Pregnancy // The Birth “Plan”

birth planI remember writing a fairly tongue-in-cheek birth plan in my first pregnancy; my wonderful community midwife had told me to try and get my personality across in the few paragraphs I was required to pen, so I gave it a go. I asked for pain relief involving a bottle of champagne and a straw, and as many drugs as possible… I also let the midwives know that I wasn’t hugely comfortable with nudity and apologised for my initial prudeness. I thought about writing a few lines on how I really didn’t fancy sh*tting in front of my Husband, but in the end went with something along the lines of “Nick will stay at the top end”.

I’ve always found birth plans to be rather oxymoronic; giving birth is unpredictable, and I’ve read enough birth stories and listened to enough anecdotes to grasp the fact that birth might not go exactly to plan.

I never did get my bottle of champagne with a straw, for example.

But I have been thinking about the second time I give birth. In fact, it’s rarely from my mind. Funny that, being 27 weeks pregnant and all… Isn’t it odd how one semi-looks forward to the most painful experience of ones life? How one almost encourages and wills time away? (And then spends a good six-twelve months wishing they still had a wriggling, jiggling bump to stroke and coo over…)

We should be fully moved to East Yorkshire by the time Peppercorn makes his entrance, which means I only have two options (well, unless I can somehow give birth down in Sussex, which would result in both our children having “Brighton” on their birth certificate… that thought makes me rather happy).

Anyway, I digress.

The options are: hospital birth or home birth. Alas, there are no Midwife Led Units in the area; a huge shame really, as that is a comfortable middle ground for me.

I would very much like a home birth. I like the idea of being surrounded by my own things; by books, by music, by cake. I love the idea of going upstairs after giving birth and getting into our own bed with our new little person… following a cup of tea and slice of Victoria Sponge, of course. Most of all, the idea of only having one or two midwives looking after me during labour makes me feel safe; I saw six different midwives during my labour with Busby, and it made me feel incredibly stressed as each one of them had different views on everything, from when baby would arrive to how favourable my cervix was.

I do worry about a home birth, however. My biggest fear is that if something were to go wrong we would have to travel in an ambulance, which would delay treatment and potentially cause more harm than good. But to counteract that argument, I dislike a hospital environment – it makes me feel very stressed and frustrated, which may well slow down labour and result in a distressed baby, and perhaps, consequently, an emergency c-section, which is completely the opposite of what I want from my second birthing experience.

Having a home birth would be an amazing experience. I know people who have had them and it does sound truly wonderful, so I think my mind is 90% made up now. I’ll be starting pregnancy yoga next month (once we’ve finally moved into the new house), and I’m on the look out for a positive birthing class too. In preparation for that, I’d really like to do some reading on positive birthing and would love to hear if you have any recommendations for books to read? Did you have a home birth? How was your experience?

As you can tell, I’m trying to glean as much information about birthing at home before taking the proverbial plunge and committing myself! I’m a little bit concerned about waking up the neighbours mooing…
Hannah

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Linking up to Blog Bump Club with Great North Mum and Maternity Matters with Ghostwriter Mummy. Also linking up to PoCoLo.

26 Comments

  1. 27th March 2015 / 9:10 am

    I considered a Home Birth last time but OH was vehemently opposed to it and my Midwives didn’t think it would be recommendable either.In view of the difficulties I had after her birth it was probably a good idea but I still feel sad that I didn’t get the chance. I think there’s a lot to be said for a calm, relaxing home birth with everything you need around you. Good luck with whatever you decide.

    • 27th March 2015 / 9:14 am

      Thanks Pippa 🙂 My OH is hesitant too, but I do think it would be the most relaxing environment to give birth in xxx

    • 27th March 2015 / 9:21 pm

      Hey Hannah!

      I had a fantastic home birthing experience with Jack, just a little over a year ago now (he turned one on Monday!)

      It really was a wonderful time, all of those things you say you’d look forward to happened for us.

