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Choosing to labour alone (not give birth though)

(22 Posts)
HappyHollydays Mon 04-Jul-11 21:38:53

I'm planning a homebirth for dc2. I had a hospital birth with dd and felt like there were always too many people around.

This time I am really drawn to the idea of labouring alone while DH occupies DD or they sleep etc. I plan to involve the MW & DH when I feel I need someone with me.

Has anyone else done this? How was it? How did it compare to other labours?

shelfy74 Tue 05-Jul-11 09:24:05

I reached 8cm labouring alone on the loo with ds1. I sent my oh downstairs and went into this weird trance like state! I felt sure that this was what nature intended and I coped fine with the Pain. Went to hospital to have him, no drugs, no problems, all done from start to birth in 12 hours. In contrast ds2 was a disasterous hospital based induction, I never felt relaxed,ended up with a 69 hour labour and emcs.

emsies Tue 05-Jul-11 10:29:32

I'd be tempted to ring the mw at the appropriate time but make it known in advance that you are unlikely to want them until needed. I don't think its that unusual a request but it is best to have one on hand.

With my first child (planned hb but sadly more like Shelfy74's number 2) the mw had just suggested a kettle, cup, cookies left somewhere out of the way (in a different room) and that they are there ready for when needed.

I'm planning a VBAC this time but still not 100% sure about daughter - I'm also leaning towards husband occupying her BUT I will want him at the final push and don't want my daughter (only 3 ) to be traumatised by seeing me in pain. Still thinking it through - I could do with more family/friends to be on hand locally!!

Good luck with it x

hugeleyoutnumbered Tue 05-Jul-11 10:40:10

its ds 2 labour is likey to be much faster this time around, if this is the route you want to go down why not a home birth, involve the midwife, just in case, also you would need another adult to take responsibility for your dd, that way you dh can be with you when you want him.

I has ds 3 with just the midwife it was the best birth of all, I didn't have to worry about my dc as hubby had them,

shitmagnet Tue 05-Jul-11 10:52:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyHollydays Tue 05-Jul-11 12:09:13

Thanks Hugely & SM!

That's good to know, all very positive!

I am actually planning a homebirth. DD is 2.6 and ideally I'd like her to be there (she says she wants to but who knows how that will pan out - a whole other thread!) but her to be comfortable/happy/looked after and it gives DH something to do.

But mostly, it's just how I see it happening - me on my own, getting on with it.

lostintransition Tue 05-Jul-11 17:18:48

I was alone for the majority of my first labour. DP was at work 'til 7.30 and my contractions started at midday. I shut myself in a dark room on my own when he got home until I hit transition. I was perfectly happy and this was just what I did instinctively. I was away with the fairies and had a nice quick labour.

stella1w Wed 06-Jul-11 01:48:25

I'm sympathetic! I just had home birth and it felt like clapham junction with my mother and child upstairs not settling, and two midwives talking away, and my birth partner. (have quite a small house!) I would probably have been left alone more in hospital!

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 06-Jul-11 09:02:22

Watching with interest. Quite like the idea of labouring alone with dc2, due sept, while dh occupies ds. Luckily mil is just up the road so he can drop him off when needed. I had a really long latent phase with ds so if it's anything like that this time it's inevitable ds will see some of it...or i'd have to kick him out for for days. He's bf so hoping he might even be able to help this time iyswim! Planning hb...hopefully we'll stay here this time! smile

I read an account of labouring alone in an anthology of articles from The Mother mag from library (warning...lentil weavery) and it didn't really appeal at the time but i think it might have planted a seed.

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories...very inspiring.

When are you due happyhollydays? smile

HappyHollydays Thu 07-Jul-11 18:27:18

I'm not due until the end of October Moonface so I'll be looking out for your birth story for encouragement grin

Was it Mothering or The Mother mag? I'd like to read that. I might try searching online. I'll link if I find anything interesting.

