Why I decided against a home birth

I want to start by saying I LOVE the idea of a home birth and adore hearing people’s experiences of giving birth at home, so please don’t read this as anti home birth, these are just the reasons it wouldn’t have worked for me.

I had never considered a home birth until a saw a friend talking about it being what she wanted when she was pregnant and later what a wonderful experience it was. It piqued my curiosity and sure enough several of my friends had done it or planned to. I joined a group on Facebook (as you do) and started seriously considering it myself. In the end, for a couple of reasons, I opted for a birth on the midwife led unit at my local hospital.

So, why didn’t it happen?

I mentioned it to a few people, close friends and family and they were all terrified. No matter how much I explained why it was just as safe as the hospital and that it would be okay there was always fear. My husband witnessed my previous traumatic birth and still struggles with it himself and my mum had to have an emergency cesarean with my brother. These were to two people I needed on board, wholeheartedly, or it wouldn’t have worked.

I don’t want to hear how it’s my body, my birth and my choice – I know that, just ask the midwives who were around for my birth. If I had gone ahead with a plan for a home birth they both would have stood by me but not with the confidence and conviction I would have needed from them. I didn’t have my heart set on it and I certainly can’t hold it against anyone, it just wouldn’t have been right and it was 100% my choice. A home birth is supposed to be in a relaxed environment with no fear or negative energy and as supportive as they would have been if I told them that’s what I was doing I have a feeling they would have been poised to call an ambulance the entire time.

Of course, there is also the small matter of my house not being at all “birth ready”. I’ll be the first to admit that it is a total mess, particularly towards the end of pregnancy when I could hardly move without pain and a four year old with a massive aversion to tidying. Not to mention the fact that I wanted a water birth and had nowhere big enough for a birthing pool. I really didn’t fancy giving birth in the chaos.

I stuck around in the Facebook group I joined. It was a hugely helpful resource for learning my rights as a pregnant woman and helping me decide how I wanted my birth to be. I’m not sure exactly how confidently I could have delivered a 9lb 8oz baby at almost 42 weeks with no intervention without them.

I would encourage every pregnant woman looking for an empowering birth to at least look into home birth, even if you decide it isn’t for you. The things I learnt along the way shaped my attitude which got me the positive birth experience I craved.

Have you had a home birth? How was your experience?

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Mummykind’s September Top 5

Sorry this is so late! It’s been a busy month for all of us and we’re all a combination of exhausted, delirious and happy at the same time!

So here it is… our Top 5 from September:

Top 5 Blog Posts

Top 5 Instagram Posts

Top 5 Things we did

  1. Charlie had her baby boy! Welcome to the world Baby Leon. Mummy and Baby are doing very well.
  2. Imogen not only became a big sister but also had her birthday this month! Lots of celebrations for Charlie and family.
  3. Amy had her tonsillectomy, and unfortunately managed to get an infection! She’s feeling much better now. Speaking of infections, Harriet and Paige also suffered a bit this month! They both had 2 kidney infections but are on the mend.
  4. Maria’s little boy started Reception in school (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!) He has settled in really well and his favourite lesson is Maths.
  5. Maria’s baby girl has been diagnosed with CMPA like her big brother. Maria has had to change her diet to carry on breastfeeding but it’s going well and the little one is so happy she did her first smiles!

Top 5 Photos this month

Maria’s little man in his awesome school uniform!
Sarah went on a trip to Hull to visit her grandparents with Olivia – here they are all smiling and happy at Yorkshire Wildlife Park!
Olivia and her friends at playgroup doing each other’s hair
Maria’s smiley baby girl!
Charlie and her new bundle of joy! Photo taken by new big sister, Immy!

Top 5 Other Blogposts we LOVED

  1. Rainbows Are Too Beautiful – How Autism is Like a Courtesy Car
  2. Morgan’s Milieu – How to Play with Your Kids When You Don’t Like to Play
  3. This Glorious Life – Screen-Free Ideas to Keep the Kids Happy and Entertained
  4. The Desperate Housewife – Why I am the Mum who Wears Make-Up Every Day
  5. Confessions of an Irish Mammy – The 10 Stages of a Hangover with Kids

Newborn vs Toddler (The Unadulterated Truth)

Remember that moment, when you had a little baby you loved to pieces?
IT WILL ALL CHANGE!
Well, not the love, that’s kind of unconditional, but the little baby will certainly change… Here’s what you need to know about the difference between a newborn baby and a toddler.