      I purchased a birthjng pool which was fantastic! I was so relaxed and and comfortable within my home environmen that I didn’t need pain relief (still proud) it was magical!

      We had a minor blip as my placenta didn’t wish to leave me, this could have resulted in an admission but luckily didn’t as it eventually happened with a little help from medicine!

      I read the hypnobirthing book by Katharine Graves. It wasn’t completely for me, but I took from it the bits that were and it worked a treat! Couldn’t recommend it more.

      Of course, living in the East Riding you will access the same team of midwives as me – they were amazing! More amazing than I ever imagined they would be.

      Writing this makes me want to do it again!

      Lots of love and luck

      Em xxx

      • 28th March 2015 / 10:42 am

        This is amazing to read Em – thank you so much 🙂 I’ve been really worrying about changing midwives, but I’m so glad to hear that they were supportive of your homebirth 🙂 xxx

  2. 27th March 2015 / 9:16 am

    I’ve said it before, and I hate to sound like a stuck record, but honestly, Ina May Gaskin’s book was so useful. As you know it all went horribly wrong with Woody, but during labour I still mostly felt in control thanks to remembering some of her tips and also hypnobirthing. Her book is full of stories, some home birth, some hospital. I think if you can have a homebirth, you definitely should, I’m very pro-homebirthing and if it wasn’t for a VBAC with Woody, it’s what I would’ve chosen.

    *drifts off back to dreams of being a midwife one day*

    • 27th March 2015 / 9:20 am

      Hey Amy – which Ina May Gaskin book did you read? xxx

  3. 27th March 2015 / 10:14 am

    This post made me giggle. Only the intentionally funny bits, I hasten to add- I’m not some kind of monster! Fingers crossed you have a complication-free home birth, followed by bubbles and sponge cake xxx

    • 27th March 2015 / 1:39 pm

      I’m glad it made you giggle 😉 Thanks lovey xxx

  4. 27th March 2015 / 4:26 pm

    It’s great to have the options, it’s a shame to not have the midwife led unit but at least it’s a decision made for you!!
    Here there aren’t any options like that!! X

    • 28th March 2015 / 10:43 am

      Really?? Do you have to have the baby in hospital? xx

  5. Katie
    27th March 2015 / 9:29 pm

    I really hope you get the birth you want! I had a drug free midwife led unit delivery, and apart from just being v v lucky with how things progressed, I give a lot of the credit to this CD http://www.amazon.co.uk/Effective-Birth-Preparation-Hospital-Centre/dp/1905220502 So relaxing and affirming. I fell asleep the first few attempts of listening to it…! It’s labeled as being for hospital or birth centre but I think it would be useful for wherever you were planning to give birth. Good luck! Xx

    • 28th March 2015 / 10:44 am

      Wonderful! Thanks so much Katie 🙂 Sounds perfect xxx

  6. 27th March 2015 / 10:55 pm

    Such a shame there’s not a MLBU in the area as, like you say that would be a good middle ground. If there hadn’t been one near us I think I would’ve struggled to decide what to do too. I love the idea of a home birth but I know my OH would be so nervous, thus (unintentionally) would me nervous. In the end I got to fully dilated at home (birthing unit was too busy for me) and only just made it to the hospital in time to give birth. It’s made me think more about considering a homebirth with any future baby but still, there’s always that nagging feeling…

    I hope you can make a decision and get the birth you want. I have my fingers crossed for you. 🙂

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

    • 28th March 2015 / 10:45 am

      Oh wow! Lucky you made it in time! This is what worries me about another hospital birth – they’re just so busy (which isn’t their fault at all) that I worry that things might go missed and I’ll be feeling more stressed etc xxx

  7. 28th March 2015 / 12:25 pm

    I’m seriously considering a home birth too. I had Toby in the midwife led unit here and could do the same again but I just like the idea of a home birth. My whole labour with Toby was only 8 hours from the first twinge to giving birth and the midwives said next time could be even quicker. I think I’d rather plan to give birth at home and be prepared rather than have to give birth at home because there isn’t time to get to hospital. However, if my placenta doesn’t move then I won’t be getting a choice so I’ll just have to hope for the best!

