Preparing for the possibility of a fast home birth with no midwife present?

(48 Posts)
LovesToBake Thu 21-Nov-13 10:50:20

Not wanting to scare myself, but it feels like a sensible precaution for me and DH to know what we should do if my birth is so quick that the midwife doesn't make it on time. DC1 arrived very quickly (3hrs from first indication which was waters breaking to baby arriving and only about 30 mins of pushing) so this time I'm planning a home birth. Obviously if all goes well, the midwife will be with me/us. If it's crazily fast, there is a chance I could be alone at home (if DH at work) or at home with DS on our own, or with DH. Would love to hear from others who have experienced this with any tips.

13loki Thu 21-Nov-13 11:04:00

My second was born about 40 minutes after I woke up. It is amazing how fast they will get a paramedic out to you when you tell them that you can feel the waters bulging out! If it's that fast, it is usually also quite easy and straight forward.

Put the delivery suite number into your phone. Keep it with you and charged.

DS slept right through it all in the next bedroom. Woke to house full of strangers (fast response paramedic, 2 ambos and a midwife (she came about 45 minutes after DD was born))

If you have the baby, just cuddle her until someone comes. If you have called, the midwife at delivery suite will stay on the phone with you until someone arrives. They will talk you through it (hopefully more calmly than the midwife screaming at DH "Tell her not to panic", which of course made me think that panic was the normal response, and I wasn't panicking, why wasn't I panicking???" Keep baby warm, skin to skin with you.

Make sure you have a really good mattress protector on - we had to buy a new mattress topper blush

Good luck - DS was 14 hours of at home pottering around, walking around the shops with mild contractions, then 3 hours at hospital before delivery, DD was days of stop start, then 40 minutes of active labour. DD2 just will not come out and I am fed up. I am also 20 minutes from hospital in good traffic, but it is snowing and we have a steep escarpment to drive down, plus DH would need to organise work and drive home, pick up DD from childcare, take her to babysitter, and they don't do homebirths in this part of Sweden shock

smaths Thu 21-Nov-13 11:42:27

Since you're planning a home birth anyway you should have most things to hand, dd2 was born in the space of 6 minutes in our downstairs loo and all I had to hand to wrap her in was a slightly grubby hand towel... so if I were to do it again (which I hope not, we are finished with babies, barring accidents) I would make sure and have a pile of fluffy towels and blankets in strategic places upstairs and downstairs! Good luck hope it all goes well.

Has it been suggested that you have an induction prior to the previous gestation you gave birth at? I'd be seriously freaked at the idea of a fast home birth without a midwife, and I say that as someone who has had a home birth!

LovesToBake Thu 21-Nov-13 11:50:41

Thanks for the ideas so far - great tip about keeping strategically placed piles of clean towels about the place, thanks smaths. No, I have never heard of anyone having an induction in a situation like this mrsminiver and I wouldn't want one - happy to let things happen naturally and if it's quick, that's a bonus and as long as I'm prepared, all should be fine. First birth was uncomplicated.

bundaberg Thu 21-Nov-13 11:56:40

hi OP.

this exact thing happened to me!

had a homebirth with ds2 who was 6 hrs, planned another for ds3 not expecting him to be ridiculously fast.

went into labour in middle of night, called midwives who said they'd be an hour (!) but that if i needed to push we should ring an ambulance. I suspect they could hear me while dp was on the phone and knew it was quite intense already lol

managed to get the birth pool inflated AND filled grin

needed to push before midwives had arrived so dp called ambulance, I got into birth pool, and ds3 was born next contraction. Ambulance arrived about 5-10 mins after that, and the midwives were about another 10 mins after that

waking up to giving birth was 48 mins.

It was intense, and I was slightly shell-shocked but actually it was a lovely experience and I didn't feel worried at all during the labour, it all just happened!
I have read that precipitous labours generally are that way because everyhting is "right" which means it just progresses quickly and baby is born with no issues. Obv that's no guarantee but was def true in my case.

