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Homebirth transfers - what was the reason for yours?

(22 Posts)
naturelover Mon 20-Aug-07 12:46:57

I'm a first-timer planning a homebirth and I read that 40% of first-timers end up transferring to hospital. Just wondering if this happened to you, what was the reason and is there anything I can do to reduce the chance of this happening? I realise some things are beyond my control of course. I'm due any day now.

Have been doing yoga, hypnobirthing, have got a pool, TENS, a doula...

Any tips?

funnypeculiar Mon 20-Aug-07 12:51:16

Had a bleed early in labour, so summounded in - was before m/w had turned up etc.

Was fairly relaxed about where things happened, anyway, so didn't matter to me - had a very easy quick birth (so fast I forgot about pain releif!) in hospital (after waters broken to check bleed not placental). My m/w was the one who would hve come to me had I been at home too

Sounds like you've covered all the bases, fwiw

ArtistFormerlyKnownAsSOH Mon 20-Aug-07 12:53:52

I was booked for a homebirth and everything went well up until a certain point. I had a pool, great midwives, a supportive dh, had studied hypnobirthing and was as prepared as possible. I got from 3cm to 10cm in 4hrs, was almost easy. Pushing was the problem. I had no urge and dd would not move. I was transferred after 4hrs of assisted pushing in every conceivable position, examined in hospital, a ventouse attempted, episiotomy performed and had an eventual emergency cs.

To cut a long story short, she was trying to come out ear first! Nothing I could have done would have made a difference.

Just to reassure you, I am so pleased I had a part-homebirth, the cs was nothing to worry about and next time I'm having another homebirth! Stay upright as long as possible, follow your instincts and as hard as it sounds, try to relax.

Good luck!

funnypeculiar Mon 20-Aug-07 12:54:40

Oh, and agree with SOH - I would defn book in a home birth again.

Blu Mon 20-Aug-07 12:57:25

Fruitless oushing for hours on end.
DS was OP - the mw did suggest everything, and we tried everything - nipple twiddling, homeopathy, walking about , hours in pool, pushing, not pushing..but in the end even I knew we needed ventouse help. It wasn't an 'emergency' transfer - they said they could call an ambulance or we could go in our car. Went in car, with me kneeling facing backwards in the back seat, and best friend driving, and DP faffing.

I started with TENS from first twinges, moved around a lot, went in pool for a long time later on - I was still pleased that i had spent my labour at home - and the obstretician said 'if this labour had been in hospital this would have been a Section hoursd ago.' So for me, I was pleased that we managed with a good bit of tugging with the ventouse.

I felt relaxed and ok at home - wasn't in 'pain', just hard work, and felt that i was integral to the decision to transfer, so was ok about it. Also by the time I got to hospital my endorphins were sky high - which is good.

Good luck!

Blu Mon 20-Aug-07 12:59:04

PS I was a first-timer, too.

Loopymumsy Mon 20-Aug-07 13:55:16

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nell12 Mon 20-Aug-07 14:00:06

DD was born at home and then we had to go in for me to be "tidied up" Had to stay overnight because I needed an epidural and had to wait for ages as a certain family that are qute notorious round these parts were having baby #4 in the hospital and everyone was on tenterhooks to make sure everything went ok so they would not sue AGAIN!!!
If it were not for them, dd and I would have been in and out in a flash!

Piffle Mon 20-Aug-07 14:00:45

I was having my 3rd and was transferred - first 2 kids were easy fast labours hence my decision to choose HB this time.

went into labour proper at 9pm midwife came out, things went well, then

stopped at 1am...
We waited an hour walked around etc... 2am we decided to break my waters....
waited 45 mins

nothing was 5 cms dilated and by 5am we knew dd and ds would be getting up at 7 and we needed to get inlaws here (1 hr away) so we decided on transfer as I was shattered and fatigued and getting dizzy.

So I went in ambulance, dp followed after inlaws arrived

Oddly enough labour established on the way, had ds2 30 mins after getting there. 4 mins after dp arrived.
Went home again 1.5 hrs later

Bizarre as both previous labours were under 3 hrs total...

flack Mon 20-Aug-07 14:05:24

After birth placenta was slow to come out so bled a bit too much. Blood pressure dropped to 90/60 with the slight pph (750 ml, and >500ml is considered post-partum hemorage). Held in for observation and sent home with no treatment, 8 hrs later.

