Monday, February 25, 2013

Homebirth: Part 7

Well, no pictures of delicious meals yet... The cooking party is planned for this Thursday when I'll have the help of my mom and sister. I'll make sure to get up some pictures and ideas for good meals to freeze.

Since the last post I had another appointment with my midwife. Things are going pretty good. My blood pressure is staying up at a normal place now and I hardly ever have any dizziness anymore.  I was a little dehydrated that morning so there were also a few traces of protein and bilirubin in my urine so in addition to my daily Red Raspberry Leaf tea, I am drinking a combination of Dandelion Root, Licorice Root, and Milk Thistle to make sure my liver stays strong.  It's a good thing I like tea, right?

At the appointment we went over the basic plan for when labor starts and went through my birth supplies.  I am missing two things. The first is a hose for the waterbirth. I did order a hose, but it wasn't going to ship in time so I canceled the order and I'll just have to make a trip up to Home Depot. So, that was no big deal.  The second thing I was missing was the Newborn Screening Kit... that one I just completely forgot about... oops! We sent for it that day and we're just hoping it makes it here in time now.

I have my next appointment next Wednesday (March 6), I'll be 38 weeks!

Pretty much everything is ready for the baby to get here. Like I said in the last post I have been doing a lot of pregnancy exercises to make sure my body is ready for birth. I have also been doing a lot of emotional and spiritual preparation for my baby to arrive.  This includes a lot of visualization, relaxation, and breathing practice, but more importantly it involves a TON of praying and connecting with God.

Here are the prayers I am using to prepare for birth:

For a Happy Delivery
Lord Jesus Christ, who said, "Allow the little children to come to me, for the kingdom of heaven is for such," I thank you with all my heart for the great and holy privilege you have granted me in calling me to present you with a little child, so precious in your sight. I praise and bless your divine goodness which has conferred this supreme favor on me, and I acknowledge myself altogether unworthy of this holy gift. I bless, too, your divine goodness for giving me such a sweet and holy patroness in your mother, the model of exaltation of all Christian  motherhood.
Dear Jesus, I beg you to be mindful of the prayers and intercession of your immaculate mother in my behalf; heed her petitions for me and, as you have so blessed me in this pregnancy, mercifully grant the happy delivery which I now ask through her, my patroness, our Lady of Happy Delivery.
Amen

Labor Prayer By Donna Wilson
Dear Father, thank You for this new baby. Would You protect and nurture this baby and bring this pregnancy to full term. In labor, would You remove all fear and replace it with faith and expectation. Please give those attending the birth wisdom to take the best care of mother and baby. Please let this baby be born normal and whole, healthy and strong, and at home with no complications with baby or mother.
Father, thank You for hearing my prayer, for I pray in the name of Him who is called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Amen

 Prayer for Mother's Doctor/Midwife
Lord Jesus Christ, lover of the little children, grant you abundant blessings on my midwife (doctor). For even more important than the task of preserving life is her (his) task of bringing that life into the world. Give my midwife (doctor) a deep appreciation of the work that she (he) performs. May she (he) ever know how precious that duty is in your sight. Guide her (his) hands at all times, and may all their work be done for your honor. May she (he) ever regard her (his) office as a sacred trust received from you. And finally, may she (he) one day know your rich rewards for having striven earnestly and faithfully to help little children to come to you according to you desires.
Amen

Prayer to Nurse a Child
Holy Mary, your remember devoutly how as a young mother you pressed the divine Jesus tenderly to your breast. You were not then denied that precious privilege of motherhood, to nourish the life you brought into this world.
Dear Mother of Mothers, I beg you to speak to God with me now to obtain the privilege that I too may so nourish the child to whom I shall soon give birth. May I know this fullness of the office of the holy motherhood. And ask with me, too, Holy Mother, that, in the fulfillment of this blessed office which God has so beautifully ordained, I shall be closely drawn to my child with the tenderest mother love and that by this bond of affection I shall likewise be better able to nourish the soul of my little one with the holy truths of faith, so that my child may serve his Creator with a strong body and an upright mind in fidelity and love.
Mother of Mothers, Pray for me!

The Madonna Rosary created by Father Timothy Sauppe
Use an ordinary Rosary, but pray the following variation of the Hail Mary and meditate on the Five Mysteries of the Maternity of Mary:
Hail Mary , full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus
Holy Mary, mother of God, blessed is the womb that carried Jesus and the breasts that nursed him. Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.
The Five Mysteries of the Maternity of Mary 
The Quickening: the Blessed Mother feels Jesus' first movements in the womb.
His First Nursing: the Blessed Mother gives her infant his first nourishment.
His First Steps: Jesus takes his first steps toward his destiny.
His First Words: Jesus speaks for the first time
Jesus is Weaned: the last breast-fed bond between Mother and Son.
*Something I hope everyone will note in this Rosary, weaning comes AFTER Jesus' first words... maybe extended breastfeeding isn't just normal and what is best for babies, but is also our duty as Christian mothers...? (Please don't turn this into a point of drama. I am not saying that you are not a good Christian if you are unable to breastfeed, or cannot breastfeed for an extended period. What I am saying is that it is our responsibility to TRY to provide our babies with breastmilk for as long as possible.)
I encourage all expecting mothers take some time to pray at least one of these prayers in preparation for the arrival of your baby.  If any of you are willing, I, of course, appreciate any time any of you can take to send a few prayers my way as well.

Thanks!

Should be updating again very soon!






Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Homebirth:Part 6

Well, everything is going pretty well around here!

My last appointment with my midwife was last week and my BP was back up to a more normal level! I have been drinking TONS of water to keep from getting dehydrated and I think that has probably made the biggest difference.  That was my last in-office appointment. Woo Hoo! From now on, home visits only!

