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Giving birth alone.

(58 Posts)
Shellywelly1973 Fri 10-Jan-14 18:11:41

I've known for most of this pregnancy that it would be very likely i will be on my own when I give birth. I'm 37+3. I was at the hospital today & the enormity of it hit me.

I will have to do this totally on my own. Carry my own bags & car chair. No one to hold my hand or get me a drink. No one to share my fear or joy...

I don't have any close friends here. Exdp doesn't want any involvement with birth, baby or our 3 other dc.

It didn't really bother me until today as Exdp was pretty useless during the other births. I really wanted a hb but it was so difficult to organise care out of the home for the older dc that it makes more sense for me to leave then the dc.

The walk today from the car to the hospital was quite painful & I realised I will do that again whilst in labour with a bag & car chair!

I don't know why I'm posting really as there's no point in being upset as it's the way it is...

It's lonely though. x

CrispyFB Fri 10-Jan-14 18:18:20

sad I don't know what to say, other than I can completely understand why you would feel so sad. I've not had this exact scenario but I've experienced a similar emptiness at what should be a wonderful time after my father passed away and I achieved things I knew he'd be proud of, and nobody else really cared.. and he was gone.

Is a doula out the question? It's a stranger, but at least it's somebody for the more practical stuff. Often you can get trainees who do it cheaply or for nothing just for experience.

BettyBotter Fri 10-Jan-14 18:23:52

I'd second the doula suggestion. Student doulas are often cheaper.


Shellywelly1973 Fri 10-Jan-14 18:29:02

I decided against a doula after meeting with 4.

I will be fine but you know how it is some days. All those lovely couples in the ante natel clinic looking at scans pictures...Exdp didn't even bother to come to my 12 week scan. He was on a rest day but didn't bother to get up.

I feel very unprepared. I can't visualise the birth centre. There are no tours only a really crap virtual tour. I haven't had time to do hypnotherapy. I need to pack a bloody bag! It just feels horrible at the moment. It's meant to be a happy time. It's my last baby & I had looked forward to this so much but it's horrible, scary & lonely.

sebsmummy1 Fri 10-Jan-14 18:30:46

Whereabouts are you OP? i wonder whether a Mumsnetter might be nearby and could help with some practicalities.

callamia Fri 10-Jan-14 18:37:27

I'm sorry you feel alone. I am pleased that you might get to use a birth centre though - have you given birth in one before? I had the same midwife and a student throughout, and their care and guidance was incredible.

You sound like a very strong and able woman, and I'm already full if admiration for what you're going to do. Do you have friends enough to bring anything you need to the hospital? Or collect you afterwards? I wish you well, and lots of happiness with your new baby.

AlwaysDancing1234 Fri 10-Jan-14 18:39:21

Where are you based OP? I am sure I'm not the only mumsnetter who would be happy to help if I could?? In the meantime talk to your midwife as they will offer more support if they know you are labouring alone

StrangeGlue Fri 10-Jan-14 18:41:48

Hey op don't be too proud to ask a casual friend or acquaintance to help most people would be delighted to come in the cab and carry stuff in, get you settled and cone back later. It might turn them into a close friend!

Or a mumsnetter!

Christmascandles Fri 10-Jan-14 18:42:52

I don't know where you are Shelly but if you're any where near the midlands I would be delighted to be your birth partner etc..

I've had five DC. All sorts of births, cs, induced, epidural, natural grin
Will support you all the way, ante and post natal.
I was also on my own for one of mine too sad so know how you feel thanks

LlamaLover Fri 10-Jan-14 18:44:21

I'm in a similar situation. I am 26 weeks and have a 3 year old. No partner and no family and just moved to new area so my closest friend are 1 hour plus away. sad

Am going to try for home birth if all stays well with this pregnancy, just so my DS can stay in bed if it all kicks off at night. What are you doing for childcare for your older ones?

I'm 'interviewing' doulas shortly, hope I find one I like. No advice I'm afraid, but lots of understanding. cake

ChristineDaae Fri 10-Jan-14 18:47:23

Shelly I never seem to be (geographically) close to anyone on MN but on the off chance I am I'd be happy to help with the practicalities

TallGiraffe Fri 10-Jan-14 18:57:51

On a practical note, you shouldn't drive yourself to hospital to have the baby. If you are in a taxi, get the driver to help carry your stuff. And on the way home the midwives will help you into a taxi, then get the driver to help again.

What are you doing with your other DC? What if you have to stay in for a few days?

flowers and offers of help if you are near me.

singlespeedlass Fri 10-Jan-14 19:01:56

Can I also offer you my services as a taxi driver/bag carrier/hand holder if you are anywhere near me (West Cumbria). I'd be pleased to help.

katatonic Fri 10-Jan-14 19:06:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 10-Jan-14 19:09:59

Ah thanks for your kind replies.

