Did I have a homebirth because statistically they are better for mum and baby and less likely to have any medical/surgical intervention??
Actually, no. I wanted my first homebirth because I wanted my creature comforts. I wanted to chill out in my own bed, with my husband and baby, and not cry that first night when they send him home and leave me in a cold noisy ward. I wanted my partner to be there ALL the way through and for him to be the one to hold baby for me while I take a wee, and not leave them in a crib by the side of the bed.
I had my 1st homebirth 10 years ago. Things have changed quite a bit since then too. 10 years ago it was your community midwife that came out to you, regardless of what shift she was on, or if she had only just gone to bed. She would call another of her colleagues and they would come too. I remember phoning my Midwife at 11.30 ish after a wild day nesting like a woman possessed. My Contractions were mild to start with, but soon made me quite sicky. I phoned my Mum, Carls Mum & Dad, and my sister too. It was a busy house that night when they came over. The contractions started to get uncomfortable so I went upstairs to settle into giving birth.
It was my 2nd labour so settled in for the long haul. Puffing on my gas and air, I am starting to get closer and closer. I was never nervous about it. It felt right, and perfect. Baby wasn’t budging down though, no matter how hard I tried to push. At one point my little canister of gas and air had run out, and they were struggling to get the pipes to swap over. Longest 2 minutes of my life so far then.
The waters wouldn’t pop on their own either so my midwife suggested that they pop the sac for me, which I agreed to. Oh My GOD the contractions kick in good after that. Steven was born at 7.30 that morning, his big brother was his first visitor, it was lovely to hear Carl tell all the family that were waiting downstairs that we had a new family member.
The midwives stay for 2 hours after he was born, and then nipped back later in the day just to check on us. Back then the GP came out too to give you a check over as well.
My 2nd homebirth was a little different. Same house. 4th baby. I nipped for a wee around 5am on a Tuesday morning, and had a little show. Nothing much but enough to give me a flutter of excitement. I poked Carl, just to let him know, and to tell him the boys name we had picked I didnt actually like anymore and we need to think of another one.
Soon after I started to get niggles.
The niggled soon turned into contractions. By 6 I was on the phone to the labour ward asking them to send the Homebirth team out to me. The team was actually out with another lady at the time and they should have told me to come in, but she could tell by my voice that baby wasnt too far away. She said she would ask a couple of the midwives that were finishing their shifts if they could pop across too me. I hadnt heard anything by 6.45 so I tried to phone again. A lot more huffy and puffy now. “yes they are on their way”
I had some Meptid that I had on prescription from the doctor for my pain relief, so managed to hang on huffing and puffing until the midwife arrived. Which she did a little after 7. I asked about the meptid and she had to tell me no, their needed to be 2 midwives present in order for me to have the meptid. So again I huff and I puff, waiting for the 2nd midwife to come. The time is now around 7.30, the 2nd midwife turns up and I ask again about the meptid. They chatted but both agreed that we were nearly there now and may as well manage with just gas & air which she will get from the car now.
At 8 I ask “Where is the gas & air” whilst gasping through contractions.
“Erm… Sorry but we forgot the tubes”
As you can imagine, my world just crumbled. I just crumbled. I had been holding on and holding on so I could have some pain relief. I cried into my settee “This is my 4th baby, I have nothing to prove”
After a good cry though, I clicked and saw a spark of logic… One way to stop this pain… PUSH BABY OUT!!! 8.20, Tara was born.
My 3rd homebirth. Now I was a teeny bit afraid with this one. I asked all they way through Make sure I have tubes, make sure I have gas & air, dont let me down, pack spares. It was a Sunday morning. Before any of the little ones woke up. Just a few niggles but then quickly. BANG in labour. Oddly I cant remember as much detail about this birth. Probably due to the fact I had double the supply of gas & air to make up for the last one. I do remember the little ones waking up and Carl getting them ready to send to his Mums house (only next door). Again baby wouldnt move down and my waters would just bulge but not POP. So I asked them to pop them this time for me. Just as they had with Stevie, the contractions BURST into life, and Theodore was born shortly after.
My 4th homebirth was a little more lighthearted. I am a big social networker. I facebook and tweet etc.. My facebook friends would joke that I would end up giving them a blow by blow account of my labour through my updates. So thats exactly what I did. The kids had just gone off to school, it was a thursday morning, and as I was pottering about I started to get the niggles. So I updated my status… That got my phone pinging with frantic urgency. From 8.30 until 12, I battled through the contractions joking and laughing while updating my status. I got to 7 cms before my gas & air came. I even tried to update my status on my phone while high on the gas & air, not something I recommend you try… well OK but only for a laugh. My own community midwife and her student delivered Carl Jr at 1.30 with 300 ladies present, all waiting to see his first picture.
So, why do I like homebirths?? Is because they are easy. They are relaxed, they are chilled out. They are the way we should have our babies.. if we can.