“A HOME BIRTH!?” Most people cried once I’d told them my plans. Not surprising really since only 1.4% of births in my hometown of Warrington are home deliveries.
Another gem somebody said to me was: “Trust you to be different!” No, trust me to do my own research and decide for myself.
I’ve worked with mothers, babies and children all my adult life so I felt fairly prepared to deal with having an actual baby to care for. I hadn’t ever had my own baby though so I threw myself into researching everything I could. I weighed up the rates of different interventions between the three places you could deliver (home, midwife led unit and consultant led unit), the rates of mothers using pain relief and the risk of complications in each scenario.
I satisfied myself that the things were important to me were best suited to delivering at home. I wanted as natural birth as possible, I wanted to be able to move around whenever I wanted, I wanted to be free to eat and drink what and whenever I liked and the most important ones- I wanted to have a water birth and the one pool in the hospital was broken. I thought it would be nice to be able to get into my own shower and big comfy bed afterward.
My midwife was very supportive, she explained that in some circumstances the midwife on duty may recommend that we transfer to hospital, I was able to request to transfer whenever I wanted to and I was able to use Entinox at home.
Then cue me, 11 days overdue! Warrington hospital have a deadline for home births- being 40+12 overdue. I know now that this is just a guide, though it wasn’t presented that way at the time and I was beginning to panic!
I needn’t have worried, labour started of its own accord and 36 hours from first twinge to delivery; I was lucky that everything went as I’d hoped for. A home water birth (in the kitchen!), me and baby well, daddy cutting the cord.
It was great to be in my own home with everything as I’m used to it, I can’t tell you how nice it is to lie down on your own sofa eating beans on toast after all that hard work!
My second birth was much faster and there was no time for the pool, even the midwife didn’t make it on time and baby number two was delivered by daddy. He still brags that he’s almost a midwife! We had no complications and didn’t need to transfer in at all so baby number one who slept through the entire thing was able to meet his baby brother first thing in the morning and that just wouldn’t have happened in a hospital.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.
Suzy is a mum of two and BabyNatal teacher for Warrington.
Find out more about Suzy on our main website here.