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Positive Home Birth?.with natural 3rd stage

(4 Posts)
rumple Fri 26-Jun-09 22:19:11

Want to write a post of my experience as I read so many childbirth postings in my nightly MN addiction in the weeks running up to the birth. It definitely calmed me down, helped me feel more prepared and not so alone. Sorry it?s turned out a bit long and not well written but hope it might help someone currently doing the anxious wait.
This was my 2nd pregnancy. With dd1 my contractions were very irregular and lasting up to 2mins. Although a pretty straightforward VB, it took a long time. After 40min ride to a birth centre, the contractions stopped for couple of hours. When they returned I stayed 5cm dilated for the next 12 hours and so ended up transferring to hospital, a 20min trip, where I was given pethadine to sleep and a drip near the end, official labour 24hrs. Definitely think the long painful drives had a slowing stalling effect on labour and the general concens that my labour was not going normally definitely unnerved me.
This time I was very keen to home birth to avoid having to get in the car. Also I felt reading around and from lots of friends experiences that they have been told to labour at home for as long as possible and then make the journey in, with no pain relief only to delivery soon after. Where as at home there is a midwife with you one to one assessing you and if you do need to transfer you have trained medical help and gas and air on tap.
This time come my due date tues 23rd june I had cramps in the morning about 6pm. Had been having mild cramps all week and so wasn?t sure this was really it. Saw my husband and dd1 off to work and nursery and had a shower. By 9pm they were still there every 10-15min so rang midwife. Went in 10.30am for an assessment. 3cm 50% thinned. Txted DH to think about coming home and things cranked up from there. DH arrived back with DD1 at about 12.30pm and mum took my daughter away to hers. I was definitely ready for the tens machine and by the time we?d phone the midwife and she?s arrived about 1.30pm I notched it up to half strength. Had a slight scare when tens machine initially didn?t work. Had thought there was new batteries in it but lucky it was just duff batteries to blame. The MW examined me and was 6cm. Was really surprised with the speed of things this time round and got stuck into the air. The inner junky in me was unleashed, while the contractions were still mild, I enjoyed feeling high as a kite, (have to admit to really liking the pethadine last time too, took me to a very happy place, obviously feeding some alto ego in me!) Was definitely calmer this time around, scared but more in control of it and definitely think this helped with the speed of things. I was 8-9cm by 3.30pm. The midwife who came out was supposed to be doing routine 9-5 day but all those on duty where stuck on the delivery suite at hospital so she ended up staying as was the second midwife that came out. Lovely midwives and lovely that they tried so hard to arrange things so that I could have a homebirth. The system sounds so rubbish as they have to fight to get the support to get to homebirths.
Started to feel back pressure so at 4pm the 2nd midwife arrived. Up to this point was weird, between contractions was perfectly able to chat and then back into zoning out and trying to breath through the pain. I?d tanked 2 bottles of gas and air by then and my husband helped change to the bottles that the 2nd midwife had brought. Both although reading half full were empty. At which point the fear really set in. Think I was so frightened of doing the pushing part without pain relief that my body stalled things. Was very odd, as one of the MW went on a 25min trip back to the health centre for more bottles, my DH put back the last bottle that had been on red so I could at least get the last dregs. I totalled zoned out and concentrated on only breathing it in when it got really bad. Ending up only having 2 or 3 much milder contractions in that time after previously having them every 3-4mins, thank god! Really confirmed to me how linked labour is to your emotions and your state of mind.
My waters broke 5min before she was born and after 3min of pushing she was born at 5pm. I felt the urge to push something I hadn?t felt in my last labour and was really terrified of doing some damage. It felt the same as the throwing up reflex but obvious at the other end. They said to go slow and not push so I really tried to stop myself but not really sure how much control I had of the whole thing. A second set of involuntary pushes came and she was out. I was still on all fours over the exercise ball and the midwife was trying to get me to lean back and take her but was a bit shell shocked and couldn?t move for a good 30 seconds. Then she was up into my arms. Probably because it was my 2nd and I felt more in control I really enjoyed this moment. With my first I was bit numb and in shock by it all. Apart from the finally pushing part where I was frantically holding a bucket to my face thinking I?m not sure what?s going to come out of what end (very afraid I was going to vom on the poor MW lucky didn?t) I didn?t feel out of control and the contractions with the gas and air were definitely bearable.
