So I have a close knit group of homebirth and birth center birth friends, and I've asked them to tell me what their must have's are for having a new baby. Here's what they have to say:

Lisa - her LO is appx 5-1/2 mo's
"...For us, a few musts were...
Swaddle blankets or swaddle outfits
Breast Pads
A swing
A sound machine
Ummm I know I will think of more things as time goes on..."

Meghan - her LO is appx 6 mo's.
"...Yes, swaddle blankets!! Aden and Anais are the best!!! I also think a waterproof changing pad is very helpful nipple cream, nice comfy pjs for mommy. I'm trying to think of what else we really used a lot.... hmm..."

***note*** thanks to my SIL's SIL, I have discovered the Aden & Anais makes swaddle blankets in bamboo. They are soooo soft!!! I want to use them as scarves!

Ginny - her LO is appx 4 mo's.
"...Nipple cream, swing, pjs with a zipper for baby, and the gowns. I love those gowns..., especially when you have to change them in the middle of the night. Oh and the pumping bra!! I freakin love that thing!"

Erin - her newest LO is almost 5 mo's. She also has soon-to-be 5 year old identical twins.
"...With H I feel like I've been so minimalist in what I've used with him. But two things I've really used are: the baby papasans. It doesn't matter what kind of "container" you use but it's nice to have a couple scattered in the house to put him down in. I keep mine in the kitchen and bathroom and move them around. The other thing is the Bosom Buddy nursing pillow. It really helped me nurse initially and it's so much better than the Boppy. Other than that I think a good sling or soft sided carrier. I use my Boba daily."

Erin is also an essential oil user. Here is her list of favorites:
"...Must have EOs: tea tree (aka melaleuca), lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint. I love doTerra's Breathe proprietary blend too..."

Emily - her LO is about 5 mo's.
"...Must have's: 3 carriers (sling, baby bjorn, ergo) (all for different stages)
lanolin cream (for nipples and works wonders on diaper rash)
nursing pillow
swaddle blankets
white noise machine (I use a cheap box fan and LOVE it!)
nursing cami's

And finally, here's my list. My LO is fast approaching 4 months!


Booby trapper nursing cover (thanks to Erin for turning me onto it).

MAM pacifiers.

SwaddleMe swaddlers

A sleep sack or two.

Chicco key fit carseat. They are not the lightest out there, but that's not a bad thing. It's meant to be a safety seat for baby in the car... Not what they live in, so you shouldn't be carrying it around all the time anyway. (Grab maybe 3 sets of back up strap covers for the carseat, stroller and swing. I have one set that is fuzzy, and two that are thicker. This is great for when you outgrow the newborn insert and baby falls asleep in the car. The thicker ones help support baby's head when she falls asleep). My hubby installed two bases for the seat. My car has latch, his does not. He watched a few tutorials online and said it was a piece of cake.

Chicco keyfit carseat caddy. It's about $100 new, but SO worth it for those times when baby is asleep in the carseat and it would rain terror if she woke up. It also has a HUGE storage basket in the bottom. Super easy to fold and unfold, and the carseat clicks in. Drives really smooth. Totally worth it. Look on Craigslist!

Lansinoh lanolin - can be used for sore boobies, and it's a fantastic diaper cream. Cloth diaper safe. If you're not cloth diapering, I really like the Aveeno diaper rash cream. Amazon is a good place to get it.

Boobie ice packs. Avent makes some.

High quality coconut oil. MUST HAVE for breast feeding. It was the only thing that helped with the pain. It also kills/prevents yeast problems. Also good for diaper cream. Or lotion. Or cooking. And then the baby will smell like the beach! And spit up. You win some, you lose some!

Get a good swing. The kind that plugs in so you don't have to fool with batteries.

I like our bouncer. It's the fisher price snuggabunny bouncer.

Rock n play. I don't have one of these, but know several mom's who swear by it.

Arms Reach CoSleeper mini. Love this little bed. I borrowed this one and will have to give it up soon! Waaah!

Sound machine.

FosCam instead of a monitor. You can view the feed from a laptop or iPhone for the parent that works outside of the home. Amazon again! About half the cost of other monitors.

I agree with Erin on the Bosom baby nursing pillow (can be purchased in store at Nurtured Family in Spring, or online at, or amazon). I wish I had gotten this pillow while LO was really small. We had some hard times nursing and a tiny baby is challenging to nurse no matter what. At about 6 weeks, her mouth got bigger and life got easier. Now it's a breeze and we can nurse pretty much anywhere.

Lots of burp rags. Ok so I would actually NOT recommend the Gerber kind you can find at big box stores. They have a poly fill in them, unless you can find the premium, but they are overpriced. Poly fill reduces absorbency and it's not a natural fiber, if you're looking for 100% cotton. I would recommend cloth-eez prefold diapers from Several sizes to choose from. I haven't tried a billion types of prefolds, but so far, these are my favorite. And I like their work horse fitted diapers too... But that's another post for another time.

