Saturday, March 19, 2011

37 Weeks and Preparing for My Home/Waterbirth

Hey greenies, I'm moving right along in my pregnancy this week as I graduate into week 37! It's exciting to think that that in 3 weeks (give or take) we will be meeting our baby girl! We're beyond excited and we can't wait to just see what she looks like, to hold her, and to learn all about her! As you can see my belly is growing at record speed since we took the last belly pics 2 weeks ago, and it seems to be quite the "eye magnet" and conversation starter when I'm out and about.

37 weeks
From people asking me when I'm due, to parents telling their kids, "That lady's going to have a baby!". It's been kind of funny, and a bit odd to feel like all eyes go right to my belly, but I don't mind. Most people are very nice about it and it kind of reminds us how we are all connected (and at one point in our own mother's tummies!).




One main change I've noticed in the past week or two is a huge increase in my appetite. I hinted at this increased hunger in last week's post, but boy has it grown this week. I eat about every 2 hours at this point and Brandon and I have even coined some funny names for all my extra meals and snacks (courtesy of The Office's "The Delivery" episode) such as: "second dinner" and "second lunch" and one of my favorites, "3 AM early breakfast!". Sometimes it seems like eating actually makes me MORE hungry...what's that about?!!! Especially when I just eat a single piece of fruit like a banana or an apple, it just fuels the fire for more food! Any other mamas out there remember this pregnancy hunger?

Speaking of food, since I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen I've noticed that my belly is making it a bit harder to wash dishes and chop veggies since it sticks right into the top of our counter tops! Kind of funny! Let's just say that I've adapted a new "sideways stance" you can see below when I'm cooking, chopping, and washing dishes in the kitchen now. ( : 

Kind of hard to wash dishes now!

Rockin' the "Sideways
Stance"
So this week I'd like to share some of the ways we've been preparing for the home/waterbirth I talked about back in this post. Now it may seem like a lot of work to get all of these supplies purchased and in order for the birth, but I don't mind one bit. I love that I've had the freedom to choose and buy these things on my own, instead of the hospital or a nurse deciding for me. So instead of seeing this prep time as a burden, I've been loving it and so has my "nesting brain"!

So let me run through the list of things my midwife suggested for us to get in order to have our home/waterbirth. I'm sure this is not a complete list by any means, as most things would already be present in our home such as snacks, trash bags, blankets, etc. Also, since this my first home/waterbirth, I'm sure there will be things I'm forgetting or that we left out, but for now this list has been a great place to get us started. So here we go...

1. Tub for Waterbirth. This probably a pretty obvious must-have item since I would like to labor and possibly give birth in the water, so after comparing some of the waterbirth tubs, I found this one that I liked on Yourwaterbirth.com. It's called a, "La Bassine Eco Birthing Pool" and I chose this one for a number of reasons: it's green (made from eco-friendly vinyl with no phthalates, lead or cadmium), and it's easy on the "green" (only costing about $125...some on the website were over $200!). Also, if you browse around on the website, you'll see that they have a variety of liners for the birth tubs, but if you are the only person that is going to be using the birth tub (as I am), you don't need a liner!
My waterbirth tub

Time to pump it up.
After my tub arrived I pumped it up with a simple foot pump that came with my exercise ball. Granted they have other more heavy duty or automatic pumps you can buy, but my simple foot pump worked just fine. It took me about a half hour total to pump the whole thing up...I started with the bottom of the pool and then did the sides, as the instructions suggested. Yes, the pumping motion got a bit repetitive, but I just saw it as a mini-workout!

