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Homebirth - trying to decide whether to go for it!

(19 Posts)
Piffy Tue 03-Jul-07 22:13:16

I'm 20 weeks pregnant and also have a 15mo DS. I had a bit of a miserable time in hospital last time (mostly afterwards) and due to this trauma have become fixated on the idea of a homebirth. Unfortunately DH is not so keen as last time I had epidural and ended up in theatre having ventouse delivery. He says what if I can't cope with pain again and need epi, or pushing doesn't do the job (like last time) and I need help?

I am convinced most of these things last time were down to the fact I was induced, and that as long as I go into natural labour I will be fine. But all his objections have now got me worried and I am starting to feel that its not such a good idea after all.

Anyone got any ideas as I'm feeling really awful about the idea of having no. 2 in hospital

CarGirl Tue 03-Jul-07 22:15:06

If you live fairly close to the hospital to appease DH then absolutely go for it, you can change your mind any time and they'll take you in. Personally I think being relaxed, feeling in control and having 1 to 1 with the same midwife counts for an awful lot (and much more than you tend to get in the hospital anyway)

RGPargy Tue 03-Jul-07 22:16:57

I had a rotten time in hospital too, but for different reasons.

Apparently if you have an epidural it can slow down labour and increase the likelihood of having intervention.

I'm going for a home water birth this time because i just dont want to be laying on my back on a crappy hospital bed for hours, like i was with DS.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours to make. Talk it over with your MW and see what she thinks. As for pain relief, gas and air is quite trippy, i hear!

mckenzie Tue 03-Jul-07 22:17:32

I'd posted this on a similar thread the other day so I'm jusy copying it over here.... In addition I would say that with my first I ended up giving birth on the operating theatre 90 seconds away from a c section so my DH had huge reservations. The midwife was able to help me reassure him.

I had a home birth with baby no 2 and with hindsight, i so wished I'd pushed for one with my first child (pressure from DH and others not to).
I think your personality comes into the choice a bit. I'm a bit of a control freak (in a nice 'Monica from Friends' way I think) and so being in my home where I was in charge (or so I thought) made me so much more comfortable.
Ditto Lulumama's advice. If you think you might want a home birth then opt for it as you can change it to hospital birth at any time. But you can't change hospital birth to a home birth at the last minute, certainly not where I live anyway.

Good luck and hope you enjoy your pregnancy.

PS. if your DP is concerned about your choice he can always talk to the midwife as well. My DH had a long chat with mine before he felt comfortable with my choice for baby no 2. Now he says he is so pleased that he was persuaded to go along with it. It was a great experience for all of us.

Piffy Tue 03-Jul-07 22:37:15

Thanks for the support - I felt totally abandoned and unsupported last time, and also being a Monica totally out of control, which didn't help!

Walked out of hospital seven hours after having DS and the relief I felt as I walked through the door to my own house, had a shower and got into my own bed...bliss.

The only thing that worries me is that I haven't really had a 'normal' birth so I don't know what to expect, nor how I would cope. But we are only 10 mins drive from the hospital, and it took longer than that to get me into theatre last time, so that reassures me.

Is it true you can change from HB to hosp birth but not the other way around?!

CarGirl Tue 03-Jul-07 22:39:13

yes you can switch from home to hospital not the other way around. If you are booked for HOme your name is up on a board at the hospital, you have a big box pack at your house ready and on the day if there aren't sufficient midwives you may not get it but I was told it virtually never happens.

CarGirl Tue 03-Jul-07 22:40:29

they also have an appointment with you and you birthing partner (where possible) go through the risks tell you under what circumstances they will transfer you etc and you have to sign it.

Although if you go into labour and leave it too late to transfer they send an ambulance and a midwife usually!

sep1712 Tue 03-Jul-07 22:51:20

Had a homebirth after a bad birh and all went. Did spend all the labour reasurring dh that everything was ok.
I think because your at home that the pain isn't so bad!! Epidurals often lead to assisted delievery. so hopefully it will be easyer at home for you.
the midwifes will not keep you at home if they think either of you are in any danger. Its great to have a midwife to yourself aswell. There was two when i delievered.
There is nothing like cuddling up in your own bed with your family.
Good luck and enjoy.

shimmy Tue 03-Jul-07 22:51:43

I know I'm a bit of a lone voice here but I think it's only fair to put both sides of the debate.

I had a homebirth with ds2 after a traumatic hospital birth. It was much better than being in hospital nearly all the way through until things started to go wrong. Then it got very scary. Ironically we lived only 3 minutes away from the hospital but the ambulance took more than an hour to come and apparently the midwives don't let you use your own car (not that I was going anywhere at that stage)

Thankfully things turned out ok after a ginormous episiotomy with no pain relief and the ambulance turned up after ds2 was finally born.