I don't recommend Gerber clothing for the most part because their sizing is so off. It all runs seriously small.

Gymboree has really nice receiving blankets. That's kind of a splurge, but one or two come in handy. They are a soft knit fabric and have nice weight to them, but they don't get too hot.

Underpads. They look like puppy pads, but they're in the incontinence section at any grocery or pharmacy store. You'll figure out real quick how handy these are. I keep one on my changing table and in my diaper bag. When they pee on it, throw it away or cut it in half. They're nice and big too for diaper changes on a changing station in a bathroom while you're out.

Get some good bags for on the go. My favorites so far are from Thirty One. I like the organizing utility tote, which I am currently using as a diaper bag. I also use the retro metro tote for travel, and a medium utility tote for diaper storage. I also have the matching weekender bag for mommy!

Medela Freestyle pump.

Lansinoh or Avent nursing pads.

Nursing tanks.

Have I mentioned nursing tanks??

Nursing tanks.

Good luck finding a nursing bra that you like. Apparently though, I am told that Nordstrom will alter any bra and convert it to a nursing bra?? That could be nice.

Sleeper pj's with zippers.

A little grooming kit.

Little Noses saline and some sort of snot sucker. The old fashioned blue bulb kind works great, but who knows what it looks like on the inside. The Nose Frida is supposed to work really well.

Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles.

A Wubbanub. Just because they're so cute.

Carseat Canopy. I need to get one of these, but I think I may try to make one because it's so hot here and most of them have minky fabric and it's just too hot.

I second what the others say about a soft-sided carrier. Boba, Beco, ErgoBaby are great carriers. I am currently using a Hava Chic sling, size regular. I work, and I don't get to wear her near enough. So whichever type you choose, wear your baby from the start. The slings take practice to get the baby in there correctly. And if they don't stay used to it, they will fuss. Which will make you sad.

Disposable little trash bags for your diaper bag. I like the arm & hammer Munchkin bags in the dispenser. They're scented. And sometimes you need that. They're great for dirty diapers and dirty clothes. Either one.

Fisher price discover and grow play mat
My LO uses this every single day.

We also have the Chicco lightway stroller which is great for indoors.

I recently borrowed Erin's BOB revolution (I think it was a revolution) jogging stroller and that thing is awesome. My LO went on a 4-mile walk and was pretty much happy the whole time. And it fits in the trunk of my Jetta, with a laptop bag, boots, and a plastic box... With room to spare. Couldn't believe it.

Prince Lionheart BeBe Pod chair with toys. We like this better than the bumbo because of the toy. Pretty cute.

Mittens and socks. My LO had freezing hands (and sharp nails) and freezing toes all the time. Once she got bigger, it's not such a huge deal.

Erin's olive oil and chammomile baby soap. This is not for sale...... Yet.

A good old fashioned rocking chair.

Ross/TJ Maxx/Home Goods is a great place to score random baby stuff. Blankets, clothes, books, etc.

I'm sure there's more, but that's good for now.

Beyond that... Babies need arms to hold them, a Mommy to nurse them, and something to keep them warm and that should do it... The rest is just fluff. :-)

"...well, we're going to need to go ahead and get another ultrasound just to make sure you have enough fluid and that the placenta is in good shape... And if you go to 42, we'll need to start a consult with a doctor..." (this is of course a paraphrase, based on my memory...)

"Ok great. So what are we talking to the doctor for?" I said, while still blissfully unaware.

"An induction."

"Wait... What?" I said in disbelief.

"We can't go past 42..."

Well crap. This was about October 30th I think. I was already 4 days past due. I hadn't even thought about an induction. I figured nature would take its course and she'd come when she was ready. I had declined being checked, and all internal exams thus far. Even though I love my midwife, I find them invasive and unnecessary. I didn't need to know if I was sitting at a 2 for weeks. Thankfully, my midwife didn't seem phased or bothered by this at all and let it be.

I was the last out of the six couples in our Bradley class to be due. All 5 other babies were here and were doing great. All but one of us had gone past their due date, so I just put it out of my head. Kept wrapping things up at work and not dwelling on when labor would start. It would happen when it happened, and not a minute sooner.

Then BAM. The words I didn't want to hear. "...we may have to talk about a hospital induction..." For someone who has dreamt of a home birth for years, this was not good news. There goes my calm demeanor, my patience and my ehhh-nobigdeal attitude. Replaced suddenly by a sense of urgency that I had worked hard to avoid.

