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Why why why is no one happy or supportive that I want a homebirth?

(59 Posts)
sweetkitty Fri 22-Jul-05 15:01:28

DP and I had a big row again last night as I want a homebirth with this baby. His arguments are what if something goes wrong and if it did (ie the baby died) how would I feel going into that room again?

Not one person I have said I want a homebirth to has said good for you, all of them (friends and family) are totally against it.

My arguments are this is my second baby, my first was a 4h 20min straightforward labour only with gas and air. The most traumatic part for me was getting to the hospital, being left in the labour room with DP as they thought I would be ages and afterwards was a complete nightmare, ie the food, hygiene, lack of privacy everything really. I also have a one year old DD to look after as well, our family will be an hour away so will take that long to find a babysitter to look after DD when the time comes, I think if I can get friendly with a neighbour popping her in with them for a few hours would be preferable.

I have said to DP it is no more dangerous than a hospital birth and that at the first sign of anything going wrong I will go to hospital and if at any time in the pregnancy a midwife says you will be better in hospital then I will go.

I just feel it's me against everyone right now argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

dyzzidi Fri 22-Jul-05 15:04:48

Sweetkitty I am going to get shot down in flames for this but i think it is important for you and your DP to agree on your birthing care. I know there are 'Ifs' with everybirth but the hospitals are more equipped to deal with any major problems. It is a personal opinion but the last thing you want is you and DP rowing over this.

Good luck in having the birth you want.

Papillon Fri 22-Jul-05 15:14:31

Some of us who are planning homebirths have an active thread atm

Perhaps a prospective visit from a homebirth midwife might dispel some of the fears and provide him with facts and info about homebirth

dyzzidi Fri 22-Jul-05 15:17:49

maybe if you had some literature on the safety of homebirths and a supportive midwife this will help change DP's mind.

The homebirth thread should also give you some support.

I would not consider a home birth as I'm only16 wks but have past gynae problems and have already been told I will have a caesarian.

Good luck

MandM Fri 22-Jul-05 15:22:15

I think your dp is quite rightly concerned for the health and safety of you and your unborn child.

My personal opinion is that for the sake of 6 hours of a woman's life why oh why oh why would anyone want to put themselves or their childs health/life/future health at even the tiniest bit of risk by not being in a medical environment. That is not in anyway to say that your view on this is not valid/correct for you, it's just that I cannot understand this desire that people have for a homebirth.

So, sorry to join the band of party-poopers but you and your dp definitely need to come to an amicable agreement (compromise?) over this.

marne Fri 22-Jul-05 15:25:00

I want a home birth, had a normal delivery with dd with no drugs, no problems. I dont want to leave dd to go into hospital so it seems a good idea to have it at home but dh doesnt agree, he wants me to have it on my own in hospital while he looks after dd.

Rhubarb Fri 22-Jul-05 15:27:10

Have a home birth. It's your body, you are the one having to do all of the hard work. There is nothing remotely dangerous about it, women have been giving birth for centuries - remember that Nigerian women who gave birth up a tree during the floods? If something goes wrong it would take the same time for you to be taken into hospital in an ambulance as it would for you to be prepped for theatre in the hospital.

Stuff what everyone else thinks on this one, this is YOUR day, just like a wedding day, you are the one reading all the books, you are the one going to ante-natal classes, you are the one trying to cope with the pain, you have more knowledge about your body and this baby than anyone else, so put your foot down and have the baby wherever you like! And bloody good luck to you!

roosmum Fri 22-Jul-05 15:32:12

here here rhubarb!!

best of luck sweetkitty XXX

pooka Fri 22-Jul-05 15:34:56

I'm hoping for a homebirth in September and I'm so sorry that the commments you've had from family and friends have not been more supportive. My midwives are very keen, I was born at home, I hated the hospital experience and frankly found being left alone with dh for much of the labour in hospital quite scary. The benefits as I see it of a homebirth for me include one on one midwife attention as well as prompt transferral to hospital should it (god forbid) be necessary.

morningpaper Fri 22-Jul-05 15:37:29

I disagree with Rhubarb and agree with dyzzidi - yes it's your body but it's not just your baby and you and your DH have to come to an amicable agreement about this. I think it's a decision that you have to come to together. Good luck! xx

zubb Fri 22-Jul-05 15:37:51

sweetkitty - as you had such a straightforward first birth you seem an ideal case for a home birth. Are your dps objections on medical grounds only? For a homebirth you will have a midwife with you all the time and they will be able to assess if you need to go into hospital. Intervention is much less likely at home than in hospital I think. How far away from hospital are you if you need to transfer?
I would agree with dyzzidi in that you should have dps agreement, but talk to your midwife and they might be able to reassure him.
I quite liked the idea of a homebirth with ds2, and as ds1 was a straight forward couple of hours labour with no pain relief there were no reasons not to, however dh didn't like the idea - think he thought it would be messy, and as I had had a positive experience in hospital I was happy to go back there. However, ds2 had his own ideas and was born on the bathroom floor with just me and dh there - so a lot messier than a planned homebirth!
I'm 33 weeks pregnant at the moment and this one is a planned home birth - dh suggested it before me this time!
Good luck with convincing your dp - there are lots of threads on here about homebirths so you may be able to find some useful information.