Might have avoided transfer if I had chosen a better birth position, drunk more water before labour, and got more sleep that night (hard to, though, when you're excited that things might be happening!).

Would plan for home-b again.

MrsWednesday Mon 20-Aug-07 14:11:21

I was nearly transferred because I needed stitches and the midwives at my house weren't qualified. In the end though, a midwife from the hospital came over to my house to do them for me, which was great.

And then the following day my local doctor popped round to check DS2, and she said his heartbeat was worryingly slow so we had to transfer to hospital immediately, and they kept me and him in for three days (turned out he was completely fine).

geekgirl Mon 20-Aug-07 15:04:20

I transferred after my first hb (dd2) because I went into physiological shock 30 minutes after delivery - nothing I or anyone else could have done to prevent it really AFAIK, and it was v. scary for all concerned, the full works with me being white as a sheet and unconscious.

I'm not sure why it happened - I had a v. fast labour and delivered the baby myself as dh was out of earshot and the midwife stuck in traffic - but I'm not sure that's what caused the shock.

Anyway, midwife, baby & I went to hospital by ambulance, dh & dd1 followed in the car, and I was fine within a few hours.

pooka Mon 20-Aug-07 15:09:37

2nd time birther. Rang and lefgt message with midwife team when started contractions. DH rang an hour later to say things were happening and could someone come out. No answer still so rang labour ward direct line to be told no midwives available. My group practice had decided on the basis on an unfavourable sweep 2 days earlier that was unlikely that I'd go into labour so noone from my group practice available.
Got to hospital @ 10cm. Had ds 40 mins later. The really annoying part is that when we arrived the labour reception said that they'd been trying to ring us at home (obviously we'd left by that time) to say they'd amanged to get another midwife from another practice to agree to come out.

In the end all was well and I really made a nuisance of myself for 2 hours, while being stitched, to make them let me go home without having to stay overnight to see the paed.

crimplene Mon 20-Aug-07 15:14:50

PPH - but would still recommend home birth. DS was born after a really nice, non-stressful labour, but I'd run out of steam, no contractions, so placenta took ages and then still no contactions - went in about 4 hours after, but as the blood was clotting on the inside and not dribbling out and there's no way I was going to lose consciousness they only realised how much I'd lost later (2000ml).

Would have been better transfering in straight after birth - but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Don't let the possiblity of transfer in put you off a home birth - but do have a bag packed (I had no clothes or stuff in hosp - not fun).

I've accepted that I would be better off in hosp next time, but I now know that labour can be a good experience and have far better psychological resources to cope with having to labour in hosp as a result of the home birth. I'm convinced it would have been traumatic had I gone in the first time.

largeginandtonic Mon 20-Aug-07 15:31:35

i had a section with twins first and was determined to avoid a hospital birth when pregnant with #3. I booked a home birth and laboured all day, i got to 10cm and was pushing but dd was stuck. 4 hours later im blue lighting it to hospital, dd would not budge!

Course once in hospital she had moved slightly and i managed to push her out! She had been back to back and had gone in to my pelvis transverse (head) I was so glad i had tried at home anyway.

Next time i had a lovely text book home birth with #4. #5 was a very quick home birth too but with shoulder dystocia and a 9lb baby. With #6 i went in to hospital in case the baby was big and the shoulder dystocia re occured. He was my worst yet! 9lb 2oz with a transverse head again!!! The lovely registrar managed to rotate him with the ventouse so i avoided another c section.

Not sure what i will do with #7..... it is not even a twinkle yet anyhooo!

Home birth is the way to go, i loved it, well as much as you can love sqeezing something the size of a watermelon out of something the size of a lemon

ImBarryScott Tue 21-Aug-07 13:32:13

Artist formerly known as...
My story was remarkably similar to yours.

