In old movies you would always hear someone shout ‘get hot water and towels’ when a person was in labour, it has been debated as to what the hot water and towels were actually for! Perhaps to occupy the least useful person and get them out of the way, or maybe towels to mop up and hot (boiling) water to sterilise things.
Interestingly things really haven’t changed that much and in a recent poll asking local home birthing families what items they would recommend for a home birth, both old towels and a birthing pool made it to the top of the list! (See below for the full list).
My first born, my son was born in hospital with no problems 41+1, 6/4/14. I had chosen a hospital birth because of my previous history of pelvic fracture but I always really deep down wanted to have him at home; but I risk managed the situation and was happy with my decision in the end. I used hypnobirthing and was completely calm. It was special I will never forget it. No drugs apart from good old natural oxytocin.
With my second born, my daughter, born 8/7/17 I was going down the route of hospital birth in the MLU as it was a good experience and I hadn’t really been asked anything about my birth plans. I had chatted about my thoughts on the hypnobirthing refresher course with the lovely Sandra. She got me thinking about my deep down thoughts about homebirth. With a new seed sown I spent weeks pondering before mentioning it to the midwife. For reasons I won’t go into I ended up discussing it with the manager of community midwifery who offered a visit from a very ‘’homebirth friendly midwife’’. Well that was it, the fabulous Midwife gave me that final confidence to go with my gut feeling.
When my wife mentioned home birth to me my first reaction was ‘no way’. I have a son with a previous partner; his birth was a scary experience. Epidural, Episiotomy, Forceps, not crying when he was born, taken away without explanation. And then my ex-partner got an infection and was in hospital for weeks. So what if that happened this time to my wife? However, when I really thought about it; talked to the midwifes who were an excellent team, it was a good idea. It would make it a better experience for me, i would be in my own home where I can relax.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, Nancy almost 5 years ago, my midwife told me I’d be a perfect candidate for a home birth. I was intrigued, I’d never heard of anyone have a home birth! My husband completely dismissed the idea, with it being our first baby we didn’t know what to expect with labour. I knew I wanted a natural birth if possible, but was open to the possibility of pain relief.
When the time came, I took one contraction at a time and managed to remain in control. I stayed at home for as long as possible, chilling out in the bath and eating toast. I enjoyed being in my own environment; just me and my husband. I was only at the hospital for 90 mins before our beautiful baby girl entered the world, with only the use of gas and air.
Fast forward 2 years when I fell pregnant with my little boy. I knew I wanted my home birth this time! I bought myself a book about home birth and educated myself and my husband. It wasn’t long before he was completely on board, too.
At my first midwife appointment the first question I was asked was where would you like to give birth… it threw me. There were options? My response was ‘well its my first baby so hospital’.
I didn’t think much more of it but as my pregnancy went on I started to research home birth, and it sounded like a good option. I really dislike hospitals & avoid medical intervention where possible. I was determined that i would have a natural birth and thought it would be more achieveable at home. Of course no one else seemed to agree! My husband was concerned for my saftey & my Mum even more so. Luckily as we attended midwife appointments my husband started to see the benefits & we made the decision to go for it.
I’m not going to lie here, I did worry, course I did. Baby was back to back which added to my worry. But the minute I went into labor & the midwife arrived at our house all worry went out the window – they made me feel safe.