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Can't decide about home birth

(31 Posts)
tiokiko Sun 17-Jul-11 20:53:31

I'm 28w with DC2 and have just started to think about a home birth.

DD is 2.7, I found her birth was manageable, TENS and G&A, small tear/graze with a couple of stitches but felt good overall. I had high BP throughout pregnancy last time and v high on admission but Labetalol sorted it straight away. BP fine this time so far.

Postnatal care was poor and I hated being in hospital, would feel that even more this time I think as I'd be in a busier hospital and would be desperate to get home to DD.

I would love to have a home birth, but am a bit hesitant. Worried that maybe I was just really lucky last time and this will be a really painful delivery; worried about what happens if baby needs resus on delivery etc etc (we are 20 mins from hosp).

Am seeing MW on Wed and will talk to her then but in the meantime would love to hear others' experiences that might help me decide!

NickNacks Sun 17-Jul-11 21:01:06

Do it!

I've had 3 and wonderful experiences every time.

Firstly the midwives carry EVERYTHING! Resus equipment, gas and air, some GP's will also prescribe pethidine for you to keep at home just in case too.

20 mins (is that by ambulance?) would be fine. Should you need theatre then they would be preeping whilst you were on your way anyway so ready as soon as you arrived.

At least discuss it with MW and research research research!!

Good luck!

tiokiko Sun 17-Jul-11 21:06:41

Thanks NickNacks, all good to hear - have been trying to research but can't find much apart from homebirth.org.uk - is that the best source?

I think there is also a local home birth support group once a month so will go to that if poss but would any other pointers would be great.

NickNacks Sun 17-Jul-11 21:14:57

Check your local hospitals website for their home birth policy. I've been in two areas and the first i have to call the community midwife who came out herself and the other two times i called labour ward to say i was in labour and they contacted the on call midwives.

Local home birth group would be useful- its great to speak to people who have actually done it. I returned to my hospital to give a talk to mums to be about home birth and they all said it was very useful.

Just be open to the fact that you may still have to go to hospital. My friend didn't and she got herself in a right state when the hospital said they didn't have anymore midwives available to send out to her so she would have to go in.

Kayzr Sun 17-Jul-11 21:18:45

I had one with DS2 and it was brilliant. I had it for the same reasons really. DS1's birth was really good but the post natal care was a disaster. I'd never give birth in hospital again unless I had too.

Northernlurker Sun 17-Jul-11 21:18:56

I thought about home birth with dd2 but in the end decided that I just wasn't comfortable with it - partly because I didn't want dd1 in the house and it was much easier to have somebody come to her than have to take her to somebody in the middle of the night.
I reckon if you've done one birth with G&A then you're sorted to keep going with that in the future so I wouldn't worry too much about pain relief. Yes if baby is in a weird position you might need more BUT if that's the case you could well be heading in to hospital anyway. So I wouldn't think pain relief is a reason not to stay at home.
If you d0o deliver in hospital you can be discharged within 6 hours if everything's ok. That be the best compromise. I did that with dd2. Born at 2pm, home by 6. We were going for that with dd3 too but I lost a fair bit of blood so stayed in for 12 hours. Born at 3 am, home just after 3pm.

LittleSarah Sun 17-Jul-11 21:30:29

Both mine delivered at home, first one fairly simple (five hrs established labour, gas and air and tens), second even simpler, two hrs from start to finish, no time for pain relief! My cousin also had two, longer and harder than mine but still very happy to be at home.

Definitely go to a group if you can they are really helpful and great for advice and real life experiences. My midwife said at mine second is often shorter and to call when contractions ten mins apart rather than five... they started 3 mins apart!

I have a birth stories booklet from my local centre, it was great, I could send you a copy, all real birth stories, my cousin's is in there. Here is a link to a story produced by the same centre - http://pregnancyandparents.org.uk/birth-stories/annas-birth-story/.

Good luck!

tiokiko Sun 17-Jul-11 21:44:21

Thanks all, really helpful.

Northernlurker - I know what you mean about childcare. Haven't thought about it in much detail yet but a) when DD's asleep she is really asleep so if it all kicked off at night we might be OK and b) if not she'd go to my parents who are only 10 mins away so should be OK. But useful to think about definitely.

