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To home birth or not to home birth?? Experiences pls!!

(145 Posts)
Nicky1306 Thu 17-Jan-13 15:01:34

Arghhhhh! I'm soooo confused! This baby has been breach since 24 weeks......had pretty much accepted I'd be having a section...... Find out yesterday at 36 weeks baby is head down and 4/5ths engaged! Which means I can have the home birth I wanted......but now I don't know what I want, did you have a home birth ? How was it? Would you do it again? What was great about it? What was not so great? Thanks x x

Xenia Sun 20-Jan-13 15:20:17

Our first there were in hospital but we had a "6 hour transfer" which meant we could get straight back home, which was lovely. The 4th was due to be at home, private midwife... but then was twins which is risky so we started at home with my own midwives, one twin came quickly, second one obviously wanted to wait 2 or 3 days... so eventually we went to the hospital where a drip got him going and he was born naturally and we all got back home the same night. His older twin was technically a hospital visitor!!

The twins were born in different London boroughs. They were calm good births, 4th adn 5th children often are. It was fine and I would certainly recommend home births but start and see how it goes. I chose to go to hospital when I was tired with twin 2. I just did not expect I would have two separate 7 hour labours in a day for each twin, never ever read that could happen. Birth is unpredictable.

It is lovely at home, much much nicer. I was the only one of my siblings born in hospital and my mother was one of the first members of the NCT in the very early 60s.

ISpyPlumPie Sun 20-Jan-13 15:56:30

Had a lovely hb with DS2 7 weeks ago. Think most of the advantages have been outlined by PPs - being more relaxed/ in control in own environment, 2:1 care from mws focused on you etc. A massive bonus for me was the fact that DS1 slept through it all and woke up the next morning to meet his little brother. He had no disruption at all, and we just had a really lovely chilled out day with grandparents visiting at times that suited everyone. It really did feel as if DS2 arriving was the most natural thing and he just slotted immediately into family life.

In terms of mess, I gave birth in the pool so it was all pretty self-contained. DH emptied it and said it really wasn't that bad. I'd bought a cheap duvet and the mws also bought some pads which we made a nest from for me to sit in while I delivered the placenta and DS2 latched on for his first feed. Think the pads and maybe one towel ended up being binned. Overall it was really easy to clear up and the mws who came out to do the newborn check (later the same day) said you would never have guessed there'd just been a birth in my living room.

Good luck smile.

wisemanscamel Sun 20-Jan-13 18:17:49

We were advised to buy a couple of packets of those bed mats and one of the plastic sheets you get for DIY to cover the carpet. We put old towels on the top - but they didn't need binning, just a hot wash. Didn't fancy a pool, just sat in front of the sofa and used it to lean over in the final stages.

My home birth was the best day of my life so far and really influenced how I felt about DS2, which actually led to a few issues later with his older siblings.

DH was sent up to bed and was woken up in time for the pushing. It was lovely to sit in my front room with dim lights, biscuits and two lovely calm midwived gossiping lightheartedly about their colleagues.

However, it's not a competition. Do whatever suits you. Good luck.

heliotrope Sun 20-Jan-13 20:17:49

Like many others here I've had one in hosp (1st) and the 2nd and 3rd at home. For the first I planned to stay home but had to go in due to meconium in waters, so ended up with syntocin drip, giving birth on back with ventouse, a few stitches, but still over the moon! 2nd and 3rd lovely experiences at home.
I would go for it if you have the option but be open to the transfer if needed or you decide you want it.

DewDr0p Sun 20-Jan-13 20:37:32

aargh just typed a long post and lost it!

Jist was: wonderful experience, mws were amazing, would prob have had intervention in hospital but they managed it really well and ended up with minor tear/no stitches, barely any mess and mws cleared up (groundsheet recommended), utter bliss sinking into own bed afterwards, wonderful when ds1 woke up and realised his baby brother had arrived.

The only downside I could think of was perhaps less support in establishing bfing - this didn't matter for me as I was on ds3 and quite an experienced bfer by that point. I was lucky that I had ds1 in a MLU and their bfing support was great - I know lots of people don't have this experience in big hospitals though.

Zoidberg Sun 20-Jan-13 20:44:35

I had a great homebirth with DD (first and only DC), in a pool in the lounge.

The only downside was I felt a little bit treated like "oh, she chose homebirth, she knows what to do" and this was okay apart from I needed help with breastfeeding. Due to time taken with stitches (plus waiting for a missing suture kit to be biked over from the hospital), we hadn't even tried and then the midwife was off. There followed a couple of stressful weeks.

But the day itself was great, or as I have often said, as great as something involving serious pain can possibly be grin

discrete Sun 20-Jan-13 20:52:57

I had both of mine at home, I hate hospitals so it was a no brainer to me.

I loved being at home and feeling like I was in control, and that I would be listened to and my wishes would be respected.

