Oh my gosh – our baby is really almost here!! The reality hit home when one of our midwives and one
of her students visited our home Wednesday morning.
Some reasons for the home visit:
~It’s a test run to make sure they can find the home and can
plan for alternate routes if necessary.
~It gets them familiar with the “lay of the land” so that
they know their way around the home during the birth.
~It gives them an opportunity to check in with the family in
their own space.
~They encourage the family to invite whomever else they have
invited to the birth to meet them and have the family get a sense of the
~It gave us the chance to talk a little more about our birth
plan and any concerns we have about our birth.
It was a little rushed since we had another appointment
afterwards, and I could have kicked myself that I forgot to take pictures…ah,
I realized through the course of the visit that I have yet
to accept that this baby is going to be born here. That we really and truly will not have to go
to the hospital this time still seems so surreal!!
It was so nice to have our former Bradley® teacher and
friend Andrea here with us during the visit.
She has attended several homebirths and is very familiar with the
process. I am going to lean on her
confidence since she was there at our last birth, and I know she knows that we
know how to birth. I just have to get
there myself and believe that we can do this.
Here are some of the things we talked about:
What our vision is for our birth?
Peaceful and uninterrupted by a transfer
Where do we picture ourselves laboring and birthing?
As long as the weather breaks (we are still over 100° F in AZ), I envision spending a lot of time outside
enjoying our beautiful courtyard and in the backyard watching the kiddos play. Otherwise we will take comfort in the
sanctuary of our bedroom.
Do we think we are going to use the tub?
I want to just because I have never been able to use it
before. Since my bag of waters has
ruptured before contractions started with our first three births, our previous
doctor and the hospitals would not sign off on submersion for fear of
infection. Henci Goer addresses this in
her book, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth and she offers
study-based evidence that these are unrealistic concerns.
What are our expectations from our care providers?
Open lines of communication.
Bruss emphasized that he is looking forward to not having to go to the
hospital and seeing our labor stall. By
the same token, he wanted reassurance from our midwife that if they do see any
signs of concern, that they will let us know in plenty of time to make a
Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby decision.
They wanted to know where they could set up their supplies,
and where we would be laying out our supplies.
They also checked in to make sure that we had plans for our
children: who would be keeping an eye on
them so we could focus on the birth, and how were they feeling about the
homebirth. I can honestly say that when
we were under traditional OB care, we were never asked about how our children
were being prepared for the upcoming birth.
Even though most children are not going to attend a hospital birth, they
are still important people in the family that need to be considered in the
planning and welcoming of the newest family member.
Who will be at our birth?
So far, we have Andrea as an Assistant Coach to help Coach
Bruss, and our photographer to capture this momentous occasion with her
artistic eye. We are still going back
and forth on a videographer. I would love to have a well-filmed video to submit
to the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth™ so
that other students could benefit from a birth filmed in the 21
century! There is no question that it
would be neat to capture the kiddos reactions on film and watch it on baby’s
birthday; and maybe someday have the courage to show to our own students.
It became apparent why they encourage families to invite
anyone who is going to be at the birth to the home visit. The midwife, her student and our friend Andrea
were here with Bruss and I…not present were my aunt who is helping with the
kiddos and the photographer. With just
the five of us, I am already feeling like there are too many people and we
still haven’t counted the potential videographer and the possibility that some
of my other aunts will come over to help with the kiddos, too. If the baby comes on a Monday, our cleaning
ladies will be here…if she comes on a Friday, the landscape crew will be
around…noise and people and distractions that we hadn’t thought about!!
Here is the info they shared with us:
Many people are surprised at how “hands-off” the midwives
are at a homebirth. If they see that a
couple is working well together, they try to be unobtrusive and do their
monitoring discreetly. They will step in
and be more active as needed, but for the most part they want to allow the
families to work together and allow labor to progress without interruption. Their responsibility is to make sure mom and
baby are well through the process, and of course they get involved as the time
to push arrives and during the postpartum period to make sure mom and baby
continue to do well.
My favorite part of the visit was having the kiddos join us
on the bed when we did our prenatal exam.
It was so neat to have them around me as we checked on the baby. They got to hear her heartbeat and ask
questions. They were touching my belly
and giving me kisses. They sang a song
for the baby. If this is an indication
of our family birth, it’s going to be awesome.
One of our midwives speaks Spanish, so she was talking to
the kiddos about the baby and asking them question in Spanish during the
exam. I would love it if the first
language our baby hears is Spanish welcoming her into the world!!
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determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in
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of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.