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Should I have a home birth?

(19 Posts)
ladyandthechocolate Tue 03-Nov-09 20:04:48

Midwife thinks it would be a good thing to do as my first labour was quick and easy. I had DD in a little stand alone midwife led unit and I could go back there.

I've got no major desire to have a HB but I'd like to hear from anyone who did and thought it was a good experience. It's not that I'm anti, just ambivalent.

The mess puts me off - I hear you have to provide plastic sheeting etc. Then again, it would be nice to avoid the journey to hospital. I don't think I can be bothered with a birth pool at home - wouldn't fancy it taking up space for weeks on end and we're on a water meter!

What to do?

thisisyesterday Tue 03-Nov-09 20:13:56

i had 2 and would totally recommend it.

the midwives clear up ALL the mess, and mine were very careful not to let any mess get anywhere but on the plastic sheets!

it's so relaxing, comfy, just nice. it's lovely to be able to go to bed in your own bed afterwards and have a nice cup of tea, visitors if you want to

i had a pool which was fine too, we just inflated it and filled it when i went into labour and that was fine. i laboured in it with ds2 but got out to deliver him. ds3 was delivered in the pool, but only just!

daisyj Tue 03-Nov-09 20:27:37

I had a lovely home birth too. I didn't decide for sure until about 35 weeks, as I was also a little ambivalent. In the end it was absolutely lovely. I had a long early labour, but felt really relaxed knowing that I was intending to stay at home. It's great having two midwives to yourself once you're in active labour (at one point we had 4 as there was a shift change when I was in transition, and the first two hung around for a while, but I ended up pushing for ages, so they didn't get to see the birth).

I also was a bit worried about the mess, but DH likened them to Crime Scene cleaners, as they were so thorough!

The pool was lovely, although I didn't give birth in it in the end. In all it took about an hour to inflate and fill, so you'd probably have time if you do it as soon as your contractions start.

I felt totally safe and secure through it all. They set up a little resuscitation station when they arrive in case there's any problem with the baby, and definitely err on the side of caution - I was told they would be calling an ambulance if I hadn't managed to get dd out within a certain amount of time, as she was taking a while. I had an episiotomy in the end, and was stiched lying on my own sofa cuddling my baby. The midwives were amazing and I can't think of anything bad about the experience, even the cutting and stitching. I was so relaxed I didn't even have any pain relief between 5-9 cms (and I am generally a total wimp!).

If you don't want the palaver and expense of a pool you could just hang out in your bath for a while smile.

Reallytired Tue 03-Nov-09 20:33:32

I had a homebirth on land. Its not complusory to have a waterbirth. I just used TENS for pain relief. I didn't need gas and air and the birth was quick and easy. There is no stress with getting to hospital and I loved the privacy and being in control.

I used an old matress protector to catch the mess and the midwives bring loads of inco pads. The only evidence left of the birth was the baby.

ladyandthechocolate Tue 03-Nov-09 20:34:42

That's good to hear - thanks! You both make it sound a good experience - it's swaying me towards a HB. I like the idea of being able to tell DC that "this is where you were born".

thisisyesterday Tue 03-Nov-09 20:37:17

and when you have guests you can just slip it into conversation "oh, where you;re sat.. that's where i had the baby!"

snigger

i am a bit sad that this isn't our forever house, which means in a few years we'll move, and that will be strange, moving from the house where i had ds2 and ds3.

ladyandthechocolate Tue 03-Nov-09 20:41:00

Ooh, you could unnerve people couldn't you? My waters broke there etc etc..
My parents and inlaws think it's all a bit new agey despite the fact that not that long ago, most babies were born at home.

daisyj Tue 03-Nov-09 20:41:38

Me too. I have to admit that thorough though the mws were, they missed a tiny little smear and it remains on the floorboards under the rug, as DH and I can't bear to get rid of it (and he is OCD about cleanliness!). I expect it'll be there when we sell the place grin.

helips Tue 03-Nov-09 20:42:29

Had a home birth 2 days ago, it was fantastic to be able to get into my own bed/bath afterwards and the midwives cleaned up any mess. When I went downstairs a few hours later the house was cleaner than before I went into labour!

I had a water birth and used one of those birth pools in a box. Dh put it up when I went into labour and it took about an hour to put up and fill. It was lovely giving birth in water and I didn't get the old ring of fire feeling when dd was crowning. I really recommend having a home water birth, so much better than hospital birth. Good luck!

daisyj Tue 03-Nov-09 20:45:23

In fact in Holland (I think) something like 75% of people have hbs - they only go to hospital if they're high risk. I'm always a bit shock at some people's idea that it's only lentil-weavers or women who care more about their own comfort than the safety of their unborn child who would have a homebirth. I promise, I am the least lentil-weavery person around.

theyoungvisiter Tue 03-Nov-09 20:45:40

I had my second baby at home and loved it - so easy, no hassles with transfers and childcare, and me and DH were able to curl up on the sofa afterwards with the new baby and a big bowl of spag bol - much nicer than hospital food smile

No mess, yes you do provide plastic sheeting but the midwives take care of it all, and cleared it all up while I was having a shower. You wouldn't have known it had happened to be honest. And I didn't have a birth pool, I never fancied labouring in water anyway.

