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Has anyone here regretted having a Home birth?

(20 Posts)
yorkshapudding Sun 10-Jan-16 19:18:35

I had DD in hospital. The labour was straightforward but long, over 2 days. I had wanted a drug-free birth but in the end I was so exhausted I didn't have the mental/physical energy to cope and was completely overwhelmed by the pain so ended up having an epidural, which was wonderful actually. I was still able to push and had no side effects.
The postnatal ward, on the other hand, was awful. It was short staffed, dirty and the "breastfeeding support" consisted of a woman who didn't even bother to introduce herself marching into my cubicle, roughly grabbing my breast (without asking) and repeatedly trying to force it into screaming DD's mouth for a couple of minutes before dissapearing again. I was "not allowed" to close my curtain for privacy. The food was horrendous. I discharged myself as soon as I could.

I have been thinking about a home birth for DC2 as I really like the idea of having my own bed, my own bathroom and DH able to stay with me after the birth instead of being turfed out straight away. What puts me off is worrying that I won't be able to cope without and epidural blush Although I have wondered whether, I might have been able to cope with the pain better had I been in an environment where I felt more relaxed and in control, maybe I'm kidding myself and I'm just a wimp grin

Anyway, all the anecdotes I've read/heard about homebirth tend to talk about it being this "magical", "peaceful" experience..
It almost sounds too good to be true! So what I'm wondering is if anyone has had a home birth and, on balance, feels they would rather have gone into hospital and opted for pain relief over the comfort of being at home?

Fourormore Sun 10-Jan-16 19:27:04

It's not ideal but you can transfer in labour if you decide you need more pain relief. You can have gas and air at home and pethidine.

I've had two home births, both in water (this is brilliant pain relief) and both with gas and air. It still really bloody hurt but I managed by telling myself the contraction would stop soon, by telling myself I was "opening" not hurting (even though it did hurt!) and by knowing the baby would be born soon and it would stop. I wouldn't have managed without the water, I don't think. I'm having a third in July and will be trying hypnobirthing as well in case that helps too.

It makes sense that you would be in less pain at home in familiar surroundings with people you trust. That sort of thing aids the production of endorphins (natural pain relief) but obviously it's not an epidural!

Fourormore Sun 10-Jan-16 19:28:09

I would also say that magical and peaceful doesn't mean pain free. Some women manage it - I watched a video of a woman laughing with joy as her baby was born recently - but that wasn't my experience. It was magical, peaceful and painful.

yorkshapudding Sun 10-Jan-16 20:12:18

I'm under no illusions that it could (or should) be pain free. With my first birth, even after the epidural kicked in it still hurt but it was very manageable whereas prior to that it was excruciating. I actually remember at one point thinking "I just want to die". I'm just not sure how much of that was due to exhaustion (because of the length of the labour) and anxiety.

blackkat1978 Sun 10-Jan-16 21:08:09

It's interesting the different reasons people have for starting to look into home births. For me personally my 1st labour was relatively quick & straight forward at a MLU but the days leading up to it I'd been panicking as there was only 1 pool room (6 rooms) & I desperately wanted a water birth. Luckily I got the pool room but then I discovered I couldn't play the music I'd been compiling as it was a wet room so it had no plugs! I didn't even get the water birth as I hadn't been properly monitored so had been pushing too early. After that I vowed I would have a home birth so I would definitely get a pool & listen to my music, & I did!

I'm not sure if it was because it was my 1st baby but I felt scared in my 1st labour & going into the medical environment made me go into a passive patient role, asking if it was ok to do things. With my home birth I was completely in control, I had a very definite birth plan & knew exactly how I wanted my birth to go. I'd taken 2 courses of daisy birthing classes which were amazing (far cheaper than hypno birthing) & I managed the birth with only these breathing techniques & my confidant knowledge that my body knew how to birth my son without help. Which it did.

