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Slightly different home birth question

(20 Posts)
99redballoons Sun 24-Apr-05 15:49:04

I have been reading many current threads on home births (haven't gotten to the archived yet!) but none seem to have reports on my concern so hoping this isn't repeating anything recent.

I had a very long labour, 29hrs, with ds, in hospital and an epidural. Had 2nd degree tear, and drs threatened to use forceps, but somehow I managed to push him out without intervention with my epidural still part-working as I couldn't feel the natural urge to push and just did it off my own bat when the machine seemed to indicate one was coming.

Sorry to go on about birth no. 1, but my question is, I'm seriously thinking about a home birth for no. 2 due in November, but I'm worried about how strong the pain will be as I seemed to have a low threshold first time round. How many of you had an epidural for the first time, but went on to have a home birth afterwards. Did you manage on g&a alone and was the delivery much quicker? I am really hoping to be more mobile this time as I want a quick birth and my pain expectations are much more realistic this time round!

Any comments appreciated

hatsoff Sun 24-Apr-05 16:06:54

hi there. There's no rules but I can tell you my experience - dd1 - 30-odd hours labour, epidural, ventouse, tears and stiches. Totally awful, unpleasant unhelpful midwives who got me stressed out, which, I think had a lot to do with slow labour, exhaustion, need for epidural etc etc. I couldn't face a repeat and was determined to have a home birth - against my GPs wishes - so I got an independent midwife (who kind of turned out to be a bit irrelevant in actual labour, but she spent a lot of time before labour, helping me prepare, building up my confidence). DD2 - had mild contractions for a couple of hours, then big contractions for a couple of hours, second stage was a out 20 minutes. Either my pain threshold has changed, or it was a lot less painful, or my lack of fear helped me cope. I did what I wanted, moved how I wanted. I had a tens machine but forgot to turn it up - no gas and air. It was a doddle. Midwife turned up about 10 minutes too late, but that's a different story. I think exhaustion has a lot to do with the need for pain relief and whilst there are no guarantees you do stand a chance of having a quicker labour, where you are more confident, more in control, and whre things are more likely to go your way. good luck.

Tommy Sun 24-Apr-05 16:07:33

My first sounds like yours! Didn't have a homebirth for second but did manage on TENS and DS2 popped out in 2 hours with only about 4 pushes. If you have a supportive MW I don't see why there should be a problem

tortoiseshell Sun 24-Apr-05 16:12:58

Hi, I had an epidural first time round, labour was 13 hours altogether - hadn't planned epidural at all, but was really shocked by how painful it was! Second time round, had homebirth, 3 and a half hour labour, no pain relief at all - had planned to use gas and air, but when it came to it, didn't need to. Gave birth kneeling up, which was a really good position for me - meant gravity really helped, only needed 1 push or so to get her head out! Hope it goes well!

geekgrrl Sun 24-Apr-05 16:22:12

hi 99, I was worried about this too - had an unplanned epidural first time round (nasty induction) as I was absolutely beside myself with pain. Second time - home birth - I managed without any pain relief (there wasn't a midwife, long story) and it wasn't as bad as the first time. Third time round, with a midwife, it was even better. I didn't even scream! Had a bit of gas & air but would have coped without.
For me personally, pain in labour seems to be directly connected to how scary and out-of-control the situation seems. My third labour was by far the best, I had a wonderful midwife who was very experienced and reassuring so I really felt in safe hands. I am sure that made all the difference.

99redballoons Sun 24-Apr-05 16:22:47

Hi all, thanks for the positive replies. I think first time round you just don't know what to expect and the pain totally blew me away, esp after waters broke, that's when epi was put in, but only part worked. I'm sure that's what made the labour end up being so long and if I'd known that was coming I might have lasted it out for a quicker second and final phase. I also wasn't offered g&a so I don't know if I could have managed on that alone.

The comfort of being at home, being in more control, and sort of knowing what's to come this time, plus hospital is 5mins drive down the road (albeit Northwick Park which has just been in the papers!!) makes me feel like it would be the right option for us.

Any more comments/stories welcome!!

99redballoons Sun 24-Apr-05 16:24:57

Have just seen a couple more posts since I've last refreshed... wow! you girls make it sound so easy

motherinferior Sun 24-Apr-05 16:56:43

I had a very similar first birth to you, honey: about 36 absolutely horrible hours, with an epidural that didn't work very well and then an emergency ventouse. About 30 weeks into my second birth I found myself - with lots of support from MN - opting for a home birth, with a hired pool; and guess what, I had a very straightforward 7 hour labour, which only started being totally unbearable at the transition stage - at which point I pushed the baby out in 3 pushes.

