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Home Birth! could I handle the pain after having had an epidural last time around?

(15 Posts)
windchimesabotage Fri 23-Feb-18 23:05:51

Sorry this will be long!

Had a horrible and traumatic hospital birth with my first. The horror of it was mainly psychological as baby was born healthy and 'naturally' with just a cut but no tearing. I had no heamoraging or any issues like that. It was just very very long almost three days and I was in hospital awake all that time (induced) Was in stirrups took all pain relief options offered. It had a very bad effect on me mentally and I ended up with brief psychosis and then PND which meant it took me a very long time to bond with my son.

I just basically want to avoid the mental issues this time around as I feel so sad that the first months of my sons life I can barely remember except for wanting him away from me, to the extent my husband did most of the care.

I did think of asking for a c section as then I would not be spending time in labour.
But when I think about it a lot of my issues had to do with being in the hospital. They kept moving me around and changing staff and I became very confused. I do feel this lead to my psychosis (during which I could not work out where I was and did not recognise anyones faces and heard random voices) They also asked my husband to leave overnight which made the problem much worse as then of course there was no one at all that I would even attempt to be able to recognise. He actually just took me with him, I left against medical advice which was a very wise thing to do as god knows what I would have ended up doing to myself and baby if left in the hospital alone overnight. At home I got visited by crisis team who were amazing with me, much better than hospital staff.

So I just want to hear about peoples experience of homebirth. The only reason I had not previously considered this was I am a total wuss with pain. The epidural was amazing in the hospital and the only good bit of my birth.... but Im reading that perhaps a lot of the pain I felt in hospital may have been due to fear and confusion?
Im most worried about the crowning which I did not feel at all in hospital. Id like to hear about peoples experience of this part with no pain relief. And if anyone has suffered from PND with the first and gone on to have a home birth Id really love to hear about if that helped prevent it a second time round?


OP’s posts: |
GummyGoddess Fri 23-Feb-18 23:23:11

I had a home birth for my first and am planning another in a few months for my second.

Won't lie, the crowning was the worst bit. However it was over ever so quickly and the actual pushing didn't hurt at all. The crowning hurt more because I was told to stop pushing and let it keep stinging for as long as I could to prevent tearing, which worked.

I'm trying hypnobirthing this time to see if that can speed it up a bit as I was very tired afterwards, perhaps you could look into that to help you remain calm? Remaining calm should also apparently help to cope with the contractions.

I chose home birth the first time because I would feel more comfortable at home, the idea of being in a hospital with other labouring (potentially screaming) women, random strangers and constant attempts at VE's was completely terrifying for me. I had a really good birth at home, most of the time I was left alone, had one examination right at the end (which was pointless) and DC was delivered by a midwife from the home birth team who I had already met at an antenatal appointment. I also really didn't want to stay overnight on a hospital ward surrounded by strangers, I wanted to be in my own bed at home to recover in private.

I had a TENS and a pool for pain relief until the last hour or so when they decided I needed to move around more. They had me using the stairs and doing squats and lunges between contractions shock They were right though, I think if I'd have moved about earlier instead of curling up into a ball then labour would have been much shorter. I intend to test that theory this time.

Are you currently pregnant or considering it at the moment?

windchimesabotage Fri 23-Feb-18 23:35:31

Thankyou! Im 22 weeks pregnant. Ive only just started to consider home birth this last month but the more I look into it the more it seems like a good option. I have just bought a hypnobirth cd and book. My next door neighbour had a homebirth and has a birthing pool she can lend me. I had a tens machine in the hospital and did find it helpful so will be renting one again I think.
I am very frightened though because Its just I dont know if I will be able to cope with it. My fear is I just loose the plot completely and go insane! I feel like they have all these drugs in the hospital and could just knock you out if they needed to.... But I know deep down thats not actually helpful to me in the long run. It would be so much better I f I could manage to be in control of things and calm. Being at home probably gives me the best chance of that. Im very frightened of the crowning stage however because I feel like Ill just start screaming and do something stupid like try and run away!! Once you get to that stage theres no going back because you cant decide to go into hospital for pain relief that late on.

