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Homebirth stories please - good or bad!

(25 Posts)
lovemysleep Sun 10-Jul-11 20:48:00

I am currently 27+2 weeks pg, and can't decide whether to have a HB or hospital.....

I LOVE the idea of a HB - the thought of being in my own home, and best of all, avoiding the hell that is the postnatal ward afterwards!

I'm not keen on hospitals, and I would like to keep my labour as unmedicalised as possible - I also have a terrible fear of forceps.

DD hospital birth was fine - but she was back to back, the labour was 48 hours long, and I ended up with an epidural (which was great), and a ventouse delivery. I did love the epidural, as I was so knackered, as I'd been on labour for about 36 hours by the time I had it. However, I know that they can result in more intervention, so that could be why I couldn't get her out (pushed for over 4 hours). I know back to back labours can be like this.

I saw a consultant early on due to a problem with recurrent mc, and she said that I could possibly have another back to back labour, as it can be down to the shape of your pelvis.

I'm not sure how much I trust my midwives to deliver my baby either - one just seems so dippy (and very anti-HB's), and the other one just seems to want any appointments to end very quickly.

There's also the fear that if anything went wrong, would I blame it on my decision to have my baby at home?

Just would like to hear other ladies experiences of HB, in the hope that it will help me make up my mind....

fruitshootsandheaves Sun 10-Jul-11 21:12:54

I went for a home birth after being induced with dd1 and hating being in hospital all wired up.
However when i asked for a homebirth (in 1995) it was not the 'done thing' and I had to argue my case with the doctor each time. it's much better now and more encouraged I think.
I had DS1 and DD2 at home. Both were a much better experience for me than a hospital birth. I planned to have DS2 at home too and I did almost but DS2 and my body unfortunately had other ideas, although I transferred to hospital it was all very efficient and quick and by then all I was worried about was that he was ok rather than where he was born.
I loved the relaxed atmosphere of a home birth and that I was in my own familiar surroundings.
Good Luck i hope you get what you want.

Secondtimelucky Sun 10-Jul-11 21:23:55

I had a homebirth a month ago with DD2, after a first labour very like your first, but ending in forceps.

FWIW, I think that there's a good chance that DD2 was back to back or in some form of malposition during my labour. However, I worked with my doula on positioning and opening the pelvis. I won't lie, it was bloody painful, but in the end it happened so fast we didn't get a chance to get the midwives out! It was a totally amazing, amazing experience. I'm still on a bit of a high that I pushed her out myself in les than half an hour from my waters going!

A big factor for me in choosing a homebirth was only being a few minutes from a hospital, and having a doula who, though not medically trained, has obviously seen lots of births and I trusted to help us decide when we needed the midwives (although my body managed to bluff her!). If you don't mind me asking, where in the country are you?

NickNacks Sun 10-Jul-11 21:36:15

Just be prepared for the event that you still MAY end up in hospital.

I've had all three of my children at home and they were fab experiences. Relaxed, unmedicalised, wonderful experiences and no pain relief (not needed but available).

However I tore very badly with my first and ended up needing to go to hospital for surgery. Stayed in 5 days with further complications (not related to HB). Wasn't emergency but i did need to go in by ambulance (after a clean up and tea and toast!).

Sebsequent two children i also tore badly but less severe, still needing a transfer with DC2 but managed to stay home with DC3.

Dispite all the disappointment in having to go to hospital twice, I am still delighted i had them at home and wouldn't change my decision.

I was 10 mins by blue light to hospital which midwife explianed would be about the same time as if on the labour ward and waiting to theatre to be prepped up ready for me. They would be getting ready whilst on our way there. Chances are low that this would ever be needed anyway.

Good luck!

osd Sun 10-Jul-11 21:39:07

I had one in hospital, which was lovely and being my 1st felt safer, all natural bit of gas and air but they were understaffed i felt a bit bullied and it didn't feel like the sanctuary i had been promised. Oh and it was a midwife led unit, so any emergency and i would have to have been rushed to local big hospital. Took 18hrs

2nd at home left it a bit late to ring the midwifes, but they got there just in time for gas and air and took 7hrs, really lovely and had 2 midwifes who could not wonder off to other patients.

3rd at home amazingly same midwife came, baby was sky gazing and turning the whole time through birthing and had to birth him on my side and then standing no gas and air all natural which was amazingly o.k, because he was difficult took about 14hr i think.

Advice is do it its lovely to be in your space to have a shower or bath in your own home the next day at home to sleep in your bed with partner to have your children near by, less upset, can eat what the hell you like for breakfast.

