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options on where to give birth to dc2

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katherine2008 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:46:59

Any advice greatly appreciated here. I am 40 years old, low risk, 24 weeks pg with dc1. I live 30 minutes drive from a midwife led birthing unit and 45-50 minutes drive from the delivery facilities of a brand spanking new hospital. My midwife is the manager of the birthing unit (she comes out to see us here in the sticks) and is quite militant anti-epidurals and pro natural birth - and obviously has a quote to fill at the midwife unit. When I was booked in she actually told me that I had two options - a home birth or the midwife unit, and when I said that surely I had the option unit she said that they might turn me away if they were busy (!) -which she later totally rescinded.

My first birth was reasonably straight forward but long and obviously enormously painful. I asked for an epidural but was told I had to wait, then the anaesthetist was busy and by the time one was available I was ready to push. Without going into too much detail I did find it all quite traumatic and it took me quite a long time to get over it - but I know that this is the case for a lot of mums. I felt unsupported by the midwives and was in terrible pain by the time I was allowed onto the labour ward - and felt a bit like I was being a nuisance - I had pethidine on the maternity ward which didn't touch the side about 4 hours before I insisted on being admitted onto Labour.

I do quite like the idea of having a focussed midwife team on a midwife led unit and hopefully being supported properly during my labour. However, I equally like the idea of being able to ask for an epidural in hospital and for their to be medical assistance if I need it (it's about 25 minutes in an ambulance from midwife unit to hospital). My age is obviously considered irrelevant by everyone, apart from me, but I wonder if I should take it into account. I am admittedly a bit of a wimp with pain but did give birth without major relief last time. Can anyone offer advice or experience that might help me make up my mind.

It seems to me that if I go to hospital too soon or too late in either scenario it's not going to make all that much difference.

thanks for your help.

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