The Newborn (aka the CryBaby)

Benefits:

  1. At first, they sleep for like 14 hours a day. It’s bliss.
  2. You can do things you want to do – housework, sleep, eat, sleep, you get my drift…
  3. You can go to the toilet without a small person attached to you (unless you’re breastfeeding – I have indeed breastfed my baby whilst having a pee).
  4. BOUNCY CHAIRS – NEED I SAY MORE?
  5. Milk solves everything.
  6. Everyone still wants to help out and hold the cute little baby.

Drawbacks:

  1. They’re very boring and are terrible company. You’ll be chatting away and nobody is chatting back.
  2. You’ll try not to, and you’ll hate yourself for breaking, but YOU WILL USE BABY TALK. ALL THE TIME.
  3. They do really bad shits. Seriously bad. First it’s all sticky tar, then it looks like chicken korma. It’s just really unpleasant.
  4. They are so dependent on you for everything!!!!!!!! They cry, and you have to answer. What’s that all about? I’m an independent woman, my daughter should be too.
  5. THEY CRY ALL THE TIME AND YOU HAVE TO GUESS WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS GOING ON IN THEIR TINY BABY BRAIN TO MAKE THEM WAIL LIKE A BANSHEE AT 2AM.

The Toddler (aka the Terrorist)

Benefits:

  1. They have their own little personality.
  2. They can walk and talk and ask for things, making your job of having to guess what the baby wanted so much easier.
  3. You can have fun with them.
  4. They can play independently.
  5. They can go to the toilet by themselves. No more poo for you, mama!

Drawbacks:

  1. Sometimes, their personality is that they’re a little shit.
  2. Even though they can ask for things, they won’t, they’ll whine at you instead.
  3. They can play independently, usually at risk of criminal damage to your walls, doors, and anything else which can be drawn on.
  4. They can go to the toilet themselves, but they’d much rather piss their pants and let you clear it up.
  5. They’ll always say dad is the favourite. Fucking traitors.
So, which is my favourite?
I’ll leave that one for you to work out!
Are there any missing from the list???

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Leah’s Birth Story and One Week PostPartum Update!

From broken waters to one week postpartum – Leah shares her birth story


25th September!

[3am]
I woke up and rushed to the loo thinking I’d pee’d myself (something I hadn’t done throughout the entire pregnancy)
There was a small trickle but it didn’t smell like urine our have the normal yellow tinge – it was clear and in all honesty smelt like a mix of bleach and semen. I put on a pad just in case it happened again and headed back to bed. 
[4am]
Low and behold a slightly bigger gush in the exact same scent and colour so I changed the pad again and decided to wake Ben for advice – he said to put on a pad and call triage if I got any contractions (worse than the ones I’d been getting since the 9th) or got a bigger gush. Disclaimer; I didn’t call triage due to us having an appointment at 9am at the hospital anyway. 
[5, 630 and 730am]
Repeated the pad change with a little less fluid than at the 4am change. 
[8am]
Left home for the growth scan with contractions slowly getting more intense, and with Ben starting to believe it might actually be happening. 
[845am]
Arrived at the hospital with contractions getting considerably worse and leakage now happening on almost every step/movement. 
[9am]
We got called into the growth scan, I explained my morning and leaked big style as I laid down on the table. The sonographer examined me and verified I had in fact been losing waters and had very little left but also that little Spawn was measuring small so induction was going to be booked. We was then sent to wait for a midwife to do a cervical exam to check if I was dilated and to get a second opinion on the leakage. 
[920am]
Called into exam room and given a once over; not a comfortable experience by the way.
Midwife verified that it was my waters but that my cervix wasn’t dilated and told that he has 24 hours from when my waters initially broke to make his appearance otherwise he’d be getting a forced eviction (induction). Admitted on antenatal within a couple minutes and made comfy.
This then starts the most boring few hours of my life bar the medium pain contractions I continued to suffer through. 
[11pm]
Contractions started getting stronger and closer together – a painkiller stronger than paracetamol requested (but not given until 230am)

26th September!