I am not in the UK, so the midwife who attended me was the same as I saw all the way through my pg, so I knew her well and knew I would be relaxed with her. I would have felt less secure if I had not known which midwife would attend me.

FOURBOYSUNDER6 Sun 20-Jan-13 20:57:04

I compromised as I wanted home birth but dh was scared of -the mess- being far away from hospital if problems arose .... As it was no 4 and i had no probs labouring with other three in conventional hospital set up I was allowed to birth in the birthing suite at Bolton rather than the traditional hospital labour ward and delivery suite which was amazing and like a hotel room / being in your own room so I got my home birth experience whilst dh was happy knowing the conventional hospital ward was just a couple of floors down in the lift if intervention was needed ..... I LOVED it..... Felt pampered as they were running me baths bringing me drinks putting tens machine on and my iPod and dimming lights but were not intrusive and dh could stay and visitors whenever too They were more like doula s.... smilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmile

Nosleeptillgodknowswhen Sun 20-Jan-13 21:48:34

Had 2 homebirths for Dd2 and DS - both lovely. Having more space to move around in definately meant i stayed on my feet for longer than in hospital with DD1.

Nosleeptillgodknowswhen Sun 20-Jan-13 21:51:08

Btw was very glad i got an on call midwife for DS as i had done more homebirths than my (new) community midwife grin! and it turned out to be the midwife who had done the day 1 checks on DD2 when my midwife had gone on holiday.

Reaa Sun 20-Jan-13 22:03:35

Home birth with DC6 was great had baby at 5.50pm by 8.00pm house was clean and tidy, midwifes had left, myself, DH and newborn were ready for bed, it was so relaxing and I found it so much easier than a hospital birth.

Reaa Sun 20-Jan-13 22:04:39

Home birth with DC6 was great had baby at 5.50pm by 8.00pm house was clean and tidy, midwifes had left, myself, DH and newborn were ready for bed, it was so relaxing and I found it so much easier than a hospital birth.

lisianthus Sun 20-Jan-13 22:20:42

DC1 - hospital birth in large london hospital. For DC2 I had a HB (water birth) as (1) I am am a wuss and wanted to make sure I had a MW on hand if anything went dicey (at the hospital, the MWs disappeared for hours at a time to help people in immediate need and I was worried that if something happened quickly it wouldn't be picked up by me as I am not medically qualified. (2) i wanted to give birth with midwives I knew, liked and trusted and had read my notes.

It went really well- turns out that DC2 is another baby who would have been born in a car if I'd tried to give birth in hospital anyway! I was in a nice clean bed with something to eat and my baby to cuddle, having had a SHOWER (bliss- i'd had to really push to get any of these things in hospital) within 20 minutes of giving birth.

I'd only not do it if I lived too far away from hospital or had risk factors that made it dangerous for my baby. I still think epidurals are awesome though! grin

firefly11 Sun 20-Jan-13 22:21:33

I had a hospital birth with my first which was horrible. Then I had homebirths with my 2nd and 3rd and they went so smoothly and so much less painful too. I did do a Hypnobirthing course prior to my 1st homebirth. I would not say that my homebirths were painless despite utilising Hypnobirthing techniques, but the pain was very manageable and the techniques I learnt in my course helped me get through the entire labour and birth without anaesthetic. For my 2nd homebirth it was also a very smooth experience and once again, I employed the techniques I learnt in the Hypnobirthing course I had before my 1st homebirth, found the techniques really useful from start to finish. My homebirths were also very intimate and private experiences, and I felt in full control of my body and it worked the way it was supposed to both times. I guess I'm just not cut out for hospital births. I hate having lots of strangers looking down at my privates and telling me to push or do stuff. It stresses me out. I can do all this on my own without prompting. And yes I also found it wonderful to be in the comfort of my own home, with all my food and stuff around me if I want them. That we didn't need to go anywhere after the birth, but just stay on the bed or couch if we liked. My kids also got to see their baby siblings immediately after the birth and it was a great experience for them too. I'd like them to grow up thinking of birth as a natural thing, not as something scary which was what I grew up thinking with my mum telling me so (she had 3 elective caesareans and was always telling me how horrible natural birth was).

firefly11 Sun 20-Jan-13 22:29:40

By the way I have friends who had nice hospital birth experiences. But they did not have them on the NHS, they are abroad. My own experience of having a baby in a busy central London hospital 10 years ago was... it was not nice. Overcrowded and understaffed. I would not do it again. It's just my experience though. I think it really depends on your circumstances and your hospital. And maybe things have changed for the better now. I don't know. Also I think I remember reading before that for first babies the transfer rate to hospital is higher for planned homebirths. Have a look at there's lots of info there.

dabdab Sun 20-Jan-13 22:48:50

Had my 3 at home. All brilliant, some of the best experiences of my life. Lovely being in my home, in control, having 2-3 midwives at each birth, getting into my own bed and waking up in my own bed, bringing just-woken-up sibling in to meet her new sister and so on. We were lucky though as all my pgs were straightforward and hospital was not far. I can't think of anything bad.