LovesToBake Thu 21-Nov-13 12:07:40

bundaberg wow that's a lovely story, thanks for sharing. I would love for it to all happen like this, especially at night so DS sleeps through the whole thing and we don't have to call on any friends/family to come and sit with him!

duchesse Thu 21-Nov-13 12:21:45

Bloody hell, so envy of you fast birthers... I've had four and not one of them took less than 8 hours (although DD2's birth was recorded at 4.5 hours but my waters went about 3 hours before the official start).

bundaberg Thu 21-Nov-13 12:28:57

yes it was brill, his older brothers got to meet him in the morning and some friends came round with cake and stuff :-D

This kind of happened to me. I knew I was in labour from 7am but this was dismissed by midwife who saw me that afternoon. Proper contractions started around 7pm. I rang for a midwife around 7.30 and made the mistake of being fairly coherent during contractions so there was no urgency in sending one out. I laboured alone as DH upstairs with overexcited DS. He seemed to sense I wanted to be alone, said he was checking on me lots and I was completely in the zone. Honestly, it was wonderful, I felt utterly free to labour exactly as I wished. I started pushing, it was completely instinctive, I couldn't have stopped my body from doing so. I did have a moment when I thought hmmm, should probably tell DH I'm pushing. Then next thing I know the midwife has turned up, has her back to me and is unpacking her bag whilst I am birthing DDs head. Then I had another contraction, DD swam out (waterbirth) and I caught her. That was about 9pm.

I've never seen a person move so fast as the midwife when she realised what happened grin

LovesToBake Thu 21-Nov-13 13:11:52

Chutes that sounds absolutely magical. After my own (fast) waterbirth with DS, I can fully relate to wanting to be on your own and going into the zone. All that preparation stuff you get told about having your DH to mop your brow/rub your back - I wanted NONE of it!

TicTacZebra Thu 21-Nov-13 13:36:24

I love a good birth story! grin

My first labour was 37 hours. My second was 4. I could feel my waters bulging out after about 2 hours and looking back I should not have made the 45 min drive to the hospital, but I panicked. I think I would have had DC2 a lot quicker if my waters had broken earlier as when the midwife accidentally burst them, DS literally just came out. It was really weird.

I would really love a home birth for my next baby but DS went into shock because of the fast birth and was in the SCBU for the first 2 days, which puts me off.

Good luck for your home birth and congratulations! smile

LovesToBake Thu 21-Nov-13 13:51:19

Some amazing stories coming out. For those who delivered at speed without a midwife/medic at home, did you also deliver your own placenta naturally? What did you do about clamping/cutting the umbilical cord?

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Thu 21-Nov-13 14:21:02

I kind of had this with DD2 - a planned homebirth but a long latent stage suddenly turned into a super fast active one. I also have a friend who has had 3 super fast births and one who gave birth in the bathroom whilst her toddler watched CBeebies!

Call the midwives as early as you can. Also, get it specifically flagged in your notes that you had a very fast labour last time. They may agree to immediately send two midwives, instead of one and then the other later on.

If you end up with an ambulance, be aware that it seems not all of them are up to date on their training in delivering babies! If nothing is going wrong, you may want your DH to incept and calm them down. They will routinely send two ambulances (two potential patients needing a transfer if they were being called to a bad situation) and at least one will know what they are doing! If they arrive before the baby is out, remember that they carry gas and air too !

From my friend - as soon as you feel something happening, if you are alone make sure that your toddler is somewhere safe and preferably with an activity that will keep them occupied- TV is your friend. Try and leave the front door in a manner where it can be opened from the outside without the key if you can do so safely (particularly with toddler!).

My placenta was really slow- I think paramedics bursting in and panicking slowed things down. So try and keep things calm and relaxed to help that. As you've planned a homebirth, the midwife should still come out and can administer the jab if you really need it (though they prefer not to after a delay). Leave the cord well alone. Someone will be with you soon enough to deal with all that. Obviously you can deliver the placenta if you get that far without cutting it.

HTH a bit.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Thu 21-Nov-13 14:21:33

*intercept, not incept.

LemonBreeland Thu 21-Nov-13 14:51:58

I was in this position with DC3. My community mw loved 10 mins away, unfortunately she was not on call the night I went into labour.

I had not discussed with dh what we would do if no one was there, as we just assumed that the mw would make it.

As it was the mw hadn't arrived and I felt the need to push so we called an ambulance. This meant that dh got talked through the process by the operator, which helped to calm him a bit. So I would suggest that is a good option.

Our mw arrived 1 minute after dd was born and the ambulance followed a minute later.grin

Good luck with your hb, I had two, the first being a little calmer.

