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Did you know we really boil water at homebirths?  It’s true.

We boil water to steep herbs for postpartum care and to heat up the tub if needed.

Last week, I attended a homebirth in my childhood home.  It was my sister’s 2nd birth there.  I’m pretty comfortable in that home.

At 5am, I went downstairs to start water boiling.  I knew Noelle would get in the tub soon and sometimes the hot water runs out.  I was on top of it!

There were 3 large stockpots on the stove.  I checked one and it was water.  I checked another–water.  I didn’t check the third.  I turned the burners on high and walked away.

A little while later, it smelled like the house was on fire.  I ran into the kitchen and promptly busted it–sliding in a puddle of water in my socks.  A pot was smoking.  I grabbed it (burned my fingers) and took it outside.  Apparently, my mother was soaking lima beans for the vegetable soup Noelle requested to eat after her birth.

Have you ever smelled burnt beans?  Noelle actually thought I was smoking cigarettes!!  The house smelled horrible.  I smelled worse.  I had to find new clothes in my mother’s closet and rub sweet orange oil in my hair.  It was nasty.  Worse, I had to wake up my mother and ask her to clean the kitchen floor because Noelle needed me.

4 responses »

  1. The adventures of birth attendants 🙂

  2. You tickle me!

  3. Hee-hee. You make me chuckle.


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