AngelDog Sun 20-Jan-13 22:51:54

I had a hospital birth with DS1 and a homebirth with DS2. I'd definitely recommend a homebirth. It was so much nicer being able to relax more during labour (well, as much as you can smile) and having your own space.

Both babies arrived really fast.

I'd plan for a HB but pack up and organise for a hospital trip. I was glad I did, as I bled a lot and the MWs couldn't work out which bit of me was torn, so I had to go by ambulance to hospital so they could stitch me up afterwards.

Note: it works best not to pick the second floor of your house which has a tight turn on the staircase for your labour room. The ambulance crew couldn't get their evac chair around the bend, so I had to bump down the stairs ungainly on my backside as they were worried about me fainting on the way down (though actually, I think I was okay enough to have walked it).

Definitely put down LOTS more coverings on the floor than you think you'll need. We didn't really have enough, and they got a bit rumpled. It cleans up more easily than you think though. DH was appalled - we used our most recently decorated room. DS2 arrived very fast and messily - my mother described it as a 'crime scene' appearance, and we even got blood on the walls & sloping ceiling. shock But by the time I came home from hospital the next day there was no sign of it (thanks to my lovely mother)

Homebirths are supposed to be good for babies' digestive / immune systems from what I've read - the microflora in their gut resembles the microflora in their mother's gut, whereas hospital-born babies have at least some of the hospital microflora (not always a good thing).

HarderToKidnap Mon 21-Jan-13 08:31:00

Had a homebirth with DS, my first baby. It was lovely, pottered around my house in early labour, the midwives came out to check me about 9am and then went back out to do their visits whilst DH set up the pool, I had a wander round with the TENS on. Contractions were totally fine and manageable, I actually wouldn't call them painful, they were an intense feeling but I have had headaches that were worse! Midwives came back to me about 1pm and I was 5cm, got in the pool which relieved the niggly backache I'd been having. Started to get urges to bear down, so started on the gas and air about 2pm. About 5pm the urges to push were intense and at 6 I started pushing. He was born in the water about 6.45, got out and had two stiches, ate crumpets, had a shower and got into bed. Midwives left about 9pm. It was FABULOUS, absolutely the very best day of my life, and I felt great. I would have done it again the next day!

ImKateandsoismywife Mon 21-Jan-13 09:12:46

I've just remembered something from dc2's birth - I woke up a few hours after the birth absolutely starving and wandered into the kitchen to fins something to eat. We had bought loads of biscuits and cakes for the mws but it was such a fast birth there was loads left. I made a cup of tea and grabbed some biscuits and a big slab of chocolate cake then sat watching my lovely newborn sleep whilst stuffing my face - bliss! In hospital I wasn't given anything to eat - I think I was supposed to go and get meals from somewhere but no one told me where so I missed breakfast and lunch.

Consils Mon 21-Jan-13 10:34:49

I gave birth in the garden on a sunny day. No pain relief at all. I went into labour the night before but it was just like period pain so I read a book. I missed out on gas and air which was a disappointment because I wanted to try it. It was very relaxed and the midwife was barefoot.

Consils Mon 21-Jan-13 10:36:18

We had laid on a spread for the midwives too but they didn't have a chance to eat it.

Viviennemary Mon 21-Jan-13 10:40:26

It absolutely wouldn't be for me. But people I've known who have had home births say it's great. But I'm too cautious and I'd worry about things going wrong. I feel safer in hospital. So it's all a matter of how you feel and what you think is best for you.

Consils Mon 21-Jan-13 10:59:19

Hospital food influenced my decision. smile

eagleray Mon 21-Jan-13 11:35:37

Great to read all these positive stories (am 40+ 3 and currently feel like the birthing pool in situ in my lounge is laughing at me as beginning to despair of anything happening)

Re hospital food... was in hospital for a while being monitored on saturday and someone came round to get the lunch orders. I'm vegetarian and so opted for the cheese/onion pasty and a few mins later it was brought to me on a tray. A couple of bites revealed... chicken and mushroom! I had tried to be open-minded about hospital food but that told me all I need to know.

Consils - love the idea of a garden birth, although I seem to have picked the wrong time of year and wrong sort of neighbours

Fairypants Mon 21-Jan-13 13:07:44

Eagle ray- I too am veggie (not through choice). In my local hospital you order the next meal at the previous one ie choose dinner at lunchtime. Even in delivery suite where you are basically always going to be ordering a meal for the next person! I went in in the middle of the night and left early evening and didn't get anything to eat in all that time. You'd think they could cope better than that!

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