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Old 03-05-2013, 04:00 PM   #1
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First home birth/waterbirth and I need some questions answered

I am due in August and am having my first home birth, planning it to be a water birth. I have a few questions/opinions I want from all of those who have been there done that.

So my other 3 were all hospital births, one epi, 2 all natural. My last only was a labor of 2hrs 17 min. We always just had me and DH in the room, plus the midwife. Now that we are having a homebirth I am wondering if I should have more people at the birth. We will have the pool set up in our attached garage, creating a mini birth suite. So we can close the door to the rest of the house if we want. My mom will be here to care for my other 3 and I have had requests by other family members who would like to be here.

1. I would LOVE my other 3 to be present, at the time of birth they will be almost 4, 2.5 and 15 months. I make quite a bit of loud noises during the really good end of labor time and dont want to frighten them. So should I just let them in right after baby is born, or allow them to be there the whole time if they want to? Maybe leaving the door open so they can come and go as they please?

2. My SIL has requested to be in attendance and as a support person, she has never witnessed someone elses birth, but has 2 of her own, both were inductions and she had epi's. She and I like each other but she is not my favorite SIL. She really wants to be there, but I am having a hard time deciding if its something I want or not. I mean I just dont know how good of a support she will be when she hasnt had a natural birth herself. Thoughts?

3. Do I have my DH in the pool with me or no? I think I would want him holding me, but then I think I would like more room in pool to just move around. He has already stated he would if I wanted him to, but that he thinks its gross to sit in the water after baby is born in it. What have you done and why?

4. My MIL and I dont get along the greatest. She is a nice lady but very needy, demanding, controlling and manipulative. She keeps bugging me about being there for the birth, I DONT WANT HER THERE. But should I allow her at the house with my mom to help with the other kids, or would that just be asking for trouble?

Any other comments, suggestions, information would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
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Re: First home birth/waterbirth and I need some questions answered

I personally would not like a lot of people there but each person is different. it can stall your labor and stress you out though if you are uncomfortable. I def. wouldn't want people that I am not super close with and are not familiar w/ natural birth. you only want postive energy around you and some people tend to like to tell there negative birth stories. if you are uncomfortable and it is stressing you already thinking about it I would just tell them you will invite them after the birth as it is very private.
The kids I always have mine present and they roam the house and come by side. They have never cried or been scared but again every family,child is different.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:15 PM   #3
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Re: First home birth/waterbirth and I need some questions answered

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I personally would not like a lot of people there but each person is different. it can stall your labor and stress you out though if you are uncomfortable. I def. wouldn't want people that I am not super close with and are not familiar w/ natural birth. you only want postive energy around you and some people tend to like to tell there negative birth stories. if you are uncomfortable and it is stressing you already thinking about it I would just tell them you will invite them after the birth as it is very private.
The kids I always have mine present and they roam the house and come by side. They have never cried or been scared but again every family,child is different.
Thank you for this. I have always thought it as very private and only ever wanted DH and I present, plus my kids. So thank you for verifying this for me. I know it would be stressful in the long run. I just feel bad for my SIL because I am the only person left to have babies who is close to her and she has never seen a birth and wants to. But she can stress me out easily.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: First home birth/waterbirth and I need some questions answered

Don't have ANYONE there that you are not 100% comfortable with! It's nice to want to help someone experience a natural birth, but they can watch one on YouTube or something. If you aren't completely comfortable with them, they shouldn't be there.

If you want your kids to have the option of being with you, then have someone there who can care for them, and won't mind missing the birth if necessary. The kids will probably come and go as they like, and will need someone to chase them and give them their snacks, diaper changes, naps, etc. I'd recommend prepping them with some gentle birth videos, and we really liked the book "Hello Baby" by Jenny Overend which shows a home birth in a really respectful yet truthful and informative way. (my kids were not at the birth, but they were old enough to know what birth is anyways.)

As for your DH coming in the bath - go with what feels right in the moment. I have had three home water births and never felt the need to have someone in the bath with me, but others have really liked that. Set your DH's bathing shorts ready when you go into labour and then see how you both feel as you go along.

This is your birth, not a side show, or a public teaching opportunity. No one has the "right" to be there, and you don't need to feel bad about saying no. In my opinion, if they weren't there when the baby went in, they don't need to be there when the baby comes out! (except the midwife. )

All the best for a wonderful birth!
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:27 PM   #5
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Re: First home birth/waterbirth and I need some questions answered

So let me start by saying I have had 2 home water births one just 4 weeks ago. It is a wonderful experience and I hope you love yours too!

