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Anyone had a home birth?

(38 Posts)
GillyMac93 Thu 27-Mar-14 06:28:34

I'm thinking about a home water birth , but iv yet to come across anyone I know in rl who has had a home birth .if anyone could share their experience of home birth ,I'd really appreciate it .

Loveyouthree Thu 27-Mar-14 06:42:19

Hey, I've had two. I didn't use water though.

The first home birth was amazing. I would definitely recommend it based on this one! Your partner never has to leave you, you have all your home comforts, you don't have to worry about how to get to hospital (ours is 45 mins away and DP doesn't drive).

I coped ok with just gas and air because the baby was out quite soon. If it had gone on for hours and hours I think it would have been pretty depressing though with nothing stronger.

The second home birth was fairly quick but the midwives didn't arrive in time so DP had to deliver our baby on the bed. This, I wouldn't recommend!

Have you got other children? The only downside I found of a home birth is that I was straight back into my normal mode; I couldn't help it. Because of this I didn't really get a break like I would have in hospital.

Good luck x

Loveyouthree Thu 27-Mar-14 06:43:39

Oh and my young DC slept through me screaming while I gave birth so they weren't a problem!

CorrieDale Thu 27-Mar-14 06:58:35

I had a home birth second time round. First time was a caesarean.

It was great. Very relaxing and I felt in control. The midwives were lovely, though I mostly laboured on my own, in dark silence in the downstairs loo. Then into the pool for the last stage. I had read up on hypnobirthing which was tremendously helpful, as was the tens machine. It took all night but didn't feel it. Amazing experience.

My friend also had a home birth and she also thoroughly enjoyed it.

Dillydollydaydream Thu 27-Mar-14 07:02:56

I've had two homebirths for dc 3 & 4.
My other children were in the house when the baby was born even though it was daytime, they came in as soon as they heard a baby cry which was lovely.
A shower in my own bathroom and a cuppa in my own bed was pretty good too.

Nocomet Thu 27-Mar-14 07:07:35

I did with DD2.

DD(3 at the time) also slept through almost the whole thing. She wandered in when DD2 was 3 minutes old and ignored me delivering the placenta totally. Sister was far more interesting.

Pretty easy labour, just gas and air and DD2 was delivered squatting by our bed.

And the best bit, having a picnic lunch in bed with DH, DD1 & DD2 at my breast. No incompetent MW trying to show you how to feed. Just peace and privacy (I hated the postnatal ward with a passion. I hated being watched, I hated being checked up on, I hated not being able to sleep with DH. I lied about how much DD1 had BF to escape).

Everything about my home birth was so much nicer.

Being able to move around in privacy. Hospital corridors and an antenatal ward with 8 ish year old children visiting is not a comfortable place to be in pain.

Same lovely MWs throughout.

My choice of birth position

Look really the details don't matter, just go for it and you'll know. A HB that works will just be one if the most beautiful memories you can have.

weebairn Thu 27-Mar-14 07:41:42

I did for DC1 and am hoping for another with my current pregnancy.

I have to be honest, I found it really hard. My labour was quite long (30 hours from waters breaking) and the midwives said it was quite an intense difficult one (maybe they were just being nice!) In the late stages I progressed at a rate of about 0.5cm every 2 hours. I did pretty well in the early stages and was 7cm when I first called them. Gas and air was helpful for an hour or two, then didn't do much after that. I did have a pool but the midwives said they thought it was slowing things down a bit and as I was already progressing quite slowly they advised me to get out, so I was only in it for about an hour. It was REALLY helpful for pain relief though, I want to have a water birth this time, I hope.

When I finally got to fully dilated, my pushing stage was absolutely fine, 30 minutes, no tears at all, placenta delivered naturally about half an hour later.

Some of the huge benefits I got - no transferring, felt in control and very safe the whole time, midwives were lovely and attentive but also unobtrusive, my DP was really really involved in a way I don't' think he'd have been in hospital, he never left me. I probably avoided some intervention given the length of my labour and that is a positive for me. After the birth there were so many positives … easy, stress free breastfeeding with all the time and comfort in the world, cuddled up in my own bed with DP and baby, my own bath, huge bowls of proper food, champagne!!, I have lovely pictures of us all cuddled up in pjs in bed looking so happy. My postnatal care was good, the midwives came daily (twice daily for the first couple of days) and a breastfeeding counsellor rang me and offered to come round if I needed her, was very impressed with that. They did all the newborn checks at home so the only thing I needed to go to the hospital for was the hearing test (at about 3 weeks old).

