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First baby, did you manage to stay home for as long as you thought before going to the hospital?

(45 Posts)
JimmyChoo17 Sun 03-Jul-11 20:10:43


For everyone who had their FIRST baby, if you had planned to stay home as long as possible before going in......did you really stick to this plan?

Considering you have no idea of how u will react for your first and also that unknown without baby monitoring - is everything ok with baby, is this normal and also for more pain relief.....

My plan is to stay at home as long as possible before going into midwife unit for water birth. I'm thinking of ordering a tens machine to use whilst I'm at home but wondering how realistic it is to think that I will stay at home long enough to use it? Considering it's first birth you see?

I'm a low risk birth and only 5 mins from hospital.

Would love to hear how other mums dealt with their first birth BEFORE going into hospital.


pirateparty Sun 03-Jul-11 20:19:48

I planned to stay at home for as long as possible and so phoned the hospital when my contractions were 5 mins apart and were painful enough for me to think I needed some pain relief; this was about 4 or 5 hours after my contractions started. It all built up quite slowly and was quite manageable, and I 'breathed' through them. I was 5-6cm when I arrived and was examined. To be honest, I found once I went into labour a lot of my anxieties disappeared and I felt very calm. I was surprised I was so far along. I delivered 4 1/2 hours later. (Second time round was a different story, but you asked about first times!)

So, yes I did stick to the plan (and the second time too) to stay at home as long as possible from a pain and contraction perspective, but I would have had no problem phoning earlier if I'd had any concerns at all.

JimmyChoo17 Sun 03-Jul-11 20:25:29

That sounds good, do you normally have a high pain threshold?

One thing you never see on tv is that you have time in between contractions to ease off rather than constant pushing. Did you learn breathing techniques before? Our labour classes were rubbish. I've just got a hypno birth cd off a friend to listen to not really for hypo side but she said the breathing exercises were great.

fraktious Sun 03-Jul-11 20:37:50

I stayed the max time agreed (indecisively positioned baby!) and when at the hospital laboured in a side room the same way I had at home but with medical staff on call. So stuck to the plan but the plan limited home labouring time.

I kept upright, listened to music, breathed/moaned, had heat pack on my back and leant against wall/table/DH both at home and in hospital.

Tbh if I'd stayed until I'd needed to go in DS would have been born at home. I was fine until I suddenly needed to push. Had it not been fir monitoring I wouldn't have notice the progression IYSWIM.

Firkytoodle Sun 03-Jul-11 20:40:07

My waters broke at 9pm (just the hind waters so no gush), contractions started at midnight. I rested and tried to sleep until 6am having put the TENS machine on. Contractions weren't particularly painful so we went for a walk, then another one, then we went shopping (all the time with the TENS on) and unnerved a few shop assistants. At about 3pm DH called the hospital whilst I was in the shower (the hot water really helped). They agreed to me coming in for checking as my contractions had gradually gone from one every 8 minutes to one in 4 minutes. Got to the hospital at 5pm and was 8cm. DD was born at 10.22pm. It was a long labour because she was back to back, but it wasnt too bad at all mostly, even though she was eventually born back to back too.

I just stayed as calm as I could, tried not to get excited or scared but distracted myself with other things. The TENs was a great help and during contractions I just breathed in and out as slowly as I could whilst relaxing my body as much as I could- I think if you make sure you aren't clenching your jaw its easier to make your body relax. I dont know about my pain threshold, but I think the hypnobirthing techniques are great, I found it very easy to distance myself from what was happening and 'zone out'.

carve133 Sun 03-Jul-11 20:40:16

I stayed at home as long as possible, I think contractions were getting on for about 3 mins apart when we went in (about 20 minute drive). I went straight into the delivery suite (i.e. no waiting around), was 8cm dilated and DS arrived 3 hours later. I had done pregnancy yoga and used all that plus a tens (I think this gives you something to focus on). I didn't have any extra pain relief once I was in hospital - figured I'd got that far on my own so why not see if I could do it & just took one contraction at a time.

