Friday, May 21, 2010

Trial Run of the Birth Tub

Last week, the midwife brought the birthing pool and other birth kit items to our house. I had a choice of a couple of pools, and I chose La Bassine. I chose this pool because it is a bit smaller and only requires 100 gallons of water (opposed to 170ish that the other tubs require.) But even while using less water, it seemed deep enough that I will get the benefits of buoyancy. This way we will not tax our hot water heater too much, and the tub fits on the small space of tile in our apartment.

We decided to set the pool up as if I were in labor, just for practice. I highly recommend doing this to anyone who is planning a home waterbirth. Daryl wasn't happy about doing what he considered needless extra work. But I reminded him that it will be his responsibility to know how to inflate the tub and fill it with the proper temperature water, at the proper time. If there was anything wrong, and the tub doesn't get filled in time because he doesn't know what he is doing, then I would hold him personally responsible for depriving me of my choice of pain management!

So he "humored" me and did the practice run. I'm very glad that he did. The adapter to attach the hose to the sink did not fit onto any of our sinks. We had to go to Lowe's to get one that did. Lowe's did not have the correct adapter, so we spent a long time trying to figure out how to create one out of what they did have available.

Finally back home, it took Daryl a little while to figure out the air pump to inflate the pool. Once we got the pump going, the pool inflated within just a few minutes.
Then it was time to test out our hose adapter. To make it easier to fill with warm water, we are running our hose from the bathroom sink into the pool. Some people regulate the temperature by boiling pots of water to add to the tub, but that would be very impractical given our living arrangements and location of the birth pool.
Luckily our creation fit both the sink and the hose! I am not sure what we would have done if it had not fit either ends. It leaked just a bit, but not too much.
We ran the hose to the pool and began filling it. This presented us with another issue we hadn't thought of before. Our hose had just come in from being stored on the deck. It was dirty. The way we intuitively laid the hose into the pool (the same way we would if filling a kiddie pool) caused the grime and dirt particles to go into the tub, and the water into which our baby girl would be born! So now we know that before putting the hose into the pool, we should thoroughly wash the first couple yards of hose, and lay the hose over the pool edge rather than laying it inside. I used a fish net to clean the debris from the pool. The same fish net will be used during labor to keep the water clean.It took about an hour to fill the tub, from the time we started inflating it to the time the water reached the "fill line." This is important to know, because we don't want to fill the tub too early in labor, as the water will get cold and I am not planning on using the tub until further into labor. But we don't want to wait too long and not be ready when I want to use it. Knowing that it will take an hour to get ready means that we can try to coordinate it to the right time of labor. We also figured out that if we use hot water only to fill the tub halfway, and then use both the cold and hot water for the rest of the way, then the temperature is perfect by the time it is full. Temperature regulation is also very important for the comfort of the mother as well as the safety of the baby.Of course then the big question is, how do we get the water out of this thing? The midwife also provided a pump that our hose hooks into. With the pump, we can drain the water out into our yard or into an inside drain. It took about an hour to drain the pool as well.

The only difference about this practice run and the real deal will be that on Evie's birthday, there will be a disposable liner inside the tub to make it easier to clean, and more sanitary. With everything we learned by doing our practice run, we will be able to fill the pool when the time comes with very little problem.

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