[230am]
Given oramorph finally and Ben arrived at hospital ready for me being moved to Labour ward for induction, but not allowed into antenatal; decided to go sleep in the car until allowed in. 
[5am]
Still hadn’t been moved despite being promised to be moved by 4am. Ben still sleeping in car and contractions still very intense. 
[7am]
Ben allowed up into antenatal due to them not sticking to the promise, despite the visiting time rules. 
[11am]
Finally moved to Labour ward as contractions to the point of crying/struggling to breathe even though a super grumpy midwife was adamant I wasn’t in enough pain and wasn’t meant to go across for induction. Contractions actually floored me before and during walk to ward. Given gas and air.

[1134am]
Given pethidine due to contractions being so intense and barely felt needle due to being so high on g+a. Ben given strict instructions to not make jokes during Labour and also had to assist me walking to the toilet due to being so high – thought I needed to pee but was in fact waters leaking a lot. 
[12pm]
Officially in established Labour – 2cm dilated. 
[230pm]
Second stage of Labour started. Struggled to remember breathing techniques; kept breathing in deep but on outward breathe kept pushing into coccyx. Persistently moaned that I wanted a C-Section and did not let up. Felt very strong urge to push but told not to. Checked cervix shortly after and told I was 8cm dilated hence urge being so intense. Given °2 episiotomy.
(Crowning picture taken. Such a gross but beautiful photo!)
[304pm]
Little Sith Lord Spawn arrived and instantly pee’d on me.
My first words ever spoken to my son was “Aww he’s such a pretty potato”
Felt an overwhelming love seeing Ben holding Anthony; refused to hold him myself due to being too high and not wanting to drop him. 
[310pm]
Given pitocin to help deliver placenta – taken 6 minutes. Episiotomy stitched up whilst on gas and air and made Ben talk to me to distract me from the needle pain. Gas and air taken away – slowly came back to earth. Wanted to get up and dressed but told to relax for a little while so adrenaline can come back down. 
[630pm]
Given first feed via hand expressing and spoon. 
[8pm]
Moved to postnatal ward, given a couple sandwiches and made room homely with blanket and pillow. 
*36 hours Labour // 3 hours 4 mins active Labour*

 
💙 ONE WEEK POST PARTUM UPDATE 💙

 Day One 

Now 90% of day one is in my birth story so this one will be brief but there is a few small things to be mentioned.

First of all being how incredible my husband is with supporting me through the gas and air come down, and then through the fear of holding our newborn son; without Ben by my side I doubt I would’ve got through the first night admittedly purely because of how nerve wrecking everything was so thank you Ben for being my saviour and keeping me mentally straight.

Secondly, pooping! I was told this was going to be agony due to having stitches but actually it was the complete opposite and I had very minimal pain from my stitches, although I did have pain in the form of ring sting from the pre-labour clear out which lasted a good couple days.

Another symptom that doesn’t get spoken about regularly is cold sweats during both day and night – this can be quite a stressful experience and a little worrying but it’s completely normal and the easiest way to combat it is with a mass amount of hydration and thin blankets. 

 Day Two 

This day started off awful as little man wasn’t holding his temperature and had to be put in an incubator with minimal handling (only allowed to be held during feeds and changes) – this was extremely deflating and made me feel a little lacking a mother in the inability to grow my child properly.

I hand expressed 15mls which was amazing for only being on the second day but then I tried skin to skin to get him to latch but his mouth/suck was too small and he strug
gled so I ended up giving in and feeding him via spoon which took him almost an hour – very disheartening to not be able to breastfeed when it’s all I ever wanted to do through pregnancy as the feeding option.


The upside of this day however was that little man decided to open his eyes briefly and we got to see his very shiny fresh eyes which made the day that little bit more bearable. 

 Day Three 

Little man was moved from spoon feeding to teets as his feeds got increased – I managed to keep up with both hand expressing and pumping but still very flattened by the lack of breastfeeding.
Emotions started to dip so broke the rules of Ben not being allowed on the bed and had cuddles – I cried, a lot! and thanked him for giving me this life with all our babies. The hormone dip was awful and with me being so stubborn on crying I felt very out of control – cried multiple time and even had to hug two midwives due to getting emotional. THIS DOES NOT LAST; DO NOT FEEL WEAK FOR TEMPORARY HORMONES. 