4hours 1st stage of labour - all groovy. then could just not push DD out! MW allowed a good 3.5 hours before we all decided a bit more help was needed. Turned out DD's head was side-on, and she had her tied up near her face by the cord, so there was no way I could have pushed her out. But I was able to try for a lot longer than they tend to give you in hospital.

Transfer was very calm, ambulance people waited for me to sort myself out. 30 mins after getting to hospital DD was born via ventouse.

And I'm really glad I stayed at home for most of it!

mumzy Tue 21-Aug-07 16:14:06

I had my second child at home as I wanted more control as to what happened during the birth. On retrospect I think the difference between my first and second births were having some idea of the time frame for events, knowing my own pain threshold and accepting the idea that things may alter very quickly during the course of labour which can't be planned for. I feel childbirth is one of those experiences which you only really understand once you've been through it and bears little relation to whats taught in antenatal classes. I must admit I would have been scared to have a homebirth first time round as I was'nt really mentally or physically prepared for what happened at all and I had a relatively normal birth.

MumtoBen Tue 21-Aug-07 19:55:36

I transferred to hospital with my 2nd baby. My blood pressure dropped and my pulse was racing and I was slipping into unconsiousness. The baby was fine though and I delivered about an hour after arriving in hospital. I was OK by the time I got to the hospital. They don't know why this happened, but I think it was probably due to the fact I was dilating quickly. There was nothing I could have done. With hindsight having a home birth was the best thing I could have done as I had 2 midwifes with me within an hour of going into labour, who put in a drip and gave me oxygen. If I'd have been planning a hospital birth I probably wouldn't have even left for the hospital at that time.

The hypnobirthing was great, by the way. Despite having an OP baby and being in a lot of pain I didn't have any pain relief until I was 10cm dilated. It helped me keep calm and somehow cope with the pain. I also put one of my favourite dvds on which gave me something else to take my mind of the pain, which I wouldn't have been able to do in hospital. I also had a birthing ball, which helped me keep in a comfortable position and there wouldn't have been room for one of these in either of the hospital rooms I gave birth in.

Good luck and I hope it goes to plan.

JiminyCricket Tue 21-Aug-07 20:02:40

Transfer AFTER birth because of retained placenta. On reflection I would choose to have a natural third stage another time..I understand the injection can be a cause of retained placenta (but I'm not necessarily very well informed). On the other hand I didn't have any contractions either time after dd1 or dd2 were born, so nothing to help the placenta along. I lost quite a lot of blood too, so ended up having a transfusion in hospital..don't know if this was related to the retained placenta or not. So I suppose if third stage had been OK and then I started to go white at home they might have transferred me anyway. TBH I was so gushy with hormones after delivery in the pool that I felt on top of the world and couldn't care less about being transferred. Delivery was fab

rapunzelle Tue 21-Aug-07 21:31:38

Similar story to many, with first baby got to 10cm with no drama but 4 hours later and much pushing (with no desire to) walking up & down stairs, bouncing on ball etc ...nothing! Transfered in ambulance and daughter born in hopital with ventouse (I was home again 1.5 hours after delivery)

2nd baby successful home birth - longish second stage again but he was 11lb!

leo1978 Wed 22-Aug-07 11:20:34

Planned HB. DS was 14 days late. Went into labour at 11pm on the Wed after sweep number 5. Contractions 10 mins apart straight away lasting a minute each time. Put tens on. Midwife arrived at 11am following day - I was 1cm dialated. Was convinced I would be 5cm or so. By Friday lunchtime had lost the plot - no longer convinced by the TENs, midwife wouldn;t let me get into birth pool as not dialted enough - about 2cm by this stage, contractions bringing me to my knees each time. When the midwife told me to 'blow them away', I decided I'd had it and in tears, made the decision to transfer. Knew I had a way to go and couldn't handle the pain. Had to get a taxi - surreal experience - to hospital and there had an epidural which was like sunshine over my body. DS eventually born at 11pm on the Friday night - unassisted delivery but had a PPH as had been in labour for so long.
I would say prepare for both a positive home and hospital experience because you just don't know how it will go.
Good Luck :-) It's such a small part of an amazing journey I now think.

lennygirl Wed 22-Aug-07 15:47:12

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