LittleSarah - you must be in Edinburgh, that's the same group that I was thinking about and read that birth story last night! We are in Juniper Green so could go to St John's or ERI but I'm not sure about either (had DD in Northamptonshire, just moved here earlier this year).

Will definitely check out the group, sounds like it could be v helpful.

ziptoes Sun 17-Jul-11 21:44:45

I loved my home birth. It was peaceful and I felt in control, apart from that crazy transition thing. And not having to be in hospital afterwards was amazing. So much easier to get bfing established when you're not in a noisy hot ward with shit food.

MW had everything, and I could have chosen to have pethedine if I'd wanted to. MWs don't carry it in case word got out and junkies started to mug MWs - so you get a prescription and pick up from the chemist.

It helped having an arrangement for a trusted friend to take care of DS. Meant I could focus 100% on my labour.

One of my biggest worries was what the neighbours would think of the noise, especially as we can hear their telly most nights. Found out when DD was about 4 months old that not only did they not hear anything they didn't even know we'd had another baby!

Secondtimelucky Sun 17-Jul-11 21:47:48

I loved my recent homebirth. DD1 was a horrendous, intervention filled experience ending in forceps. DD2 was born at home in the pool. It was amazing. It was a month ago and I had a dream about it last night (not a nightmare, I promise. A lovely dream).

For me, the big things were:
-creating the right environment;
-not having to move DD1. I liked that she was upstairs and that, in the morning, she met her sister before anyone else did. Like many people seem to who have a homebirth with an older child, I laboured overnight and gave birth early in the morning;
- having proper dedicated midwife care rather than people wandering in and out (although DD2 had other ideas and arrived a bit fast!);
-not having to brave the postnatal ward again. Was bad enough without wanting to see DD1;
- the biggest thing for me: you can turn a homebirth into a hospital one at any time and for any (or no!) reason. You can just say "I'd like to go in now". You can't do the reverse.

Happy to discuss further if I can be of any help!

tiokiko Sun 17-Jul-11 21:50:57

That's reassuring re noise ziptoes - don't think I would have considered in our last house (terraced, could hear some noise through walls) but we have a bigger/more solid semi-detached house now where you don't hear anything at all from next door so I wouldn't be self-conscious on that score.

Do MWs come to suss out your house and suggest where would be good to actually labour/check it would be OK or is it down to you to sort that?

Secondtimelucky Sun 17-Jul-11 21:57:09

They come out to check the house - they want to be sure that it's not the 25th floor of a towerblock with no lift (i.e. in an emergency, they/the ambulance could get you out) or so unsanitary that they wouldn't consider it. Not sure how much they'd suggest good places to labour - my doula and I had worked that all out in advance.

notcitrus Sun 17-Jul-11 21:57:28

I thought about a homebirth for ds - decided against as had very bad SPD and had loads of builders in! Planned to use MLU and pool, which I did but then needed epidural for SPD and so ended up in del suite. That was all great, but postnatal care was terrible (3 days in).

So, thinking about it this time round. Close, but I think I'll go for hospital, ebcause the MLU is lovely and with luck I could go there, give birth, avoid postnatal ward entirely, not have to worry about a mess in my house (people say they clean up, but the amount of mess spurting all over last time, soaking through over 50 incopads, I really don't want in my cluttered house). But main reasons are: ds needed resusitating nearly a hour after birth, so I'd like to be in a hospital, and also, just in case anything happened, I have to live in my house and would prefer any tragedy to happen elsewhere. Morbid, but that's the main factor for me atm.

Secondtimelucky Sun 17-Jul-11 22:00:27

It's definitely what suits. Thinking that morbidly, I'd like to think that my child had been 'at home' (obviously, not the same as if lack of resus had caused the tragedy- I'd had to be comfortable with all that side before I went ahead).

nannyl Sun 17-Jul-11 22:09:46

Agree go for it.....

and remember having a home birth doesnt mean you HAVE to stay at home... you can decide yo transfer to hospital or midwife unit during labour if you like.... and if you choose to, your midwife will travel with you on your journey, which they wont if you plan a midwife unit or hospital birth!

I dont think they can refuse to homebirth because of your house, though agree they may be less than impressed if its an ideal home for next series of how clean is your house...
homebirths are allowed in a mansion, caravan or studio flat, and you cant be forced to go to hospital because your house isnt good enough.