Induction, huh... Ok fine. I will now commence to being that freakishly large pregnant woman walking circles in the cul de sac with one foot on the curb, and the other on the road. Turn around and switch feet. Lol. I walked with hubby, I walked with friends, I walked walked walked. And I hated it. It was bloody hot. And I was huge. (...and by this point in pregnancy, every mother-to-be is probably just a little angry at something... Probably her cankles...)

So with somewhat heavy hearts, my husband scheduled the ultrasound. My midwife suggests we push it off for another week, so we set it up for November 3rd. We just knew we'd never have to go to that ultrasound.

Boy were we wrong.

So we wake up that Saturday morning, still no baby. I'm sad at this point. I need my baby to get here. We hop in the car (this is a funny thing to say because pregnant women who are 41 weeks pregnant simply do not hop... They heave) and we drive downtown to get our ultrasound. They check on everything and all the critical things are perfect. Placenta holding up. Check. Plenty of fluid. Check. She's still a "she". CHECK CHECK!!

...but then we found out some more stuff that we hadn't known about before for sure. First off, she was still posterior. Which means she's still head down, but instead of her being turned so her face and chest is facing my spine, she's the opposite. So her face is facing my belly. This causes back labor. Still not the end of the world to deliver this way, but can make labor really long and exhausting because of the extra back labor.

The other thing we found out... The big thing.... The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice. The ultrasound tech didn't seem to think that was necessarily much of a concern. Sure it can be, but doesn't always have to be.

So we text Midwife what we find out and go from there.

I'm not really sure what we did the rest of the day, but it was pretty nice, in spite of everything else, to see my little baby in there. We found out she had hair, that she was a good healthy size, and she was already suckling in the womb. It was so sweet to see that.

The 4D ultrasound pic was a bit concerning though... Lol... Turns out her face was just smooshed against me in there.

Saturday comes and goes.

Sunday comes and goes.

That is until about midnight. Hubby is asleep and snoring away. I wake up sick as a dog and begin to vomit, and have "other" issues that made things quite complex... I did this for about an hour and a half. Then I was exhausted and weepy and decided I needed to go get my bucket and keep it by the bed. (Secretly, I'm trying to make noise so hubby would wake up and take care of the stupid bucket situation).

So I take my 900lb self to the garage and try to find my bucket. It is MY bucket. You see, I brought this bucket into the marriage with me, and it is my bucket of choice. Well it was full of crap. Strike one against sleeping snoring hubby.

So I have to settle for an inferior bucket. It had crap in it too, but not quite as much. So I empty it and take it to the kitchen to wipe it out. It is then that I realize that this stupid bucket is far too filthy for me to puke in and I am going to have to wash it.

"How is he still asleep?????" I wonder outloud... At this point I'm starting to cry because I am still nauseous and am having to clean my own puke bucket. And it's not even th bucket I wanted in the first place. Strike two for Hubby.

Time to wash the bucket louder, and whimper a little more. I just want him to wake up so I can go to bed.


Just before he gets strike three, he finally hears me and stumbles into the kitchen. I don't know if he finished washing the bucket or not, but I'm glad he woke up. We decided to text Midwife. I said, "Either I've got food poisoning, or something is going on..." She tells me she will come over and check on me. By the time she got here, the worst of it was over and I was able to lay down without getting sick.

It was time to finally check my cervix to see if anything was going on. Dun dun dunnnn...

Lo and behold!!!!! It wasn't even at a one. Woohoo. That's exactly what I wanted to hear. We were in the wee hours of the 10th day past due. I was running out of time.

She decided to massage my cervix and to attempt to strip my membranes. I had heard different reports on the amount of pain this was going to cause. Some said it was really uncomfortable, some said it wasn't that bad the first time, but if you had to do it more than once, it got worse.

Well, I didn't find it fun, but it was bearable. And my cervix was apparently responding. By the time we were done, I was in between a 3 & a 4.

Midwife left around 3-4am or something crazy and we went to sleep. She had an appointment the next morning with my sister-in-law that she moved. Before she moved it though, SIL texted me that she had a dream that Midwife had to cancel because I was in labor! I told her that was weird because she had been there during the night.

So I wake up around 7am and I'm feeling a little different. Looking back, I was actually having little contractions already and that's what woke me up. I was so used to NOT having this baby though, that I wrote it off.

I remember that my dad called. And I didn't know I was experiencing contractions at this point so I didn't tell him that. I'm not even sure I remembered to tell him the midwife had come over. So my dad had apparently had his bag packed and in his truck for awhile and was taking his toiletries bag to the truck with him in the mornings when he left for work, and back out in the evenings every day when he got home just in case we called to say she was coming. That's one of the sweetest things ever.

So somewhere mid-morning, early afternoon, I decide to start timing contractions on my iPhone (used the "Full Term" app. Highly recommend it.)