OP’s posts: |
GummyGoddess Fri 23-Feb-18 23:58:23

They won't knock you out in hospital just because you're in pain though, only if they think there's an emergency. I have two friends that did hypnobirthing, both of their labours went almost completely opposite to how they planned (instrumental and c section), but neither of them panicked and they said the hypnobirthing helped them remain really calm and they still think they had a good experience.

I promise that the crowning stage doesn't last long at all! Less than a minute for me. I do remember briefly wondering if I could knock myself out by hitting my head on something but that thought was in and out of my head in seconds. Although it was the worst bit for me, it was totally manageable because it's not a prolonged sensation. Once that was over it was just pushing and that really didn't hurt, it felt like I was scratching an itch I hadn't been able to get to for ages, very satisfying. You won't try and run away, you'll just be really focused on the crowning and then pushing, and before you know it baby will be here.

You can have gas and air at home, maybe you could save it for this particular time so that it's easier for you? I'm not sure if they have anything else as I got cross with the gas and air after one puff and threw the mouth piece on the floor blush They didn't offer me anything else and I never asked.

I don't blame you for being frightened, your first sounds very traumatic. Have you considered asking for birth counselling alongside practicing hypnobirthing?

Are you frightened of pain or losing control (or both)? My mum is a midwife (retired but does bank work now), and she said that even if you have a horrendous first birth, a good second birth can really help put that trauma to bed and help you move on. It's really important to get the help you need to make this a good experience for you.

Lalalaleah Sat 24-Feb-18 00:02:56

I had all the drugs going with my first and second traumatic births.
Had a home birth for my third, was in a pool but the crowning was absolutely fine. Like an injection it was over super fast like one second of Ouch! Then head was out and no bother. Didn't even have gas and air as I never really got on with it just massage and the pool.

Can't recommend Juju sundins Birth Skills book enough. It's really practical about pain relief techniques rather than the breathe the baby out hypnobirth stuff which I didn't get on with.

Also highly recommend a private midwife (£££) or doula. Having a trusted professional with me at all times was amazing.

StrumpersPlunkett Sat 24-Feb-18 00:04:53

The way we looked at it was no final decision needed to be made until we were 30 mins away from baby coming out. It takes 15 to get to the hospital from our house.

With boy boys we delivered at home but that was because with each check from the midwife I was coping so was baby.
There is no harm at all in
Planning it
Giving it a go
Then packing up and heading to hospital if you feel the need.
There is no such thing as failure when it comes to giving birth. Go with whatever works at the time for THIS labour.

Good luck. X

windchimesabotage Sat 24-Feb-18 00:20:30

Thanks for all the advice!! My biggest fear is fear itself really. Its not the pain as such but my ability to deal with it without going 'crazy' again. That was the terrifying bit, when I couldnt recognise anyone and I didnt know where I was. Ive never been that scared before. I just dont want that to happen again.
Ive got it into my head that perhaps all the drugs I took actually contributed to that state by making me feel more vulnerable and confused.
But then of course it might be true that the drugs actually masked pain which would have made me even worse. Theres no way of knowing for sure.

Thanks for the suggestions. I am going to talk this through with my midwife. I think im going to say I want to give it a go.

That point about the injection has calmed me a little Lalalaleah because I am terrified of injections but can and do have them. Had a lot of blood taken throughout this pregnancy and I have dealt with that okay despite being scared. Did scream once at one, but stayed still and she still managed to get the blood. So that makes me realise that I maybe wont try and run away or completely freak out during the crowning. Thanks!!

OP’s posts: |
KMoKMo Sat 24-Feb-18 01:15:56

IME induced labour is far far worse than going into labour naturally. Your body doesn’t have time or know to build up oxytocin. I think you’d cope with a ‘natural’ birth far better than you think you would.

