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Birth choices - a worried ramble (probably a bit premature when I'm only 12 weeks!)

(29 Posts)
hunkermunker Thu 30-Jun-05 23:34:03

OK, wondering about birth choices.

I had DS at hospital (big, busy, in west London). I had a lovely birth with very nice midwives - DS was born in the birthing pool.

However, I had never met the midwives I had on the day, and from what they said, and other people have since confirmed, the birthing pool isn't used very often (about 30 times a year) - the unit is often too busy for the one midwife continually present and two at the actual birth care they require. In the event, I had two midwives with me almost the whole time.

Now I know I could "get lucky" again, but I've heard too many stories of women who are left for ages during labour and who have midwives who don't listen to them or respect their wishes (and whilst I'm very feisty and willing to stand up for my rights, I really don't want to go into labour thinking I might have to be doing this!).

I also have problems with pain relief. I didn't have anything but the water when DS was born. I have had very bad reactions to opiate-based pain relief in the past (blood pressure dropping through the floor, shivery shock, etc), gas and air made me retch (the one puff I had with DS), and I have a massive allergy to all things plaster (anything that sticks to my skin, yes, even hypo-allergenic nobody's allergic to this stuff provokes blisters...) so an epidural doesn't sound promising either - plus I don't fancy not being mobile in labour.

I am wondering whether I would be able to go to a slightly out of area birthing centre (Edgware) or to Queen Charlotte's (again, out of area) - but even then, would I be guaranteed the birthing pool I loved so much when I had DS?

So I think that the way forward is a home birth, with a hired pool - but I'm very worried about tearing - I had a second degree tear with DS and it took MONTHS to heal. The next bit may be tmi...sorry - basically the scar tissue is very "hard" and totally without "give", so I'm very worried I'll just fall in half when I have the next one!

I realise that if there are problems, I won't have a waterbirth anyway, I'm not dopey. And I do have to convince DH that a home birth is a good plan - plus although I know that severe tears are less likely with a home birth, I do wonder whether I am likely to tear badly however relaxed I am because of the solid scar tissue dilemma.

Blinking heck, this is long! Is it cheeky of me to put Mears in this post in case she does a name search?

dizietsma Fri 01-Jul-05 01:49:34

I'm about to have my first, I also have a bad reaction to opiates and hate the idea of an epidural (though I'm terribly fond of gas 'n air ), so I've arranged to have a home birth with an inflatable pool I've just bought, all going well. Plus side of a home birth is you'll definately have the undivided attention of two midwives at the birth, which from the sounds of it is not so common in hospital!
Lots of people in my area rent or buy their pools even for hospital births 'cos the local hospital can't guarantee the pool rooms will be free.

Pruni Fri 01-Jul-05 06:58:57

Message withdrawn

Katemum Fri 01-Jul-05 08:09:41

I had a home birth for my second and it was wonderful. Think home birth with pool would be the way to go, but speak to midwife about your scar for some advice.

CarolinaMoon Fri 01-Jul-05 09:02:27

why would a tear be worse at home than at hosp? Am I being thick?

Wouldn't the rest of your perineum stretch enough to make up for the scarred bit? (not that I'd know, I had a cs...)

I say, go for the home birth - if you were ok first time, chances are you'll be fine this time.

You'd kick youself if you got to hosp and the labour ward was full, wouldn't you?

btw, love the idea that mears gets on here and just searches for her own name! would be enough to keep her busy for a couple of hours probably

hunkermunker Fri 01-Jul-05 19:35:19

Thanks, ladies

I'm more and more interested in home birth.

The tear was very "involved" and took AGES to stitch and months to heal - it's not totally comfortable now, but it's not bad at all. Just worried there's no "give" in it - as for the rest of my perineum stretching - there's not a rest of it as the tear was so large! Wow, I'm usually very discreet on MN...and now I'm discussing my undercarriage with you all! Pregnancy, childbirth and dignity - nah, they don't go together very well at all!

returningtoworkalready Fri 01-Jul-05 19:38:59

Hi, HM! Think you are less likely to tear if at home. Can't believe you are 12 weeks already!!! Dinny

hunkermunker Fri 01-Jul-05 19:41:30

Hi Dinny! Just answered your thread

Yes, had read that you're less likely to tear if you're at home, but none of the literature has said "and if you have enormous amounts of scar tissue from a previous tear, it will magically melt into lovely stretchy skin at home" so I wasn't wholly convinced it would be the case for me

returningtoworkalready Fri 01-Jul-05 19:44:28

would massage help it?

spidermama Fri 01-Jul-05 19:45:20

Like you Hunker, I have probs with pain relief. I don't want it basically. Hated pethidene during miscarriage and find gas & air suffocating.
I've had 4 births now, at home, with no pain relief. Two in London, two in Brighton.
I don't think I could've done it without independent Midwives. They were BRILLIANT! Like having your friend/mum round, totally supporting you, who happens to be an expert with childbirth. I know they're expensive but I can't recommend them highly enough.

