Motherhood, Pregnancy

I Will Give Birth at Home. Even If I Don’t Have a House.

14 Comments 03 March 2011

I’m planning a home birth and don’t have a home to give birth in.

Over the past month,
I’ve been waging a silent fight against pushing my panic button.

I was going to give birth at my mother’s lake house.

We were going to stay there for the summer. I was going to labor in the water on a beautiful, sunny July day.

Then I received word from my mother that the home I thought I would be giving birth in this summer was no longer available. Due to a rocky divorce where neither side can agree, she’s putting it up for sale.

First I was mad. Really mad.

Then I settled down and realized we were big kids and could get our own house. But before long, I got angry all over again, and with that came a great deal of anxiety.

Of course, we’re not homeless. I could give birth here if I needed to…in this tiny, second floor apartment bursting at the seams with our household items (and some of our stuff is in boxes in the carport – yeah, it’s cramped alright).

No, I refuse to give birth here.

Not only that, but I don’t want to live here after giving birth, hauling my two babies up two flights of stairs just to get in the door. And there are three flights of stairs down to the laundry room, which we share with the 5 other apartment’s tenants.

Also, no dishwasher.

I am not delusional enough to think Eric will wash the dishes AND do the laundry for the first month (or two) of our newborn’s life. There would be piles and they will stink and stress me out.

And if any of you stay at home moms are like me, you understand – I am the domestic goddess of this household. I am fortunate enough not to have to work, and with that comes the responsibilities that I have taken a liking to (and am actually pretty proud of to boot!). But if I don’t do it, it just plum doesn’t get done.

Looking for a three bedroom home to rent with a dishwasher, washer/dryer &  yard. Oh, and…I’ll be giving birth there, is that okay?

It didn’t take long to discover that our options were limited.

Not only were there few homes for rent, there were even less that met our ideal description without charging an arm and a leg. I thought times were tough right now?

Finally I sent out a massage Facebook message to all my friends in the Kalamazoo area, trying not to plead or sound too stressed out our situation. The response was good. Got a few leads. But they quickly faded out.

Back to square one. Ugh. Breathe…

That was about a week ago. Since then, we’ve had two promising leads!

We’ve seen both and liked what we saw (one more than the other). The prices are right. Now we’re just hoping our references check out and we’re cleared for move in. That shouldn’t be a problem.

And both owners know and are okay with our plans to birth at home! Yippee!

Since we’ve seen those two places that could work, I have slept so much better.

I knew I was bothered, but I honestly thought most of my night time restlessness was due to my sore hips and back. I didn’t realize just how much stress I was under until I saw that little light at the end of the tunnel.

Cross your fingers for us – we’re not in the clear yet. But by golly, you betcha I’ll be sharing the details about where we move as soon as it happens. Thank you for your positive thoughts!


UPDATE: We got the house we wanted! I’ll take photos as soon as we move in on April 1st! Thanks for all your positive comments and vibes coming our way!

Your Comments

14 Comments so far

  1. Kate Nolan says:

    KAITLIN!!! YOU WILL BE OKAY!!! Wow, this is a lot of stress. But just trust that the universe knows what you need and can handle, and you and your babies and your baby daddy will all be okay! I don’t even really know you, but know that I am proud of you and that I believe in you! The place you birth your baby will be just the right place. You and your family will bless it and make it a better place on this Earth.

  2. Awww that sounds like a lot of stress. I’m sorry to hear that you lost your ‘dream’ home birth location. I trust that you’ll find the perfect home where you can birth your baby. All the best!

  3. Heidi says:

    sooo glad you are finding a place! We had a home search ourselves in the last few months, NOT fun! At least I wasn’t pregnant on top of that! I’m glad you’re getting some sleep now, lots of positive vibes coming your way!

  4. Kate says:

    BIG hugs!! We moved from our teensy apartment to a house just 8 days before I gave birth to my second child. And my husband was working 80 hours a week so I was doing all the wheeling, dealing, packing and moving with my 2 year old in tow. I know how crazy and stressful your situation is. Sending some positive and calming vibes your way!

  5. Joni says:

    I hope this works out for you. I can relate. We were living in an apartment (albeit large) with three kids while I was pregnant with my last baby, trying to buy a house, trying to find a house to buy. We ended up in a new construction home because I was like I NEED A HOUSE TO HAVE THIS BABY IN. It worked out. She was born in the kitchen :)

  6. Terri says:

    I am really hoping you get the place. I know what you are going through as I had the same situation for both of my pregnancies! For baby number 1, my partner and I had not even moved in together yet! We finally found a place when I was 5 months pregnant. It was ultra small but perfect for our small family. However once my DD started to crawl and I was bursting with baby number 2 we desperately needed to move as I was planning a homebirth too and there was absolutely no space for my birth pool unless we birthed in the yard! After much agonising, we found the PERFECT place just 2 minutes walk from where we were living. I was 7 months pregnant at that time! It all worked out for us both times and I am sure it will for you.