basketcase Fri 22-Jul-05 15:39:38

There is a lot of evidence out there that additional stress can slow labour down and create it’s own set of problems. I know this is what happened with my DD1 when I went into hospital. There is also a lot of growing evidence that when women go into hospital they are more likely to get more medical intervention (than if they had a home birth) which can create it’s own set of knock on interventions - eg. my "production line" styled 1st labour invovled mw persuading (bullying) me into having my waters broken - sudden upping of pain meant I agreed to any pain relief so had pethidene, too close to actual birth, had to have episiotomy and ventousse as I was too "out of it" to push properly...Convinced if I had been at home, calm and relaxed, avoided the waters broken I could have ended up with a different birth experience - and safer.
Went for home birth with DD2 - much more relaxed, less drugs (gas and air only) and wonderful professional mw team who I totally trusted - and knew well after months of care. It did end up in hospital for last minute transfer - not very comfortable, but safe and at no point was my DD in enhanced danger because of it. Would do it all again despite transfer.
I think it is misleading to say that a hospital birth is safer than a home birth. For a start, they only allow you to try for a home birth if the mw team and 100% happy with your health, the baby’s vital signs and medical history. They are professional people who have your best interests at heart. They are also very experienced in knowing when problems may develop and when to transfer before it becomes an issue. Sure, sometimes unforseen problems develop but many of these would have the same outcome regardless of number of medical professionals and equipment available. At homebirths you will be impressed at the amount of monitoring equipment and resuss equipment with them.
If you are keen, get the accurate facts from your mws and get them to talk it through with you and DP, let him put all of his questions and worries to them and get the real facts. Ask them about speed of transfer times, how experienced they are at home births, how many problems they encounter a year etc. etc. It is no good making your mind up just because your next door neighbour or your elderly aunt has an opinion - often based on hearsay and rumour, or worse a disaster story reported in the news.

I know how you feel - it took me a lot of work to persuade my family that I was not taking "unnecessary risks" and had to spell it out - that it was my choice, either support me or don’t talk about it. Was hard, but pleased I stuck by my guns. When Dh had all the facts and every possible worry dispelled by our fantastic mws, he went along with it happy and confident. He would do a home birth again and now thinks his concerns were based on the unknown and totally unfounded.

Mirage Fri 22-Jul-05 15:46:01

I wanted a homebirth too Sweetkitty & had a similar reaction from friends & family.My 1st labour was as quick as yours & one of my reasons for wanting to have the baby at home,was the worry of not getting to the hospital in time & giving birth in the car ect.

Due to being diagnosed with GBS,I ended up giving birth in hospital,but dd2 arrived in an hour & a half so only just made it.All of the midwives said that I would have been better off having the baby at home.In fact I was told that if I have anymore babies I should definately go for a home birth as it would be both pointless & dangerous trying to get to hospital in time.

What does your midwife think? My community midwife was wonderful & very supportive.Could they speak to your dh & reassure him?

I really hope that you get the birth that you want.

RedZuleika Fri 22-Jul-05 15:46:13

Although I agree that you and your partner need to agree on your care, I personally feel that it's your feelings should be paramount. It's your pain, your body, potentially your trauma - and you're the one who will live with the memory. My husband wasn't entirely comfortable with the notion of a home birth initially, but he was a lot happier by the time a doctor friend of mine had put the fear of god into him about interventions / lack of individual care in hospital plus he'd had a conversation with an independent midwife about precisely the level of care which can be provided at home, if something were to go wrong. She has stressed that the drugs that she carries enable her to perform the same procedures initally as would be performed in hospital, whilst arranging an emergency transfer, if necessary.

I think that to say that home birth is dangerous / brave / irresponsible is the result of a misunderstanding. Studies have shown that for a low risk woman, a planned home birth is as safe or safer than being in a hospital environment.

It can also be suggested that to go for a home birth is self-indulgent of the mother - but I personally feel that your instinct about what is best for yourself can also overlap with what is best for your child. I want as active a labour as possible, with minimal drug application, and I think that a home water birth is the best way to achieve this. I think I'm unlikely to get this in a hospital. I don't see this as being inconsistent with the well-being of my child.

bonym Fri 22-Jul-05 16:45:03

sweetkitty - I had a homebirth for dd2 (18 weeks ago) and at first dh was very negative about it (same reasons as your dp). I found loads of info on the web & in books which showed that in a low-risk pg, homebirth is actually safer than hospital birth (less chance of intervention). He was also reassured by speaking to the midwife (who was very supportive luckily).

Our local hospital is currently very shortstaffed and friends have had less than great births there. In ciontrast I had 2 midwives with me almost the whole time and my care was exemplary. DH is now a total convert to home birth.

