I mentioned on Facebook that my birth kit had been ordered, and a few people messaged me wondering what it was. It arrived today, so I snapped a photo of the contents and uploaded it to Instagram. (I'll do a better post on it next week, after my next midwife appointment). Little did I know that the photo would spark what is probably my favorite Instagram conversation thread of all time. Check it out-- I even reveal my love for MESH UNDERPANTS.
This whole thing had me laughing, but it also made me realize that y'all may have a lot of questions about home births (in general) or even own my crazy birth stories (read Jude's // read Caroline's), so I wanted to give you the chance to ask me whatever questions you may have. Anonymously. I'm on a little bit of bed rest with some SPD and SI issues, so I have some time to answer them over the coming weeks.
I'll be updating this post with the questions and answers, so stay tuned!
Q: Are you encapsulating your placenta?
A: No. There are, reportedly, a host of benefits of doing so, including an increased milk supply and possibly even aiding against postpartum depression, neither of which I've had struggles with, thankfully. So what did we do with the placenta? We planted a huge shade tree in our backyard to celebrate Jude's birth, and Chris put the placenta in the ground with the roots in some sort of symbolic "you nourished our child, now you can nourish our child's tree" thing. We didn't have a big ceremony or anything. It just went --PLUNK-- into the ground, after sitting in our freezer for a while. Caroline's afterbirth is still... um... in our freezer. We haven't planted a tree for her, yet, but we have grandiose plans to do so. Baby 3's placenta will probably have the same frozen fate until tree time.
Q: I imagine that births are messy, who cleans up your house after all is said and done?
A: The birth IS messy, but the midwives clean everything up as it's happening and immediately after. Trash bags are in the birth kit so the midwives just stash the yuck as they go. Jude was born in my bed, so chux pads were thrown down and the mattress was prepped with a disposable mattress protector before I climbed up. With Caroline's birth (she was born in the bathroom), I moved to the bed after she was born. Most of the "during mess" when into the toilet. When the midwives arrived, they checked us both out and then encouraged me to rinse off in the shower. They had already cleaned up my bathroom by the time I showered. I saw nothing, in terms of "mess", either time. They did the laundry, scrubbed my tub (and in Caroline's case, also the toilet), got blood drops out of my carpet and tile, took out the trash (or took it with them?), made me something to eat and drink, and even did the dishes from the meal they made me. I believe this is pretty standard in terms of home births. A few weeks before the birth, they come over to the house to check out where things are: washer and dryer, cleaning supplies, kitchen, pantry, etc. I could not imagine having to deal with and dispose of that kind of mess right after pushing a baby out of me!
Q: What was the total cost to purchase all birthing supplies?
A: The birth kit was $59.57. This time I opted out of the extra $38 for a tub liner (for a water birth in their inflatable la bassine) because I hadn't had time utilize that previously. I had to purchase additional items like towels, washcloths, sheets, and blankets that could (possibly) get ruined. I got all that at Savers on a 50% off day before Jude was born for around $25.00 (and the same set was used for Caroline's birth and is being used for Baby 3). Aside from supplies, the total midwifery care cost was $3950, with our insurance covering about 1/3rd of that.