At the next appointment we will be going over my birth plan and discussing where I plan to give birth... which I have decided on! Yay!

I will be in the basement. I know, that sounds awful, but it is the best , most comfortable place in the house. It is the biggest room by far and I will have access to everything I need.  We have a sectional, big chair and ottoman and I plan to push them all together to make myself a "super couch" for resting on. We also have a TV, DVD player, computer, and music all down there to keep me entertained and relaxed, and a small refrigerator so I can store some drinks and snacks.  We have a bathroom with a really big shower with a massaging head that will be VERY nice during labor! I will be setting up the pool right in the middle of the room and we will be able to fill it easily from the laundry room sink.  I think, overall, this is going to be a great place to give birth!

Here I am testing out the pool with my little guy!


Now, my main focus is on mentally preparing for my upcoming birth. 

I am working to create an environment for myself in the basement (candles, aromatherapy, music, lighting, focal points). I have also been doing a lot of practicing of my breathing, relaxation, and visualization techniques. I am using HypnoBirthing and I love the approach so far.  The book came with a relaxation practice CD that I have also been listening to every night.  I feel like I am starting to really feel in control of my mind and body during these practices, and I am feeling very positive about this birth.

I have also been doing quite a bit of stretching. It is very important if you are planning mobile birth that you have the flexibility and strength to choose positions that feel right for you.  It is also important to keep moving, stretching, and watching your posture to help the baby get into the optimal position for labor.

I have been doing a lot of squatting,
image borrowed from http://aykheyr.blogspot.com/2011/06/exercise-suited-for-pregnant-women.html no copyright infringement intended

taylor sitting,
image borrowed from http://doulaswithgrace.com/tag/tailor-sitting/, no copyright infringement intended

cat/cow stretches,
image borrowed from http://yoga.about.com/od/yogaandbackpain/ss/backpain02_2.htm no copyright infringement intended
and my husband has started doing some belly "sifting". 
image borrowed from http://spinningbabies.blogspot.com/2010/06/breech-sifting.html no copyright infringement intended

The next big project that I will be taking on is baking and freezing a bunch of meals so I don't have to cook for awhile after the baby gets here!  I did this before my last baby was born and it was a life saver!

Maybe in the next post I can post some pictures of some yummy meals!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Homebirth: Part 5

I'm so excited! My birth supplies came in the mail today!

I got:

25 Underpads

2 large plastic sheets

1 pkg (28) Super Absorbancy overnight pads

10 Adult Diapers (yep, you read that right!

Adult diapers are so much easier to use in those early PP days than the big pads and mesh panties)

2 Blood Typing kits (I ordered 2 because they didn't test this in the hospital with my first son and insurance will not pay to do it now.  This home kit is a much more affordable option)

1 Footprinting Kit

1 Bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide

12oz pkg of Herbal Afterbirth Bath

My total amount for all of this was under $50! I ordered all of this from InHisHands.com. It is a Christian, family-run business.  The company is amazing and has a ton of great supplies and materials for homebirth and midwifery. The prices were the best I could find anywhere, even when I compared them to Amazon and factored in Amazon's free shipping.  The service is awesome and my order arrived in less than a week! They even included a thank you note and beautiful labor prayer in the box.All around, just a wonderful company.  I will definitely use this company again in the future!

Anyway, getting all of my supplies together has been my focus as of late. I was actually surprised to learn how little I really needed to buy. 

This is the list that my midwife gave me for what to have ready for the birth:

In the Kitchen:
1. A tea kettle or pot with water in it.
2. 2 coffee mugs, honey or sugar left on the counter
3. Milk in the refrigerator (you may substitute soy, rice, or nut milk if you prefer)
4. Food available for labor and postpartum
5. 2-3 bottle of sports drink

In the Bedroom (Or whichever room you plan to deliver in):
1. Two extra blankets
2. Six old bath towels and several old washcloths
3. Two new rolls of paper towel
4. Two small basins, one for the placenta and one for the birthing set up about the size of a cake pan
5. One paper grocery bag and one kitchen size plastic bag
6. A laundry basket lined with a kitchen garbage bag (to keep wet/dirty linens in until after the birth when we wash them)
7. Two packages of large underpads
8. A plastic sheet or vinyl tablecloth with flannel on one side
9. Two sets of sheets- you will make your bed like normal with the sheets you want after the birth, then place the vinyl on top of the sheets with the flannel facing up, then place the old fitted sheet over the plastic, then the top sheet, then the old blanket
10. Lots of pillows
11. Large bottle of hydrogen peroxide (takes blood out of carpeting and fabric)
12. Large overnight sized sanitary pads or depends undergarments. Take out four and run them under water to create a one inch wide saturation in the middle of the pad then place them in a curved bowl and put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen put them in a baggie or wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer.
13. Baby clothes to include: 4 receiving blankets, sleeper, undershirt/onesie, socks and diapers
14. You should have a small baby bottle with nipple, clean and ready even if you are planning to breastfeed.

 As you can see, a ton of the stuff that I will need for a homebirth are things that most people already have around their house.   Of course, if you are planning a homebirth you should check with your own midwife first and find out what they want you to get.  Many of the things will be the same, but depending on your midwife they may provide more (or less) of the supplies that are needed.

Now that I have everything I need to start gathering it all up so it will be ready when I go into labor. I guess that would make this the homebirth equivalent of packing a hospital bag!

The next thing that I really need to focus on is where I actually want to give birth. I haven't put much thought into it yet and it will play a huge part in my birthing experience so it's very important that I choose the right place.  I want to be able to create a very peaceful and calming environment, not only for me, but for my baby as he enters this world.  Hopefully, in the next post I will be able to talk about the environment I plan to be in when I have my baby!