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Homebirth - third floor flat, no lift?

(10 Posts)
Xiaoxiong Wed 28-Sep-11 09:59:25

As of an hour ago, I was booked into the Ascot Birth Centre at Heatherwood Hospital to give birth - EDD 3 December. It was lovely and we really liked it, did their free hypnobirthing course the last two Sundays with a fantastic midwife there, etc.

I had thought about a homebirth previously because I am apparently low risk, we are only 3 miles from the hospital I would be transferred to in case of any complications, but dismissed it as we live on the third floor with no lift and also it's my first pregnancy so I thought, who knows how this might go...

Anyway - email this morning informed us that Ascot Birth Centre is closed with immediate effect sad I really hope all the midwives and other staff will be redeployed and there will be no redundancies. The email said that if we were candidates for the Birth Centre, we were candidates for home births and would we consider having one.

Anyway we talked and decided that if we could resolve three things we would go for it:

1) The third floor walk-up - could this be an issue if I had to be transferred to hospital? Does it happen on a stretcher? We managed to get a four seater sofa up the stairs no problem when we moved in and though I am not yet the size of a sofa I feel like I may be by the time I am full-term...but a stretcher might be difficult.

2) Neighbours - we are doing hypnobirthing so with luck it will be calm and relaxed but who knows what it will be like on the day. We can hear our downstairs neighbour playing music, for example, so the soundproofing isn't great - any advice on how to handle this?

3) First birth - I have no idea what it will be like and what my pain threshold will be. I think I will also have to keep quiet about this to my family (who luckily all live abroad) as they will absolutely freak out - my mother had two c-sections as apparently my brother and I were too large and she is convinced it will happen to me as well. And then out of loyalty we won't be able to tell PILs either as if we told one set of parents but not the other and it came out later there would be a shitstorm of royal proportions.

Sorry for the tome. Any advice? (Obv I will talk this over with my midwife too but my next appointment isn't for another 2 weeks.)

CristinadellaPizza Wed 28-Sep-11 10:05:13

My sister tried for one with hers in a 3rd floor flat - didn't happen in the end for various reasons but the MWs were perfectly happy with the idea. No idea about the neighbours - I suppose you could make sure that you're not labouring over their bedroom if possible

LargeGlassofRed Wed 28-Sep-11 10:09:53

I had my second baby in a third floor flat with no lift, every one was fine with it. Dh did bring up all the gas and air so that the midwife wouldn't have to lug it up all the stairs.

Only thing that went wrong was Dh locked himself out after the birth so I had to run down and let him in not fun when your've just given birth!

I've had 2 homebirths and loved them.

Xiaoxiong Wed 28-Sep-11 10:26:54

Cristina thanks for that - good thought about finding out where the bedroom of the flat downstairs is to minimise disturbance.

LargeGlassofRed - good to hear positive stories - was either of your two homebirths your first birth? Did that give you any worries? Also when did it stop being "not fun" to go up and down the stairs to your flat (not particularly a homebirth thing but just generally)?

Sorry for all my questions - it's just all swirling around in my head this morning after hearing that the birth centre shut so suddenly!!

Xiaoxiong Wed 28-Sep-11 10:27:44

Goodness it's on the BBC already: 'Concern' over Heatherwood Hospital birth unit closure

LargeGlassofRed Wed 28-Sep-11 10:34:44

Neither was my first birth hady first in hospital, and left to get on with it, wax told I was first tome mum and I would be hours put on a very busy ward with no privacy wasn't till I could feel the head coming out, that they finally let me on to labour ward!

Both home births were lovely had the undivided attention of 2 midwives for the first and 3 midwives for the next as I had a water birth. Don't think you would ever get that in hospital,

The flat was fine until I had my second, double buggy toddler and baby was just too much.

I had my twins in hospital 2 years ago as I wasn't aloud a home birth and still hated it.

iskra Wed 28-Sep-11 10:42:25

I planned a homebirth for my first birth but had to transfer to hospital after 12 hours to labour because there was meconium in the water & the midwives wanted us to have continual monitoring/syntocinin to speed it up. There was no suggestion of stretchers - in fact I think if we had had our own car we probably would have been expected to drive ourselves in rather than have an ambulance come out to us. I would imagine paramedics are used to negotiating stairs with stretchers.

I just had a lovely homebirth with my second.

Xiaoxiong Wed 28-Sep-11 13:20:50

Thanks for the info iskra and for answering my questions LargeGlassofRed.

Well it sounds like the overwhelming opinion is to go for the homebirth...I think I'll have t break the news to the downstairs neighbours with some brownies!!

eurochick Wed 28-Sep-11 15:45:41

Just pop a note through their door saying you will try to keep it down when the time comes but they should ignore any strange noises!

They are going to be disturbed much more regularly when the baby arrives anyway.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 29-Sep-11 17:32:37

Your midwives will come and assess your flat anyway to make sure they're happy.

I had my first as a planned homebirth in a first floor flat and planning my second homebirth in another first floor flat. We didn't mention it to the neighbours last time as they were good friends with our landlord and I didn't want him to know! This tone we've warned the neighbours, either face to face (the ones we like) or with a note (weirdo downstairs).

Sounds like you're really up for it so go for it! Such a personal choice deciding where to give birth but I'm so glad I went for hb with my first, feel free to ask any questions from that pov.


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