I asked during the start of labour if cord could be cut after it stopped pulsating as I?d read about it on internet the night before and seems to have some benefits although the juror seems to be out for definite. I also asked to try for a natural delivery of the placenta as long as no problems. I had the injection last time and when the MW had applied tension to the cord it felt like my insides were being pulled inside out, really unpleasant sensation. Yay for MN as I had been reading a recent thread where some women had used gravity and coughing to help shift the placenta, really thankful as otherwise would never have known to ask. MW asked if she could try abit of tension and even though she was really gentle was the same horrible sensation so I asked if I could sit up, and after squatting very unceremoniously over the bucket and coughing it came out. Not my most glamorous hour but so much better than the very brutal tugging feelings so definitely the best decision for me. I thought it wouldn?t have been that uncommon but after it had been delivered the MW who has been a community MW for the last 2yrs after working in the hospitals said that was her first natural 3rd stage she?d done, which surprised me.
At the start of labour I?d put down a shower curtain and a sacrificial quilt blanket I?d got for a tenner and then a stack of old towels. Happy to say cream carpets survived very well.
Both before and after the birth have had many people say how brave I?ve been to have home birth but I can genuinely say it nothing to do with bravery. I had one on one care from the beginning of labour from a MW, with 2 on one care near the end when the 2nd MW arrived something I didn?t have in hospital with my first birth. Had I been going to hospital I would have been deciding to go in when I was 6cm. Moving into any position other than all fours was really painful. So I would have been in the car without gas and air, really uncomfortable and with just my husband for help. I genuinely think the safest thing in that situation was to stay put & not attempt a 20 min drive. My husband did say he did have a wobble when the head started to immerge and there was the pause until the next contraction at which point he thought this really is the point of no return, compared with being at hospital help would be a long way away. So there?s no neat answer. It?s a weighing up of risks and benefits for each individual woman. But it does make me laugh that as you tell people about having a home birth you can see people?s silent thought bubbles putting you most definitely into the irresponsible hippy bracket, which I am so far from. I would be the first in line for medical intervention if needed and really didn?t do it at home for the comfy furnishings and soft lighting. It wouldn?t have bothered me what room I was in as long as I was left alone to listen to my body and do what felt right.

happyjules Fri 26-Jun-09 22:44:24

Congratulations! It's great when you feel good about the way things have gone. I have had two perfect natural water births in MwLU's (wanted to get away for a few days!) I was calm and controlled both times with two natural third stages (although just a little slow and delivered the second on the toilet at the midwife's suggestion). For me just the thought of delivering in a main hospital with a low risk pregnancy was just too scarey to contemplate. I do feel very lucky and priviliged to have experienced birth twice in this manor as if luck isn't on your side it can make things very different.

rumple Sat 27-Jun-09 11:41:15

I'm a muppet with my typo - not suppose to have a question mark in title. It was a positive birth.... ?

thell Sat 27-Jun-09 12:17:12

Congratulations Rumple!

I had a lovely home birth too - and a nearly natural third stage! The MW gave me the injection as she was concerned it had been over an hour (I hated that tugging sensation too - made me want to tell her to Go Away!), then the placenta arrived immediately, so she said she thought it wasn't caused by the injection. I have only heard the 'gravity / bucket' recommendations since, so will try that next time wink

I also share your experience of the Bravery remarks, etc. I am a bit of a hippy grin but decided on home birth for the same reasons as you - to be in control of the birth and discourage need for interventions developing.

Well Done Rumple & Mini-Rumple!

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