Monday, December 8, 2014

Preparations for Baby, Birth Kit

It's hard for me to remember back to preparing for E's birth. I know I ordered a birth kit and organized the supplies. I remember sterilizing bedding and clothing and towels, stacking those bags neatly in the corner. I remember those birth supplies staring at me from the corner of the room for weeks after his birth, still untouched and perfectly organized and labeled. I remember shedding tears I went through the bags and boxes, mourning the birth I didn't get to have. And I remember how healing and hopeful it felt to pull those bags and boxes out of the attic early in this pregnancy.

In the past few weeks, I've been assembling our kit for this birth - what promises to be a beautiful, perfect, healing birth in the comfort of our home. I've gotten to visit with my old supplies, and merge them with my new supplies. I've noticed differences in the supplies each midwife recommends, and I've found ways to move away from a lot of the waste generally associated with birth - my supplies are full of reusables!

We have our home visit with the midwife and her assistant this week - a kind of orientation and final check of all the supplies. We will show her where the various supplies are, and where to find other important things in our house. As I started to assemble the supplies, I decided to organize things into the order in which they will likely be needed. I know I will appreciate this method, and I hope it makes sense to my birth team.

Each drawer is labeled and they are organized according to
 when we will likely need the supplies

Several people have asked me what is contained in a birth kit. You can find many exhaustive lists out there, but basically we have:

materials to create a perfect atmosphere:  candles, birth affirmations, twinkle lights, essential oils, incense, etc

(I recently saw a beautiful quote about birth environment - "For birthing, create the sort of atmosphere that you would like for a romantic night in... you can romance your baby out!" ~Melissa Spilsted)
Some of the "ambiance" materials.
I'll be posting more on this
 as we get the birth space fully prepared.
materials for the birth tub: liner, water hose, a fish net for getting rid of floating debris (although E thinks there may be a fish in the birth tub), and a few scoops and pitchers for pouring water

materials for mama: pads -both cloth and disposable, peri bottles, herbs, straws, during and after birth clothes, comfort measures such as rice socks, massaging tools, placenta bowl
I found this absolutely beautiful bowl locally,
 and it will be perfect for a placenta bowl!
One of the few things that went as planned in my labor
and birth last time was my labor socks.
 I spun this yarn, dyed it, and knit these socks
with the intention of wearing them from start to finish.
I've darned the holes, and I intend to wear them
 start to finish again this time!
materials for baby: umbilical cord supplies, clothes, hats, thermometer, blankets
Cord materials - E hasn't decided between cutting and
burning the cord yet, so we have supplies to do both
Baby's blanket, ready to wrap my newborn love.
materials to contain the messy part of birth: under pads, gauze, trash bags, gloves, paper towel, heaps of towels and wash cloths, vinyl table cloths, etc

Although we plan to birth in the tub, I figured it was a wise idea to have the bed prepared for birth. I've made what is commonly called (in the homebirth community) a "bed sandwich." Making a bed at eight months pregnant is a tough job, and making a bed TWICE is challenging.
Step 1: Make the bed
Step 2: Add waterproof cover
Step 3: Make the bed again

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