After pumping it up, we got ready to do a trial run with it and fill it up with water, which leads me to some more supplies you need (that are not included in the purchase of the tub!)...a hose and faucet adapter to connect the hose to your water source. I think the hose Brandon got from the local hardware store was something like this, and the key things we looked for were: for "hot water", "drinking water", and "lead-free". You can see the hose in pics below. As for the faucet adapter, we got something like this one to the right, that connects to our water source: a shower head down the hall. (On a side note, we also have a digital thermometer that we will be using to monitor the temperature of the water throughout the birth so that we can make sure the water is not too hot or too cold for Baby Avery and I!)
Hose adapter
Then it was time to try it out! After first blowing it up, I took it up to our bedroom (it's actually very light so don't worry that I was straining myself too hard to carry it!) and tried it in a few positions, but it didn't fit quite right. This threw me for a loop a bit because I have been picturing that we would have the birth in our bedroom for many months now because we've got a bathroom in there, our bed, and there's just something kind of private about being in your own bedroom, as opposed to your living room or kitchen! So this left me scratching my head...where else in our house would I have the birth? Then it dawned on me...what about Avery's room? I carried the tub in there and it fit perfect, plenty of space all around! I then closed the shades, turned off the lights, turned on some of my fav flameless candles, and cranked up some relaxing music on my iPod dock and I was sold! This is where I want to have the birth! Another fun thing about being in that room is seeing all the fun projects and work that we've done preparing for her arrival over the past 9 months, and for her to be born in that room feels very special and right to me. Although this pic doesn't do the "vibe" of the room justice, you kind of get the idea.
The trial run
So, now that the location was decided, it was time to try it out! Turn on the hot water Brandon and let this pregnant mama relax! As green as I am, you know I didn't want to fill the water all the way up to the recommended line just for this trial run, but nonetheless I wanted to see how it felt, so we went about halfway. Once it was ready, I climbed in! We turned off the lights and turned on all my "mood-setters" (candles, music, etc.) and then I relaxed for a little bit. The tub was so comfortable compared to our bathtub, mainly because it was so soft from being inflated. One of my favorite things was the floor of the tub, because it has it's own inflation and as a result, you feel like your sitting on lots of pillows (not a hard, cold, bathtub floor). Two other features I love about this tub are it's cocoon-like shape, and high walls, both of which make it feel more private and safe...not just out in the open.

Fill it up!
Once the trail run was over...bummer...we tried draining it. This took a little bit more experimenting, but eventually we figured out a "siphon-method" where the water can drain from our upstairs down and out of the house. There are fancy pumps that drain the water out of the tub, but since we were able to get the water out with our "free" method, we're sticking to it!

The nice, soft floor of the tub.
One last thing about the tub is that even though I'm a planner and I'd love to leave the tub all pumped up and ready to go, I found out that you actually want to deflate it a little bit if it will be a few weeks before your birth. Apparently it taxes the seams of the tub too much to have it filled to it's max, 24/7 for weeks at a time. So when you go to fill it with water on your baby's birthing day, you may find that the seams just give way and snap from the constant pressure. Well, I definitely don't want that to happen, so I've deflated some air from both the sides and the bottom of the tub, and surely it should only take up 5-10 minutes once it's time for the birth to fill it back up to maximum fullness. Alright...enough about the pool!



Let's move on to the other supplies I got to help prepare us for our homebirth:

2- Lots of towels! This was actually kind of fun to do, because how often do you get to buy new towels? I don't know about you, but as long as it still dries me off after a shower, then I'm happy with it...never mind that I've had it for 2-3 years! But I saw this as a chance to upgrade and get some fun, new, soft towels and boy did I have some luck at Bed, Bath & Beyond! I got about 6 or so new towels to help us get ready for the birth and although we probably already had plenty of towels to use, it was a nice excuse to go out and get some new ones...they rock! I can't believe I've waited so long to get new ones!

3. Extra Wash Cloths- Got a few of these standard wash cloths from Bed, Bath & Beyond while I was stocking up on towels, but the other stack of wash cloths is actually bamboo wipes my aunt got me for Avery's Baby Shower off my Etsy Favorite list. These bamboo wipes are amazing and super soft. I will definitely use them any day over traditional wash cloths when it comes to giving Avery a bath. Here is a link to the exact product on Etsy where you can purchase your own (there are 6 stitch colors to choose from) and to read up on the benefits of using bamboo! I can't wait to use these on Baby Avery and maybe for myself! Thanks again Aunt Cathy! ( :


4. Sports bra/Nightgown for labor and birth. Just like many aspects of my birth, there are many things that I am unsure of...will I want lots of natural light or very dark with just a few candles? Will I want relaxing music or will I be rocking out to Eminem? Will I be snacking the whole time or will the thought of food make me want to throw up? I have no idea! The same question comes up about what I will want to wear during the labor and birth? My go-to outfit around the house right now is my favorite pair black yoga pants and one of my maternity tank tops. But since I may want something with a bit more room to move around and have access to a baby potentially coming out, I thought it was time to get a new night gown of some sort.

My vision was basically like a really long tank top that's kind of form fitting (ask anyone that knows me well, I do not like baggy clothing one bit...especially now that I'm pregnant!). I'm happy to say I found it at Target, here's a link to it! It's even called a tank dress...love it! Granted, I wasn't feeling the "ankle-length" cut, so my awesome seamstress grandma helped me hem it up to a nice length right above my knee. As to whether I'll actually wear it (or the other two back sports bras/swim suit tops that I have pictured here) I have no idea, but at least I have some options to choose from!