I had my last 2 dc in a stand alone birth centre but i couldn't book in there as it's dc6 & their criteria stops at 5 dc. I've always wanted a hb but will never experience one now.

This one is in a large Hospital. Far from ideal but better then a labour ward...I hope!

I was quite friendly with a couple of mums at the school but ds is struggling as he has SNs & hes on reduced hours so i rarely see them. When i do see them i don't have much to chat about as I'm working etc. They are SAHM's with dh's. I don't live close to either of them.

My grown up ds is coming to stay to look after the dc but he doesn't drive so I will get a cab home as there isn't any parking at the hospital.

The doula thing was incredibly difficult as I just didn't connect with any of them. It's quite an odd thing trying to envisage a stranger doing such a personal thing!

dobedobedo Fri 10-Jan-14 19:10:11

Aww OP and llamalover do tell us where abouts you are. I'm sure a MNer would be there to help out with stuff.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 10-Jan-14 19:13:33

Thanks for all the offers...you've cheered me up. :-)

Whereisegg Fri 10-Jan-14 19:19:34

ditto to helping, I'm in lincs smile

callamia Fri 10-Jan-14 19:23:07

Me too. I'm in SE London.

Hey Shelly
I'm sorry to hear you're feeling sad about this.

I ended up giving birth alone as I was very early. And the end it all got a bit frantic so there was a limit to what DH could have done even if he had been there, but the earlier stages the midwives were utterly utterly brilliant with me. They checked several times there was no one I wanted to call instead, and then we just go on with it. Out of what could have been a fairly negative experience I actually have some really positive memories because, without wanting to get all 'I Am Woman Hear Me Roar' about it, it was a very empowering female environment.

Although I am obviously gutted that DH didn't get to share our first, and probably only birth, in some wierd way I cannot imagine doing it WITH him there!

In terms of more practical advice, I would try and make friends with a good local cabbie who is likely to be your first choice to call to get yourself to hospital, and I'm sure they'll help you into the reception.

I would write a clear birth plan, read up on your hosptial/birth centres policies so you feel well informed about any likely scenario, and make it clear to your midwife exactly how much info you want from them (tell me everything/don't disturb me I'm contracting/whatever!). Although I didn't have a birth plan I did know what was likely to happen in my particular situation, which I think made it easier for the midwives to support me.

OiMissus Fri 10-Jan-14 19:26:23

Bolton based. Happy to help a fellow mum if I can. Good luck.

itsnotreallymehonest Fri 10-Jan-14 19:28:42

New forest here!

CurlyKiwiControl Fri 10-Jan-14 19:32:34

Hi Shelley - just a few words of comfort from me smile I recently gave birth to my third child alone (DS is now 11 weeks) ex partner didn't think he was father (long story) and we have no contact now, he is a total waste of space. It was fine really it was. I phoned a taxi company prior to check they were happy to take me when I was in labour - fine. I told midwife of my situation - fine, and they organised a student midwife to stay with me - fine. I also rang the Labour ward reception when I was outside taxi driver waited and the midwife came down and gave me a hand - fine. Everyone was lovely. The birth was okay too, I just was in the zone so to speak and not really aware I was on my own ... gas and air is brilliant stuff eh?! Afterwards was fine too, I was just pleased to have DS in my arms - nothing else mattered smile it may seem scary now, but honestly it can and will be okay! I would say it was my best birth in fact, I could just concentrate on me. Feel free to ask me anymore questions I don't mind smile

Shellywelly1973 Fri 10-Jan-14 19:36:37

Lol! at 'I am women hear me roar'!!!

I've never written a birth plan...It would say - leave me alone to get on with it!

The hospital is a nightmare. The Maternity, Ante natel & Birth Centre are at the furthest point from the entrance. It took me 20 min to do the walk today! Actually I need to find out about night time access etc as I only organised going to the birth centre on Tuesday.

I will be fine once I'm there... Thanks again. x x x

Shallishanti Fri 10-Jan-14 19:42:15

have you ruled out a hb? You don't say how old your other dcs are but I remember someone having her 4th at home because she was a lone parent.

catinboots Fri 10-Jan-14 19:47:43

Shelly love. Just tell us what county you are in. You may not want a stranger with you for the birth, but one of us could drive you in and bring your things and come back to take you home x

MNers are the best, I promise smile thanks

Hangingoninthere Fri 10-Jan-14 20:05:56

You may be able to have a home birth - I had a hb with my third with the other dcs then 2 and 4 at home. I explained everything to them in advance and they stayed up stairs while I had dd in the lounge. My labour was quick & dcs were fine & loved seeing their little sister just after she was born. Can you older dc look after you young dcs in a different room so you could have a hb?