Bit of advice i am rural so if you are give time for midwives to get to you, have a birth plan, make a nest and i was lucky had all my dc at night so when my other little ones woke up there was a new baby there and a mummy so the baby was just a natural extension. Also I found the midwives to be a bit quick after the birth, no hanging about, but i liked that.

Good luck and enjoy, i loved my home births even the last with no gas and air, hospital mix up but was fine, they forgot to deliver it and as they had changed procedure since my middle one so i stupidly thought the midwives would bring it but it was all fine. But really enjoy, I loved it.

Fleecy Sun 10-Jul-11 21:56:16

I had a HB first time round because I didn't want the 'drama' of going into hospital - was scared about labour and thought I would be more relaxed at home on familiar ground with all my things around me.

DD was also back to back but labour was okay. Waters broke around 5am, contractions started up shortly afterwards but nothing major. Midwife popped in to see me mid-morning and mid-afternoon just to check all was well then left us to it. Around 5pm I called up and asked her to come back, she arrived with the second on-call midwife around 6pm and I was 4cm dilated but I was having regular contractions and I wanted the gas and air so they stayed with us. At 7pm I told her I couldn't handle it and please could she call for an ambulance to take me to hospital so I could have an epidural. She called one but told them not to hurry, much to my annoyance. She was right though - when the ambulance arrived I was ready to push smile

So the ambulance went away again and I pushed for two hours before DD put in an appearance. But it was lovely afterwards - the midwives ran me a bath and helped me in it while DH held DD. They then changed the sheets, took all the messy stuff away for disposal and cleared up before leaving us in peace to enjoy our new arrival.

Second time round I was advised to have a hospital birth and ended up having to stay in for two days. Hated being on the ward afterwards - it was hot, noisy and horrible. Much preferred being at home. But obviously if you're at home you could have to go in afterwards anyway...

Sorry - not much help!

Eglu Sun 10-Jul-11 22:08:02

I had a HB for DS2, partly because I was expecting a quick labour and partly because I hated the 3 days in hospital after DS1.

It was wonderful and calm. It was lovely getting in my own bath and bed afterwards. DS1 got up in the morning to a new baby brother, it was fantastic.

I also had a home birth 2 weeks ago for DD. It was an incredibly quick labour, the mw didn't make it in time and DH delivered DD. Because I didn't have a mw to help me pace the pushin I ended up with a 3rd degree tear and went to hospital to be stitched in theatre.

I did get home 12 hours later though, so it wasn't too bad.

AnaisB Sun 10-Jul-11 22:12:00

Being home was brilliant. I felt totally relaxed being in my own space, but another woman in my area was having a homebirth at the same time which meant that there was only one midwife available and she didn't get there until my waters broke and I was pushing - I felt pretty anxious when DH phoned to say my contractions were every 2 minutes and lasted 1 minute and he was told to phone back when they were more frequent hmm.

I ended up transferring just before at the last minute because there was meconium in my waters, but I felt that this was totally my own decision and the MW tried to get someone from the hospital to come to my house instead. I also had a PP haemorrhage - maybe would have been avoided if I'd had a managed third stage third stage, but I imagine that this would have been dealt with at home in the same way it was in hospital.

Being on the ward afterwards was awful and I'll aim to avoid it next time. All in all I'd definitely try for another homebirth.

lovemysleep Sun 10-Jul-11 22:20:45

second I'm in Worcester and about 10 mins away from the hospital, so I have no worries about getting there quickly..
I know I may have to go to hospital anyway, so I'm trying to be positive about both alternatives, although I can see the pros and cons of both.
Just hated the postnatal ward with DD - so understaffed, the staff that were there were just plain rude, and I just hate the lack of privacy.

Secondtimelucky Mon 11-Jul-11 09:05:41

Well in that case I would second NickNacks, you can get to hospital about as quickly as you can transfer from a ward. Other than the most crash of crash sections, the transfer time is about the same. And you have the other side that some complications are unlikely to happen in hospital.

You say you worry you would blame being at home if something happened? If you feel like that, you might want to choose hospital. But for me, I would have blamed going to hospital if I'd had another birth like DD1. That definitely affected my physical recovery and bonding with her, so it's not like "it was all ok because the baby is ok" and I was "just wanting the nice experience" (which I have heard anti HB people say). I really believe that she could have come out in a less traumatic way had I been supported, and therefore not on the syntocinon and epidural. It's also worth bearing in mind that (at least anecdotally at my busy London hospital) a lot of hospital complications appear to be at least partly because of lack of staffing - either they reach for the medication or they don't pick things up as fast.