 Day Four 

We had a minor achievement in the form of little man latching but only for about three seconds; made me feel incredibly happy to know it could be a possibility but again gave a dip as I felt unable to do what was ‘expected’ for a mother. That being said, not being able to breastfeed doesn’t make you less of a mother or a failure in anyway and as long as you are feeding your child then you are doing a perfectly fine job! Don’t give up because you may end up successful like I did on day six.

In the afternoon we were allowed home and it was honestly one of the most terrifying experience I’d had in a while as I knew I wouldn’t have the midwives or doctors to help if things went wrong but with the help of Ben I managed to just about hold it together to enjoy it for a few minutes.

In the hospital before we left I was told to follow the rule of feeding 30mls every three hours which in turn made the first night incredibly difficult along with us not playing music and having the light off. I was waking every three hours on the dot and trying to feed regardless of whether he wanted to or not which made me sleep deprived, stressed and very emotional (along with the baby blues starting to take effect very strongly). The rule should be; sleep when they sleep and feed them when they cry – don’t force yourself to follow any strict rules as you will just end up stressing yourself out more than you should, which will in turn stress out the baby (and potentially your partner too).
 Day Five 

This was hands down the hardest day of my mothering journey yet, and maybe my life due to the downward plummet my hormones took – it was incredibly steep and I felt broken in every possible way mentally. Thankfully a midwife popped over to drop off a electric breast pump for me to use as I was engorged to crying point and the pump we had wasn’t working; we talked through my emotions of the night/morning and was told it was completely normal having just had little one but to keep an eye incase it doesn’t ease (which can be a sign of PND – YOU ARE NOT WEAK OR LESS WORTHY OF BEING A MOTHER IF YOU HAVE THIS!)

After a few hours of calming down my wonderful neighbour, Jessica, came over to give me some human contact that wasn’t my husband or son and let me rant/rave at her about the struggles of becoming a mother… It helped more than anyone will ever realise. Don’t hold those feelings in and feel like your wrong for having them – talking always helps in one way or another. 

Oh and baby blues are incredibly fucking rough, or at least they are for me but as I said talking helps! Wishing you was back in hospital or that split second thought where you wish you hadn’t got caught pregnant does NOT make you a bad mother. It’s the hormones – you still love your child and don’t really think those things.

Baby blues does NOT last and crying does NOT make you weak. Walking away from your child for a moment and asking for help doesn’t make you weak either.

Basically nothing we did the night before would settle him – not food, cuddles with either of us or his dummy and I started wishing I was back in the hospital becaus
e atleast they knew what they was doing and could help, and due to the way I was feeling I got scared to be alone with him and was scared to go outside in case he did it again (incase someone judged or I broke in public).


The upside? He started to open his eyes alot more and kept them open which gave me strength in making me believe I knew what I was doing ever so slightly. 


 Day Six 

If you are not breastfeeding or using formula exclusively then pumping is essential to not getting mastitis, which might not sound like a painful thing but it can ruin your week! Thankfully I only got a few lumps and a couple red patches before running to the pump and feeling receive beyond belief. 
Seems stupid to mention but don’t use your dominant side constantly as you WILL get muscle pains that you didn’t realise you could get. 

The rule sleep when the baby sleeps is so essential as is so easy to get over tired which will make the hormone dip feel so much harder. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your partner, family or even friends – they will not turn down baby cuddles!

The best thing that happened this day? Something that helped pull me up out of my hormone dip – Our little man latched!! He took to the boob as if he knew exactly what he was doing and was extremely happy with himself. 

 Day Seven 

Breastfeeding, when done properly, feels so damn amazing! Your milk leaving your body feels something beautiful and knowing it’s going to growing your tiny human is so rewarding. Although that being said the hunger you get from breastfeeding/pumping is horrendous – eating a meal and then instantly making another becomes a little tedious. Starving is definitely a something that felt possible despite eating so much. Protein is your friend and vital in making you feel human again – Stock up!
I didn’t start getting postpartum contractions until I started breastfeeding exclusively but holy fuck! They were comparable to my Endometriosis pains and almost made me go back to bottle feeding. They, much like almost every other bad thing in pregnancy/postpartum, taper off and stop. They also help your body bounce back to prepregnancy function.

