Preparing for a home birth

home birth

That’s right – we have decided to go for a home birth. Obviously anything could happen and that might not be possible but it’s what we’re planning for and so I thought I would just share the how’s and why’s of choosing to home birth.

Some people just don’t get it and all they see is the mess and all the things that could go wrong (my husband has a foot in this camp). I’m trying to remain positive. After three uncomplicated births (one on a bed and two in a birthing pool), using only gas and air, I know I can push a baby out so I don’t see why this birth should be any different. Of course, all births are different and if things do go belly up I’m only 20 minutes (if you put your foot down) from a hospital.

We have hired a birth pool from a company called Mermaid at Heart and it was only £99 (this isn’t an advertisement by the way) for the pool and all the bits and bobs needed to fill and deflate the pool. As I said, Matt wasn’t keen on the whole birth thing but he seems to be coming around to it; especially now we have the pool booked. After all, I will have everything at home I had when I laboured and birthed with Elsie; a pool, gas and air and a midwife. We currently don’t have the pool but it’s due to be delivered this week as I am now 36 weeks pregnant and getting lots of signs labour is on the horizon.

water birth

Minutes after Elsie’s water birth at our local birth unit

Your midwife, and a lot of people who have had a home birth, will tell you that you shouldn’t have a home birth just to solve child care issues but there is no denying that child care was causing me major anxiety. All my babies have been born during the evening and the thought of leaving Elsie to wake up to someone unfamiliar was making me feel uneasy. No-one except Matt or I know her routine, what she likes and what she doesn’t like, what time she eats, sleeps or anything. In terms of family we only really have Matt’s dad, who isn’t a spring chicken, and Matt’s sister close by. I want to go into labour feeling relaxed about everything, not panicking about all the other kids.

Last year, when I went into labour with Elsie, we had to wait for someone to come and sit with Florence (she was in bed) before we could leave. Elsie’s labour and birth lasted just over an hour and I spent 20 minutes in hospital before delivering her. The rest of the time was spent waiting for family and travelling to the hospital. Had this been during the day I really don’t think we’d have made it in time.

Combining all these facts together has basically led me down the home birth route. I can begin labouring (or delivering if need be) at home whilst Matt is on hand to manage the kids until the reinforcements, in the shape of family and a midwife, arrive and then he can focus his attention on me and the baby. I definitely do not intend on having Matt flitting between me and the kids.

In an ideal world baby will give me some kind of sign she is on her way early evening and I can birth over night whilst the kids sleep through it all but we all know fairy tales aren’t real!

My next job is to pack a home birth box and a bag in case me and/or baby need to be transferred to hospital. It feels like there’s a lot of stuff I need to gather together but actually, there isn’t. I have dark towels for myself once I leave the birth pool, I have a number of soft, clean towels and blankets for baby, I have maternity pads, underwear, a clean night dress and nappies and clothing for baby. I also have a hot water bottle in case baby needs warming up following birth.

home birth box

The beginnings of my home birth box

I intend to set the birth pool up in our kitchen/family room as it has a hard (wipe clean) floor and is within a few paces of the downstairs toilet. I need to buy a few shower curtains to place on the sofa so the midwife can examine me post birth and also on the floor to make a gangway to the toilet. It’s not pretty after you get out the birth pool and, with Elsie, I had to make my way to the toilet at the hospital to pass the placenta as the sitting position seemed to allow it to pass through easier than kneeling in the pool. I also have a lot of those pads that soak up fluid to sit on post birth.

kitchen

This is where I plan on setting up the birth pool

The thought of being at home following birth is just amazing. Babies usually sleep pretty well after their first feed following birth so I fully intend on making the most of this time and relaxing/resting as much as possible. As lovely as our local birth unit is, it just isn’t comfy to sleep or relax in and you have to pack up and leave at some point. We were awake for around 24 hours with Elsie before getting any sleep – not ideal when you have months of sleepless nights ahead.

The more I think about it the more I wish I’d done it before as the positives seem to out weigh the negatives by a long way. Following Elsie’s birth, assuming she would be my last baby, I was annoyed we didn’t have a home birth as it was all such a rush and panic in the middle of the night.

I’d love to know if you’ve had a home birth and what your experiences were. Also, if you have any tips please do share them in the comments section below.

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13 Comments

  1. June 20, 2017 / 9:44 am

    I’m hoping for a home birth when we have another! Like you say it’s much easier with other children, and with the speed of things it just makes sense. Thankfully our hospital is literally 5 minutes away too so I know it’s not a problem if we need to go in. Good luck lovely!! Xx

    • admin
      June 22, 2017 / 12:38 pm

      I really just want to get cracking now…I’ve been out and bought some more bits today so feeling slightly more prepared. Thank you xxxx

  2. June 20, 2017 / 11:12 am

    I’ve been told if I have another baby it would have to be a c-section due to not healing well from an emergency section previously 🙁 a home birth sounds so amazing though. Getting to be straight into your own bed, rather than a hospitals, will be so nice. Hope everything goes well x

    • admin
      June 22, 2017 / 12:37 pm

      I know and having my own shower to use afterwards and not one that lots of other women have used really appeals to me lol!! I’m a bit of a germ-phobe. I’ve never had a c-section but can understand why the doctors would say that. Thank you xx

  3. June 20, 2017 / 8:35 pm

    I hope it goes well, many friends have had successful home births with amazing stories xx

    • admin
      June 22, 2017 / 12:39 pm

      Ah thank you so much – hopefully I will have my own amazing tale to tell in a few weeks 🙂

  4. June 21, 2017 / 8:18 am

    I loved my home birth it really was the best thing ever! I’d do it again tomorrow and it’s only been 6 weeks xxx

    • admin
      June 22, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      Your birth was amazing – you made it look so easy!

  5. June 21, 2017 / 11:51 am

    Awww, really hope you get your home birth! I have to say, childcare when going into labour was one of my big worries too but thankfully we managed, mostly thanks to me having really long labours! We went to our local mid wife led unit, which was so beautiful I was quite happy there, but I always loved the idea of a home birth.

    • admin
      June 22, 2017 / 12:35 pm

      I’d definitely want a midwife led birth unit birth if I weren’t planning to stay at home – we’ve only ever had great experiences of them. My first birth was in a hospital and it was pretty dreadful!

  6. June 21, 2017 / 7:40 pm

    Having a home birth is a really terrifying thought for me. Even before I’d had my first, I just kept thinking what if something goes wrong. I had two complicated births and I owe it to the hospital and the paediatricians for being there’s within seconds to help and save my daughters.

    • admin
      June 22, 2017 / 12:34 pm

      I can’t begin to understand how terrifying the whole birth experience must be if you’ve had complicated births. Thank goodness for the NHS!

  7. June 29, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    The idea of a home birth sounds lovely and I don’t know why I never considered. I hate hospitals.

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