I’m frugal as hell, y’all know that. Remember the FREE maternity shoot I scored? Also, I found an amazing doula-in-training to attend our home birth, after which she’ll encapsulate my placenta for free as well. I’m all for anything that is either free or close to free. Ok, “close to free”‘ doesn’t even cut it – it’s gotta actually be free. If ya ain’t got it, I don’t see the need for it – Use What You’ve Got.
As I’m nearing toward the end of this pregnancy, I’m preparing all the necessary supplies for a home birth. I’ll need the essentials, of course, like clean towels and disposable pads and the like. The stock image of home birth is synonymous with a big plastic floatie pool though, not bulb syringes or other necessary birth kit items. You’ve seen it: the classic, black-and-white photo of a mom’s head thrown back in awe/relief with a scrunchy newborn on her chest all swirling around in a floatie. That’s a home birth, right? Do I need a birth pool for a home birth? Can I still have a water birth without a fancy birth tub? I’m trying my best with “No, I don’t need the expense of a birth pool; and yes, I can achieve a peaceful (water) birth at home without one.” For our circumstance, we’re forgoing the “staple” of the ultimate home water birth: the birth pool to not only save money, but hassle and space.
Why I’m not having a labor and birth pool at our home birth:
We can’t afford it If we wanted to rent a reliable birth tub from a retailer, it’ll cost at least a couple hundred, according to my local google search. Even with the loaner birth tub (yep, just the tub) from our birth center, we still need pumps, hoses, adapters, and a water bill for a test run and the actual day. The La Bassine pool is 100 gallons. The kicker? It’s a loaner because it comes with absolutely no guarantee (or setup supplies) of actually working properly because it is prone to leaks. The risk of free is too risky, even for me!
I might not want to push in water With Humnoy’s birth, I was not allowed to actually birth him out in the amazing jetted tub in my hospital room. I had to get out if I felt the urge to push therefore he was a ‘land birth.’ I was satisfied with this so I do not feel that I absolutely, positively need a water birth to achieve the optimal home birth. Imagine how pissed I’d be if we splurged for the wretched birth tub and setup to not even use it. I hear this more often than not from other natural birthing mothers.
We live in an apartment It’s a cozy little living space perfect for a small family but add a birth tub and you’re really running out of space. We could put it at the foot of our bed or in the dining room but that will compromise the space for a midwife, a student midwife, a doula, and myself to roam around freely.
We live in an apartment with a spacious bathroom No joke – our bathroom has all this extra space. Not sure why exactly but it’s got it. It can fit plenty of adults tending to a laboring mother as I soak away in our (free) bath tub. It’s a deep bath tub and it’s a tub that you can sit and lay in and possibly pop a baby out! At least with something I already have, I can push in the water if I wanted but I also have the option of getting out if I wanted. With the extra birth tub, I would feel like I would need to use it because it cost us.
With just a few short weeks left of pregnancy, I am feeling really relaxed and confident about upcoming birth. Maybe I’m being reckless or even cocky, but I don’t feel the need to freak out about something my body has done before, never mind the change in setting and circumstances. My current mantra can definitely fall on ‘Use what you’ve got.’ I’ve got an awesome birth team and I’ve got my body. I think they will all know what to do.
Did you labor in water?
Update: The birth story