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A bit anxious at the thought of second home birth

(32 Posts)
weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 07:31:02

It's early days but…

I had a home birth for my first. It was generally a good experience, well it was certainly great being at home after the birth and recovery was really quick.

So I am only 9 weeks and I saw my midwife and she said did I want another home birth and I said I thought so but…

Last time my waters went at midnight and I started contracting right away, 3 in 10 minutes right from the start. They were reasonably painful within a few hours. I thought I coped pretty well at home with my DP and my best mate, lots of climbing stairs and resting, set up the pool, stayed active and on my feet.

24 hours later midwife arrived. I was already so tired. 7cm.

Labour really ramped up. Got examined again 4 hours later when she thought I was fully dilated. 8 cm.

Several more hours of out-of-this-world, out-of-my-body contractions - they were concerned I wasn't progressing, and I lost all my confidence. (Baby was fine throughout though.) So you know they say the transition bit is when you go out of your mind and try and walk out the room and say you don't want a baby any more? I was prepared for that, but I thought it would be 10 minutes! Not 3 hours. Finally examined again and was fully dilated.

Pushing stage was fine except I can barely remember it I was so tired falling asleep between contractions. 30 minutes. No tears. Lovely healthy baby. Was wonderful being at home as I said. I had a very settled baby and lovely easy time of breastfeeding. I was never alone on a postnatal ward. I had great food and comfy bed. I know I am very lucky.

But I'm not sure I can do that again??? My midwife said second births are much shorter and easier - do you think this really is the case for everyone?? I am glad I did stay at home. I think they would have interfered with my labour in hospital, and it might not have ended so well for me and baby. But I am crying a little writing this and not sure I have the strength, to do that, again.

mummybare Sun 23-Feb-14 07:44:23

Are you saying you think you may need/want medication this time (or would have rather had some last time)?

Surely you can transfer at any point so what is it about the home part of the birth that is making you react this way do you think?

I had a hospital birth for my first but am planning a home birth for this one so it's something I've been thinking about too.

NannyPeach Sun 23-Feb-14 07:47:36

I had one hospital birth and two home births. All of my births were very quick and good experiences overall. However, I was left on my own with Dh for a lot if the time while labouring for dc1 in hospital and they hadn't actually realised how quickly I had progressed. The night in hospital after wasn't much fun and I did not get much sleep.

This was completely different to the amazing care I received during my whole (short) labour by two caring midwives in the comfort of my own home. Getting in to my own bed afterwards was amazing too.

You can definitely do it again smile- you will feel more comfortable cared for at home I'm sure.

snoggle Sun 23-Feb-14 07:49:48

Well my second birth (HB) was certainly shorter and easier than first. It was just over 24hrs start to finish, which was a vast improvement on birth #1 which started with regular contractions on a Thursday and didn't produce a baby until the Sunday! (I did end up being augmented and with forceps by that point).

Sounds like you coped well the first time and although it was a bit slower than you wanted, it went according to plan. I too was very worried before #2 in case it was as awful as the first, but found once I got going all that went out my mind as I had other things to think about. I had also done a lot of relaxation stuff which helped.

Most people I know have found things much quicker on the second one.

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 08:29:58

I am not sure I want to be in active labour for more than 12 hours without more pain relief again. (I had gas and air, which was helpful for a few hours, then I abandoned it). My friends who have had epidurals talk about labour like it's no big deal! Personally I wouldn't have an epidural lightly but I think they're a good idea for lengthy or difficult labours. The pay off is obviously sacrificing the amazing post-birth experience I had with the lovely food, sleep, home comforts, feeling so independent and in control with my new baby...

Of course yes I could transfer to hospital if I get "stuck" in transition again, but transferring in full blown labour is quite daunting. I suppose if I think the birth is likely to be similar, I would rather go to hospital. If I can convince myself it will probably be quicker or easier, I think I'd try again at home.

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 08:31:26

I am aware I am very fortunate as first births aren't often that straightforward. Maybe I'm just a bit of a wuss!!

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 08:34:16

Oh and my home birth midwives were amazing. Amazing. Attentive, calm, kind, experienced, reassuring. That was one of the main reasons I wanted a home birth -the undivided care.

TheScience Sun 23-Feb-14 08:36:48

Sounds a lot like my first birth - it was 30 hours all in and I was falling asleep in between contractions in the pool at home. I did transfer in to hospital at 8cm and it was still another 6 hours and forceps in the end!

I'm planning a homebirth again on the grounds that 2nd labours should be easier, and agree with previous posters that if you feel it's going on too long and you want an epidural you can transfer in.

mrsbug Sun 23-Feb-14 08:37:04

It sounds like the birth was ok just a bit longer than you'd hoped? In which case you'd probably be fine next time as second births are usually quicker.

I'd go for it if I was you. But I'm biased as I wanted a home birth but couldn't have one and had a fairly awful hospital birth instead. Oh and I still got the mid labour ambulance ride as my local hospital was full [hmmm]

MarlenaGru Sun 23-Feb-14 08:39:28

My experience of an epidural was similar to a lot of friends. The fact I couldn't feel to push meant I ended up with a ventouse etc. labour was still long and uncomfortable... They are unlikely to give you an epidural at the first sign of a contraction. Would you have a pool? I found that helped a lot until they forced me to get out for whatever unknown reason. This time I am hoping for a home birth where I will not have interventions I don't need. Your first birth sounds exactly how I would like my second to be. And don't underestimate how awful the post natal wards are!