TBH I was wanting to go in three hours or so before I did but the midwives on the end of the phone weren't in a hurry, and more importantly DH encouraged me to stay home as long as poss (he's a paediatrician). Having said that he has since said that he was wondering whether he'd overdone the waiting while we were driving in!

None of this was really in a birth plan though, just worked out that way. DS was in the right position, and I had no complications so more luck than anything.

Hope it goes well for you.

bibbitybobbityhat Sun 03-Jul-11 20:41:42

Jimmy: I highly highly recommend TENS machine. Some people don't get on with them, but others (me included) really do. I got to 3cm dilated with no probs at all on TENS. You need to get it on as soon as labour starts, get used to it, and build up the intensity of the pulses as you go. Don't wait until you are in a lot of pain before you start.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Sun 03-Jul-11 20:45:06

Yes, was 9cm when got to hospital. No tens, in the bath for two mins and hind water went and no I have a low pain level.

RegLlamaOfBrixton Sun 03-Jul-11 20:45:10

Nope, despite planning to leave it as long as possible to go into hospital with DS (I was scared of hospitals so thought I'd be more relaxed at home), I went far too soon in hindsight. I was 4cms dilated on arrival so was allowed to stay but didn't start using G&A until I'd been there for quite a while so might as well have been at home with just my lovely TENS machine. Plus got constant hassle from senior MW about my slow progress, and intervention kept being mentioned so would definitely have been better at home. From what I remember I was just worried about the baby so felt much more relaxed in hospital when MWs were monitoring every 15 mins. If I get lucky enough to have another DC I will definitely try to leave it a lot longer though.

diggingintheribs Sun 03-Jul-11 20:49:01

I planned to stay at home as long as poss but after 3 hours I wanted to go (Had to wait that long as DH was on his way back from work!) DS was born 6 hours after I got to hospital.

I used a TENS and found it a great distraction as I could concentrate on turning it up and down. Also went onto the gas and air which was also a good distraction (although midwife took it off me as I nearly passed out!)

Tangle Sun 03-Jul-11 20:58:43

I wound up going into hospital (which wasn't part of the plan as we hadn't intended to go in at all) but only after she was born - I had an internal tear that had nicked a vein, which didn't seem to want leaking. And by the time it had been leaking for a couple of hours the total amount of blood loss was starting to get significant (typically, by the time I got in it had stopped - but it did mean I had a good excuse to try the G&A while they prodded and poked and decided whether to stitch or not!)

I used a TENS machine and breathed. I'd listened to the Natal Hypnotherapy CDs and don't remember much, TBH (think I always fell asleep blush) but I did stay very calm and quiet. I also did yoga for a few years in the past and the NH breathing was very similar to that we did in meditations. The only time I started to think I couldn't cope was (as it turned out) right at the end of the 1st stage and as I headed into transition - so I got in the pool. Definitely get the TENS machine on as soon as you think you're in labour, and its worth getting your MW to show your birth partner where the pads go before you're doing it for real! The 2nd stage was back on dry land - DH didn't think to put the TENS back on and I didn't feel in pain so didn't ask for it (give me 2nd stage contractions over 1st stage ones any day!)

For what its worth, I used to have reasonably bad period pain - they didn't stop me getting on with life but if I didn't need to be working or doing I would be taking Neurofen and curling up with a hot water bottle. Labour was fine - quite enjoyed the experience, would recommend it to my friends, etc. (Oh - and DD was 9lb 12 and breech)

Is the 5 minutes time to the hospital or time to the MLU? If you're biggest concern is how the baby's doing, have you considered planning a HB rather than going in at all? That way you get to stay at home as long as you feel comfortable, with a MW there to monitor the baby and an option on G&A (and pethidine) if you want it - if you want to transfer in at any point you can, but if its all going well you can just stay put and the support's all in place for you.

Ginger4justice Sun 03-Jul-11 21:06:05

I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible but didn't really expect it to be as long as it was. I'd gone in and I was only 2cm so they sent me home and told me it was probably best to only come back if my contractions were happening 3 in every 10 mins. I phoned the midwife who was booked to do my sweep to tell her I'd started and she arranged to come around the next day instead to check how far I was.

