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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Why would you choose a Home Birth?

During pregnancy with Daisy I planned a home birth, for various reasons.  I say planned because as you'll know labour and pregnancy itself doesn't really like to follow a plan and anything could change, but the hope and dream was to have my baby in the comfort and familiar surroundings of my own home and creature comforts.

What made me consider it?!

A friend of mine had planned to have a home birth just before I had and well it inspired me when she was talking about it and so I looked into it more and more. Sadly it didn't quite pan out that way due to her baby being too excited to meet her and coming early (you have to be minimum 37 weeks for babies health risks) and well I guess this maybe planted a seed with me. But subconsciously maybe as it wasn't until I was quite late on in my third trimester that I decided it may be for me after all.

I think it all stemmed from when we started to have such regular trips to the hospital to see the obstetrician and it hit me how nervous and clammy hospitals make me, this isn't a new fear and it's nothing new for me, I'm a regular fainter when it comes to hospital visits! I've no idea why... It also then made me realise I wasn't the only one who hated the environment, Ben isn't comfortable there either- I guess no one is really?

With the visits to the hospital and the upset we had encountered it made me realise I wanted to be in a comfortable place that I felt safe and content, not only for the labour but for after delivery in those precious first few hours and days. I got it into my head that I didn't want nurses, midwives and other mummy's etc in and out of my space, I wanted the time to just absorb our baby with Ben and adjust to the reality of her arriving! Lock ourselves away I guess and enjoy those first hours as a little family alone.

I should say that although we had regular appointments with the hospital the pregnancy was a healthy, non complicated one and baby was showing no signs of being unhealthy in the slightest. If any of that was a doubt then they wouldn't have agreed for it to be planned at home and I wouldn't have wanted it to either, my baby's health is always going to be my priority.

Other reasons for me were that there are statistics out there that show that women who labour at home tend to have less intervention as they don't have the stresses of the environment which can have an affect in labouring such as slowing it down. Another big reason for me was that I want to attempt to have a water birth, our hospital has just one pool and if it's in use at the time then tough!!! So the likeliness maybe of me having that birth wasn't necessarily in my favour where as at home I could hop in and out as I pleased.

Once you make the 37 weeks mark then you are safe to go ahead and try for a home birth and then the midwives came out to look at the house and chat through the process. It's exactly as I expected, they told you any reasons that I may need to be transferred to hospital before, during or after labour, they have to prepare you. Examples could be:

- labour is not progressing and you need a hand
- baby is showing signs of distress
- You feel you need more pain relief such as an epidural (you can have gas and air and pethidine at home)
- your waters go but within 24 hours no contractions have started

There are some serious reasons and some not so risky but either way you have to be open to the thought that you may well end up in hospital anyway. I of course had my bags packed just in case, I couldn't trust anyone else to pack it for me in a rush!!!! And well I expected I wouldn't be operating fully to be able to do it myself either!

So when the midwives came out they brought their kit with them, a big yellow medical waste bin filled with lots of medical bits that they may need such as towels, gloves, catheters, sick bowls, you know all the really exciting, glamorous things!!!Things that make you feel super calm... Or not! I also had the birthing pool ready to go.

I am really lucky that those that matter to us supported our decision for a home birth, not everyone would like it and not every one agrees in general but it has to be your own decision. It definitely helps though when your family understand why you want to and are actually excited for you to give it a go! It was planned that it would be Ben and my mum with me on the day and both showed no signs of panic or distress at the idea, they knew we would be in safe hands of the midwives and only a short ride from the hospital should we have needed it.

Sadly if you have read my birth story with Daisy then you will know it didn't quite go to plan and my labour didn't progress without intervention and so after a day of trying on my own I had to be transferred to the hospital, but I gave it a good go. It turns out my delivery wasn't the smoothest either but that no doubt was from the long and exhausting labour that lead up to it. This wouldn't have put me off another attempted home birth this time around, but sadly the maternity care in our area has changed since I had Daisy and the hospital is a much longer drive away from home for consultant care, and so I just don't feel comfortable in planning it. So I am opting for a birth in the Midwife Led unit instead. But I would 100% have loved to have had one of my babies at home!

Lots of love,
Hayley x

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