Funnily enough, I didn't want to be left alone when labouring with DD but I think I was fearful of the whole thing really. I don't feel afraid now, I'm quite trusting of the process this time round (after lots of reading!).

ellmum Thu 07-Jul-11 21:47:20

I had similar experience to Shitmagent, except a midwife remembered about me being in the bath about 10 mins before DD was actually born! So that was lucky. I had a precipitate labour though so was only really in labour for a couple of hours or so. I was alone for that (and it was quite intense), looking back I think it might have been best for me. I might have been a bit stressed by lots of people around me. Wouldn't have minded having DH there, but he seemed relieved to have missed it! I think it would be nice to have the choice of being on your own but knowing you have back up if you want it. You'll know what you're most comfortable with when the time comes. Don't women retreat a bit during labour anyway? Sure I heard that somewhere. Or made it up smile

sc2987 Fri 08-Jul-11 20:21:35

I had a (planned) unattended birth, so obviously was alone during labour. My ex was in the flat, but not in the same room (in fact he didn't realise anything was happening until I told him about 1.5 hours before she was born!).

I haven't had any other children, so I don't know how it compares. But it was definitely the right thing for me, partly as I am fairly asocial, so would be stressed by someone else's presence (even if the midwife was in a different room) and partly as I didn't really see what it had to do with anyone else (they weren't there for the conception, so why have them for the birth?!).

Anyway, the labour and delivery went fine, I enjoyed it, and I know I gave myself the best chance of a good birth by following my instincts so that I would be relaxed.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Fri 08-Jul-11 20:59:23

sc2987 that is fascinating. smile

Would you mind telling more? Why you chose to labour alone...the set up re midwife etc...how you found it...any thing you did to prepare before hand...owt really! grin

Happyholidays it was a book of stuff from the mother, called "stretch marks"...i think! Iirc she was on a beach...hope that was where i read it. Would think that's the only place to find such extreem lentil weavery! I don't think i would have wanted to go it alone first time either. But maybe this time. smile

There was a thing in green parenting about a couple that built a beautifull bender for their baby to be born in...i have total bender envy now! envy grin

lostintransition Sat 09-Jul-11 01:42:56

If i were to have another baby (unlikely) I would seriously consider doing the it alone. I think i would access all the care, but just maybe 'leave it too late' to call anyone.
I've had both my DC's at home, both quick labours. Only one midwife ever made it,so i don't think they had much influence on the birth and while not intrusive, I don't think I'd have missed them as they were there for such a short amount of time and did so little!
I really do fancy the idea of it just being me and DP alone....just as the conception. I think it would be wonderful.

HappyHollydays Sat 09-Jul-11 07:39:58

Moonface what's a bender? I like Green Parent but haven't bought it for ages.I'll have a look at their website.

lost yes, I know what you mean, I used to think freebirth was quite irresponsible but I've read a lot about it over the last 12 months that I actually think it's up to the individual and a perfectly valid choice.

I think, after DD's terrible birth and how frightened I felt, I need to know I have someone I can call who believes in my ability to give birth.

My family say things like - small framed/big baby/ you should have a cs/pelvis too small/homebirth is risky.

DH was very scared when I was in labour with DD and the look of fear on his face did nothing to make me feel confident & safe.

Having said all of that, I don't feel like I need to call my MW in early labour and I'd like her to be very hands-off and silent unless I need her.

We'll see...I had plans last time too!

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Sat 09-Jul-11 07:56:19

Happyhollydays it,s a shelter made by arranging flexible branches in a circle and bending them to meet in the middle. Then covering with somethday. If you like i can send you the mag.