I recovered so quickly, was walking around the same day, went to the shops on day 3, was back to running(!!) by week five (that was a bit silly).

I would highly recommend it; but I just wanted to add my experience as most accounts seem to be of fast, easy labours. Mine was neither! But I did manage.

ps. My cat did try to eat my placenta.

greentshirt Thu 27-Mar-14 08:29:07

I'm planning one for my first baby at the moment. It's well supported in my area, there's a monthly group where you can go and speak to other people who have had them to get the benefit of their experiences etc.

Nearly 50% of first time homebirthers end up with a hospital transfer (mainly off more pain relief or non emergency situations) so that's thd only thing I would add, someone above said a homebirth means you don't have to worry about transferring in, but you do need to be prepared.

ithoughtofitfirst Thu 27-Mar-14 09:22:20

weebairn lol about your cat. That's cute.

Would LOVE a home birth this time but will probably chicken out and go to the MLU again. Kudos to you ladies.

GillyMac93 Thu 27-Mar-14 13:26:53

Thanks ladies ,I was unsure but just had a thought that it might be the way to go.lovely to hear all your HB experiences ,hope mine goes to plan now !

EyelinerQueen Thu 27-Mar-14 13:35:10

grin at the placenta eating cat!

I had a home birth for my first and it was absolutely fantastic. I'm planning my second HB for July. I knew from very early on in my pregnancy that I didn't want to be anywhere near a hospital and didn't want a medicalised birth.

I felt relaxed and in control in my own home. I had a pool which was great but ended up getting out for the pushing stage as I wanted to be on my knees and kept slipping on the floor of the pool.

I was looked after by two incredible midwives who between them had over 40 years experience delivering babies. Going to our own bed with newly born DD was one of the most defining moments of my life. DP passed out and I sat up in bed all night looking at this wee creature who hadn't been there the night before. Not having to do this in a busy hospital with strange smells and noises and people I don't know was hugely important to me.

I would recommend Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth as well as the Home Birth book by Nick Wesson. And watch The Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake as well. If you're anything like me that'll seal the deal in your decision to have a HB!

warmleatherette Thu 27-Mar-14 13:42:17

Had a homebirth for my second. It was amazing. 2-hour labour, minimal pain, no drugs, baby delivered in the water, immediate breastfeeding, natural delivery of placenta. No vaginal exams as too quick (midwife, who arrived 10 mins before delivery, wanted me out of the lovely comfy pool to examine me - no way!). I did a hypnobirthing course which I thoroughly recommend, and my hypnobirthing doula (who is now one of my best friends) was there with me. Probably the best night of my life? Also second the stuff everyone says about being in the comforts of your own home, and the quality of the ante-natal care. Highly recommended if you can!

PixieBumbles Thu 27-Mar-14 13:54:59

I love hearing people's homebirth stories. I'm 34+5 weeks with my first baby and have only recently made the decision to go for a homebirth. I'm really looking forward to being able to use my own shower and curl up in my own cosy bed with my baby at my side and a nice cuppa in my favourite mug (all being well that is!).

I'm also in an area where homebirth is very well supported. There's a dedicated team of midwives who deal almost exclusively with homebirths and a monthly support group, although there's only one meeting left until my EDD! Having made the decision I've gone from being scared of childbirth to being very excited about it.

AugustRose Thu 27-Mar-14 14:16:53

I had homebirth (not in water) with DC3 on the MW's recommendation and she ended up being the one who delivered our daughter. Older two slept right through it all (10 and 5 at the time), managed without any pain relief as I was worried if I started using the gas and air it would be used up before I really needed it! It was so peaceful and lovely to get back into my own bed after, plus you have two dedicated midwives - if they get there on time.

CityDweller Thu 27-Mar-14 14:56:11

I had a home water birth (in a tiny flat!) for my first, attended by the amazing community midwives from the hospital. It was great - more painful than I anticipated (or the hypnobirthing course led me to believe) but it was manageable. I believe strongly that being relaxed at home is what helped me have a straight-forward and quick labour. And it was so lovely not having to go anywhere, either before or after the birth.