CAT me if you want to talk more!

bumptobabies Sun 24-Apr-05 17:30:03

99 i think it is only natural to have the concerns you have,as you know every birth is differant. the fact that your body has done this once makes it easier the second time,you also have a realistic expectation of the pain now which is often not shared in antenatal classes.
there are lots of pain cpoing statagies around, im a doula so if you want to you can cat me.take care

RosiePosie Sun 24-Apr-05 17:43:09

First birth - very long labour ( about 40 hours I think ) ending with epidural - horrible. Second birth was at home with a Tens machine and G&A, about 8 hours. To be honest, I thought I knew what to expect, but the actual giving birth part without the epidural I found pretty horrendous and felt in shock for a couple of days afterwards. I just wasn't expecting it to feel like it did and to be quite so painful. I'd experienced the labour contractions with my first, but the epidural had given me a false idea about what giving birth was like. However, I did it. I managed on Tens and G&A alone and the experience as a whole was much better than the hospital birth. I would choose home over hospital again, but I would make sure the midwife had a decent supply of G&A next time, as we almost ran out, which was a bit panicky. To be honest though, my ideal scenario would be to have an epidural at home Shame it's not possible

morningpaper Sun 24-Apr-05 17:52:27


This is a bit OT but I've heard that you can turn gas and air 'up' - i.e. it's got different strengths - is that true?

99redballoons Sun 24-Apr-05 17:54:07

Yes, rosieposie, that's what I'm worried about too as I still really couldn't feel anything when trying to push ds so I think I know what to expect next time, but maybe my expectations will still be a bit out! I'm hoping the relaxed environment will help in all quarters. Plus trying to find lamaze classes for this time round. I really think the 'find your peaceful place' technique the antenatal classes talked about was of no help at all when the time came!

Thanks all for the offers about getting in touch. I may just do that!

bonym Sun 24-Apr-05 20:02:35

Hi 99redballoons. My first birth was in hospital with an epidural (like you, my pain threshold seemed to be very low - still think it is actually )) and due to a cord prolapse I had to have the epidural topped up and dd1 was born by ventouse so I felt nothing - certainly no urge to push.

5 weeks ago I had dd2 at home with only gas & air (and birthing pool, although I delivered out of the pool). The pain was excrutiating but bearable, and I really believe that if I can do it (I get tears in my eyes if I stub my toe fgs!) then anyone can. I would highly recommend a home birth - even though it was much more painful than 1st time round, it was so much nicer: more relaxed, I felt more in control, midwifery care much better etc. Go for it!

RosiePosie Sun 24-Apr-05 20:28:51

Don't let my experience put you off 99redballoons. Like I said, I WOULD choose home over hospital again, because overall it was fab, but some extra antenatal preparation ( ie lamaze technique ) will help, I am sure. Just to add, I was much more mobile second time around and gave birth on my knees, over the sofa. Second stage was only 13 minutes long ( so although it was very painful, it wasn't prolonged ) and I didn't tear - I'd had an episiotomy the first time.

99redballoons Mon 25-Apr-05 09:56:04

Thanks for the further replies, girls. I really feel like this is what we want to do this time round. I have my first meeting with the local midwife next week so will see what she says!

99redballoons Mon 23-May-05 13:18:00

Finally got to speak to my community m/w about this today and she said cos I had GBS in a previous pg I will have it for all my pg's. Is this right? She really suggested a hospital delivery, for the i/v antibiotics, but I really want to avoid this, be more mobile etc. She then said well if I delivered at home I would still be concerned if the baby started to deteriorate over the next 48hrs and it was better for baby to be in the hosp where the paed's were at hand.

I will have a look at the GBS website, but just wanted to see what you thought since I had a few spare mins.

BunInTum Wed 25-May-05 00:04:46

Hi 99redballoons, I'm in Harrow and going through same dilemma as you at the mo. Baby due in early Aug.

Am not sure what GBS is (excuse my ignorance!!) but I was talking to a midwife recently who said there are a fair few who wil try and put you off a homebirth so definately think its worth talking to a few professionals before you get pushed into a hospital birth. If you have to have a hospital birth tho then there are other options to Northwick Park. I'm currently booked in at Watford as they have a new birthing unit with pool there so maybe something like that could be an option if you cant have a homebirth. I live in Pinner btw.

99redballoons Fri 27-May-05 09:01:04

Hi bunintum, thanks for the info! The mw seemed to think it was a possibility until I mentioned GBS (Group B Strep ).. She is a nice mw, she saw me after the birth of my ds two yrs ago, so I think she was open to the idea... Will have to print off the info I've found on the gbss and websites for her to have a look at. She said even if I did have the delivery at home I'd be wondering for the first 48hrs whether babe was ok or not.. and to be honest I probably would now that I know I'm a carrier.

Still have to find the answer to the question, once you're a carrier, always a carrier?

NWPH seems to be a bit more organised this time round (my 2nd pg with them) so hopefully the extra money is getting to the right places. I'm due Nov so have a bit more time than you for them to get it sorted! What's Watford like?

It's nice to find someone else near Harrow. There's a couple of us from this neck of the woods and the rest of our MN group come from Watford or Enfield. Hope to see you at the next meetup .

morningpaper Fri 27-May-05 09:03:45

Hi 99, how far are you from a hospital? I would imagine that if your newborn started 'to deteriorate' you would notice pretty damn quick and once you had rushed in would probably get to see a paed quicker than you would on the maternity ward!

99redballoons Mon 30-May-05 16:05:13

that's a thought mp. We're only 5mins away from the hospital. I think we'll prepare for both (hosp & home) and wait and see what the swab result is at 36wks.

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