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Sarah’s Birth Story – How We Met

Dear Olivia,

It’s 4:30am on a Saturday and I’ve just woken up with pains in my abdomen. I had been having false labour contractions for about three weeks prior to that (you were exactly a week late) so I wasn’t too quick to wake up daddy and tell him that I thought it was for real this time. Instead I went downstairs, used the toilet, bounced on my birthing ball and put on the nightie that I wanted to go to the hospital in.

I was timing the contractions and seemed to be having them about every 7 minutes, and they weren’t too painful at that point.

At about 5:30am I ran a bath. In the run up to having you I was adamant that I desperately wanted a water birth, and thought that the warm water would soothe the pain from the contractions. I got in the bath for all of about 5 minutes before deciding that it was actually irritating me and I didn’t want to be in water at all!

It’s now 6am, contractions are speeding up a bit, once every 5 or 6 minutes and getting a bit more painful. I decided to go and wake Daddy up. Now Daddy is not a morning person, as you will learn, and we had a late night staying up and watching films with Kiera, so I had about 3 hours sleep and Daddy had about 5. Needless to say Daddy was a bit grumpy at first, but he got up quickly, made me a cup of tea and looked after me while I rang the midwife. He also put on the music channel, and for some unknown reason I was listening to Cotton-Eyed Joe and bouncing on my birthing ball at 6 in the morning.

At about 6:30am I started being sick and there was a bit of blood in it too, so Daddy rang the midwife again and they told us to come in as they weren’t that busy anyway. So Daddy went and woke Kiera up and got her dressed. We got into the car and Kiera was crying, you see, we’d booked tickets to watch the new Alice in Wonderland and she was upset that she couldn’t go! You were so inconvenient.

We dropped Kiera off at her mummy’s and by about 8am we made it to the hospital. Between about 8:30 and 9am the midwife came in and asked if I wanted to use the birthing pool, to which I responded with my bath story, and then checked me over and told me I was 3cm dilated, and then my waters broke all over her hand and the bed and everything! Oh great! We thought we would be in for a long while yet.

I got hooked up to the tens machine and Daddy was rubbing my back (though the wrong end, the blithering idiot) and all of a sudden it was too much and too painful and the midwife came in to tell me that as I had a long way to go I should get transferred upstairs to the labour ward for an epidural, and I gave in and agreed to have a bloody huge needle in my spine.

But here comes the twist…

The times become less accurate here because of gas and air (bloody good stuff btw) but roughly an hour later I had another examination upstairs and I was 8cm dilated!!!! Oh, and the anaesthetist was dealing with an emergency c section so no epidural for me! You were coming too quickly and about an hour later again I was being told to push.

Uh oh, there’s another twist…

You got stuck!

I was pushing for about an hour and a half, my legs flatteringly up in stirrups and about 6 people at the end of the bed, Daddy next to me with a straw and a cup of water and the room being like the tropics to everyone else as I shouted at a health worker not to turn the air con on!

I convinced the doctor that I needed help, and so more people came in wielding forceps before they changed their minds and used a kiwi cup instead. They asked Daddy if he wanted to watch but he said no as he knew I didn’t want him to see all the gross stuff. Then with 2 or 3 pushes you were out, and up on my tummy. I said “oh my god” and Daddy laughed. Then he cut the cord and you were moved further up my chest so we could have skin to skin.

It was perfect for a few seconds until I started being sick again and had to have someone put you in the crib as I was shaking so much from the adrenaline and the gas and air comedown!

Once the atmosphere had settled I cried, more out of guilt of having someone move you as I couldn’t hold you straight away after you came out, and I asked Daddy and the midwife if you were okay. You were fine, sleeping peacefully as if nothing had even happened.

I asked if I was just being a blind mother or if you really were that beautiful. And you are. You’re more beautiful than anyone on the planet and I love you so much.

So there you have it, that is how you arrived at 13:06 on your birthday weighing 3.9kg/8lbs 9.5oz.

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