Home Birth for baby #1 with disabilities?(20 Posts)
Hello, I'm considering a home birth for baby #1. I'm currently 20 weeks, but at 18 weeks she was diagnosed with Congenital limb abnormalities. Which basically means both her legs stop at around her knees. My midwife has told me it would be fine to deliver at home as other than this she is a completely healthy baby. But I'm still questioning it. I don't want to get all the things for a home birth and chicken out. What would you do in my situation? I'm really struggling with my decision.
I don't know what to suggest I've no experience of homebirth but I have experienced my first birth when his heartbeat was slowing down on each contraction and I had to have a section I was very glad to be in a hospital then! But also my friend has had 3 homebirths and she loved them, mind you she's got 8 kids so it probably was like shelling peas! What ever you decided I hope it all goes well for you.
No experience of home birth but I think it would depend how far away you are from a well equipped hospital. Having recently moved from a city centre location to the (relative) stix, I realise it could take 25mins for an ambulance to come and longer to get me into hospital. If you live locally to a big hospital which they could get you/ the baby to quickly in the very small chance there are other problems when he/she is arriving then I can see you would have one less thing to worry about!
Hope all goes well with rest of pregnancy and delivery.
I would be hesitant to go for a home birth if I were you. My son was born with a congenital abnormality that was not picked up during pregnancy. We had many extra ultrasounds because he was small but they still didn't find the problem. There are many abnormalities that don't get picked up by the scans and often babies with abnormalities have several things. My boy did not cope well with labour and I had EMCS. Was very happy to be in hospital indeed as they saved his life when he went blue 30 min after being born. I don't want to scare you and wishing you all the best with your labour. Do it in the place where you feel the safest.
p.s. My son is doing really well now and is going to be a big brother soon.
Well I've no experience of home birth so can't really advise there. But in your shoes I would not be happy or relaxed anywhere other than in hospital. I wasn't brave enough to go for a home birth even with 2 perfectly healthy babies. Certainly not with a first baby. You've no idea how you will cope.
I have had 2 very positive experiences of birth in hospital, one straight forward and one not, so would choose it every time.
What sort of care do you think they would give you in hospital? You might be as well off with one to one midwifery at home as you would be with sharing a midwife between 2 or 3 other women in hospital.
If your midwife is happy then I would say 'go for it'.
DC 1 and 3 were born at home and I really appreciated being surrounded by my own things, having the undivided attention of 1, then 2 midwives and climbing into my own bed afterwards. There is also something subtle about the balance of power in that it shifts more your way when you are at home.
It might also be nice to chill at home with your new daughter when you're sore and hormonal rather than having random strangers asking lots of questions about her legs. People can be insensitive and weird.
Have you got a consultant? If he/she is happy with a homebirth then go for it. You should be offered late scans (38-39 weeks) to check everything is progressing the way it should. My only advice would be to not panic about changing your mind. I planned a homebirth and bought all the stuff but didn't have one in the end. It's not a big deal, you're allowed to change your mind whenever you like.
Home birth is wonderful but I would be cautious in your circumstances simply because you do not know what other issues your child may be born with. Now tbh neither does any mum and dad - but in your case you do already know there is one issue and what you need to be able to assess is how likely does that issue make it that there will be anything else going on. I have friends who had an issue picked up antenatally but it was not thought likely to cause the baby problems but the medics were wrong and that baby needed ICU (ok now though). Equally I have other friends whose baby was identified as having a physical disability which often is found in babies with other disabilities and in that case their baby was very healthy at birth and had no other disabilities.
I have to say I would play safe, especially if you are any distance from a hospital.
Since MW is confident in home birth for you then I would be, too.
I presume your transfer time to hospital is not huge?
Are you sure that your baby only has the limb abnormalities? It's not part of a chromosomal disorder? Because if there were chromosomal issues as well it might not be so wise to HB as you might not know how the placenta will hold up.
I had two hb out of my 4. Didn't have #1 at home as we lived about 20 mn from the hospital and I was a bit iffy about having to transfer in labour if it had been necessary. In fact I'd probably have had a more enjoyable experience at home tbh. It was long and erratic and the labour ward got needlessly jumpy at the length of time.
DD1 and DD2 were born at home. DD1 had very similar labour but gloriously alone for most of it. DD2 very quick and problem free. Same midwife both times. Both were lovely.
DD3 was booked as a HB but ended up being a hospital induction and crash CS. (because she was never going to get out vaginally, not because of any cascade of intervention- a proper life-saving CS for both of us).
Duchesse - that's what concerns me too. If the Op's baby needs a bit of support at birth it can be easily handled in hospital. Much more scary for everybody out in the community.
Personally I wouldn't. I had HB with DC2 and planning one for DC3, so am very positive about it generally. But the combination of her being a first baby along with a known congenital issue I think would out me off. I think the stats say that HB is just as safe as hospital for 2nd or more babies, with no additional risks?
But it is absolutely your choice and your right. And it depends what you know about your baby's condition, ie does it have a genetic of physical basis? If it is a genetic thing then as others have said, are there possibilities of there being other associated complications? But if not then that may make a difference.
Good luck, and whatever you decide hope it goes well!
I would also be concerned about the cause, and whether this could lead to associated problems.
Ds has a genetic condition that wasn't picked up on any scans or blood tests. When he was born he struggled to breathe, had no suck reflex, was jaundiced and had a heart murmur. He went up to nicu immediately and was put on cpap. Hopefully everything is absolutely fine with your baby, but I think I would worry just in case she needed any extra help at birth.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
I've had a home and a hospital birth & would opt for home if mw happy. Why should your daughter have any other issues? She'll be safer in lots of ways ( family rather than hospital germs/ microbes). You don't need to buy any stuff. A pool is lovely though.
Mavis - because whilst some congenital limb abnormalities are spontaneous, with no other issues, and some are the result of exposure to certain chemicals (like thalidomide), some are part of a syndrome, that may have other symptoms.
Are there any tests which would show if they were part of a syndrome, or just something which has happened spontaneously? This might help you decide.
The OP may not want further testing. That can promote as much anxiety as it resolves.
I had a home birth with my first, and was booked to have one with my second (though ended up being induced). I would say my experience was that the midwives were generally supportive but cautious - if there was anything they were unsure about in terms of supporting me having a homebirth, they referred on to a consultant. So in my experience, if the mw says it is not an issue, then you can discount that and just concentrate on deciding whether a homebirth is the right thing for you or not. The other thing I would say, is that even if you decide on a homebirth, things can happen late on in pregnancy, or even once you are in labour, that can mean transferring to hospital is the best thing to do, so it may be best to be prepared for that possibility, if you do go for a homebirth. Best wishes, whatever you decide.
The deciding factor for me not to have HB's was distance from hospital. It's 20 minutes when the traffic is very light, and there are a few busy spots on the way that even an ambulance with blue lights and siren would take time to get through.
If all of the professionals involved in your care are confident that there is nothing more to your dd's problems than the limb abnormality then go for it. As others have said, you can change your mind at any time between now and the moment she arrives.
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