Preparing for the possibility of a fast home birth with no midwife present?(48 Posts)
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.
Ok, this is what I advise my clients
1.Have a bag of old clean towels handy
2.if it kicks off fast just call 999. They will give good advice until help arrives.Call the hospital if you have time.
3.leave the front door on latch so paramedics/midwives can get in
4.Be in your warmest room
5. Keep any unsupervised small children with you.
6. Put a towel under you, sitting, kneeling or lying.
7. Push the baby out gently. Pant!
8.Rub the baby dry with a clean towel and then snuggle to your chest for warmth.
9.Cover baby with another dry towel.
10. Don't worry about the cord, there is no rush to cut it.
11. Ditto placenta. It might come by itself or with the help or paramedic/midwife.
These births rarely have complications!
oh, meant to say, we only had one ambulance turn up. and they were lovely but disappointed to have missed it
very calm and collected
Whistling that is an amazing story. I agree that the best bit about the ambulance was their massive bottle of gas & air after nompain relief for the birth itself.
And Penguins I agree about the adrenaline. I didn't sleep for about 30 hours straight. Also had very strong shakes from the adrenaline.
Loving reading all of your fast birth stories. I'm getting really excited about mine now, feel oddly prepared for a quick home birth (even without midwife if that's how it pans out) if it happens that way. Will get DH to have a read through this thread too!
This happened to me with DS 7 weeks ago. We hired an IM so was really keen for her to be there, but with an 8 hr text book labour for my first I knew things might be swift this time.
Waters broke 3pm Saturday. Weak, irregular contractions overnight but nothing I needed to pay attention to.
Planned to go for a walk to get things going so DH took DD to a friends at 11am. During the 30 mins he was gone I had 2 contractions in the bath that felt a bit stronger. Decided to stay in bath & had 3/4 more over next half an hour. Getting a but stronger so starting to think could be start of things.
At 12 I had a super contraction & major freak-out: "call the midwife call the midwife". Turns out that was transition
Next contraction: "I'm going to want to push soon, tell her to hurry. Oh I am pushing."
I won't lie it was really painful as it was so quick and I hadn't had time to develop my coping strategy or get in the zone. But luckily I'd prepared for a quick labour in our bedroom (our house is on 4 floors so I had 2 bags of kit, one in the bedroom and one in the living room-sounds OTT but best thing I did!).
I told DH it was going to be just the two of us (I didn't want to call paramedics as felt all was well & had been to a couple of births where they had been v intrusive). He didn't believe that baby would be there before MW.
On my instructions he set up waterproof nest on floor, turned on heating, got out towels etc. I got out of bath as too narrow to birth in. I kneeled up with arms round DH neck and tried to push slowly feeling DS head gradually come down.
20 mins later head was out so gave great big push & he was born in to my hands. He cried straight away & after few mins we moved to the bed and waited 25 mins for MW. We did cord cutting after she arrived so just did skin to skin in the meantime.
My tip would be having some waterproof stuff (shower curtain, sheet, towel, inco pad) in the rooms you think you might end up in. I couldn't bear for DH to leave me but thankfully we had everything we needed on hand.
I've known 4 people who have had home births:
1 - rang her dh at work and told him to come home. He was at least an hour away. Rang 999 for help. Think she had a nanny or au pair /etc at home with her on the phone to 999. She tried to go upstairs as she got it into her head that she was planning on giving birth upstairs, ambulance men got there just as she was half way up the stairs and ran in and sort of caught the baby as it was coming out there and then.
lessons learnt - keep the door on the latch. Make sure your insurance is up to date - hers hadn't renewed automatically and she hadn't spotted the renewal notice come through; wasn't able to claim for ruined stair carpet...
2. middle of the night, dh rang the midwife as it was planned. By the time the mw got there less than 30 mins later, dh opened the door with baby already delivered and in his arms, mum was having a cup of tea. other kids slept through.
lessons learnt - think they had a big waterproof sheet they were able to spread out (provided as homebirth kit maybe?) and that it was disposable. Made clearing up a doddle as she managed to get on it to give birth. Even if the baby is born, make sure the mw comes in and gives mum and baby a check up.
3. unexpected rapid delivery, during the day, ambulance control had to call somebody in who was off duty but lived nearby to help. ambulance only had one driver and thus needed help of off duty chap. Between them they forgot to turn the blue light off on top of the ambulance so when they came to take mum and baby to hospital it needed jump starting. which involved being pushed down the hill by her dh, one ambulance man and several neighbours, in the hope it would start before they hit the main road. Not a stress you expect to have just after delivering.
lessons learnt - ensure ambulance crew doesn't leave anything on it it's haste to get to you. and that you have jump leads to hand just in case.