By the time she came around contractions had stopped and restarted but only one every 10-15 mins. When she examined me I was 10 cm. Cue rush into to hospital. (It was still 7 and a half hours until she actually arrived but dh was sure I was going to have her in the car on the way when we got caught at a level crossing - bless him grin).

Certainly wasn't expecting to still be at home at 10 cm (I'm ignoring the first quick trip in and out). Another vote for the tens machine. Until they decided forceps were needed I didn't really need any other pain relief, I couldn't really get the hang of the gas and air, but as my contractions were so far apart I had time to relax in between so I suspect that had a lot to do with it.

JimmyChoo17 Sun 03-Jul-11 21:06:15

I had considered home birth but to be honest was worried about neighbours! But also in case anything went wrong at least I would be in hospital if I used the mw unit (which is 5 mns away at the hospital which is lucky) I have a fair few friends who have had ome nasty complications which scared me away from a home birth for my first too if I'm honest.

notnowbernard Sun 03-Jul-11 21:08:46


Stayed until I could bear it no longer

Contractions were 2-3 mins apart, started to NEED pain relief

DD born 4hrs after arrival

Gas and Air was marvellous grin

Tangle Sun 03-Jul-11 21:14:51

It's interesting how we all have different concerns, or rather react to the same/similar concerns in very different ways smile.

For me, I was worried about when to go to hospital, would I go too early and get sent home? would I leave it too late and wind up giving birth at the side of the road? Planning to stay at home meant I got rid of a lot of those worries and helped me relax into the labour, and also meant I knew I'd have the sole and undivided attention of at least 1 MW from reasonably early in the labour through to the end, which we didn't feel confident I'd receive if I was in hospital - and for us, that was a better insurance about things going wrong than being in hospital with no MW in sight.

At the end of the day, though, you've got to do what feels right for you. If you wouldn't be able to relax at home through fears of the "what if" then its unlikely to work. I just wasn't sure if you'd considered it and decided against or been told "oh, you can't have a HB for your 1st", which is downright wrong but not unheard of....

springbokscantjump Sun 03-Jul-11 21:28:35

I wanted to labour for as long as possible at home before heading in, planned on being almost fully dilated and baby popping out.

Instead 10 days post due date I had contractions at home for about seven hours, lost the plot somewhat when they were three mins apart, went in and was one centimetre dilated. I got sent home and after about four hours later couldn't stand it anymore and went in again. Still 1cm. But the very kind midwife took pity on me and my poor dh and kept me in. Received analgesia (thank god) but by morning was still only 3 cm. Took me almost another 48 hrs plus induction agents to get me to fully dilated.

I tore quite a bit, had an episiotomy, forceps and post-partum haemorrhage (ds was quite a bit larger than expected, only 9lb 9oz, but I am fairly small build). I was rushed into theatre and received a fair amount of blood products. Despite all that I felt much better in hospital and felt that I could cope with the pain better as I knew there were people around me who could help me if needed.

Plus I loved my TENS machine. Was fantastic and a real help during the first day or so.

JimmyChoo17 Sun 03-Jul-11 21:28:52

Tangle, initially I was told I wasn't allowed a hb due 1 st baby which was rubbish! My hubby wasn't too keen either to be honest so I would rather we were both in agreement. Our mw unit looks fab tho it has to be said and friends have really recommended. Saves hiring water pool too.

All of that aside tho.... I actually really hate having to be in hospitals especially as hubby will have to go home at night....and the thought of being there after for longer than needed fills me with dread but to be honest whatever I think of them baby comes first. I'm not too panicky about the what ifs at the moment either just wary that on the day I'll have no idea how will be. Scary to think I can go at any second!! I'm analysing every cramp and pain now! smile

superjobeespecs Sun 03-Jul-11 21:39:10

i was in labour at home without contractions for 5 hours then had an hour and a half of contracting went into hospital and was 5 cms dilated got my gas and air then pethidine and around 4 hours after arriving at hospital had my gorgeous DD in my arms i have a high pain threshold FWIW