I won't lie, it was painful, but mainly due to my husband not filling the pool when I told him to (he made me wait till the mw arrived & examined me-8cm) then, not having read any of the books I left out for him or the book of notes with step by step phrases, he gave me the wrong breathing cue (elevator instead of slowly step by step escalator). Because I felt in control & what my body was doing it didn't feel as painful so I didn't need the gas & air.

You can always try it out & transfer in at a later stage if you're not coping with the pain but it really is easier to handle the pain in a familiar, calm, dimly lit environment. & it really is amazing to be at home & not have to worry about waiting to be discharged or paying a fortune for parking. You can just enjoy being a family.

I only know ladies who were disappointed not able to get their home birth I don't know anyone who's ever regretted a home birth.

Most amazing experience & I hope you get to experience it too (if that's what you choose)

yorkshapudding Sun 10-Jan-16 21:31:29

black cat, I had planned all along for a water birth and was really hopeful that it would help me avoid having any additional pain relief but when I got in the hospital birthing pool I found that it made no difference whatsover to my pain levels. I was gutted and found myself sobbing "I can't do it" begging for drugs not long after which I really hadn't anticipated. Although, by the time I got into the water I had already been in labour for over 30 hours (during which time I had already gone into hospital and been sent home again) so was feeling exhausted and pretty despondent. Desperately hoping for a quicker labour this time around!

wickedwaterwitch Sun 10-Jan-16 21:32:34

I've had two home births and don't regret it at all.

Scattymum101 Mon 11-Jan-16 21:05:47

I had a back to back labour first time in hospital. Luckily she came quite quickly once in active labour although was in excruciating early labour for two days. I hated being in hospital as I felt totally out of control and not able to labour the way I felt natural (strapped to a bed with a horrible band around my bump).

I had a home birth with dd2 and I did have the magical experience. It was by no means pain free but it was peaceful and relaxed and very positive.
It went much faster too and because baby wasn't back to back, although it was painful at times, it was never at any point as painful as getting to 4cm with dd1.

I don't regret it at all but I know it's not for everyone.

Having hubby to coach me through most of labour without any interference really helped and he delivered dd2 as he caught her in the pool. It was really amazing.
Then pizza and tucked up in bed a few hours later.
The only thing that was scary was my placenta took a while to come so we were worried I might have to transfer but it was all fine in the end.

bigbadbarry Mon 11-Jan-16 21:07:33

I've had three and no regrets.

CatatonicSonic Mon 11-Jan-16 21:08:11

No. I had beautiful home births after a crappy hospital birth.

FourForYouGlenCoco Mon 11-Jan-16 21:14:44

I'm so so glad I had my home birth. It was amazing. Wouldn't change a single thing.
Fwiw, I've never come across anyone that regretted planning a homebirth, including the people that transferred in for various reasons. It didn't work out for them, and they still felt they'd made the right choice in giving it a go. I always see it as you've got nothing to lose, because the worst that can happen is that you decide/need to go into hospital, where you would have been anyway if you'd not planned a homebirth!

PearlyFish Tue 12-Jan-16 22:02:52

I regret mine, but mine was with my first baby.

I fully bought the 'birth can be pain free if you relax enough' hypnobirthing message and was totally unprepared, shocked and traumatised by the level of pain I experienced. I'm not sure why I didn't ask to transfer in for something stronger than gas and air. Possibly a horror at the idea of being moved while in that much pain, or just that I kept expecting it would end soon and wanted to 'achieve' a home birth. Basically I wasn't in my right mind by the point I should have decided to go to hospital!

Anyway, I would say that you are in a better position to decide with your second, having experienced what labour is like, and so you are much less likely to regret the decision if you do go for it.

My regret is probably added to by the fact that although I gave birth at home I had to transfer in to hospital afterwards, both due to meconium in the waters and for my stitches (usually midwives do those at home but mine decided that the repairs required a doctor!) So I didn't get the lovely perks like tea and toast in my own bed afterwards. Poor DH got booted off the ward once we were settled and had to go home to clean up the mess by himself.

