Sunday, January 29, 2012

What I'm Grateful For (and Water Birth)

We've been struggling with Telkom and some of the more bureaucratic and isolating parts of immigrating to South Africa, so here's what's been going well:

  1. A healthy pregnancy.
  2. Eug has skills and does stuff like build beds and fill massively cracked walls.
  3. Noah is talking like crazy and is generally growing up fast, reassuring me that he'll cope well with a little brother.
  4. Getting a package from Anna with a German Teddy and a fluffy singing Rabbit. They are Noah's favorite things, even though the rabbit is for Tiny Blob.
  5. Going to Fruit and Veg City with my sister for the first time, with the prospect of future trips.
  6. Getting my first foraging loot- also from my sister- a huge bag of pine cones with pine nuts for pesto and risotto.
    • Jo to Eug: I can see why pine nuts are so expensive! It takes so long to get them out of the cones, and then I still have to crack the shells!!! I wonder how they can be so cheap in Korea!
    • Eug: Uhh. Jo. They use machines.
  7. My parents watching Noah twice a week (at least, sometimes more).
  8. Having more family nearby.
  9. Registering for a PhD, and the prospect of at least a little funding.
  10. Getting a solar geyser this Tuesday.
  11. Maybe getting internet by next next week (please Lord).

And, I was writing to a friend about our upcoming home birth, which started with something along the lines of "I think my midwife is really into water births but I'm a bit concerned about logistics..." I may be too lazy for water births, despite being attracted to the idea of it being super peaceful and nice and so on. Last time, we didn't even get around to sorting our iTunes into "appropriate birthing music".

  • When do we get the tub? 
  • Will there be enough time to fill it up? 
  • But I don't want to have a tub in the lounge for days, and I might not have enough time otherwise!
    • What if Noah gets in?
  • If it's in the living room, won't people be able to see me from the street? 
  • Does that mean I need to buy proper curtains, if the hydroponics plants aren't up or haven't filled out to provide privacy? 
  • But when? 
  • I don't want to pay for curtains! 
  • And what will they [who is they! me? Eug?] do with all the water afterwards? 
    • Put it down the toilet? 
    • Is blood acidic? 
    • Could the blueberries use it, then? 
    • But they'd only need, like, 2L, isn't the tub a lot of water? 
    • We don't have a garden where we can just dump that much water! 
    • How will the water stay warm? 
The good news, I'm not concerned at all about having the baby at home, the questions are about how to make it the least work possible, with the least cleanup. So that Tiny blob and Eug [and Noah?] and I can just hang out with as little blood around as possible. 


leah said...

I did my first birth in a tub and my second out of it. In the water is way nicer than out of it, if there's time. I bought a blow-up tub for $40 the second time, and with an air pump it inflated in 5 minutes. It takes about 30 minutes to fill it up with warm water, and it'll stay warm for 1-2 hours without a heater in there. BUUUT, since my second birth was only 10 minutes we didn't have time to fill the tub or use it. We used the tubs upstairs and Dan siphoned the water into the garden. Into the tomatoes, to be specific. It'll be way too much water to go down the toilet. You have quick labor like me, so it might not be worth it to get all the stuff....

Linda said...

Curtains - borrow! :) Sure your mom or sister have some spare or can lend something for a few weeks?

Or just buy a piece of cheap cloth to throw over if you're worried about privacy?

Don't stress the small stuff - when it happens you won't be worrying about anything but holding your new baby ;)

ems said...

I had a longish labour and my knees were killing me after being on them for ages. So water was great for just taking a load off. However, for all my hippy intentions, I ended up in the lith position in front of the wood stove any way! Blowing it up, I corroborate, not a long process. Filled ours with boiling water from the kettle and pots from the sink. Placed an insulating cover over it to keep it toasty - too toasty. I think the midwife dispensed with the H20. I have no idea where.

BUT for clean up - if you want a great place to do all your grunting and whatnot and/or to put over any surface not worry about mess, I highly recommend making a birthing mat. Find an old shower curtain or tarp, collect old towels, flannel sheets or other absorbant cushy material and layer it - make it big enough to wallow on. Pull the edges of the tarp over the edge of the soft stuff and duct tape it (should look like a really horrible quilt). Voila. I was appalled at the idea of just throwing it out at the end but after birth and being exhausted, I just let the ladies toss it - at least it was all recycled materials. You could always be even more economological and take it apart and wash it and save it for a drop cloth or use it for quilt batting (but I had held down the sofa for weeks after so I was not inclined).

However, after all the hassle, I still managed to make a huge mess that required a sofa cover :)

And... Lots and lots of towels.

Concrete Gardener said...

Thanks! I like the idea of the fireplace, if tiny blob arrives in the night. But it's strange to be in the position of not having old towels and stuff. We DO have an old shower curtain from my mom, and I see some potential there. But I think maybe the bath will be good enough for at least some of the time. Or maybe (in a sudden twist) I should ask my midwife all my neurotic questions...

emily said...

From your posts it is obvious that the "seconds" culture of SA is very different form the US - but not terribly so from NZ. The most basic horrible furniture would sell for insane amounts, for example. I had a midwife friend who knew someone with a second hand shop who would give her things that were too nasty for the shop (isn't that a lovely image!). Also, my midwife often got things from people who thought some birthing mother might be able to use them. That's where we got the old towels and sheets for the birthing mat. Worth a shot. [And I have to admit I found some of the old nasty towels too nice to use and toss so they are not in with our regular towels.] Blargh.