good luck hope all goes as you'd like smile

notcitrus Sun 03-Jul-11 22:11:40

I wanted to end up in the MLU at some point as figured I'd need help dealing with bad SPD.
Had show at midnight, first Braxton-Hicks, decided wasn't labour, told DP, went to bed.
4am - ah, that definitely wasn't labour before. THIS is labour. Was really calm, dozed in bed. Contractions happened. Like bad period pain only intermittent and less pointless.
7am - decided to have a bath.
7.30am - DP goes "Why are you in the bath?" Other people run around organising all the builders who are turning up; I ignore them all totally.
8am - get out of bath. Get dry. Then get wet. Oh, waters broke. DP phones hospital to double-check it's OK to stay home. They say 'see you later then'
Try TENS machine - quite pleasant. Have breakfast. I'd only read the Hypnobirthing book, not even listened to the CD or anything, but I was in my own little world throughout.
10am - bit of bleeding. DP calls hospital who say 'yes, it probably is nothing, but suggest you come in - and both birthing pools are available atm, so it's good timing.' Contractions about a minute or two apart.
So off we went. 5cm when I got there. So pretty good I think - TENS was beginning to not cut it, and g+a was fab, as was the pool. I rather enjoyed the next 8 hours in the pool. Shame no more dilation happened and it got rather long and tedious after that (and SPD required an epidural, so no real idea about giving birth).

I kept being offered a homebirth but didn't want one - builders in, plus thought some complication would happen. Hopefully next time I'll manage to stay in the MLU as that was really rather nice - imagine a health spa only decorated on an NHS budget!

pirateparty Sun 03-Jul-11 22:20:42

Actually no, I don't think I do have a high pain threshold. And I am also a bit of a worrier, which is why I probably noticed that I felt calm!

I haven't read the other posts, but yes there is time in between contractions when pushing. In fact its important you only push when you have a contraction (but to be honest the urge is so strong at that stage you can't help it anyway, but the midwife tells you as well)

pirateparty Sun 03-Jul-11 22:22:30

I read about breathing techniques on the internet! I don't think they mentioned them at my nct classes!

Fifis25StottieCakes Sun 03-Jul-11 22:24:22

My first was a nightmare. I didnt plan to stay at home but the flipping hospital wouldnt let me stay there.

I went into labour about midnight, by 2am i was in agony having a panic. I went to the hospital and got sent home. I tried again at 4am and 6.30am.

I was admitted at 9am and delivered at 11.20 with nowt but gas and air. She was back to back. I got told this is that part of labour no one tells you about, go home and take some painkillers. I was overeacting. I was definately not in labour.

When the shifts changed at the hospital i saw another midwife who immediately said i was back to back and got me straight in to deliver.

kalo12 Sun 03-Jul-11 22:25:04

you can phone the labour ward as many times as you like and they will advise you. i had a 48 hour labour and was really unsure all the time, previously i had been told you can't phone labour ward as they don't like it but when i phoned they were always really nice and said phone back as many times as you like. they prefer you to phone for advice rather than rock up there early, demanding a bed

Boobz Mon 04-Jul-11 08:51:44

Contractions started Wednesday evening about 5pm, and baby born on Sunday morning about 6:30am, at home. Of that, Wedneday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning were "latent labour" (i.e. 0 - 4cm dilated) and it was only from Saturday lunch time that I was in "established labour" and was allowed to have gas and air. I used my tens machine all through latent stage and it was fab - really distracted me from the pain and helped get through (that and hot power showers on base of my spine - baby was OP).

Established labour was about 18 hours, and second stage (pushing) was 35 mins.

Baby born happy and healthy, no tear, all eating tea and toast in bed an hour later after a shower in my own bathroom and baby all snuggled on the boob.

I do NOT have a high pain threshold.

Stay at home as long as you can - in fact, stay there until the baby is born!

Bunbaker Mon 04-Jul-11 08:55:24

In my case my waters went first. I'd had no contractions at all until my waters went. They started straight after that and I was having them every three minutes pretty much straight away. As we lived a fair way from the hospital I went in as soon as OH got home and DD was born 6 hours later.

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