I really hate all the comments about the baby's size etc. So ill informed and serving only to scare women. sad

One minute all babies are nbirthable...the next we are "popping them out"...sorry said this on another thread t'other day. angry

JenniL1977 Sat 09-Jul-11 07:57:06

Hey Holly <waves from homebirth thread> I know exactly where you're coming from. I've chosen a homebirth for this reason, I want to be able to control my labour (yy, I know, first timer dreams!!) and I don't want any fuss - I hate people fussing round me. I want to just get on with it and ride the pain out, plus DH is shockingly bad at dealing with other people's emotion and pain (I'm quite scared I'm actually going to kill him unknowingly while I'm in labour!)
What I can see for my labour is my front curtains drawn, lots and lots of candles, some really chilled music, my shower, and lots of places to lean. (just watch me go skipping off to the delivery suite for an epidural now I've said that!)
I don't see it as irresponsible, in fact that hadn't even crossed my mind; I know what I'm like and how I deal with things, and just getting on with it on my own feels normal to me.

JenniL1977 Sat 09-Jul-11 08:02:40

Oh, yes as well, everyone's said the "big baby, small frame" thing and "homebirth? You're brave/stupid" to me too - including DH's uncle who is head of an NHS Trust!
Babies have been coming out this way for thousands of years. My mum's smaller than me and she had 9lb and 10lb5 babies. It's really annoying to hear this from people, I've done my research and I know what's best for me - it's not like I live on a tiny island and would need a helicopter to get to a hospital!

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Sat 09-Jul-11 08:23:44

Jenni i had a planned hb ending in transfer (mec) for my first and would do it again. Had a really long latent phase and would have been stressed about when to go in etc. I still had the birth i wanted, just at a different venue. Better to start off as you want and hope it carries on like that than feel you should have a hosp birth just in case imo. So good on you...esp for ignoring said comments smile

thefirstMrsDeVere Sat 09-Jul-11 08:48:30

Hello.
I have five children.
Two were born in the 90's in hospital
One adopted (he is 8)
Two born at home in the last 3 years.

I chose homebirth for lots of reasons but one of the main ones was that anything medical makes me very very anxious. This is related to the illness and death of my lovely DD who was eldest child.
It is not only hospitals that freak me out but pretty much anything related including equipment and even the lovelist of midwives.

So I had two home births and I spent most of them on my own, being left to my own devices until I needed the help of a midwife. My first HB was great and I learnt a lot from it so when I had my DC5 I was able to have an even more positive experience.

I am lucky to have a good friend who is now a MW (she was a student at the time) and she was with me at both births.

I have quite long labours in that the build up takes for bloody ages so I spent the first hours (and hours) of both births pottering, resting, cleaning and doing a bit of hypnobirthing.
MWs checked me out and left.
OH went about his business for DC4 as it was day time and stayed in bed for DC5.

Once I get to 3cm I go like a rocket so that is when the MWs got more involved. OH was called when I needed him. In DC5 case he stumbled out of bed just in time grin

Fantastic. Low stress and just right for me
The MWs with DC5 were particularly good. They had both been in the job for years and were very relaxed and happy to leave me too it. They also listened to me which made all the difference.

I cannot imagine who I would have coped in a hospital environment surrounded by people. The thought horrifies me.

I only speak for myself though.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Sat 09-Jul-11 12:29:29

That was such a lovely post thefirstmrs. So sorry about your dd. Thank you for sharing your story. smile

thefirstMrsDeVere Sat 09-Jul-11 12:43:59

You are welcome. smile

For me, the absolute key to being able to feel comfortable was really taking on board relaxation techniques. I wasnt able to afford a full on hypnobirthing course but I bought some CDs.

Without wishing to add to the sterotype I am not a hippy earth mother type smile. I am a very ordinary sort of person and wouldnt have dreamt of having a homebirth for my first two babies.

But circumstances changed and I did my research and found that HB was the right option.

If you havent already look on the Homebirthing webstie (google) for answers to the questions you will probably have fired at you by all and sundry.

I think its probable that you will come up against a bit of resistance to your plans and people will assume you are some dippy selfish woo merchant.

Its good to have some solid facts to counter their myths.

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