so hopefully we won’t get fobbed off.
This baby was transverse up until 36 weeks, and I was beginning to panic about what would happen if she didn’t turn. I was finding it very difficult to think about the birth or prepare in any way. But thankfully she is now, allegedly, head down and 3/5 engaged! So I have been in mad preparation mode for the past week or so.
Home birth preparations
It did seem a little strange to be preparing for something that ‘just happened’ last time, but after a few prods from caring friends, I got my bum in gear, made some lists and have now set up the nursery as my home birth space.
We’ve got a soft blanket covering the carpet, with a couple of shower curtains taped on top, then a sheet. I’ve got lots of absorbent sheets for use when it starts to get messy. I felt like I was literally swimming in fluid last time on the hard floor of our living room, so making the surface comfortable and soaking up the mess was high on my list of priorities! I’ve also assembled lots of old towels and have spare waterproof mats.
I’ve stuck up a list of things we need to do when I go into labour, like put the hot water on and turn up the heating – Rosalie got too cold and we had to go to A&E so it’s important to me that this doesn’t happen again.
I’ve packed a home birth box for me and the baby, containing essentials we will/might need. The lovely Jenna at Tinyfootsteps has written a brilliant post about what you might need if you are considering a home birth. I have also packed an emergency hospital bag, as well as a little bag for Rosalie if she has to stay with friends.
Jenna has also very kindly sent me her CUB support which she used for her own home birth back in November. I am really looking forward to using it (as much as anyone actually looks forward to labour) as I am hoping to remain as mobile and upright as possible throughout. Jenna has written an excellent post on the benefits of an upright birth too, which is definitely worth a read.
I haven’t planned lighting, or music or anything like that, it’s just not me. But I am hoping this time we can capture some better photos and maybe a video to remember the occasion – I have barely any real memory of Rosalie’s arrival into this world because I was in shock, and that does make me very sad. What I do remember is that I barely held her before I had to hold my legs akimbo for half an hour whilst I was stitched up – more painful than labour in my opinion. That is definitely something I am hoping to avoid, or at least minimise the discomfort of by finding something (probably chairs) to rest my legs on, if I do need stitches this time.
I haven’t really made a birth plan, but I do have some wishes that I have communicated to the midwife and she’s noted them down. Mostly they focus on having as natural a labour as possible, getting skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding as soon as possible, as well as Jim being able to cut the cord (Rosalie’s cord snapped so he missed the opportunity then).
We are lucky enough to have a very kind friend who lives really close by who has offered to have Rosalie whilst I am in labour (unless she’s asleep, in which case we are hoping she might stay asleep as I know I’m not a noisy labourer!). We’ve also get several equally kind back-up friends who live a tiny bit further away who are happy to help out if necessary. I am so grateful to them all for their offers of help, as we don’t have any family nearby.
How am I feeling?
At the moment I am feeling really positive about the birth and apart from the pelvic pain, which is manageable, I am feeling pretty good in myself, not too tired (any tiredness is more likely due to staying up late blogging, not due to the baby) and I’m not so big that I can’t do anything. I am having a little breastfeeding related anxiety as that is something I really struggled with last time.
In terms of having a new baby, taking our little family from three to four, I feel prepared and I feel that Rosalie is as prepared as she will ever be for the arrival of her baby sister. She keeps telling me how excited she is, and although she doesn’t really understand what it will be like, it’s a good start that she has said she wants to help out and play with the baby, and teach her things.
I’ve washed all of Rosalie’s newborn baby clothes (they’re so tiny!) and put them away in the drawers, which Rosalie helped me with – I have tried to involve her in as much as possible to do with the birth and new baby. I may have got her a little too involved, as I caught her yesterday with teddy stuffed up her tshirt, bouncing on her squidgy football, poking at her fat tummy saying “I think this is the baby’s head”! She’s also had a good go on the CUB.
I love telling Rosalie that she was born beneath the Christmas Tree right here in this house, and I think it will be wonderful to tell her sister that she was born in this house too. It might make it harder to move house ever though – there’s surely nothing quite like the attachment you have to the place where you brought your babies into the world.
We can’t wait to meet you little one, whenever you’re ready…