  7. Mah-rya says:

    You CAN have a homebirth, even without a house. We did! I was 6 months pregnant when we had to move out of our home due to significant mold remediation. My family of 4 (soon) to be five was lucky enough to stay with my parents in their one room mother-in-law suite in their home….but I didn’t want to have my birth their – too much, ahem, energy.

    A friend’s sister (and AMAZING lactation consultant and LLL leader) offered us her finished basement. I was a little nervous about birthing in someone else’s home, but when she said “I am done having babies, and this house NEEDS to have a baby born here!” I felt comfortable and relieved.

    It wasn’t quite the same as my previous homebirth, but I was able to relax and the birth was amazing nonetheless.

    Hurray for homebirth and the fact that these things REALLY DO work out. You will have a place to birth your child and it will be the right place, at the right time, with the right people. HUGS!

  8. MJ says:

    You will definitely have a safe, clean place to bring your baby earthside and be able to continue your Goddess homemaker duties!

    I just wanted to add that if neither of these to options work out for you and you have to look again, I wouldn’t mention the home birth thing.. what they don’t know (and really don’t have to know), won’t hurt them (or their house). Duplexes are good alternatives to houses and always much better than an apartment. :o ) Good luck with your searching, you’ll find a place that suits you.

  9. Brooke says:

    I know you are stressed and I totally understand! When I gave birth to my second baby we lived in a tiny apt in suburban downstate NY. Not only did we have no yard, washer, and no drier, and many stairs to contend with BUT I was NOT a stay at home mom and still had to do everything. I worked from 6:45 PM- 8 AM three nights a week. I left work at 37 weeks and went back when my baby girl was only 7 weeks old (to a 13 hour workshift). So what I am trying to say is even though you do not have the dream setting to birth in, just make the best of it. You still have it better then A LOT of people. In major cities all over the country women never even dream of having a house to live in. They all live in tiny apartements. Not only that, but think of say, the countryside in Afghanistan where women don’t even have the option to birth anywhere but there dirt floored no electricity no running water mud houses. So try to stay posative and make the best of what you have. You were seemingly fortunate to have had that lovely home to live in. I would have loved such a luxury.

    • bringbirthhome says:

      You’re right Brooke, and all the others who have said something similar as to be grateful for what I have. I am. Very. I understand this perspective very well and know that I am blessed to have as much as I do, to live where I live and have supportive family and friends. This post illuminates the other feelings I have, but perhaps I didn’t do a good enough job explaining how good I have it too. Thanks for your comments!

  10. Laura says:

    Kaitlin- I went through this exact same situation while I was pregnant! We had been living in a tiny, one bedroom apartment that was unbelievably stuffed with our junk. So soon after we found out we were expecting, we started looking for a house to buy. (We had to do this with my dad because neither my partner nor I had any credit to our names) I was feeling SUCH a sense of urgency, I pretty much wanted to buy every single house we saw as soon as we walked in. But I was patient and after about 2 months we found a house in the neighborhood I grew up in, 2 blocks away from my old school and 6 blocks away from my mom, grandmother, and brothers. It was serendipitous! I didn’t even think we would be able to afford a house in this neighborhood, but somehow it worked out. Then came the moving/painting. It took another two months to get the house painted (the previous owner was a smoker and the house hadn’t been decorated since 1964). It was very frustrating for me not to be able to help- I had so much energy that I wanted to unleash on the house! Another month to get our furniture arranged to make it look like we weren’t a bunch of squatters! By the time we got our house ready for me to give birth in, I was 7 months along. It seemed like an extremely long and stressful journey, but I have this wonderful memory of one day after everything was done, my partner and I sitting out on the back porch together, each with a hand on my belly, and breathing-relaxing- for the first time in months. We finally had our space, and you will too! No matter how frustrating or difficult it feels, you will use your mama energy and make it happen. Best of luck!

  11. Alyssa says:

    Oh, man! I wish I had read this post when I was still pregnant. I went through the same thing with my home birth. My boyfriend and I lived an hour away from each other but we were renovating a house to be our family home and the place where I would give birth. At 37 weeks I found out that due to some major setbacks, the house was definitely not going to be ready in time. My midwife was only licensed in the state where I was *supposed* to give birth and there were no midwives in my home state that would accept me so late. From 37 weeks until 6cm dilated I was still hoping I could find somewhere in PA to give birth! I ended up having a hospital birth. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t my dream. The most painful thing was when people around me would say how relieved they were that I had a hospital birth. “I’m much happier that you ended up in the hospital.” is a hard statement to stomach when I so badly wanted a home birth for my baby girl. I can only hope for the future.


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