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 08:43:39

Yes I had a pool but I was only in it for about an hour in total. The midwives made me get out - they said it was slowing things down and they were already on the verge of transferring me for "failure to progress".

I am half tempted this time, as an "experienced mum", to get in the pool (with DP), refuse all internals, try very hard not to look at the clock, and just do it all myself. The midwife can sit in the corner and eat cake! Losing the confidence that I could do it and too much of a fixation on numbers (time and cm dilated) was my problem first time I think.

Thanks so much for your thoughts guys. I hope I don't come across as complaining. I am reluctant to discuss this with people in real life as so many of them had much more difficult labours and I don'tt want to complain about mine which was generally really good. However,they seem to assume I just breezed it!

Didyouhearmeontheradio Sun 23-Feb-14 08:44:52

But at any time you can head to hospital if you want!
Just make sure you have a bag packed, as you would anyway in case of emergency transfer.

All my labours were about the same length, but not as long as yours, and not painful really. By being at home I was guaranteed the pool would be available and my midwife wouldn't be popping in and out. They also behave as guests in your space, rather than being bossy as all of my hospital-birthing friends have found.

So, I'd say book for home, but when in labour, if you want to, you can just go into hospital, no drama. You don't have to go in an ambulance even if they say that's their policy, it is up to you completely. You are in charge of you.

TheScience Sun 23-Feb-14 08:46:27

The pluses and minuses for me of transferring to hospital were:

- I got an epidural pretty quickly, it was amazing after being exhausted and in pain for so long and I got to sleep for an hour or so.

The pay-off though:

- hospital midwives wanted to intervene a lot immediately and weren't very nice to me when I wasn't compliant - big shock after the standard of care from homebirth midwives
- I was confined to the bed from that point as they didn't want me disturbing the monitor
- I was put on a drip to speed things up
- I definitely felt like a "patient" in hospital
- couldn't feel contractions to push, midwife wasn't interested in helping me into different positions to push and pretty much just studied the monitor read-out
- ended up having a full spinal block and forceps delivery in theatre, with a view to a c-section if that didn't work
- was moved to a post-natal ward and DP sent home in the middle of the night, didn't feel very safe holding the baby due to all the drugs, wasn't shown where a call button or anything was
- ended up spending 3 nights on the post-natal ward

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 08:50:00

That's really helpful TheScience, thank you.

Didyouhearmeontheradio Sun 23-Feb-14 08:51:51

Just read your update. I'm sure you know, that it's reckoned to slow things down if you use pool before 5cm. That's why I've liked to have an internal or 2 before getting in. But after that, I've had no internals.My home midwives have always been "are you sure?" about doing internals anyway. My 2nd labour was very different to my 1st.
1st - waters went during transition.
2nd - waters went after about 9 hrs contractions, 12 hours before birth. Born in evening where others were morning. I think having a 2 year old around in the day made the difference, and as soon as we sent her to a neighbour's, my cx got going!
3rd - waters only came out after baby and were meconium stained.

I tore slightly with 1st because I pushed too hard/was trying not to push, with 2nd I went with it much more and had an almost mundane birth (dh videod it so I have seen it back and you wouldn't believe she'd been born, so calm). Was much more anxious with dd3. Relaxing is key! Do it your way!

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 08:53:15

Interesting what people are saying about the differences in care. I know hospitals are much busier and that was one of my main reasons for the home birth first time. Interesting about people being treated as more of a patient and given less autonomy though.

My friends who have had hospital births in this city (i.e. everyone else I know) have generally been happy with the standard of care. But they have all said the postnatal wards are grim.

DP got really really involved with the labour at home - suggesting things and talking me through it and bringing me drinks and so on - I wonder if he'd have the confidence to be like that in hospital. And the midwives were quite low key and unobtrusive.

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 08:54:36

Didyouhearmeontheradio I was somewhere between 7 and 8 cm when I got in the pool. It took me about 4 hours for each cm after 7cm I think.

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 08:57:50

No, that's not right, it was

10pm 7cm
1am 8cm
5am 10cm

But my aim for birth no 2 is NO FIXATING ON NUMBERS!

TheScience Sun 23-Feb-14 08:59:50

I didn't feel the standard of care on the delivery ward was poor, but it was very different to being at home - much more "this is the way we do things" - and of course they do have more pressures to work under. At home I found the midwives very unobtrusive, despite having a midwife and student there, and felt much more at home/in control.

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 09:01:14

When are you due TheScience?

TheScience Sun 23-Feb-14 09:01:38

I loved the birth pool at home - was in it from about 5/6cm to 8cm. No idea how much time that was though, I completely lost any sense of time during labour and was really surprised when I was told the day DS was born grin

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 09:03:11

I was very surprised when they gave me a baby at the end. I had genuinely forgotten what was going on grin

TheScience Sun 23-Feb-14 09:04:30

Due tomorrow shock

weebairn Sun 23-Feb-14 09:06:28

OMG!! Good luck!! Come back and tell me how it goes - if you are at all able to! Fingers crossed for a really good experience for you - and of course a lovely squishy newborn at the end smile

Haha, I have 7 months to go… really getting ahead of myself here ;)

NaturalBaby Sun 23-Feb-14 09:06:59

I had all of mine at home and actually struggled more with my 2nd because it was overnight and I was totally on my own. Active labour was much, much shorter though - baby's head came out as I got into the pool!

My waters went first with ds1 so things were much more intense from the 1st contraction, waters only went as I got in the pool with ds2.

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