Elllimam Fri 10-Jan-14 20:09:07

I'm near Glasgow if I could help? Xx

Shellywelly1973 Fri 10-Jan-14 20:21:39

The plan was a hb from the beginning as i really dont like hospitals. Exdp & my neighbour were going to care for the dc. My youngest 2 have SNs.

I've had all but 1 at night.

Dp & I split up before Christmas. My neighbour hasn't been very well & sadly she had a stroke last Monday & is now in hospital.

My oldest ds is great but he will struggle with the dc. I'm hoping it's midweek so at least they will be at school. If I'm here the boys won't understand why I'm not available to them. They wouldn't leave me alone. They both have ASD. Ds8 is much more needy then Ds5. They would not be able to comprehend that I wouldn't be able to talk to them as normal, whilst in labour for example.

It's very hard...

When dp left I cried for 2 days. Neither of them noticed.

frazzledoldbag Fri 10-Jan-14 20:37:39

I'm in Scotland - I don't know where you are but I hate the idea of anyone struggling and alone with kids and a new baby on the way. I will help you if you are anywhere near me - I have 3 kids and also a midwife.

GimmeDaBoobehz Fri 10-Jan-14 20:53:33

I'm in Dorset and would be happy to help in any way that I could. I don't drive either, but certainly could come to the hospital to help out if you needed someone. Most people like me, although I am pretty chatty but will shut up if you ask me to.

GimmeDaBoobehz Fri 10-Jan-14 20:56:16

Same for Llama if she needed some assistance too.
Or anyone from MNet for that matter.
Nobody should go in labour on their own unless they are prone to outbursts of violence

Biscuitsneeded Fri 10-Jan-14 21:05:58

Those mums that you were friendly with, but don't see much now - why don't you text them and explain your predicament? And if you don't want to actually give birth in front of them, maybe they could at least come with you to hospital, carry your bag, help you get to the right place etc. After that for the actual birth if you want your friends to not stick around they will probably find a health assistant or student to keep you company - both I and a friend have given birth alone (for different reasons) and in both cases the staff were extra-nice to make up for the absence of birth partner. But I bet those mums you are friendly with would be really touched to be asked to help, and if a fellow mum asked me for that kind of help I would think that's the kind of thing women should do for each other...

Shellywelly1973 Fri 10-Jan-14 21:06:40

lol@Gimme !!

Thank you to you all for your kind & gengenerous offers...

But I will be fine. I need to keep busy & not think too much!

The days & weeks leading up to giving birth are actually worse then the birth itself!

I used to be very close to my sister, mum & mil but circumstances have changed beyond recognition & generally I'm ok but days like today make me feel lonely & very isolated. x x x

Hangingoninthere Fri 10-Jan-14 21:11:38

I went through labour & birth alone with ds2 - in many ways I found it easier as I could focus and get on with it. I had ds2 in hospital so had midwives with me for the birth. I am sure you will be fine with the labour &birth but will probably need some help getting to the hospital and after the baby is born.
Have you any other neighbours, parents of dcs school friends, local childminders / nannies who might help? I'm sure if people knew your situation you'd get lots of offers. I know I would offer for someone even if I didn't know them very well. I would be happy to be asked to by any of my neighbours or acquaintances.
When is your baby due?

Mitchell2 Fri 10-Jan-14 21:11:59

Have you spoken to your midwife? In my area (london) they offer maternity mates - which are women trained to give support during childbirth - kinda like a free doula for those who don't have support. Maybe your area has something similar?

Emilycee Sat 11-Jan-14 07:20:45

I'd also be happy to help Shelly, im Peterborough based. Can provide a lift, fetching and carrying etc. You could have a whole tag team of us from mumsnet! :-)

Just seen this on active convos. I am in Norfolk. KL to be precise. I have a car and a strong pair of arms if I'm any use to you.

BettyMacdonald Sat 11-Jan-14 07:51:14

Shelly and Llama I'm in SE London if I can help in anyway? smile

dobedobedo Sat 11-Jan-14 08:04:12

Northants, Corby area here. Holler if you need a hand with carrying stuff or a lift or anything!

LlamaLover Sat 11-Jan-14 08:35:34

Thanks for all offers of help. Am Halifax way, so none close yet,but much appreciated all the same. smile

LurkingNineToFive Sat 11-Jan-14 08:59:08

If the idea of a stranger being there is a bit strange why don't you get some virtual help via a thread on here?
We'll all rally round hold your hand etc. won't be able to get you a drink but the moral support will be plentiful.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 11-Jan-14 10:39:35

The way you've described the hospital makes me think it could well be the one I work in. If so and I look after you I'll be extra specially nice smile

HopeS01 Sat 11-Jan-14 12:27:17

Another offer of any kind of help, (but I'm on the Isle of Wight so unlikely that I'll be of any use).