4. (dsis!) unexpected rapid delivery. dmum was staying, dsis had man measuring up for blinds who was trying to stay and chat and chat and wouldn't take 'time to go' hints. Managed to ring her dh (farmer) to say that she thought she was in labour - he wasn't expecting things to happen as quickly as they did. He got back, managed to have a shower but didn't have any clothes to hand. Meanwhile dmum had taken the other dc up to bed and was reading them bedtime stories, she really hadn't clicked that dsis was alone downstairs initially and about to give birth, thought it would take hours as her labours had done (as had dsis's previous labours) and didn't even occur to her to come and check on dsis. dmum had to jump into the car and intercept the ambulance as it had missed the farm turning. Ambulance men reasonably helpful but no mw available. They rang hospital to say they were bringing dsis in - hospital said not to bother! THey still took her - luckily as she was hemorrhaging and she ended up there for several days. The hospital still had the cheek to tell dsis off when she arrived and said that she should have stayed at home and let the ambulance men deal with everything .
lessons learnt - don't schedule any trades people to do jobs around the house as sod's law says this is when you will end up giving birth. Unless you are seriously overdue and want to give birth! if covered in animal muck and yuck then it really is worth having a shower and having a clean set of clothes at the ready to pull on, rather than having to be a helper in just your dressing gown (or for your dh to have something to pull on in the middle of the night that he is comfortable in case you go into labour when you're both asleep). If you call an ambulance, make sure you give them very clear instructions, especially if sat nav systems struggle with your address. if you want to go to hospital afterwards then go - why should you miss out on the checks you would have had in hospital just because you weren't able to get there in time!
oops didn't mean that to be quite so long, sorry. And good luck!!!
hello op i had a planned homebirth on november 4th 2013 id had niggly discomfort all day but not painfull at all wat i thought where braxton hicks anyway come 10 ish i had a strong contraction next thing i knew i needed to push just my husband at home no midwife made it to me baby was delivered by daddy and paramedics didnt make it untill after he was born about 1 minuite after i had him they arrived this was a total surprise we didnt prepare for it the mw arrived about 25 mins after the birth
This is such a helpful thread. I'm expecting DC2 and my grandmother and mother both failed to reach hospital with their seconds and apparently this can be genetic?
Even though I'm alive to the possibility so not planning on hanging around before going to the hospital I think I should take some of the advice on this thread just in case.
Agree with the advice not to book tradespeople - a joiner was busy fitting a laminate floor in our hall, he heard a brief commotion (husband calling my mum to find some towels) wondered if something was happening but didn't hear anything else so went back to it, next thing he knew two ambulance men were asking if he'd mind awfully moving his tools!
Advice for me was to leave cord alone, the paramedics were not allowed to cut it and it was finally cut in hospital around an hour after birth. Placenta was then delivered after about an hour and a quarter.
I had a planned home water birth with DD the day before she was due. I had a clary sage bath about 11am, lost my plug at about 3pm, and contractions started at about 4:30pm then ramped up at about 5:30pm which is when we called the labour ward who said there were no mw's available to come out to us until the shift change at 9pm. We thought that would be plenty of time.... Waters must've gone at about 7:15pm and I then jumped into the pool. DH had somehow got hold of a mw's mobile number and called to say "you need to get here" and she arrived 45 mins before DD was born at 8:40pm. 2nd mw arrived about 10 mins later!!
So. Long story short. After roughly 4hr labour I'm shitting it about next time round - due in July!! I'm really worried about being home alone with DD and DH not making it back in time. The lack of midwife doesn't phase me as much funnily enough....
I had an unplanned hb with dc2. I went from eating my dinner to holding a baby in 20 mins. The paramedics did get there but didn't realise how far along I was and were standing with their back to me, telling dh we had plenty of time to get to hospital, when Dd was born.
With dc3 I had a planned hb. I was instructed to call the mw as soon as I felt a twinge and delivery suite had my name flagged for immediate attention. I was told to keep the doors unlocked if in the house alone and carry a mobile phone on me at all times (even in the house). I had a box of stuff for a hb that was immediately accessible and a hospital bag by the front door that could be grabbed in am emergency.
My mw briefed me on what to do which was basically what I did with Dd: find a comfy position, pant while pushing and put the baby on your chest and cover with a towel till the mw or ambulance arrived. Don't try and cut the cord.
In the end none of this was needed as ds2 took a leisurely 2.5 hours. I felt very silly phoning the mw early but I was 7cm when she arrived I was more worried about dh than another fast birth, he found dd's arrival quite traumatic and had nightmares about it happening again. I had an adrenalin high for weeks and want scared by the prospect of it happening again
smaths- that is interesting. paramedic was itching to cut the cord in my case.
We ended up with a baby 10 mins before the MWs arrived. The things I wish I'd known/remembered are:
Rub baby down with a towel if breathing is not happening particularly quickly - would've saved us a few uncomfortable minutes on the phone with the community MW.