If you go for hospital, you can always kick up a massive stink and get out fast. I had DD at 4am and was discharged by 7pm due to a lot of bolshiness from me and DH and an appeal to the ward manager (who really needed the bed) to muster the paed so we could have all the checks and not discharge ourselves forcibly!

ShowOfHands Mon 11-Jul-11 09:16:14

I planned a hb with dd. I had a long labour and tbh I knew something wasn't quite right from the beginning. Contractions were too long, unproductive and painful from the beginning with no peak. I had a 2 day labour, pushed for around 6 hours and then had a bluelight transfer to hospital. Ended with an episiotomy, 3 ventouse attempts and a manual rotation attempt before emcs. DD was in deep transverse arrests (facing the wrong way, body twisted and ear presenting).

I have never, ever, ever regretted being at home and giving it a good shot. I hated being in hospital and the postnatal care was shocking. The only advice I ever give to women trying to make the decision is plan for the best, acknowledge all other possibilities, accept that this is something that's up to luck/chance/fate/whatever. I'd be prepared for a homebirth, plan what you'd like to happen, look at how you might encourage this and then make sure you have a hospital bag packed, have thought through what you'll do during other eventualities and feel a bit reassured that statistically, a homebirth should be entirely possible and perhaps even utterly wonderful.

Secondtimelucky Mon 11-Jul-11 09:21:42

SOH makes a really good point. I've seen her and others on a few threads say that, even though they transferred, the time at home was a positive.

Also, are you sure that the midwives you see would be the home birth midwives? They often aren't. But if they are, have you thought about a doula? I'm a bit of a stuck record on this because mine was so brilliant, but that way you would know that the person giving you the emotional support was truly committed to the homebirth and to giving you the best support possible. If the midwives are 'just' there for the medical side (and the doula can act as a barrier to any more negative views) you might find that helpful.

NightLark Mon 11-Jul-11 09:27:32

I've had 2 HBs and one hospital birth (DC1).

Like a lot of other posters, it was the dreadful postnatal experience in hospital that decided me to go for a HB.

First HB was a wonderful experience - had a waterbirth, labour was always very manageable, didn't need pain relief. DD1 born in water, I tore but was stitched at home.

Second HB just 2 weeks ago was harder. DD2 was big, I went from 5cm to pushing in 2 scary contractions, she got stuck once her head was out (shoulder dystocia) and I had to climb out of the pool with her head 'born' and the rest of her not so mw could manouver her out. I tore badly and had to transfer to hospital for repair. And I'd still choose all of that over a hospital birth.

girlfromdownsouth Mon 11-Jul-11 10:41:20

I've had two wonderful homebirths.
DD was back to back which was very painful but bearable. My only pain relief was accupressure done by my shiatsu practitioner who was present for the birth. Had very small tear which needed a quick stitch top and bottom which again was done with no pain relief.
DS born 19mths later was much quicker, and less painful.

I loved being at home, was able to labour exactly as I wanted (which happened on my knees to be bent forwards with arms and top over the sofa iyswim). It was lovely and calm and the midwives were wonderful.

Go for it!

nannyl Mon 11-Jul-11 11:25:30

Watching with interest

31 weeks pg with my 1st and planning on a home birth! smile

CalmInsomniac Mon 11-Jul-11 15:26:21

I had a lovely homebirth for my first. DD left it till the very last minute and I went into labour in the late evening of 40 + 13, giving birth early the next morning at 42 weeks.
It was wonderful to be at home. Such an intense experience, I couldn't have imagined coming out of the labour "zone" to get into a car and be driven to the hospital and have to deal with people and bright lights and protocols and stuff. That would have been awful!

I dealt with it through breathing and my TENS machine until it got too much (transition) then I got into a pool which my friend had prepared for me in my kitchen (DH had stayed with me while I laboured in the bathroom sitting on a stool!).

Midwife arrived after I'd started pushing. Baby born in the pool after 8 hours of contractions. Amazing, I'd definitely do it again.

Remember with a homebirth, you're only choosing to stay at home while everything is going well. If anything deviates from normal or looks worrying or gets too much for you, you can change plans and go into the hospital. It's not all or nothing. You're just giving yourself the chance to have the baby at home if everything goes well.

For me it's a no brainer!