The water really, really helped with the pain relief (was the only pain relief I had, apart from 2 paracetamol!) and if I were to do it again I would 100% want a water birth again.

ladylegume Thu 27-Mar-14 16:45:11

thank you so much for putting up that post. im due in 5 days and am planning a home birth with my first - everyone seems to think we are mad hippies for considering this (especially with first baby, have heard this a lot!!) but midwives are up for it so thought we'd give it a go, if we end up having to go to hospital anyway thats in the hands if fate....

hugest hugs lovely ladies and thanks for sharing! xxx (will be making sure i have extra cat treats in as well now to avoid any mishaps!)

neolara Thu 27-Mar-14 16:49:22

I had two home births. First (DC2) was lovely. Very calm. Two midwives. Didn't really hurt. Brilliant to be at home afterwards. He took two minutes to breathe after he was born, which was a little unnerving, but midwives were totally unfazed and gave him oxygen to get him going. Second home birth was a bit different. DC3 arrived very fast and was delivered by my dh in the kitchen. Midwife and ambulance arrived a few minutes afterwards.

GillyMac93 Thu 27-Mar-14 19:53:21

lady that's why I came on here ,people have been treating me like I'm crazy for wanting a homebirth,like I'm being naive about the intensity of the pain ! It's good to hear how many of you lovely ladies have had great experiences of home birth .

EyelinerQueen Thu 27-Mar-14 20:14:29

I had the same reactions regarding having my first at home. It's not naive to know your own mind.

My Mother and everyone else thought I was mental.

I am the most stubborn person in the world so only a bonafide emergency would have made me transfer to a hospital. I didn't even pack a hospital bag.

I was surprised at the pain (and threatened to leave DP if he didn't get me to a hospital for an epidural straight away blush grin) but adjusted pretty quickly and ended up being far more able to deal with the pain at home than I would have been in hospital.

Stop worrying about what anyone else says. Just focus on why you want your HB and prepare yourself as best you can.

justhayley Thu 27-Mar-14 23:22:37

grin I'm considering a home birth for baby 2 due in July. Didn't have a bad experience in hospital with DS - the birth centre was lovely but think at home would be amazing. Great thread

Choppa Fri 28-Mar-14 14:29:56

I had a homebirth with DS1 into water.

AMAZING!! No pain relief, no messing, no monitoring just allowed to get on with it myself and had great support from midwives. Would totally recommend smile

Stick to your guns and do what's right for you.

I'm hoping for another with this baby (due in may) but he is sitting breech so fingers crossed he turns...

greentshirt Fri 28-Mar-14 15:08:54

Its really encouraging to read so many positive first timer homebirth stories, thank you ladies!

JennerOSity Tue 08-Apr-14 13:35:24

I didn't have the confidence to have a home birth for my first baby but having given birth to ds and knowing better what to expect, I did for my second.

With hindsight I would happily have done a hb for the first also. In hospital if the birth (as mine did) progresses without hiccups the midwife was just popping her head in now and again until the main event of crowning and birth, then you are basically in a rather noisy place until you can escape (albeit with useful bf support on hand). At home, however, you get not 1 but 2 midwives all to yourself for the duration! (something I was pleasantly surprised by)

I felt that any complications would have been spotted sooner as you were attended all the time and a quick call would have seen you receive any emergency attention necessary as quickly as the theatre could be prepped and you delivered - so prob no longer than your wait in the hospital anyway.

Additionally so much of a well progressing and satisfactory labour is down to your emotional state (not unlike the orgasm which got you into this pickle in the first place) that I think you are more likely to have a 'good' labour at home than in hospital. For all but the most drastic of labour events the pain relief and assistance a midwife can give are all you will need: in which case two of them who are yours, all yours, are in my opinion miles better than what you would get in hospital from a team of midwives who have several women to attend to.

The only exception I would say for my POV is if you are very frightened by the whole prospect and feel comforted by the fact that you have every machine and device you could possibly need somewhere in the building you are labouring in, but for me, it was enough to know I could get to them in an ambulance if it came to that. I was happy to believe, the odds were, that between my determination, my body and the midwives skill we could get the job done.