Gem13 Fri 01-Jul-05 19:45:42

If you are concerned about the scar do ask the midwife to get you an appointment with the consultant.

I had a 3/4th degree tear and wanted a homebirth but the consultant advised me to have an elective section. Up until then everyone had been advising me (in as much as saying 'ok' to the homebirth) without checking it out.

That's not what you were asking but someone will need to look at it later during your pregnancy.

hunkermunker Fri 01-Jul-05 19:45:48

I'd wondered that - I think it might. What do you think my chances of getting DH to do it are?! I could read a book or something

PMSL - what a convo for a Friday evening!

mears Fri 01-Jul-05 19:47:34

Do you know I never actually search for my name? I actually always look at the threads I have recently been on and then active converstaions and voila!

Hi Hunkermunker - are you going to be delivering in a different hospital? Has the staffing changed if you are?

We only have one pool at our unit so the only way to guarantee a waterbirth would be to book one at home. There is no reason why you shouldn't successfully have a homebirth if that is what you would like.

As for your perineum stretching, very often, despite previous scarring, the tissues all around do stretch. You could try oiling your perineum nearer the time but chances are you would be fine. Slow delivery of the head is the key - practice the old panting . It is usually better second time around. HTH.

returningtoworkalready Fri 01-Jul-05 19:47:56

hey, why don't you have a doula, HM? that could really help you avoid another tear...

pmsl - am sure your dh would love to do a bit of massaging!

hunkermunker Fri 01-Jul-05 19:49:00

SM, independent midwives would be amazing, but there is no way we can afford them

Gem, that's the kind of thing I did need to hear - thank you. I really really don't want people just saying "you'll be OK" and ending up with serious problems afterwards. The possibility that I'd need a section had occurred to me, so don't worry - you're not scaring me!

Gem13 Fri 01-Jul-05 19:51:53

Hey, it's great to share

Enough of tear discussions. Off to check on my potty-sitting-ToTP-watching toddler.

hunkermunker Fri 01-Jul-05 19:54:47

Mears, that's also just what I needed to hear! Thank you! I think I'll ask for a home birth - and if there are bad reactions, I'll tell them the head of midwifery at the hospital told me I should have one when I went in to talk about how they could improve their appalling bfeeding "support" after I had DS I'm too feisty for words sometimes!

When I had DS, after his head was delivered (under the water) the midwife felt for the cord round his neck, but could only feel it one side (I think it was over his shoulder). She made me stand up and the rest of DS was born in one push, which was obviously too much for my perineum! She seemed to be trying to cut the cord before he was born, which seems wrong?!

I did feel very over-coached - lots of counting to ten and telling me to push, even though I was doing a good job! Will write a very different birth plan this time with lots of "leave me to its"

sweetkitty Fri 01-Jul-05 19:55:19

Humnkermunker you so could be me it's scary, I'm also 12 weeks, had DD in hospital, had second degree tear but would love a homebirth this time around. The midwives around here are OK about it but I'll be moving to a new area prior to the birth (if I ever move house that is) anyway I quite fancy the idea of hiring a pool if not to give birth in to submerge in for a few hours at least.

I'm also scared of tearing again as last time I had my feet in stirrups and 5 midwives looking at my bits deciding how to patch me up then deciding they didn't want to attempt it and got a doc in! DD came out with her hands at her face and also I just pushed like mad to get her out. TMI alert I'm also a bit erm hard down below and have extra bits of skin so don't know how these would stretch again.

I'm not adverse to gas and air again (think I would have bitten anyone who tried to take it off me last time) but thats it. Dd 's labour was 4 hours 20 mins so I'm hoping this one will be shorter!!

hunkermunker Fri 01-Jul-05 19:55:34

Dinny, not sure about having a doula as well as DH and my mum - if I did have this baby in hospital, I think they only allow two birth partners...

Dinny Fri 01-Jul-05 19:55:49

Hunker, how about a doula? Am sure mine is reason I had such a whopper with no tearing.

hunkermunker Fri 01-Jul-05 19:57:01

LOL Sweetkitty - know all about "women looking at you, discussing..." - and after she'd stitched me, the midwife declared "I love my job"!!

Dinny Fri 01-Jul-05 19:57:13

hhmmmm, dunno about that as only had dh and doula...
nice you want your mum there - did you with ds?

hunkermunker Fri 01-Jul-05 19:57:43

Didn't know you'd had a doula, Dinny! How did she make a difference? Really interested!

hunkermunker Fri 01-Jul-05 19:58:12

Yes, she was fantastic. Was lovely - she cut DS's cord as DH is a big girly wuss

sweetkitty Fri 01-Jul-05 19:59:44

Personally I think mears should give up her day job and travel round the country delivering mumsnetters babies!

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