Am 5 months pregnant with no 2 now and going to hospital for an epidural this time.

RNBrie Tue 12-Jan-16 22:10:27

First one at hospital in a midwife led home from home birth unit, second one at home.

The births themselves were both fairly similar, lots of gas and air, quite painful, not very pleasant.

The difference for me was the bit afterwards, I was showered and in my own bed in about 15 mins after the placenta came out. Husband made me a cup of tea in my favourite mug and a couple of slices of toast. Midwife cleaned up completely downstairs whilst I was tucked up in bed. It was glorious.

Currently planning home birth with number three. Its just so nice not to have to share space with strangers when you're all sore and vulnerable. Love it.

That said, we live about 7 minutes from our hospital in an ambulance with lights and siren going. I know because we had to do it once when dd1 had breathing difficulties. I don't know how I'd feel about a home birth if we were a long way from a hospital.

Shellster52 Wed 13-Jan-16 00:49:43

yorkshapudding, you sound exactly the same as me, having had a horrid experience except mine was both during and post labor with the same experience of breast being roughly grabbed without asking before I could even sit up straight to feed-I think just so they could tick their box that they established b/fing - because I was then told no to future help for attaching, with baby instead being taken away so I could 'rest'. Result was little milk and having to supplement as my son was just losing weight.

As a result, I too would like a home birth for second but am petrified of not being able to cope with pain. I am registered at the hospital and haven't booked a mid wife or arranged a home birth, but I've heard a few stories about the second being much quicker and the baby just slipping out, so I am hoping that by the time gets bad enough this time for me to be asking screaming to be taken to hospital, I am ready to push and don't actually make it there!

I am reading Juju SUNDIN's book 'Birth Skills' hoping that this gives me some coping techniques to stay at home a bit longer, but I guess nothing will take away our fear until we know how we cope and how easy our second labor is on the day.

When are you due? Have you made any further decisions?

Scattymum101 Wed 13-Jan-16 07:16:58

The only thing for me with the home birth was that the breast feeding support w as awful. But it sounds like it would have been th same in hospital too.

WhirlwindHugs Wed 13-Jan-16 07:21:39

No regrets! 1 at hospital, 2&3 at home.

Mind you hospital never got round to giving me the epidural I asked for so I already knew I could manage with just gas and air!

There is a great book called Birth Skills by juju sundin which is fantastic for pain relief ideas.

Ridingthegravytrain Wed 13-Jan-16 07:30:28

You are in a different mindset because you know the pain relief isn't available to you

I had a long hospital birth that ended in epidural and a week in hospital and a quick (3 hrs from waters going) relaxed home birth

I would do it again if we were going to have more (which we are not)

MoonHare Sun 17-Jan-16 17:34:36

2 home births with no.2 and 3. No regrets. Relaxed, calm and positive experiences. I second the recommendation of ju ju sundins book birth skills. Go ahead and plan a home birth you can always go in to hospital if you change your mind.

Ughnotagain Sun 17-Jan-16 17:44:57

I've been considering a home birth next time for similar reasons to you, OP.

My latent labour went on for three days. I was knackered. At the back of my mind was just this constant "can I go to hospital yet", willing my contractions to speed up. I don't think I was in the right place mentally at all. It started to feel like a battle between me and the hospital (with me ringing to see if I should go in yet and being told no) before I even got there. It didn't help that DD was at a funny angle (head down, but sort of diagonal) so I had crippling back pain.

And don't get me wrong, my birth was totally fine (gas and air only, in the water for a fair chunk of it), but I hated being on the postnatal ward. I wonder if I'd do better at home, knowing I'm staying at home, being able to prepare and get myself together.

I don't think our living room is big enough for a birthing pool though grin

DramaAlpaca Sun 17-Jan-16 18:05:07

Home birth with DC3 & no regrets whatsoever.

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