Look at your clock/watch afterwards! DH looked at each other in horror when they asked us what time DD was born and we sort of had to guess
YY to not letting anybody interfere with the cord! That cord could keep your non-breathing baby alive for many minutes. Delayed cord cutting does not harm the baby in any way (barring some very rare circumstances) and might be invaluable in the case of a fast and unassisted birth far from medical assistance (and oxygen supplies!)
....they asked us what time DD was born and we sort of had to guess
Much the same happened at my son's birth - the midwife got there with about 3 minutes to spare. She asked DH what time he thought - he gave a time but a day later realised that his watch was wrong! Good job it was the afternoon and not just before midnight, otherwise we might have got the day wrong.
Mine was planned as previous labours had been precipitate. Woke at 6.30 knowing today was the day, no contractions just this wonderful, surreal feeling of being totally centred and calm. Rang the mw who thought I was crackers (so are you in labour then? Nope but I will be ) and reminded her not to stop for g&a and not to give the injection after delivery. Then sat with a cup of tea in the garden enjoying the most beautiful hazy sunshine at the start of the day.
Around lunchtime I said it was time, got the room ready then drank a glass of water with rescue remedy. Told ex to ring the mw who thought we'd totally lost it by that point (so you're still not actually in labour? No pains or anything yet, but you want me to set off now...?)
Then we started,the most amazing waves of my body doing its thing but no pain just totally focused on myself. Dd delivered without a single push, I didn't even know she was coming until she did and had to yell to ex as he was at my head!
Once she delivered she immediately started to cry and the mw walked through the door! Totally incredible experience and one I would happily repeat again and again if I could afford the children! The mw said it had been 30 minutes from my call to her getting to us and my first contraction was about 5 minutes after the call. Ex was seriously freaked out by the whole thing. Mostly because it wasn't anything like he had thought labour would be (dd was his first).
the paramedics cut DS3's cord. well, they clamped it, I cut it... they had clamps and the special scissors all in part of this kit they had (included a hooded towel which we got to keep!)
maybe it varies depending on area?
re: time of birth. DP was still on phone to ambulance operator, and they told us the time
weeping, I would have about 17 children if my labours had been like yours! You lucky thing, you.
Ds4 was my fastest, 38 weeks planned home birth.
Niggled during the day so inflected the pool and filled it. Pottered around as usual then lay down on sofa to watch jools holland, had a contraction to long after it started that made me think that baby was maybe coming that night. Phone my friend/ midwife to say don't have wine tonight just in case.
Half way through programme had two more contractions that got me off couch and padding round living room, phoned mw and said it was definitely tonight and make your way over.
Five minutes later just wanted to get into pool waters went, midwife arrived baby swam out two minutes after she arrived.
Jools holland was still on
I loved it, other half was terrified though.
For the record my previous labours had been pretty awful mainly due to panicking getting to hospital, mw not believing me about how quick it would be then panicking when I was right and ending up floundering on my back scared and in pain. Hence the hb.
I think a hospital delivery now would be very different because I am informed and confident. I simply wouldn't allow it to happen how it did when I was younger.
Writing out my story again has given me a wonderful glow. It really was magical!
DS2 notes marked as bba (born before arrival), but technically, the paramedics made it before DS2. Midwife made it before placenta (about another 10 mins)
FWIW, they took 6 mins from me talking to ambulance control to paramedic delivering DS2. They were very sceptical before speaking to me.
The ambulance unexpected birth kit is very well stocked (mw said better than hers).
Agree with the towels. And hide the good white ones. Looking at you DH, not your best call.
Have some blankets (for you, and baby) readily available also.
Prep for a home birth, and you'll be in a better place than us. Expecting to go to hospital (DH anti home birth), but despite phoning my Mum on first contraction, she made it at the same time as ambulance and her grandson. Bathroom was fine for the messy bit without prep. I'd have needed new bedding, and prob a mattress if I'd stayed in bed when I realised I wanted to push. Once ambulance control got me on the floor so DH could check there was no cord presenting, I was stuck there.
Congrats on the imminent arrival of number 2.
If good towels do get used by mistake, wash them on cold with plenty of powder and extra rinsing. Saved ours. Though they weren't white (I know, I'm a heathen) and beige is a bit more forgiving.
i havnt had a mega fast birth but,like you,my first was induced and took 2 and a half hours,a few minutes of pushing,my 2nd was about an hour and a half from when i was sure i was in labour (as in i was having to breathe throug contractions and they were coming 2 in 5) but my third and 4th were about 4 hours in total,i just knew i was in labour a lot earlier than i did with the others,i think when you are induced you dont get that build up of labour but when you go into labour naturally your more aware of it.
As for the placenta,dont worry about it,dont touch it,you dont need to and its good for them to get the blood from it anyway,if the baby comes before they get there then just leave it attatched.
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