I had a homebirth on Friday and it was so much nicer than hospital. Even though it was by far the hardest of my 3 labours I felt more relaxed, as I could wander around, put music on, use my own bathroom.
I had the full attention of 3 midwives (one of whom was a student) for the final 3 hours of labour, which made for a calm, relaxed atmosphere. Even when I was pushing and panicking (DS2 came out with his hand on his face, which hurt like nothing I've ever felt before) I knew it was ok because I'd been so closely monitored.
Also, my older two got to meet the new baby much sooner than they would have done if I'd gone anywhere. My mum came and picked them up and took them to her house at 11am, they were back by 5pm to meet their 2 hour old brother.
I'm actually quite sad that this was my last child, as I'd happily have a homebirth again!
I've had 2 MLU births and 1 city hospital, after ds1 I did consider a home birth but I couldn't be bothered with the hassle or potential mess (I like water births) I loved my 2 MLU births (ds1 and ds3) they were so different from the city birth and I did get loads more attention and more sleep at MLU. I think home and MLU births are similar it is just down to whether you want to be at home with your dc nearby and in familiar surroundings or away from home and housework Would you want to stay overnight in a MLU or would you come home? If you would come home then go for a home birth and save the journey!
In terms of the actual medical care they can give you, I don't think there is much difference between being at home or at a MLU.
So I guess it comes down to whether you have a strong desire to be at home and whether you want your DC to be present/nearby- or if you'd rather be somewhere different where you would get time to recuperate/ bond with baby away from the distractions of home.
I had DD1 at a MLU and it was wonderful- very small place, I was one of only 2 women there, really high quality of care, own room and bathroom etc.
I was gutted when I had to be induced with DD2 so wasn't allowed to go to the MLU again.
Dp and I are planning on ttc baby number 3 in the summer and I really don't want another birth in a horrid stuffy medicalised delivery room. Both my previous births have been very straightforward, the last one fairly quick. My preference is for a home birth but I don't know if it is wise with 2 children at home. I have laboured quietly previously but who knows, next time I might scream the place down!
About 20 minutes away we have a lovely little cottage hospital, with a midwife only maternity unit, there is only about 6 beds there so it really is tiny. A friend had her 2nd baby there and she was the only person there so had the mws full attention! A far cry from my 2nd delivery where the mw sat me in the delivery room and told me to press the button if I needed to push. Subsequently the mw only had her gloves half on whilst trying to deliver dd.
So...opinions please, which would you go for? I realise I may have a very long time ahead to think about this but I just wanted some views from those who have experienced home births or a midwife unit. Thanks!