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My birth suite is better than your birth suite…

Ok maybe not really but I spent some time on this so I thought I would show it off lest I never get to use it. The background story is that Simon was born at the Puget Sound Birth Center and it’s a really beautiful and relaxing environment. Since this time were are planning a home birth I wanted to create a space just as nice in my home. The saying goes (with regards to your birthing environment) “what helps get a baby in helps get a baby out.” Meaning that… well I am sure you can figure out what I mean. Just that rooms with computers, wires, bright lights are not so conducive to relaxing and having a baby.  When we moved into this house 5 years ago this fireplace was super ugly painted white brick. We had been intending to redo it for sometime and having and home birth was just the excuse. I told Myles I didn’t want to give birth in front of something so ugly. So this summer we hired a contractor and picked tile. This was done in less than 3 days. It’s real slate tile and our contractor even built out the real wood mantle. We are very happy with how it turned out. I cannot wait to actually hang (4!) stockings on here this year.  The inflatable tub… whenever I mention homebirth there are always questions about water birth.  I guess for some reason that the two have become synonymous in peoples minds.  I honestly don’t have a preference for water birth or not. When I was in labor with Simon I spent a lot of time in the water. It feels great. The warm water helps you relax being able to take some of the pressure off your body is great.  I just got sick of being wet before I got to the pushing part so I climbed out and had him on a birth stool instead. This time I am open to whatever. If I feel like pushing my baby out in the water I will if not I won’t. The problem with most homes (and hospitals) is that the tubs are kid sized, and by this I mean the standard bathroom bathtub. This is all we have in our house. The truth is, and any pregnant woman who has tried to take a bath knows, that these tiny bathtubs are just not big enough to really submerge yourself (the water only comes up to your waist and that’s just cold!). And forget being on your hands and knees underwater. So you can now buy or rent birth tubs. I really wanted an inflatable one (they also make ridged side tubs) because when I was in labor with Simon I was on my hands and knees hanging over the edge of the tub a lot and my knees and arms got really sore. These inflatable tubs have an inflate pad on the bottom and the sides are super soft. Honestly even if I were giving birth in the hospital I would take one of these with me. Most hospitals (here anyway) have tubs but they are just the small ones. Only Swedish Ballard, Puget Sound Birth Center, and the East Side Birth Center have large Jacuzzi tubs (to the best of my knowledge).  So the new trend is to take your own inflatable tub or have a 3rd party company deliver and fill a ridged side tub for you when you go into labor. And yes, the hospitals are fine with you doing that and I would highly recommend it “hydrotherapy” as it’s called is a great way to cope with pain.

The other day our doula came over so I could show her where everything was she commented that she liked my “birth shrine” I had to laugh. I plan on leaving it just like this for the holidays only I will add some evergreen boughs.

If I get tired of the tub the other option I have set up for myself is the master bedroom. It’s small but mostly used just for sleeping. I actually love it. Its calming and relaxing. Earlier this year Myles and I took a physical intimacy class at church (I know, church!). Our church believes in strong families and strong marriages and from time to time they provide childcare and really good lectures.  This particular one was taught by a marriage and family therapist. After the lecture the church fed the kids dinner and encouraged all of the couples to go out for a date – that was awesome! Anyway, in this class on physical intimacy we were encouraged to keep our master bedroom as a sanctuary, free of media (i.e. TVs and computers) and to make it an enjoyable relaxing place.  So for sometime now our room has been a pretty nice place I just added more candles. Can you tell I like candles? That’s nothing new, we only had about 3 million candles in our wedding decorations.

Hayven came over and said, what if you give birth during the day? are you still going to light all the candles – Yep!

The other thing I wanted to comment on are all the “mess” comments. I always here people say I wouldn’t want a home birth because I wouldn’t want the mess in my house. I guess I had this misconception about home birth as well. But the truth is that there is very little mess and everything is cleaned up before the midwives even leave. The same way your hospital room would be. The tub comes with a fitted liner, (it’s sort of like a plastic bag) and a pump. After the birth someone drains the tub, usually just outside onto your back lawn or something. Then the liner is just pulled out and thrown away.  I have a stack of chux pads in my birth kit (some people call these puppy pads) they are just flat sheets filled with the same super absorbent material that is inside diapers.  These are used for catching any other fluids or just for protecting the floor/bed/chair. Any that get used just go into the trash. Our bed is already double made. Meaning I have a mattress pad, our nice new fitted sheet followed by another mattress pad and an old sheet. If anything gets messy or if after the birth I just want clean sheets on my bed all that needs to be done is to have the top two layers pulled off the bed. Typically before the midwives and/or doula leave the trash is taken out and a load of laundry is started and the house looks cleaner than when you started. So really there is not much mess at all with a home birth and it all gets cleaned up by someone other than the mom, I have never been to a birth where there has been a mess left for the family to clean up. So there you have it. Hopedully our little one decides to make an srrival soon and we get to make good use of all the candles and the birth tub.

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  1. Emily this a great entry and so transparent and honest about natural/home/water birthing for folks who aren’t up on those trends. I loved, loved LOVED my natural water births with our midwives. We had ocean sounds, worship music and yes, CANDLES (even during the day!) when both our girls were born. Their births were amazing, tranquil and peaceful experiences that were a blessing to all of us. Praying your birth goes jsut as planned and is as amazing as you hope it to be.

  2. Kay Weaver

    Your rooms are beautiful. Now come on little one. Mom’s ready.

  3. Rachael

    Oh my goodness, it’s so gorgeous! All of it! What a beautiful space to welcome a baby into. And I am totally jealous of your master bedroom…ours is ugly and undecorated, I love yours!!!

  4. Stunning Emily! It makes me so very excited for my homebirth when the time comes 🙂 You will love those very intimate and relaxing spaces…

  5. Hayven

    This circle thing in the bedroom is soooo great! What a great reason to jazz up the rooms in your house. I just love this baby already, if not for its amazing inspiration to you! I think this little one is your muse! You are both going to have a beautiful birth! I am so excited to watch this unfold.
    Blessings to you dear sweet Emily.

  6. Chanda

    Ahhh….beautiful. I think you must be having a girl. Only a girl would make you wait!

  7. Looks great Emily. Hope you get to use it soon!

  8. ranedae

    How lovely and sweet! Nice work, mama. Thanks for sharing and inspiring! I’ve been thinking about sprucing up our bedroom…

  9. Gorgeous!
    (BTW, Center for Birth will have very large super deep tubs (deeper than any of the existing birth centers, I’m pretty sure); and Seattle Home Maternity Service has good large tub too. Have a GREAT home birth! – Tina

  10. Very stunning. What a beautiful sanctuary for your newest little one to arrive to.

  11. This makes me want to have a home birth myself 🙂 Everything looks beautiful and calming. I hope you get to try it out very soon!!

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