GummyGoddess Sat 24-Feb-18 16:46:29

Honestly there's no time to freak out during crowning, even if you did you wouldn't be going anywhere because your body will be so busy sorting that out for you.

I was supposed to have a water birth but it didn't work out, the water masks the stinging so you could get try that?

MadameJosephine Sat 24-Feb-18 17:03:33

Has your midwife referred you to a perinatal mental health team OP? It sounds like you are going to need a lot of support. Puerperal psychosis has a high rate of reoccurrence and it’s important that you get the help you need as soon as possible

Bue Mon 26-Feb-18 06:37:06

I had a very medicalised experience with my first birth, with epidural and episiotomy. I planned a home birth for my second but like you was terrified I wouldn't be able to cope (I kept telling the midwives I would start at home but was SURE I would transfer in). I was also absolutely terrified of crowning.

In the end I had a swift, uncomplicated waterbirth at home. Once I got in the water and really focused on getting through the contractions, they were not that bad. And crowning hurt far less than I expected- I remember thinking to myself as I was pushing, wow this is a crazy feeling and there is tons of pressure but it's almost over and it is not that bad!

sentenceinterrupted Mon 26-Feb-18 06:42:20

I have had 2 hb's. First was long (5 hs of 'pushing '. Would have been a c section in hospital.... was so very pleased it was an uncomfortable labour, but on my own terms. Could have easily transferred in if I wanted to but I didn't. Had to get out of pool in the end as they thought it might have been slowing things... but it and the tens were great pain relief.

Went back for a 2nd hb smile

Bue Mon 26-Feb-18 06:43:20

I would also say OP that I DID freak out and start to lose it just as I started pushing. I was using some rather choice language blush and kept repeating that I didn't want to do it. The midwife was so calm and just said to me that I was doing it, it was happening, and I was OK. So I just kind of resigned myself to it all, calmed down and pushed the baby out. It was wonderful, freak out and all.

mindutopia Wed 28-Feb-18 12:43:37

I've never had a hospital birth, so I really can't compare. But I've had two home births and I felt both were totally manageable. My first I just used a TENS and hypnotherapy. My 2nd was a bit faster and more intense and I did use the gas and air for pushing. But it really was all very doable. I'd hate to be in hospital and feel like that would be really stressful and frightening and I'm not sure how I'd cope. I do think though that your 2nd baby is generally easier as you to a degree know what to expect. I had a better sense in my 2nd labour how close he was to being born and that made it manageable even when it was more intense, as I really did know it would only be a few minutes more. Definitely in terms of my emotional and physical wellbeing, I think being at home was much easier. My dh was with me the whole time and was a great help after and it was quiet and peaceful and relaxed without midwives disrupting me when I just needed to rest or be with my baby.

Belleende Thu 01-Mar-18 02:36:57

I had a five day hospital drip induction with my first. I know what you mean about the disorientation. The pain was mind blowing and constant. I had morphine and it did nothing. I remember very little. I hated the sensation of losing control. There was no way I was in any fit state to consent to anything. The epidural lady is still a personal hero.

Just had DD2 recently. Also induction, but managed to avoid the drip (just about). It bloody hurt, but like a paper cut compared with the drip induction. Just had a few puffs on G&a toward the end.

A bit of hypnobirthing kept me calm as the pain got worse, but at no point did it come close to the pain of first time. The one point I thought I was beginning to lose control was my body starting to push, which it did on its own. Crowning stung like a bitch and is a sharper pain but that is over quickly, and only happens once.

I think the key for you is to avoid a prolonged induction. The longer you are in the more people come and go.

You will need to make a plan should the home birth not go according to plan (eg if you don't go into labour within 42 weeks, or your labour does not progress as expected and you end up in hospital). You would be within your rights to refuse the drip, but that may mean straight to c section.

If you have a consultant, you can make a birth plan with them, also might be worth making an appointment to discuss with the head mid wife and the mental health midwife.

Post partum psychosis is horrific and I am so sorry you had to go through that, but it should mean that your concerns are taken seriously when planning this birth.

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