  8. 28th March 2015 / 7:07 pm

    I gave birth in the hospital only because my water broke a month early given the choice I would have gone home birth. I was born at home and all of the kids I know around me was born at home as well. I actually saw my older cousin gave birth. So much support! The whole family is there panicking with her. And so many hands holding her hand (I came from a big family). The girls are allowed to witness it. Few of us stayed inside the room. And I saw her daughter came out. Everyone laugh and cry when she went out. Small little thing and then after few minutes she grew larger a bit. Oh I am not telling you to do home birth. Your post just made me remember that event =) #pocolo

  9. 28th March 2015 / 8:41 pm

    My mum had 3 homebirths and still to this day raves about how relaxed and amazing they were compared to her hospital births. I would love one but I’m not sure I would feel 100% safe when the time came – I think I’d want the drugs haha xx

  10. 28th March 2015 / 11:17 pm

    I had two brilliant home births with mine. I knew I would feel so uncomfortable in a hospital and surprisingly my husband was excited about having them at home. Here is a post I wrote about it: http://inside-outandabout.com/2013/10/02/hippie-hypno-homebirther/ I’ve wrote about my second son’s birth http://inside-outandabout.com/2014/01/15/arrived-at-last/ too. Having them at home was our est decision ever. In my own shower, laid in my own bed and eating whatever I wanted straight afterwards. It was amazing xx

  11. 29th March 2015 / 9:37 am

    I’ve had three straightforward births and was always told I’d be an ideal candidate for homebirth but especially the second and third times I was worried about unsettling or frightening the other kids. And I preferred to be in the hospital where I could focus on the task:) I never saw a doctor in any pregnancy or labour, had med free natural births and 6 hour discharges which was right for me. Good luck finding the right option for you Hannah

  12. 29th March 2015 / 6:00 pm

    Have you had a chance to have a look at which Hospital it might be? I only ask because all my children were born in our local hospital but it’s so little and friendly and lovely that it feels rather like I imagine a midwife unit would be like. If on the other hand it’s a giant monster of a place I can see why home is appealing. I think Ina May’s chief advice is to be wherever makes you feel relaxed so go for it!

  13. 29th March 2015 / 6:53 pm

    Both of my births were in hospital, though my second was a very speedy VBAC so if I have a third I will certainly plan a homebirth. I really recommend reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, it made me feel so positive about birth and I am sure it helped get me in the right frame of mind and enabled me to get a drug-free VBAC. Some other things I did to boost the positivity were Lazy Daisy birthing classes and listening to NatalHypnotherapy CDs. Good luck! xx

    Quite Frankly She Said – UK Lifestyle Blog

  14. 30th March 2015 / 6:00 am

    Good for you for wanting a home birth. I don’t think I could do that! I was lucky to have my plan go exactly as I had hoped with Grace! Hope you get all the info you need. Hope you are feeling OK. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  15. 31st March 2015 / 4:14 am

    Yeah, interesting how we look forward to the most physically painful experience of our lives! And writing a
    PLAN about that which is so UNPREDICTABLE … i suppose it’s more to help our mental state … reflecting on what we would like and helping those who help us to show their respect during a most vulnerable moment. All the very best as you finalise your plan; hope you have the home birth you want. #MaternityMatters

  16. 5th April 2015 / 7:10 pm

    Although you’re undecided at the moment I think that you’ve hot eh right attitude towards it all. Birth is unpredictable but there’s no reason why you can’t be as prepared for the unknown as you can be. I am sure your determination and positivity will help you no end x love this post. Thanks for linking to #MaternityMatters x

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