1. For our most recent birth of DD2 both DD1 (5 years) and DS (2 years) were coming in and out the whole time. We did have my step mom there in the other room to attend to their needs as they ran in and out. As long as in labor you aren't bothered by the commotion that comes with little ones than I think it's awesome. It didn't bother me in the least, it was kinda nice having some normalcy in labor. I also get vocal while pushing and this did not seem to bother DD1 or DS. They were just like- oh mama is having the baby I loved having them there and I think they enjoyed being around for it as well.

2. Based on the fact that you aren't super close with your SIL and also that she may not be super supportive or know what to do for a natural birth I would say it's best not to have her there. I too feel that birth is a private moment and for my first 2 it was only DH, our midwife, and her assistant with me. For my recent birth I had requested only our midwife be there with no assistant. I did have my Dad this last time but I really wanted to share the experience with him this time as he and I are super close. Obviously he hasn't had a natural birth himself but he is very supportive of it and he was awesome through the whole thing. He even cried when she was born

3. So my DH was the same saying he didn't really feel great about being in the water with all the birth stuff For DS he was outside the pool right behind me. This time with my Dad being there to support me DH really wanted to deliver our baby girl (wanted to the first 2 times but I needed him up with me which he was fine with). He ended up climbing in the pool on his own initiative and it was awesome having him in with me. As far as having room to move around he just moved right along with me and I never felt crowded which I do sometimes in general. Heck after all the I'm not sure about the after birth gunk DH even caught a large blood clot and delivered the placenta! So all that said, I would ask him to be in with you and he might just surprise you and deliver the after birth.

4. I don't get along the best with my MIL either and would never have her anywhere close to my house while having a baby or even shortly after. I say it's best to just have her come later because you want as relaxing and stress free environment to birth in as possible. I would say having her type of personality around would be asking for trouble.

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Old 03-05-2013, 10:57 PM   #6
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Re: First home birth/waterbirth and I need some questions answered

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Originally Posted by ~Cricket~ View Post
Don't have ANYONE there that you are not 100% comfortable with! It's nice to want to help someone experience a natural birth, but they can watch one on YouTube or something. If you aren't completely comfortable with them, they shouldn't be there.

If you want your kids to have the option of being with you, then have someone there who can care for them, and won't mind missing the birth if necessary. The kids will probably come and go as they like, and will need someone to chase them and give them their snacks, diaper changes, naps, etc. I'd recommend prepping them with some gentle birth videos, and we really liked the book "Hello Baby" by Jenny Overend which shows a home birth in a really respectful yet truthful and informative way. (my kids were not at the birth, but they were old enough to know what birth is anyways.)

As for your DH coming in the bath - go with what feels right in the moment. I have had three home water births and never felt the need to have someone in the bath with me, but others have really liked that. Set your DH's bathing shorts ready when you go into labour and then see how you both feel as you go along.

This is your birth, not a side show, or a public teaching opportunity. No one has the "right" to be there, and you don't need to feel bad about saying no. In my opinion, if they weren't there when the baby went in, they don't need to be there when the baby comes out! (except the midwife. )

All the best for a wonderful birth!
Thank you, thank you!! I feel better about this already! I just needed someone else to remind me that this is OUR birth (Dh&I) No one else needs to be there. My mother is already a go on being here for the other kids and knows she may miss the actual birth. She missed the other ones too so nothing new to her there. She respects my wishes that it is just DH and I but knows I am ok if she is there if the boys are also there wanting to watch.
I will look into that book and some gentle birthing videos for them, thank you for that, didnt even think of it!
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
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Re: First home birth/waterbirth and I need some questions answered

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Originally Posted by jackobeano View Post
So let me start by saying I have had 2 home water births one just 4 weeks ago. It is a wonderful experience and I hope you love yours too!

1. For our most recent birth of DD2 both DD1 (5 years) and DS (2 years) were coming in and out the whole time. We did have my step mom there in the other room to attend to their needs as they ran in and out. As long as in labor you aren't bothered by the commotion that comes with little ones than I think it's awesome. It didn't bother me in the least, it was kinda nice having some normalcy in labor. I also get vocal while pushing and this did not seem to bother DD1 or DS. They were just like- oh mama is having the baby I loved having them there and I think they enjoyed being around for it as well.