But looking back I feel I could have had the birth that I wanted in a hospital. I was much more aware of how to make myself comfortable and the whole thing was less shocking for dh too as we had already done it once. I go cold with the thought of what could have happened.

Sorry if this scares you. I hope it helps you to make as informed and confident a decision as you can.

calordan Tue 03-Jul-07 22:54:23

i would have loved to have a home birth but now have my full house of kids , but ds was born at 4pm and I was out of hospital by 6pm, bliss he was my third so they were fine with letting me go, do feel quite relaxed in hsoptial though, not dirtying my own floors

Klaw Tue 03-Jul-07 23:12:54

Check out Homebirth.org

Spontaneous labour without an epidural is very likely to end up being a triumphant birth for you! Do your research and make your own informed decisions.

Spider Tue 03-Jul-07 23:16:04

I can only recommend homebirth. I've never tried it in hospital but have had four positive birth stories. Two of them were really tough (one ten pounder coming down and out back to back and another long and gruelling labour with anterior lip) BUT I think any problems I had at home would have been so much worse in hospital.

I felt relaxed, at home, able to move around, in control. I couldn't do it any other way.

Good luck Piffy.

sweetkitty Tue 03-Jul-07 23:20:28

Go for it I had 9lbs 3oz DD2 at home without a stitch in 2 1/2 hours. Hell at the time but brilliant afterwards. Got up had shower, got in own lovely clean bed with DD2 and DP then DD1 came in and joined us. Recovered so fast partly down to HB I reckon.

BrummieOnTheRun Wed 04-Jul-07 09:58:59

based on my experience, and that of recent mothers I know, I'm starting to think NHS hospital = guaranteed medical intervention. 40% CS rate in my hospital the month before DD2 was born.

go where you're most comfortable and prepare well. look at something like hypnobirthing/gentle birth method. will give you confidence you can do it, wherever you are. if you can afford it, look into independent midwives. tend to be much more experienced in home delivery. or a doula?

cheritongirl Wed 04-Jul-07 10:38:05

Yep, i would highly recommend a HB - i had one with my first baby last year and was very glad that i hadn't listened to the many people who told me i was crazy coz i wouldn't know what to expect with it being my first, it was as great an experience as birth can be, even with a 27 hour labour. I did have a doula which i think really helped and she was definitely a big factor in my dh deciding he was happy with it. Knowing that someone who knows what is going on will be with you the whole labour (which the mw may not be until relatively late on - well, mine kept coming and going) REALLY helps.
We had 3 really long antenatal-type sessions with her pre-birth which gave plenty of him to ask every quesiton imaginable! If you can possibly scrape the money together for one i would really recommend a doula - ours cost £500 for 3 antenatal session, the birth and a postnatal visit. It was a huge amount of money for us but worth every penny. All the best in your decision-making.
and Shimmy - thanks for putting that side too, its really good to have a balanced perspective.

Loopymumsy Wed 04-Jul-07 14:14:24

Message withdrawn

mumtoone Wed 04-Jul-07 14:34:43

I had a home birth last week with my second child and I would definately recommend it. There is always the option to transfer to hospital if you want an epidural, progress is slow etc. The plus points of home birth are many but include not having to transfer to hospital whilst having strong contractions, being able to use your own shower/bath when you feel like it, being able to eat what you want during and after labour, having your partner with you whenever you want, less complex childcare arrangements etc.

growingbagpuss Wed 04-Jul-07 15:44:50

I would echo the "go for it" bit - my (much older ) DH's friends all looked at me in horror when I had a HB for my DS1 - but it was great - 2:1 m/w care, no-one peering at me, no med students barging in, no shift changes. You know how clean your bathroom is.. can you say the same for the hosp?

I still had to transfer in - as I was v unwell after birth of DS, which was a bit scary - but the fab M/W put in huge drips, and a catheter and made sure I was safe unntil the ambulance arrived (scarily - we only live 5 minutes away, and it got lost).

Being at home also gives you time to arrange stuff for your other DC - even if you do have to transfer in. Intervention rates are much lower for H/B as you are so much more relaxed. No two births are the same - so try not to stress about the first being a bit iffy.

jaynehater Wed 04-Jul-07 15:53:58

Just to add my bit here - dd1 was distressed, induced, ventouse hospital delivery. Dd2 arrived at home, accidentally and with great haste, in spite of planned hospital birth, and despite the stress and 'what if' factor, it was still a better experience than the hospital birth. I'd say consider it with optimism - I think they can tell early on if you're a high risk factor, and although scary stuff can happen, if you're prepared for intervention and live close enough to a hospital, it's got to be worth weighing against a birth style you're obviously patently dreading. Of course, you've every chance, like child-bearing-hips me, of ending up in an undignified position in front of your next-door neighbour regardless of what you plan....so release the stress...

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