WHY I’M HOME BIRTH BOUND THIS TIME ROUND

Three years ago I would have sold my bodily organs before I considered giving birth at home. I thought it was a bonkers idea – something that women who ate hemp and tofu off well-polished rose quartz crystals did in between Oms and tantric sex. Yes, I was obnoxious, judgemental and oh, so very wrong. This time around, I’m avoiding hospitals like Zika-infested mozzies. Why? Not because hospital births are wrong or less good; not because I know ‘better’, but because I’m changing what didn’t work FOR ME the first time around.

There’s been a lot in the press about home births recently. It’s emerged from the dark ages of birth-giving to achieve almost hipster-status as far as hoofing out Smalls goes. It’s what all the ‘cool kids’ are doing and what’s more, the NHS bloody love it because it saves them a shed load of cash. Midwives (and let’s face it, they know their stuff when it comes to giving birth) are huge proponents of home births generally and slowly but surely, the tide is turning towards accepting home births as a totally viable alternative to hospital births.

All that aside, I’m not interested in arguing about whether home births are ‘better’. What a ridiculous way to spend a Saturday morning that would be. That would be like fighting over whether Chinese or Indian takeaway is better: depends on the day, depends on the hangover it’s required to assuage and, guess what? It depends on the person.

All I can say is this: I’ve come a long way on my journey through motherhood since the last time I squeezed a human from my love-hole and I’ve finally accepted the lessons it has taught me regarding how much (read: little) I can expect to be in control of. So, after considering my experience in hospital last time and identifying what I wanted to change this time…a home birth is the best option FOR ME this time around.

You see, I didn’t like hospital. By the time I got there I was already in some sort of hypnotic panic about what the fudge was happening in my nether regions. The problem is the pain, right? I’m not being flippant. We are so used to associating pain with negativity, with something being wrong that it’s very, very hard to remember that the pain of giving birth is actually a positive pain. It’s a creative pain. I fought this pain; I treated it like I was dealing with appendicitis of the labia rather than the miracle of creating a whole, real-life human. Walking into hospital seemed to cement this for me – I was there because I needed help, something was wrong, I couldn’t do this on my own.

This isn’t what everyone feels by any means, but after many, many hours spent dissecting my crazy birth-giving experience I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I was woefully ill-prepared emotionally for birth-giving. my pragmatism and need to control had naturally erred towards the safe, sterile, traditional environment of the hospital but actually, when it came down to it I felt more out of control there than anywhere else.

Plus, after the whole crazy show was over I was given a crappy cup of tea that was placed on a table in front of me next to a bowl with my placenta in it (bleurgh), offered a slightly crispy cheese sandwich, shown into a slightly smelly and damp disabled shower and wheeled down to the maternity ward which was hotter than the surface of the sun and filled with other people’s screaming newborns. Jimmy was promptly directed to the exit and told he could return in twelve hours. So, after 38 hours of labour, no sleep and a physical exertion akin to running three marathons while simultaneously being punched in the face and lady garden repeatedly, I was alone, hot, sweaty, hallucinating from lack of sleep and left in charge of keeping a small human alive using only my boobs and maternal instinct.

But that was MY experience…and based on that, I decided to make some changes. As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The hospital thing didn’t work for me…so I’m making some changes.

A home birth for me means that I don’t have to stress too much about childcare for my Small when I go into labour. It means I’ll be in my own environment, with my own music, bath, clothes, comforts. It means I’ll get two midwives dedicated to taking care of me, rather than running in and out of the room. It means I’ll get to shower in my own shower following birth. It means I’ll get to climb into my own bed and order Chinese takeaway once I’m done and best of all, it means Jimmy Plays Bass won’t be abruptly removed as soon as the cord is clamped.

Of course it means I don’t have immediate access to pain drugs (don’t think that isn’t weighing on my mind a bit), emergency support will be further away than anyone would like if something were to go wrong and did I mention I can’t have an epidural? But, on balance, I’ve made the decision that feels best for me.