2. Based on the fact that you aren't super close with your SIL and also that she may not be super supportive or know what to do for a natural birth I would say it's best not to have her there. I too feel that birth is a private moment and for my first 2 it was only DH, our midwife, and her assistant with me. For my recent birth I had requested only our midwife be there with no assistant. I did have my Dad this last time but I really wanted to share the experience with him this time as he and I are super close. Obviously he hasn't had a natural birth himself but he is very supportive of it and he was awesome through the whole thing. He even cried when she was born

3. So my DH was the same saying he didn't really feel great about being in the water with all the birth stuff For DS he was outside the pool right behind me. This time with my Dad being there to support me DH really wanted to deliver our baby girl (wanted to the first 2 times but I needed him up with me which he was fine with). He ended up climbing in the pool on his own initiative and it was awesome having him in with me. As far as having room to move around he just moved right along with me and I never felt crowded which I do sometimes in general. Heck after all the I'm not sure about the after birth gunk DH even caught a large blood clot and delivered the placenta! So all that said, I would ask him to be in with you and he might just surprise you and deliver the after birth.

4. I don't get along the best with my MIL either and would never have her anywhere close to my house while having a baby or even shortly after. I say it's best to just have her come later because you want as relaxing and stress free environment to birth in as possible. I would say having her type of personality around would be asking for trouble.

HTHs
This helps a bunch, thank you!
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:24 AM   #8
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Re: First home birth/waterbirth and I need some questions answered

I think you've already received some great advice, but I'll go ahead and throw in my opinions too.

I've had 2 water births at home and I'm preparing for my 3rd in about 10 weeks. One of the best things about giving birth at home is being comfortable, so you don't want to take away from that by having people around that will cause you stress. My 2 births were very different...with my first she came so fast that it was just me and DH until the very end when the midwife and her assistant showed up. With our second, we wanted DD to be there, so I asked a couple of close friends if they would be willing to be there in case DD got upset during the birth. DS ended up taking a lot longer (but easier), so it was nice having them around to chat with and just share the experience. I personally didn't have my mother at either of my births because, even though she means well, she stresses me out.

Before DS was born, I pulled up several videos on youtube of home births and let DD watch them. I wanted to see how she reacted and to prepare her for what she might witness. (She did walk around for a few weeks making grunting noises and saying "I'm trying to get my baby out") She ended up doing really well and was there almost the whole time (although during transition, I did have to ask my friend to get her away for a little bit when she was right up in my face). She was 2.5 when DS was born. They are 3 and 5 now and I plan on both of them being there for my next birth.

As for your DH...it's a personal preference. I wanted to have DH close by, but I didn't want him in the pool with me. I personally like to be left alone in labor unless I ask for help. So DH stayed next to the pool while I was in labor to offer support if needed and was right there to put his arms around me as the midwife placed the baby on my chest.

I hope you have a really wonderful experience!
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:24 AM   #9
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Re: First home birth/waterbirth and I need some questions answered

I think you've already received some great advice, but I'll go ahead and throw in my opinions too.

I've had 2 water births at home and I'm preparing for my 3rd in about 10 weeks. One of the best things about giving birth at home is being comfortable, so you don't want to take away from that by having people around that will cause you stress. My 2 births were very different...with my first she came so fast that it was just me and DH until the very end when the midwife and her assistant showed up. With our second, we wanted DD to be there, so I asked a couple of close friends if they would be willing to be there in case DD got upset during the birth. DS ended up taking a lot longer (but easier), so it was nice having them around to chat with and just share the experience. I personally didn't have my mother at either of my births because, even though she means well, she stresses me out.

Before DS was born, I pulled up several videos on youtube of home births and let DD watch them. I wanted to see how she reacted and to prepare her for what she might witness. (She did walk around for a few weeks making grunting noises and saying "I'm trying to get my baby out") She ended up doing really well and was there almost the whole time (although during transition, I did have to ask my friend to get her away for a little bit when she was right up in my face). She was 2.5 when DS was born. They are 3 and 5 now and I plan on both of them being there for my next birth.

As for your DH...it's a personal preference. I wanted to have DH close by, but I didn't want him in the pool with me. I personally like to be left alone in labor unless I ask for help. So DH stayed next to the pool while I was in labor to offer support if needed and was right there to put his arms around me as the midwife placed the baby on my chest.

I hope you have a really wonderful experience!
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:45 AM   #10
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Re: First home birth/waterbirth and I need some questions answered

I STRONGLY suggest putting your foot down and only letting people with whom you are very comfortable at your birth. I made the mistake of relenting and letting my mom stay over at our apartment during my home water birth despite not wanting her there until directly after the birth. It was horrible, she made a big scene, and I was not comfortable. Just because someone else wants to be there doesn't mean you should feel pressured to let them there!

As for your DH in the pool, if you really want him in the tub then go for it! My tub was too small, but I honestly doubt he'll care about sitting in the pool once the baby is born. His thoughts will be with the baby, I doubt he'll care about a little blood in the water! My DH did not want to cut the cord, but when the time came and the midwives handed him the scissors, he was all for it. All gross factors go out the window during a home birth and you find yourself not caring one bit!
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