JennerOSity Tue 08-Apr-14 13:44:09

p.s I put some cheapo shower curtains down and not a spot went on the carpet so we have no stain we can point at for visitors which is probably a good job, as occasionally if asked about dd birth I say 'yes she was delievered exactly where you are sitting now' cue some slightly uncomfortable face expressions grin

If concerned though, you could always go with the belt and braces approach of scotch guarding the area where you plan to be. grin

SarahSPT Tue 08-Apr-14 14:01:29

This is a lovely thread and it's very reassuring reading all your positive stories. I'm seriously considering this now - I'm 31 weeks and would definitely like to have a water birth at least. Having it at home would be amazing.

Can I ask about the logistics of it all - Did you have to hire a pool for a few weeks just in case you go into labour early? Does the water keep itself warm or is it a bit of a faff having to refill it? Was it hard to empty & clean it? We don't have a bath but guess if it comes with a long hose we could flush it down the shower!

jennifersofia Tue 08-Apr-14 14:11:50

Had my 3 at home, all very positive. I was lucky though, and had very textbook pregnancies. I think the best thing is to give birth in the place where you feel you can relax the most. For some that is in hospital for me it was at home. I had supportive care, with 2-3 midwives attending each birth. If you are interested, and all is well health wise, go for it!

IdaClair Tue 08-Apr-14 14:19:59

I had a home birth for my first baby.

Then I did it again for my second baby.

I had a lot of 'just you wait' but tbh I think people just say that anyway. People like to bring you down and there's always someone with an opinion about pregnancy, birth and babycare.

I cannot imagine going to hospital for birth, it seems to me a very odd thing to do, so much of others' tales of birth and brand new baby hood just don't feature in my experiences at all. My 'birth stories' consist of going into labour, calling a MW, MW arrives, baby is born, MW goes home. I have occasionally felt left out in conversations about packing hospital bag, hospital tours, experiences on wards, tales of examinations and procedures and inductions and surgeries, being 'let out', coming home outfits, etc, and the baby books with their bits for first nighttime at home, first visitors at home, hospital bracelet, all that stuff, look a bit bare - but on the whole I'm glad to have nothing to share!

mandbaby Tue 08-Apr-14 14:29:40

I would quite like a homebirth for DC3 but there are a couple of things that worry me.

DS2 arrived very quickly - in just over an hour, and I'm worried DC3 will arrive even quicker (which is one of the reasons why I DO want a homebirth - I'd rather give birth at home than in the back of a car!) But my hubby is seriously squeamish. If baby makes a sudden appearance (i.e the midwife/ambulance doesn't arrive in time) there is no way my hubby will do anything - and I know that for a fact. He can't even be in the same room as me if I'm having blood taken. During the births of DS1 and DS2 he stayed by my head looking away from the action. I don't think it will make for a pleasant, calm labour if I'm having to cut cords, etc, myself.

Having said all that though, it wouldn't be any different if I'm in my own bedroom/bathroom or in the back of a cab. Either way, if a midwife isn't there, I'm doing it alone. I'm probably more worried about this labour than I was about my first two - just because I'm expecting it to happen so quickly.

mandbaby Tue 08-Apr-14 14:32:26

Can I ask a question - something that I've always wondered, but never remembered to ask.

If you call the MW when you go into labour, I'm assuming that there is a MW on duty just for homebirths. Well what if someone else is in labour and she's busy?! Then what? How many "on call" midwives are there?! What if they're ALL busy?

Am I being stupid?

JennerOSity Tue 08-Apr-14 14:40:46

I believe that legally they cannot refuse to attend a labouring woman so would have to find someone from somewhere. So if you call and they say no-one is free you will have to come in, you could just tell them no and they can't argue though they may try to pressure you perhaps. Might not make you popular with the manager but the midwife sent is not likely to mind as it is a comparatively lighter workload. smile

JennerOSity Tue 08-Apr-14 14:43:36

In my area I was only the second homebirth they had done in 6 months!!! So the midwife resource wasn't scattered around dozens of homes, but in fact were all at the hopsital anyway, so sending one over was not a major issue, the Hb was planned so they were expecting the call, I asked this question and was advised it was exceedingly unlikely there wouldn't be someone available because of these things.

mandbaby Tue 08-Apr-14 14:47:12

I'm at least a 20 minute drive from the hospital - that's in zero traffic by someone who knows exactly where they're going.