If I have a third baby I will definitely be aiming for a HB.

theyoungvisiter Tue 03-Nov-09 20:47:38

I gave birth to DS2 standing between our bed and his cot, with one foot on the cot rails - it was very sweet to stand on that spot shushing him to sleep every night smile

ladyandthechocolate Tue 03-Nov-09 20:50:02

I think I'd still need to get someone to look after DD won't I? She'll be 21 months when this one's due. Can't imagine her wandering around wanting stories in the middle of things!

thisisyesterday Tue 03-Nov-09 20:51:45

we had chinese from my very fave chinese restaurant both times. ahhh how i enjoyed it. so much nicer than my teeny tiny cheese sandwich i had after ds1

CarGirl Tue 03-Nov-09 20:52:39

I booked for HB and never got them as I went too far overdue.

Just the whole thing of getting into your own bed at the end, eating whatever you want, no other labouring women in the background, no screaming babies, no lights on all night.

Your own clean shower etc etc

thisisyesterday Tue 03-Nov-09 20:52:54

yes, unless you want her there, some people do

when i had ds2 i went into labour early in the morning and my mum had a dayt off work and looked after him

when i had ds3 i laboured in the night, so the other 2 just woke up to their new brother

LilyBolero Tue 03-Nov-09 20:53:33

I'm pg with no. 4.

Ds1 was very medicalised in hospital, and although he was a 'normal delivery', he was induced (I was 12 days over the date), I had an epidural, he had several blood tests from his scalp taken during labour, and it was a very 'clinical' experience. He was 9lb 12, and I had stitches.

Dd was born at home. I went into labour about 8.00 in the morning, called the mw about 8.30, but thought there was loads of time. She arrived 9.40, I was 10cm, dd was born at 10.05, no pain relief, no stitches at all! The mws cleaned everything up (though there really wasn't any mess to speak of), and they had left the house by 10.25. That was probably my 'nicest' birth, as it was so quick and easy. She was 10lb0.

Ds2 was also born at home - quite a different labour, as was in labour for a good 7-8 hours. He was a bit of a struggle to push out, and he was congested a bit (purple etc), and had one or two 'dodgy moments' - he had a 'dusky episode' - fortunately in front of the mw! Again no pain relief or stitches, but a more long and drawn out affair. He was 10lb 2.

So with this one, I really can't decide between homebirth and brand new mw unit at local hospital (only 5 mins away). My community mw delivered both dd and ds2, and she said that she and and the other mw had 'had a conversation' during ds2's labour, because she wasn't convinced he was coming out, and she doesn't think I could safely deliver a bigger baby at home. However, it may not be bigger! At the moment I am leaning towards the mw led unit, as they have a pool, and mws trained in aromatherapy and reflexology, and I am not convinced that retrospectively it was very safe having ds2 at home. On the flip side, it was very nice not having to travel to hospital, or home from hospital (although I had to go in the following day for his new baby check, so I still had to go in, just not in labour), and if my mw were to deliver this one, then she knows my labours, and would know v quickly if there was going to be a problem (whereas in the mw unit they may not).

So.....homebirths lovely, medicalised births horrid, birthing units - don't know! smile

LilyBolero Tue 03-Nov-09 20:55:51

Just to add, ds1 was induced at 12 days over, with dd I stuck to my guns, and the consultant was MORE than happy for me to go over as all was well, she was 14 days over when she was finally born, but my mw delivered someone at 21 days over! Ds2 was 8 days over, but was showing signs of being post-mature, so perhaps the dates were a bit wrong with him.

theyoungvisiter Tue 03-Nov-09 21:01:06

"By ladyandthechocolate Tue 03-Nov-09 20:50:02
I think I'd still need to get someone to look after DD won't I? She'll be 21 months when this one's due. Can't imagine her wandering around wanting stories in the middle of things!"

Well I was worried about this and spoke to my MWs. They were incredibly unphased, said that it was entirely up to the mother but that they were very used to having small children present or in another room watching a DVD. She also made the point that there is only usually a short window where the mother is totally out of it (particularly in a second birth) so for most of the labour you actually can gasp "postman pat, how lovely darling" between contractions.

My MWs also told me that very, very often the mother went into labour at a convenient time, childcare wise. This was certainly true for me and all my friends. I felt the first twinges in time to send DS off to nursery for the day, and then delivered in time to get him home for bed.

Two of my friends gave birth entirely in the middle of the night, and their older children slept through it.

Another friend went into labour 2 hours after her mother arrived to be on standby for childcare. Her mother took her DD out to the park and she delivered the baby while they were playing.

So I think there is often a strong sense of your body falling in with plans. I don't know anyone who was caught seriously short, although we all had contingency plans.

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