I had my third baby at home. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know — I'm an independent empowered birthing goddess. Wait, what? My hippie ideas are going to kill me and my baby?

Yeah, yeah. Whatever.

I'm not interested in debating homebirth vs. hospital birth. I'm not that sick. Let's leave that fun to angry Facebook threads and 75-page-long BabyCenter forum debates comprised of judgmental females (a third of whom have never had a baby). Yay!

My purpose in writing this is to share with any woman who may be planning a homebirth a few simple things I learned after mine, so maybe you can be a little better prepared.


Giving birth at home means you won't be able to escape the condition of your home when you go into labor (meaning if you're like me, you're screwed).

Get some people together the last week or so of pregnancy (as if we know when that will be) to come over and clean your house.

Oh yes. The nesting stage... when we all run around like happy little bunnies cleaning our houses and organizing onesies. Yes. Of course. Unless it's your third kid and you're like 900 pounds and miserable and, um, inept? Yeah. Let's go there. In that case, you'll be doing the bare minimum of house cleaning and the absolute maximum of sitting around whining to your mother and friends that this baby is actually never going to come. Ever. And your damn hippie midwives won't induce you, and they keep talking to you supportively about how that "baby's going to come at the perfect time" and you feel like punching them, but you don't because then you'd go to jail, and who wants to have a baby in jail?

So anyway you'll feel compelled to get that messy house perfect before the baby comes, which means if you're planning a homebirth, get some people together the last week or so of pregnancy (as if we know when that will be) to come over and clean your house. And listen to you whine.

When the midwives say "birthing tub," there's a good chance they mean "horse trough"

But it's cool, because afterwards, at dinner parties, when all the ladies are comparing their fancy birthing suites in posh hospitals, you can smile at them and say "I gave birth to a 10-pound baby in a horse trough in my living room." And the look you'll receive simply cannot be matched. It's an irresistibly lovely mix of terror and fascination with a slight courtesy smile, as they back away slowly. I'm kidding. People always just think I'm joking when I say it. But I'm not.

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