As they say, if you’re going to do something, do it right. So, I’ve also reached out to my buddy, soul-sister and all-round ass-kicking hypnobirthing Yes Mum, Hollie de Cruz and booked us onto her London Hypnobirthing course (if it’s good enough for Fearne Cotton and the McFly crew…) Jimmy’s not overly convinced or excited by the prospect but he’s gamely joining in and I have no doubt he’ll be a convert. I’ll be (obviously!) blogging about my hypnobirthing experience as we go but for now…let me say this: the only thing that’s important in your decision about where’s best to hoof your Small out of your tiny tunnel is your own instinct. Barring any medical complications, do it wherever the hell you want.

Except Westfield. Don’t do it there. It would be rubbish.

8 thoughts on “WHY I’M HOME BIRTH BOUND THIS TIME ROUND

  1. (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

    Yes! This! Except it took me until my fourth baby to actually work this out, genius that I am ! Ha! I can honestly say that having my baby at home was the best experience for me. She arrived in the middle of the night with the help of three midwives while my other three were fast asleep in bed it couldn’t have worked out more perfectly!

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  2. Lauren says:

    Great decision and really hope it works out for you! I had my baby at home for these exact reasons and had a fabulous experience. I prepared for hypnobirthing using an MP3 and when the midwife arrived she was surprised that I was already fully dilated and in control of the pain so her first question was had I used hypnobirthing. It was painful of course but being at home in a peaceful environment made it so much more bearable for me. And the best bit by far was tucking into some crumpets and jam with proper tea afterwards and then not leaving our room for about 12 hours afterwards. We all curled up on the bed and slept/dozed as we pleased.

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  3. everyday30blog says:

    Hurray! Our home birth was brilliant. I went into labour as my son went to bed, my second was born at about 12.30. By 3, we were all in bed and by the time my oldest woke in the morning, he had a new brother! ( His brother also brought a new toy for him which was VERY important in easing the transition.)

    Control was a huge part of it for me – in fact my boyfriend said I kept saying no every time the midwife asked me to do something.

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  4. Educating Roversi says:

    One of my friends had a home birth with her first but due to haemorrhaging after the birth, she was rushed to hospital and found the whole experience stressful. She’s just had her second (five days ago) and went to hospital and had a much more relaxing experience so she was kind of the opposite of you. Like you say, you have to do whats right for you. As much as i love the idea of a home birth, I think i’d worry too much about if things went wrong despite only living a 5 minute car ride from the hospital! I would like to clean up the mess either! ha ha! Great blog, it was recommended to me by a good friend of mine that used to work with you 🙂 x

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  5. Gemma says:

    Good luck for you upcoming birth- having had my 2nd and 3rd child at home all I can stay is home birth can be an amazing experience! On both occasions I was sat on the sofa an hour later drinking decent hot tea and eating proper food. My other babies got to meet their siblings in such a natural and undauntung way and I hope they grow up to realise that birth is something natural normal and not to be feared. Hypnobirthing gives you that calmness and peace to really own that moment and enjoy it! And the midwives were quite frankly awesome and my husband was an immediate convert who now loves to champion the whole home birth/ Hypnobirthing thing. I hope it all goes really well for you and that you end up with wonderful memories of the event ( I’m an equally unhippy, non hemp and tofu eating doctor who didn’t mention a thing of my plans to my friends or family for fear of judgement and scaremongering)

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    • catsims says:

      Love this comment! I can’t wait to give birth at the moment. So pleased to know that you had the same reservations about what people would think. It’s tough but I KNOW I’ve made the right decision for me. So lovely to hear your story! xxx

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  6. Monica Wood says:

    My Daughter is pregnant and I am going to be a grandmother soon and I am very excited to play with my grandchild and yeah even I think that home birth is very safe and easy and even I will suggest my daughter to go for home birth.

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