Herecomesthesciencebint Sun 17-Jul-11 22:11:39

I ummed and ahed with DS2 and did go ahead and have one but overall I regretted it.

I had a great experience with DS1 in a midwive unit in the pool and really wanted to same again but knew there would be a chance the MW unit was shut or too busy to take me. So i went for a HB as a sort of back up and overall thought there would be lots of positives but had a niggling anxiety about what I would do or how I would feel if there was a problem. This is even tho i was low risk.

In the event, the MW unit was indeed full so I went with the HB and called the MW in. I had a pool set up etc and laboured well at home before she arrived. When she first had a go listening in she couldnt find DS2s heartbeat. I completely panicked, screamed at DH to call 999 over and over again and kept thinking it was due to my selfishness that my baby had died. he hadnt, he was just almost on the way out so too low for her to hear easily and he arrived safely a few minutes later. It just tapped into the niggling anxiety I had and it all spiralled out of control.

But I still have nightmares about it and have got goose bumps just typing this.

It was great being by my own shower etc but I found within a few hours I was back as normal, sitting with DS1 in the garden and making everyone lunch. No day spent in bed for me.

I wouldnt do it again clearly but totally get that it is perfect for some people.

Not trying to put you off at all, just think if you have doubts you need to fully explore them and be honest.

nannyl Sun 17-Jul-11 22:14:14

and if the hospital have "no staff" you can insist they find someone.

they have an obligation to send a midwife and if you are adament that you are not going to hospital and you expect some one and make it very clear that you have no intention of getting into any said ambulence... and be really persistant, and midwife will normally be found and sent to you... afterall they have an obligation to send a midwife when you have phoned asking for one.

Remember NHS staffing is NOT your responsibility so dont feel guilty!

PorkChopSter Sun 17-Jul-11 22:17:32

I've had three HB and all were far, far better than my hospital births.

What I would say is devour homebirth.org.uk, join groups.yahoo.com/group/homebirthuk and read the archives - and remember, you can change your mind at home about going into hospital during labour... but it's far more difficult once in hospital to change your mind and go home wink

squiggleywiggler Sun 17-Jul-11 22:19:35

If you want to explore homebirth, this website is a great place to start www.homebirth.org.uk.

There are details of your local homebirth group where you can meet others planning/have had a HB and find out more about the practicalities.

I'm biased (as I am one) but I always reckon it's worth thinking about having a doula for a HB. See www.doula.org.uk for more details.

On a personal level I loved my HB (first baby) and wouldn't do it any other way if I have another.

Oh and very spookily secondtimelucky I also had a very lovely dream about your birth last night (am her doula not a weird dream stalker)!

notsuchayummymummy Mon 18-Jul-11 08:36:05

Hi Tiokiko - I would also say go for it!

DC1 was a 37 hour hospital ordeal with every imaginable intervention bar C-sec which was suggested a number of times. G&A, Pethedine and Epidural.

DC2 - unplanned homebirth with tens and G&A for just the last 10 mins ( when the ambulance arrived). I did tear and I did get transferred in - but left later in the day.

Please dont doubt yourself about pain and pain relief - I certainly found I was a lot more chilled at home and really found it an incredibly positive experience.

Riveninside Mon 18-Jul-11 08:38:54

Personally i think 20 minutes is too far.

nannyl Mon 18-Jul-11 08:53:57

I'm 45 mins from hospital....

its partly because I am so far away that homebirths are so supported here where i live. Much more so than in most areas of the country smile

tiokiko Mon 18-Jul-11 08:58:21

I am concerned by the distance though - it seems a long time when added to the time for an ambulance to get here, particularly if there was a problem with the baby.

That's really my main concern, much much more so than pain relief for me! I really need to think about it my anxiety over that could be counter-productive to the labour anyway.

Kayzr Mon 18-Jul-11 09:04:09

I'm about 40 minutes from the hospital. I've been advised to have homebirths due to quick labours. I wouldn't risk giving birth in a lay-by like one of my friends did.

Riveninside Mon 18-Jul-11 09:04:53

It was that 20 mins that made the difference to the severity of dds brain damage. She was born at home, blue lighted to the hospital which of course took time. Time she didnt have. IMO 20 mins is too far.

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