I am 6 1/2 weeks pregnant and just had my initial appointment with the doctor last week before being referred to a midwife (that's the typical MO here in the UK). The doctor assumed that I was planning a hospital birth and when I informed her that I was looking at either a home birth or birth center birth, her response was basically, "well, you're a first-time Mom so don't be disappointed if it doesn't happen." Is there any reason I should be concerned about being able to give birth outside a hospital? Any first-time Moms who did who could give me a little encouragement? Thanks everyone!
Thanks, Marci. :o)
When you ended up needing a c-section, was there ever any concern that you wouldn't get to the hospital in time, etc? And when preparing for your homebirth, did you also "prepare" for other scenarios (transfer to hospital, interventions, c-section)? Do you think it would be a good idea to draft a birth plan that takes into account all the different possible outcomes? I want to be sure that if for some legitimate reason I can't have the kind of birth I want, I am still "in control" of what happens to me and my baby.
Thanks again! :o)
No, there was no concern that I wouldn't make it to the hospital in time :). Our midwives told us (and I believe this is the practice with most midwives): "once we see things in your labor that are outside the realm of normal, transport to a hospital will be in order." They made it clear that they weren't going to sit around taking chances. I was at the hospital at least six hours before my c-section. And of course transport to a hospital doesn't mean automatic c-section; far from it. The first approach was to get me hooked up to monitors and so they could observe some of the irregularities they noticed with more clarity. Once it was established that I had a fever, I needed antibiotics to get the fever down - it was then that care was transferred to an OB, because those antibiotics needed to be prescribed by the OB, etc. If both I an baby had stabilized, the OB would've just let the midwives go on as planned, but because the baby didn't stabilize and got progressively worse in terms of Tachycardic heart rate, the midwives stayed with me in a supportive role, but care was technically in the OB's hands. We were blessed to have a good OB (not interventionist minded), but after a few hours it was established I'd need a c-section because it became clear that the Tachycardic heart rate was not due to a sleep cycle, but most likely distress. My midwives even said that it was a wise decision to get the c-section. I don't believe our daughter would've lived if we hadn't followed the OB's recommendation. She was in acute distress (APGAR 2 right after birth, respiratory problems that resulted in a NICU stay for 48 hours, meconium and mucous clogging airways, took many minutes to revive).
But the whole point here is that the midwives saw that things had strayed from 'normal' and got me to a hospital immediately to further investigate. Don't be afraid to interview different midwives; you want to ensure that in a situation that's unforseen, your midwives aren't just going to lay back ...something is wrong if key signs are ignored and you're rushed to a hospital last minute when there've been signs all along that something is 'off'. So find out what kind of midwives you're dealing with so you have confidence in their ability to help make key decisions in labor.
We did prepare for other scenarios - we had a written birth plan. Only a few pages long, and some of the stuff wouldn't even need to be stressed (my midwives shared my philosophies) unless there was transfer to an OB. So this meant the hospital staff only had to read about 1 page worth of bullet points. We highlighted those headings so hospital staff would focus on just the sections relevant to them. Worked like a charm - we weren't harassed for pain meds...someone maybe asked once or twice, that was it. So yes, a birth plan is a good way to go. I couldn't hold her after birth, but that wasn't the hospital's fault - she was in distress, I was shaking violently compliments of the spinal they'd given me (since I'd labored drug free and by the time they realized I needed a c-section they basically wheeled me into OR, gave me spinal, and got her out). My husband got to hold her for a brief second before she was whisked off to NICU. Try not to make it overly lengthy, but still keep your desires in there (you don't want hospital staff not reading the document because it's 'so long and we're busy'). Give a copy to your midwife.
Hopefully (and most likely) you won't need a transfer. Which makes for a much more relaxing birth. Do not worry - cases like mine are in the very small minority if you're going with a midwife. So you truly, TRULY are most likely to have an uncomplicated delivery. Generally, the world of complicated delivery belongs to those who are under the care of an OB for their pregnancy and birth. So expect a peaceful birth! :)
Thanks, Marci. Gosh, what an ordeal! Praise God the system worked the way it was supposed to and your baby survived!
I really wish I could interview midwives. Unfortunately, under the NHS I pretty much "get who I get" and don't get to choose my provider (something that I could have done if I was still in the US). I guess I just have to trust that God has it all under control. Plus, I fully intend to have a doula regardless of where I give birth!!
I also think its do-able!! all my children were born at home. I think whats happening here is perhaps, first time moms may not be as educated about the entire birthing process and may end up allowing more interventions because they just do not know any better. By the way my first and last were the shortest labors, go figure ;)-
Good luck! Stand your ground :)