If I called the hospital and they sent someone, I bet it would take them at least 40 minutes to arrive and I'm terrified I will have delivered by then!

Ditto if it happens during a week day. Hubby's work is about 35-40 minutes away from home - in good traffic. I'm terrified I'm gonna be all alone with my terrifed children watching and listening to me scream! They'll be scarred for life!

LizzieMint Tue 08-Apr-14 14:50:59

I planned home waterbirths for all of mine but only actually got one for the second two - first time was a quick induction because baby was in distress.
But the home water births were amazing, you can't appreciate just how helpful the water is with labouring until you are there, I know a lot of people say it's like a plaster on a broken leg but honestly it helps soooo much. Even if you end up going to hospital, I'd highly recommend water births.
Logistically, we hired a pool first time (which was never used) and bought a 'birth pool in a box' for the second and used it again for the third. It's well insulated because it's full of air, if you need to warm the water up you just top up with hot water. Both times I was in the water for a very short time (about 45 mins and 10 mins) so didn't need that. H emptied it all out (with a pump) and it has a disposable liner you just throw away. I loved them and would highly recommend it. grin I'd choose to give birth again any day over being pregnant.

JennerOSity Tue 08-Apr-14 14:51:11

Actually ambulances are usually strategically positioned around an area, not 'back at base' waiting for a call. For example the main road junction near me usually has an ambulance parked in the lay-by waiting for a call. So they don't set out to you to do a complete return journey, like taxi companies they will send the nearest one. They will put the blues on and skip all red lights if they have to. So it would have to be a seriously urgent problem for it to be a risk, if something that serious is developing the attending mw's would send you in before it came to that.

LizzieMint Tue 08-Apr-14 14:54:00

Mandbaby, in our area they have two sets of midwives (you're usually attended by 2). In my case as I have very quick labours I guess they'd send an ambulance and paramedics. Otherwise they would pressure you to go in, which you can refuse to do of course. However, given that only 4%(?) of births in this country are home births, you'd have to be seriously unlucky to come across this I would think.

IdaClair Tue 08-Apr-14 14:58:20

Mandbaby

I have had precipitous birth. I was all prepared for a very fast birth, and no way was I leaving the house. I gave everyone the heads up - mws, marked it on notes all over, said I need someone ASAP when I call, wrote out numbers for mws and stuck them by each phone so anyone could ring, kept my mobile in my pocket all the time, prepared a grab bag of birth essentials which I kept next to me all the time in case I suddenly nape ban to give birth without notice.

Most importantly I got DP to exorcise his demons and was frank about the possibility of my giving birth either on my own (I read emergency childbirth, you can get it on amazon) with just him there, with the kids there.

I prepared my older child, who knew exactly what would happen at a baby's birth - being born by Sheila kit zinger, hello baby, good books, but also watched real births online, answered every question in advance. Also knew how to ring MW, how to explain what was happening, how to open door for emergency services, what might happen if the baby comes suddenly.

In the end it was not as fast, so I had notice, and the labour was a leisurely 1 hour 40 minutes. My dc chose to stay and be involved, having learned so much, and was not in the least terrified.

If a baby is coming fast it is usually a good thing, and all you need to do is go with it (and don't worry about cords, we did nothing with our for over a hour after birth, plenty of time for that later)

IdaClair Tue 08-Apr-14 14:59:46

As for who attends, depends on the area. They have a home birth team here based on labour ward. They do try and tell people they are busy and cannot come but that is tough. I gave them 9 months notice and they will attend me.

nogeybose Mon 28-Apr-14 23:04:08

Great thread thank you.

Sarah SPT, I gather you can hire birth pools for a few weeks just so it's around when you need it. You might be able to do this through NHS where you live, or use a private company. And I think the water temperature depends how much you want to spend - deluxe ones will maintain the temperature, whereas cheaper ones seem to be more like glorified paddling pools.

I've seen unused pools on eBay for less than the hire price though, so it might be worth considering buying one.

Which home birth pool does everybody recommend please? So far I've looked at Birth Pool In A Box and La Bassine.

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