How does an unplanned home birth work?

(59 Posts)

I have booked a hospital birth in UCH, if everything goes right I'm going to the birth centre to have my baby in a few weeks.

However, my doula is a bit concerned that I may birth too quickly, as first labour was 7 hours from the time I got to hospital (about 11 hours from first very weak contractions). I'm in London, so depending on the time of the day there will be traffic to the hospital.

Yesterday I was alone at home with DS (DH was at work, not answering his phone) and thought: if labour started now I wouldn't have anyone to leave DS with - what would I do? And then figured out I would just have stayed home.

I believe if you are giving birth at home you have to call an ambulance and the paramedics would come, is that right? And then?

In my first birth all the midwives did was break my waters without asking for permission and forcing me to push lying on my back. In other words, I would have been better without them at all. I want health professionals around just in case something unexpected happens, and it seems that paramedics would fill this role perfectly well (hopefully nothing will go wrong and they won't even need to come near me).

What I'm asking is: am I deluded or does my reasoning make sense?

PS: Just to make it clear. I'm NOT PLANNING not to go to hospital. It's just that if things go too fast, if I feel I can't go there in time, or if labour starts at 8am (a horrible time to go to Central London), I want to know what my options are.

PS2: Before you ask 'Why don't you book a homebirth and then decide on the day?' The answer: I'm not booking a home birth because I live outside the area of the hospital I'm booking in, and I don't want to book it with the local team of MWs of the local hospital.

magichamster Fri 12-Oct-12 10:49:14

Just thought I'd throw my story in too....

Ds2 arrived very quickly and was delivered by dh about 10 mins before the paramedics arrived. They called the midwife who came and delivered the placenta.

I too did not want to go to the local hospital, and was booked to another. However, I had to go to hospital anyway because of my blood pressure, so ended up in the local hospital because the paramedics wouldn't take me to the other one.

Good luck with whatever happens!

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Fri 12-Oct-12 10:57:03

Yes, rather more than planned! DD1 was a hideous instrumental hospital affair. If I am ever convinced to have a third <eyes non-sleeping 16 month old sternly> I may get a boring one.

Daft thing is, the labour wasn't actually that fast, it was just latent/irregular intense contractions for a few hours, then half an hour from seemingly 'getting going' to out. After DD1 we thought I was hours away from having her, until suddenly I was pushing!

A birth centre is lovely. There is one by me which I considered. The issues for me were childcare for DD1 and availability of the pool. I wanted to be able to get in for a rest if I needed to without someone telling me I wasn't dilated enough. In your own home and when it's your own pool no bugger was going to stop me (in fact, it was getting in for a 'rest' which seemed to kick start DD2 out).

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Fri 12-Oct-12 10:58:35

Magic makes a good point - if the paramedics transfer you, they will do it to your nearest hospital. So if you hate it it makes sense to head off to the MLU even if you think it is a bit early. Of course, if you plan a homebirth with those midwives, you are less likely to have to transfer... difficult call.

DinosaursOnASpaceship Fri 12-Oct-12 11:03:43

I asked about our birthing centre and was told I was to high risk (because according to the midwife I have small babies - mine were 7,3 7,4 and 6,14 so not exactly tiny! Never needed any intervention, home after 6 hours etc so I don't see a problem!) but I know they can't refuse a home birth. I would in theory quite like a home birth but don't have the confidence. Plus I would be to worried about having to have a spotless house!

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Fri 12-Oct-12 12:56:16

Are you pregnant now Dinosaurs, or do you mean that you were refused when you had no.3? A history of babies that sort of size is not small and is not high risk (unless there are other factors), so if it is a current issue, I would ask to speak to another midwife, maybe directly to the MLU.

Youlllaugh, I'm planning to go to hospital early anyway. My first labour wasn't that long, and I feel just like you - I got to the hospital and all I wanted was to go to my room, be wherever I would stay for the rest of the labour.

All I can do is hope that this time I'll get there dilated enough to go straight to the room.

Dinosaurs, in my first birth I was absolutely no risk, was booked to the birth centre and when I got there they told me birth centre was full so I'd have to go to labour ward. Turns out they were lying, and they do it on a regular basis, I found out.

So the point is that we don't have as much choice as they want to make us believe.

On the other hand, I was told they can't refuse you a home birth if you want one. I don't know the details. (and anyway, like you I'm not keen on the thought of a messy bloody house to sort out afterwards - although homebirthers say the mess is much less than we imagine).

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Fri 12-Oct-12 13:17:11

Honestly, there isn't much mess. Especially if you go for a pool grin. My doula sorted out lots of stuff, the MW did bits (but was dealing with afformentioned stubborn placenta), DH shoved towels in the machine and emptied the pool. By the time I was with it enough to settle down in the living room, you'd never have known.

Lots of valid reasons to go to MLU or CLU obviously, but I don't think mess should be one holding you back from a homebirth.

DinosaursOnASpaceship Fri 12-Oct-12 14:03:04

I'm 24 weeks pregnant at the moment.

I did ask to go to the birthing centre with ds3 too though and they said no hmm

gaby274 Sat 13-Oct-12 00:04:41

I had a un planned birth with my third baby i was in the house alone my kids were at school and my husband at work. I phoned 999 they delivered the baby as i was in labour an hour but they couldnt move me my husband arrived just in time. And the do have gas and air xx

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