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 11-Jul-11 15:32:45

my dd is 14 today and i had her at home. it was wonderful and (if there are no complications) i would heartily recommend it.

i had her in my own room, got into my own bath afterwards, and back into my own lovely bed with clean sheets and my little bundle next to me. it was relaxed and easy and i had no pain relief because i just found it wasnt needed.

much much better than my previous hospital birth.
good luck if you do decide to have a home birth - i would choose it over hospital any day.

lovemysleep Mon 11-Jul-11 15:42:45

Right, that's it ladies - I shall plan for a HB! I might not get it, but your stories have reassured me that it's the right thing for me if everything goes to plan.
And should I have to endure the potsnatal ward, I will do my best to be a rightroyal--pain--in--the--arse assertive, so I can get out of there asap!

Thank-you so much for all of your help - really appreciate it xx

lovemysleep Mon 11-Jul-11 15:44:08

...as you can see, haven't quite mastered the art of the strike through for right royal pain in the arse........am obviously a luddite.....smile

naturalbaby Mon 11-Jul-11 15:48:49

i delivered all 3 of mine at home myself and it was lovely and perfect, but i was very lucky and they were all very natural text book pregnancies and births. my 2nd baby arrived when my first was asleep (night time) and my 3rd arrived when my older 2 were having a nap next door after lunch!

i know someone who had a back to back ventouse delivery with her 1st and almost identical delivery with her 2nd.

i did a lot of hypnotherapy practice - every day, several times a day for the last couple of months positive thinking and relaxation.

KTisPG Mon 11-Jul-11 15:50:30

I planned a homebirth with DS in 2008 and ended up going in to have my waters broken. To me it was still a perfect birth because I laboured mainly at home, went into hospital, had my waters broken, DS was born within an hour and I came home after another couple of hours so was only in for a total of 3 hours. The only reason I could leave so quickly was because I'd planne to be at home so my GP was all set to do all the postnatal checks and I didn't have to wait to see the hospital paediatrician etc.

I'm currently 34wks with DC3 and am planning another homebirth, but am quite relaxed about the idea of having to go in if necessary.

I would really encourage you to plan for HB because then you can change your mind at any point and go in, whereas it would be difficult if you planned a hospital birth now to change your mind later IYSWIM.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 11-Jul-11 22:15:06

forgot to mention another couple of advantages that i found with home birth -

that was my midwife was all mine, one to one and she was lovely and supportive

and my labour was very quick but relaxaed

and being pain relief free meant no sickness, no whoozy drunk hazy feeling, i was up and about as soon as i wanted to be and i could have visitors as soon as i wanted, with my previous hospital birth they gave me pain relief and spent the rest of my labour with my head in a bowl chucking up....gawd that was horrible.

no contest really for me! but it is a very personal decision, and i have friends who felt safer in hospital.
around here, the midwives positively encouraged me to opt for a home birth, and i listened to them!

SeniorWrangler Mon 11-Jul-11 22:22:53

Had three HBs at home, the last one with SPD and while barely able to walk. They were all water births. Two with independent midwives. Quick, clean, easy and pain levels easily manageable. Fail to see why anyone would want to trek into hospital unless they had complications or lived in the middle of nowhere hours from a hospital.

FWIW if you get stuck without a midwife you can phone any midwife at all and their professional code says they have to attend you in labour, whatever the circumstance.

3littlebadgers Mon 11-Jul-11 22:33:34

I had two Hospital Births and my third was a home birth. I loved it, every minute of it. Even the pain (although excrutiating) felt less scary and I guess more natural (I don't deal with pain well even stubbing my toe can make me feel dizzy!). Went into labour just as we were having our evening meal, put the boys to sleep and gave birth just in time for the boys to wake up to their new baby sister all tucked up next to mummy and daddy.
When my little girl was born I had a breif moment of terror when she didn't cry but the midwife said she was perfectly fine and most likely didn't cry due to the fact that the birth was so relaxed. She carried on that was for the first three days untill the heel prick test which was the first time I heard her cry. Even when she would wake in the night for a feed she would make little kitten type noises which would rouse me gently. I think the biggest benefits for home birth for the baby is that she is born into a world of sounds that she already knows, not the strange foreign sounds of a hospital, and so she is less stressed. For me personally the biggest pluss point was that my two midwives were with me throughout. They really listened to my needs and I really felt such awe at how supportive they were. It is a good job the birth wasn't filmed otherwise I would make everyone watch it!
Good luck with the birth and the baby!

shouldbeelswhere Mon 11-Jul-11 22:58:05

My labour with DS was just like yours so I was definate that I wanted a home birth next time. Had a wonderful birth, like others have said painful but manageable, because I felt relaxed at home. Also felt confident knowing that the midwife (midhusband?) was with me when I needed him - just for reassurance at the end unlike my experience in hospital! Good luck, you'll know what you want in the end, whether that's home or hospital, trust yourself...

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