I 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…