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Any experiences of home VBACs?

(9 Posts)
halloweeneyqueeney Thu 18-Oct-12 15:37:57

anyone had one one the NHS or does everyone go private if they have one? I just can't scrape together enough for an IM

are there alternative signs that can be looked for if you're not monitored? (other than pain) can you be monitored at home?

any other experience/thoughts appreciated

newyearsday Thu 18-Oct-12 16:19:56

Hello, I'm planning a HBAC with NHS midwives, I'm 21wks pg. I am getting a doula though because my DH and I want the continuity, experience and support, we both felt out of our depth last time. I'm also doing a hypnotherapy course to help me relax. Anything to avoid a repeat cs! My journey began with the VBAC yahoo group, lots of fab advice and women who've been there. From that I found out about a local VBAC support group, the two women who run it had HBACs with NHS midwives. I've read lots, the VBAC Handbook is a good place to start. DH and I have been interviewing doulas and have learned so much along the way. One of the doula's suggested I contact my hospital's Consultant Midwife, which I did and I met with her yesterday rather than seeing an Obstetrician. I think this has been key because the community midwives want to know your plans have been 'signed off', and she's their boss. She basically said HBAC is not for everyone but I'm making an informed choice and they will support me. She went through my future MW appts and what I need to say at each stage and if I have any problems/resistance I must get back to her. Yes there are signs: mum's heart rate, baby's heart rate, mum's blood pressure and pain in abdomen between contractions. The home birth MWs use a handheld monitor to check baby's heart rate at regular intervals, I had this last time and much preferred it to the continuous monitoring. I do feel like a bit of a mis-fit ;0) but I'm surrounding myself with supportive people and doing everything I can to get my birthing confidence back. I'm also thinking about the 'what if's' and if it doesn't work out as long as I feel I've done all I can and I'm in control of the decisions (unlike last time) I will be happy. Good luck!

halloweeneyqueeney Thu 18-Oct-12 16:32:19

wow lots of info there, thanks! didn't know about the MWs "big boss" really so thats something to consider.

We're already having hypnotherapy classes and doula etc and was originally okay with going to hospital (although there's some aspects of it i'ld decline, like the "just incase" cannula).. but the closer it gets the more the logistics just seem to mean added stress.

We have a list of friends and nannies/babysitters we can call to look after DC1 but all have jobs/lives/kids so noone who can be 24hrs on call to us for childcare, so DH may end up staying at home.

I'm just getting wound up by the whole thing, getting everyone where they should be and getting me to hospital seems so much hassle which doesn't really bode well for a VBAC. Then once there (hospital) I have a list of demands like moving the bed to the wall, getting mats and a ball etc etc.. and its all feeling like a bit of a fight. I know that NHS HBACS can be a fight too, but at least its not that AND all the people juggling/babysitter/DH getting home from job he commutes to etc

RationalBrain Thu 18-Oct-12 16:39:26

Our hospital had an automatic referral to a VBAC session and chat with consultant at around, um, 20 weeks I think - basically to encourage more women to try for VBAC. My consultant said that, so long as I was aware of the risks, it was fine. I did go down the IM route, but only because I was a little apprehensive after my first birth. I'm assuming that if I had wanted an NHS midwife, as the consultant said it was OK, the CMs would have had to support me?

NB Don't forget that even if you start off at home, you may well get transferred in anyway for non VBAC related reasons. So best to plan for both home and hospital births.

halloweeneyqueeney Thu 18-Oct-12 16:44:42

I've seen the consultant and the VBAC MW but at the time was happy with hospital VBAC so didn't ask about HBAC and it wasn't mentioned as an option

newyearsday Thu 18-Oct-12 16:50:24

Yes we have a similar dilemma with childcare (our parents are all 3hrs away), but having a home birth does simplify it a bit. If labour happens at night DS will be sleeping. If DH needs to leave me for a while to make arrangements for a friend to collect DS, he will feel much happier knowing the doula is there to look after me. Obviously we still need to have a backup plan, just in case I need to transfer to hospital.

Where do you want to labour/birth? Don't go for a home birth cos it seems easier. You need to feel safe, secure and comfortable.

Have you discussed your concerns with your doula? If you go to hospital, maybe she could bring in a 2nd doula to look after your child overnight?

halloweeneyqueeney Thu 18-Oct-12 16:55:54

its not just childcare, it also just seems more comfortable, therefore making good VBAC positions easier to get into, I can imagine lots of variations of ways I can be in a good position at home and only a limited few in the particular unit I'm going to (no en-suites for examply so you cant sit astride the toilet with seat down leaning on cistern which apparently lots of women find v comfortable). I have carpets not cold hospital floors for my knees etc, just seems better.

And the car journey.. I just don't wanna be going out in public into a car and through the car park and into the main reception then up to labour ward.. its all so.. outside and horrible and it'll be cold and public

I'm not exactly next door to the hospital though, fairly quick transfer if blue lighting, but still it isn't just round the corner. If it was I wouldn't hesitate

SoozleQ Thu 18-Oct-12 22:02:01

I attempted one a mere 8 days ago with my local community midwives. Unfortunately, I ended up having to transfer in because DD2 was not descending in spite of much pushing and there were a few decelerations that the midwives weren't overly happy with. Ended up with episiotomy and forceps but a happy, healthy DD, so I have no complaints. She was properly wedged and so no way she was coming out on her own at home.

I had to jump through many hoops to finalise the arrangements but in the end a supervisor of midwives at my local maternity hospital and the head community midwife for my area agreed and wrote an agreed plan in my notes. Because it was a VBAC, they decided that 2 midwives should be present at all times, not just for the second one to turn up at the end. In spite of the hassle of arranging it in the first place, the midwives were fantastic. They were cautious and had to keep advising me that hospital was the safest place but were doing so in a complying with risk management kind of a way rather than trying to persuade me to go in. When we did make the decision to transfer in, I was happy that there was sufficient reason to do so.

If you have done your research and are happy with the risks of home VBAC, then I would recommend starting to talk to your community midwife as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. They can't refuse you a home birth but if you can demonstrate you have made a properly informed decision it will help to get them to work with you rather than just keep trotting out all the reasons why you shouldn't have one.

Good luck smile

halloweeneyqueeney Thu 18-Oct-12 22:05:38

thanks soozieQ, and congratuations grin

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