RosiePosie Fri 22-Jul-05 17:49:56

Another DH converted here too. First birth was in hospital, second birth was at home. DH was unsure but went along with it because he knew it was what I wanted. Am now expecting our third and DH assumed from the word go it would be another home birth. Homebirths for uncomplicated pregnancies are just as safe, if not safer than hospital births. In hospital 2 or maybe even 3 women are monitored by one midwife, at home you have one on one care throughout, and a second midwife at the end for the baby. I found in the hospital I was left to my own devices for most of the labour, at home I was (discreetly) monitored much more frequently. And we've all heard about the state of maternity units in the news recently. By all means, your partner should have his say, but he needs to be willing to find out more about the subject so that an informed choice can be made.

Katts Fri 22-Jul-05 19:08:53

Hi Sweet kitty,

I'm also hoping for home birth in September. I'm 31 weeks now with my first.

First of all, I'm sorry that you're encountering such a lack of support from your friends and family. My DP is supportive of the homebirth but I've purposefully neglected to mention it to the inlaws and other family. Just because I don't want to have to defend my choice.

When I first got pregnant I was the last person you would expect to go for a homebirth but I've totally changed my opinion after doing lots and lots of reading. The book that did it for me was The Thinking Woman's Guide to a better Birth by Henci Goer. It has chapter's on all the different medical interventions, pain relief etc with pros and cons of each - supported by lots and lots of research. After reading this book, there is no way that I would risk my or my babies health by giving birth in hospital unless it was absolutely necessary.

I suggest asking your DP to look into the research behind the safety of homebirth and also the risks of medical interventions and then see how he feels. I think, as well, that it's important you agree but that you're wishes should carry more weight than his.

spidermama Fri 22-Jul-05 19:19:38

I agree with dyssidi that you need to come to an agreement with your partner. My dh and I couldn;t agree about aspects of the birth of our 3rd baby and it caused a serious rift which took a couple of years to repair!!! Keep talking and talking to dp until you can work something out you're both happy with.

That said I think you, as the birth giver, should be have more say. You just need to find out what his fears are.

It seems to me he's afraid of something going wrong. Would his fears be eased if he were to chat to a homebirth midwife?

We had independent MW's. They are very expensive I know and believe me we're NOT well off, but I they were brilliant. Especially for my dh.

I have loads more to write on this but must go cos baby's crying.

Heathcliffscathy Fri 22-Jul-05 19:41:48

homebirth is at least as safe if not safer than hospital birth (the stats will be skewed by the fact that high risk pregnancies generally do not plan for home births tho.

i agree that if dh had a chat with a home birth midwife that really knew her stuff he might feel better.

Also there is absolutely nothing stopping you from going to hospital (which is where any homebirth midwife would take you if she thought you needed to be there) if you feel that you need to be. you can start at home and end up in hospital if needs be. the other way round doesn't really work so well

hope you manage to resolve this. I agree that there are two of you having this baby, but only you are giving birth to it, and you need to feel that you're in the place you feel most comfortable with.

tortoiseshell Fri 22-Jul-05 19:51:01

I had a homebirth with my second and it was lovely. Statistically there is no additional risk in having the baby at home, especially with a straightforward history. One thing you might consider is how long it would take you to transfer to hospital.

If you only had a 4 hour labour with the first one, you might find you have no option ayway!

Poshpaws Fri 22-Jul-05 20:02:11

Sweetkitty, I thought that to have a homebirth you needed to live close to the hospital(ten minutes away by ambulance)? If you meet this criterium (?) then it should be ok.

I had a homebirth (through choice) in May (2nd baby) after a highly medicalised 1st birth (again, through choice), and personally, I know which one I preferred. Already told DH that if we have any more babies, they would be born at home. Luckily, my family live about 15 mins away from me, so they took DS1 when I was in labour.

DH was very supportive from the start. My mum was a little worried. but it went very smoothly and I felt totally in control. I would say go for it, if you can.

RedZuleika Fri 22-Jul-05 20:20:32

There's no criterion on distance from the hospital for a home birth. It would be discriminatory - and since they keep shutting local maternity units and centralising facilities at large hospitals, it would imply a conscious policy to eradicate home birth. In fact, on the contrary, if you look at the AIMS site, I believe there's something about how the Secretary of State for Health requests information from people having difficulty obtaining home births (of course, there's a great difference between the government talking the talk and actually walking the walk on this one...)

Heathcliffscathy Fri 22-Jul-05 20:22:52

agreed RZ

sweetkitty Fri 22-Jul-05 20:27:02

Thanks for all your comments, I have tried to say to DP (especially after reading how long was your 2nd labour thread) that a planned homebirth might be better than an unplanned one. I also said I'll need to get you a book on Idiots Guide to Delivering a Baby see if that would shock him a bit. I'll let it lie until we have moved house (if we ever do) then try and find a supportive midwife.

tortoiseshell Fri 22-Jul-05 20:27:24

Don't think there is an 'allowed distance' but it might be something to consider when making the decision.

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