5. 2 large vinyl tablecloths with thick white backing. Kind of a boring item on the list, but very important nonetheless, as these will be going under the water tub in Avery's room to protect the carpet from getting wet. Since they smelled "very plasticy" I've been "off-gassing" them in my garage for the last week or so that way they don't reek of plastic when it's time to use them.


6. Extra set of sheets for our bed. This is kind of like the towels I mentioned above in how, I can't believe we've gone so long without a second set of sheets for our bed? Granted we've never had kids before so there hasn't really been any reason to need a back up set of sheets immediately. I mean if they get dirty or it's time to wash them, I simply wash them in the morning and put them back on before bedtime, simple enough right?! But now that Avery's coming along, it feels good to know we have a back up sheet just in case.



7. Epsom salt for postpartum bath- I personally have never taken an epsom salt bath, but after my midwife suggested it for after the birth, I've been researching it and it seems like a pretty beneficial thing to do, not only after the birth, but for other general health reasons. Click here to read up on it more. I'll post back after I try it. Anyone else every take epsom salt baths before? If so, share below!



8. Package of maxi pads for postpartum- If this is TMI for you skip ahead to the next section, but for those of you that are interested let me tell you about an alternative to traditional maxi pads that I will be trying. I'm not really a fan of plastic traditional maxi pads, and so I chatted with my midwife about a "green alternative" and she suggested these cloth pads. They come from this awesome company called, "Mommy and Me Creations" that creates something called, "Heavenly Cloth Menstural Pads" which are made from organic hemp fleece. They have a very detailed and thorough description of their product on their website that I encourage you to read if you're interested. The colored portion is a panty liner with the snap, and the white portion is the part that touches you. You can see what one of the inserts (that are inside of all the pads) looks like at the bottom of the pic. We'll see how they work out for after the birth!


9. Obvious baby items...diapers, clothes, receiving blankets. As you can imagine we are pretty good on all those things at this point!

So that's about it, and as I mentioned above, I'm sure there may be things I'm forgetting or leaving out, but I'll do a follow up after the birth and let you know then! Has anyone else had a home or waterbirth that you prepared for on your own? Please share below...

6 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! I can't believe Avery could be here in 3 weeks, OR LESS! You should shoot for March 30th :) That's Avery's Aunt Meghann's bday lol.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know right Meg?! We'll see about March 30th for her b-day...it sure sounds a lot better than sharing a b-day with Livi and Caleb on April 20th! ( :

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  3. (TMI) but useful things to have for a home birth

    a strainer (like you use in the kitchen) to scoop out any "chunky" bits left in the pool before you drain it.
    also, if you can find a peri-spray bottle (a sport top water bottle might work too), it's what they give you at the hospital to clean yourself with after using the bathroom before you can wipe. Having it sterilized and ready to go is one less stress.
    A tip if you end up on the bed is to make your bed, lay out a shower curtain then make it again over top so after the birth you can just pull off the soiled sheets and your bed is ready for you.
    Hope that helps.

    ReplyDelete
  4. LC,
    No worries about the TMI...I appreciate your tips!
    For the strainer, I actually got a fish net (like you would use to scoop a fish from the tank), hopefully it will scoop up the "chunks"-lol!
    Good tip on the peri-spray bottle as well, I'll have to look into that. Also, a backup shower curtain would be a great thing to have for the bed just in case we end up there.
    Thanks again for your tips, hopefully I'll be putting them to use in the next week or two or three! ( :
    Ashley

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  5. hi ashley this is olivia and although its not very realistic it would be pretty awesome if avery shared a birthday with her cousin livi

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  6. Hi Olivia!
    Although I'd love for Avery to share your birthday, it might be a little bit of a stretch. But I guess you never know right?! ( :
    By the way, I saw these and thought of you and the SodaStream maker:
    http://www.flavrzdrinkmix.com/
    They are like the drink mixes that they sell with SodaStream, but healthier and made with Agave and no preservatives, additives, etc. I'd like to get some of the On-the-Go pouches for Brandon because he likes that kind of stuff. I'll let you know if they are any good!
    Wonder if the soda mixes would be any good with the SodaStream?
    Talk to you soon,
    Ashley

    ReplyDelete

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