I'll be thinking of you xx

MummyPig24 Sat 11-Jan-14 13:14:29

Another one here offering help if I can. I'm in Berkshire. I don't drive but I would be more than happy to accompany in a taxi, carry bags, fetch drinks etc.

Shellywelly1973 Sat 11-Jan-14 20:34:00

Your kindness & offers of help have helped me so much...really lifted my spirits!

I feel a bit daft now for posting but I felt so on my own yesterday. I know we're all better off since dp & i parted but at times I think I must be mad!

The support from strangers on the Internet has more power then I ever realised...

THANK YOU. x x x

Cariad007 Sat 11-Jan-14 20:46:00

Shelly, this is a just a small thing but IIRC you're attending the same hospital as me and there is another entrance! First couple of times I did the 20 minute walk too but if you go past the entrance to A&E you will see another entrance, which is about 2 mins from the labour ward. There's also a lift to the floor where the antenatal clinic and MDU are, though I find it quicker to take the stairs.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 11-Jan-14 21:34:15

^^ sounding even more familiar if you want to pm me and check.

firstpglivingabroad Sun 12-Jan-14 02:29:37

Hi - sorry to hear this - I won't be back in the UK for 6-7 weeks or would offer too. I'm pg with no.1. Only 13 +6 at the moment, but will also be doing this alone. My ExP walked out on us 4 days ago. I hadn't thought about giving birth without him there - something else to work through. Good luck with everything, look forward to hearing how it goes. xx

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sun 12-Jan-14 02:44:47

Bloody hell - I'm 40+1 with a 13 month old DS and a supportive DH. I've moaned all day but you've really put me to shame blush

Am so impressed that you are coping so well and with lots if other DCs too

I can't offer any practical help but, if you are in Cheshire or the Wirral, have you heard of one2one midwives?

You basically have your own dedicated midwife for appointments. If you don't have a homebirth, they'll transfer with you to the hospital and stay whilst you give birth emergencies permitting they're not licenced to actually deliver you in the hospital but they'll stay for support

You can self refer at anytime and it is available on the NHS.

My midwife is lovely so hopefully you might meet an equally nice one that you would be happy to have at the birth flowers

JsOtherHalf Sun 12-Jan-14 11:11:04

If is Calderdale hospital, then park at the back of the hospital. There is another car park, follow the signs for women and children's centre I think.

That was where I parked for ante natal appts, etc

Shellywelly1973 Sun 12-Jan-14 14:22:17

1 to 1 midwife scheme sounds lovely. With a previous pregnancy I had one mw the whole way through. She was mad & great fun as well as experienced. Unfortunately she retired a couple years ago.

I'm in London. Big teaching hospital. I'm sure the birth centre will be fine but I still feel sad I will never have a hb but it's logistically a PITA with the dc. It's only a few hours at the end of the day.

I've cancelled everything non urgent to do with work. I've got a really sore throat & rotten cold. My feet & legs are very swollen. I know i need to slow down.

I've done loads indoors the last couple of days so I'm slowly feeling a but more prepared!

HolidayArmadillo Sun 12-Jan-14 14:30:03

Ah, not my neck of the woods then but I wish you all the best and I know when I've had women come in on their own I've gone the extra mile for them.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sun 12-Jan-14 14:51:53

Suddenly another thought! This maybe completely impractical but any chance that your DS coukd take the little ones to a cheap hotel - travel lodge or similar - as a base so that you could have the house to yourself?

I know you'll probably go into labour at night so he would only really be bundling them out the door in the morning. If you're still at it post school, then he could take then out fir tea and to the cup inseam perhaps before going to the hotel?

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sun 12-Jan-14 14:52:04


Shellywelly1973 Sun 12-Jan-14 16:37:36

Ds wouldn't be able to manage the boys in that sort of situation. Due to their SNs their behaviour is unpredictable...

Good idea though. Thanks.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sun 12-Jan-14 17:25:40

Aaaah - sorry. Didn't think properly.

Do you think you might feel a but better if you looked round the MLU? Am wondering if you phoned to explain the situation if they would let you look round and also, at that stage, make a note to have a dedicated midwife available - maybe a student? - for support

BettyMacdonald Sun 12-Jan-14 19:57:48

Shelley I'm SE London. More than happy to help in anyway. I have 3 small boys and I'm a HCP. If you're anywhere near me then I really would do anything I could to support you smile

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