I was still all over the place. First it was 5 minutes apart... Then 8... Then 2.. Then 3... They were getting harder though. So we let Midwife know. I continued to labor at home and watch my silly "too cute" show about kitties and puppies. What? They're cute and it was relaxing and mindless!!

These contractions were starting to get harder, longer and stronger and a lot more
Frequent. I remember talking to my midwife maybe around 2? Not sure... I was in bed and had been concentrating on not screaming through contractions. (Earlier, I had decided to see if screaming through a contraction would help, so I screamed through two of them... Husband comes walking into the bedroom looking a little concerned... I just say, "you know... It doesn't help one bit" and gave up the screaming until later).

All things considered, I was managing the pain fairly well and was keeping generaly calm and mostly quiet. It hurt. Bad. But when I had to talk on the phone, I started crying. I guess it took my focus off of staying quiet just enough that I just couldn't do both.

I was having a lot of pain in my low abs and low back and my contractions were getting stronger and more consistent. After our phone call, she came over around 3:30. I was still in bed. Hubby was busying himself with the birth pool and birth supplies that we had been gathering.

From this point on, things really start to blur. I was finally able to get in the pool at about 5:10. Midwife had to leave for a bit and asked if that was ok. I was still at a 4. I said ok.

I remember laboring in the pool and wanting it to offer much more relief than it did. Baby was posterior, so I guess that was it. More contractions come and go... But the don't ever really "go". I am not getting this relief in between that I always heard about. More and more contractions... Or just one really big and angry unrelenting one.

Less than an hour after being in the pool, I ask Hubby where Midwife is. He says she's coming back. I say, "I don't think you understand. Get her back now. I need to push."

Midwife makes it back after about an hour to an hour and a half maybe? She checks me and lo and behold, I'm at an 8. Midwife 2 arrives. I remember being a little silly and saying "...welcome to our home..." in between what were now loud grunting pushy contractions.

Midwife has me check myself to see what I feel, and I feel the water bag bulging. And I mentally paused to say to myself, "self... Wow that'd freaky." and more and more contractions. Somewhere around this time, I started getting a discernable break between contractions.

Then, like a shotgun, my water broke. Midwife continued to monitor Baby's heart rate. At one point, she serenely told me to breathe through a contraction. So here I am thinking, ok I must have been holding my breath through contractions and that means the baby isn't getting enough oxygen... So ok. Push. Don't die. Try not to tear holes in the tub.. And now BREATHE. So many ruuuuules. Later I realized she didn't want me to push at all. I told her at a follow up visit that if that came up again... To simply tell me not to push through that one. Lol. I couldn't follow. Still cracks me up.

Ok so I'm not really sure if I'm supposed to be really trying to push or what... So I push some... Wait for instruction some... Push... They get me out of the tub. Now I'm freezing. So off comes the swim top and skirt. Great. Tadaaaaa. I'm nekked as a jay bird.

She has me get on all fours to push. As I push, I rocked backwards. I guess this wasn't working or something, so she had me put one leg up like in a running stretch. I sure hope to never have to do that again. Ugh. I actually have a minorly deformed pelvis, so that could be why it was necessary.

Honestly, I couldn't tell when she was coming out because the pain was as bad as I could compute I think. But I knew I was making progress. Midwife continues to coach, Hubby is encouraging me, telling me I'm amazing and doing great... And out comes her not-so-little 14" head. Midwife needs her out a teeny bit more so she guides her out and says, "The cord isn't wrapped at all.... Nope. Wait. There it is." Then she unlooped it once... Then twice... Then out she came.

They schooched her up to me and I just kept saying I did it! We did it! I can't believe I just did that. I'm so glad she's out!! I was still in the most uncomfortable position and I couldn't get to her yet. They helped me turn over and laid my pink little 8lb, 5.5oz, 21" long baby girl on my chest as we waited for the cord to stop pulsing.

It was like meeting someone for the first time that you've known forever. It's a backwards feeling. This is the little person that would kick and play while I sat in the bathtub. I would watch her move and poke my belly and she would kick back. So I knew her... But I had never seen her... Or touched her or kissed her. But she was mine. This perfect little creation. So strong. So alert.

And smart too. Remember when I said I finally felt relief between contractions? Little Miss turned around and delivered normally. Praise the Lord.

Time of birth, 7:39pm. I started pushing at 7:20. Not too shabby if you ask me.

I had some repair work and once that was done, we took an herb bath together. She floated around in the tub while I supported her head and shoulders. Pretty amazing. We were both tired. She slept in my arms. It was ecstasy.

Now I'm not a very vocally religious person, but I am a believer. And I can honestly say that nothing has ever brought me closer to my Savior than having this sweet baby. We talk about her often.

Psalm 139:11-18
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand--
    when I awake, I am still with you.