Oh yes the cord cutting was my only issue. I didn't have a birth plan written down but had expected there would be time for me/DH to brief midwife that I didn't want the cord cut straightaway. Obviously there wasn't and I think the midwife had the clamp in her hand as she clamped and cut it before I realised, seconds after DD born. Luckily I had the presence of mind to shriek 'no injection, no injection' to stop that!

Helspopje Thu 21-Nov-13 15:02:32

My first was 45 mins twinge to baby so made similar eek-like thread pre baby#2 (who arrived in the MLU in a grand total of 13 mins).

There was a fab posting about keeping a carrier bag with all the necessary to hand. Do an old threads search. I think it was April 2013.

AWhistlingWoman Thu 21-Nov-13 16:26:57

I recently had DD3 at home on my own (had sent DH to take older ones to school and agreed that we would go to hospital when he got back) and probably less than 10 minutes from waters breaking to birth. Please do be prepared that it can be very quick indeed! Fortunately DD3 was straightforward and I delivered her on our bedroom floor, an amazing and terrifying experience. Due to complications in previous pregnancies I was set on a hospital birth rather than one at home and certainly not an unassisted one! But like chutes instinct just took over and I couldn't have waited if I had tried.

I recommend plenty of clean towels, a good carpet cleaner and definitely a mattress protector! I was so glad I had one on the bed! Don't move too far away from your phone, don't send DH or whoever else may be around out on an errand thinking that you've got time and don't get in the bath if you are on your own as I found getting out unassisted a challenge! And penguins your friend, I don't know what I would have done if I'd had one of the older ones with me. CBeebies too I guess!

When DH got back he called the hospital who sent out an ambulance. The paramedics cut the cord. Then the community midwives came and they helped me deliver the placenta and did my stitches. And they brought sweet, sweet gas and air with them!

ChasingSquirrels Thu 21-Nov-13 16:43:06

Another one with a similar story.
Ds1 was around 2hrs.
Dc2 planned homebirth.
Water went, phoned delivery unit and requested midwife.
Midwife called back few mins later when I was having 1st contraction. Dh took the call and I said to get here quick as the baby was coming.
10 mins and 4 contractions later I felt down just to check nothing was happening and delivered my son's head into my hand.
So reached down with other hand and delivered the rest of him.
Dh panicked and called 999, I didn't really understand why - ds2 and I were fine :-)
Ambulance arrived about 20 mins later and midwife about 30 mins after that (1 hour from first call).
Placenta took a while, another 30 mins or so after the midwife arrived.
All started 11.40pm, by 2am I was tucked up in bed with ds2 in my arms asleep and me wide awake full of adrenaline!
By the it wa

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Thu 21-Nov-13 16:45:02

One thing the midwives told me, which might be reassuring, is that babies that come super fast tend to only be able to come super fast because they are well positioned and straightforward. They said it was far rarer than you might think for there to be any complications from this type of delivery (other than shock!).

*Whistling - I know, terrifying! She was quite cheerful about the whole thing...

ChasingSquirrels Thu 21-Nov-13 16:47:52

Just read your question about the cord.
We did nothing with it till midwife arrived ( I just cuddled up skin to skin with him).
I then pushed a bit to try and deliver placenta but in the end she clamped and cut the cord, which was about an hour after birth of baby, before I then delivered the placenta.
No injection.

NomDeClavier Thu 21-Nov-13 16:55:29

Not quite at home but a friend gave birth in the car to her first when driving to hospital. Her waters went and her DS was there in less than half an hour.

The only prep her DH had done was read Ina May Gaskin because she wanted him to have some idea of what to expect wink

bundaberg Thu 21-Nov-13 17:39:19

loves i was keen on delayed cord clamping anyway, so it suited me just fine that the ambulance crew got there a while after the birth. they clamped the cord and I cut it myself. after ds3 was born I just cuddled him in the nice warm water of the birth pool until they arrived.

I think if they'd taken ages we'd have prob cut it ourselves... you can "clamp" by tying it with string etc if needed, it's not a problem.

delivered the placenta after the midwives arrived and i'd got out of the pool, so had a natural third stage as by that time it was around half an hour after the birth.
no idea what i'd have done if i'd delivered it in the pool before they arrived! lol tbh i'd forgotten about having to deal with it

Loveyouthree Thu 21-Nov-13 17:45:11

I had my DD on her due date last year (November 29th) and she arrived with just me and DP present. Third baby but I was terrified! She was fine though.

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