The Must Have For 2012 – A Homebirth

When my friend first told me she was planning for a homebirth over three and a half years ago, I replied with “well I’m not afraid of hospitals.” NIEVE, hell yes. I had no idea what I was so quickly dismissing. I thought that it was only serious hippy types and people with a hospital fear that actually chose to give birth at home. My friend was neither, she was a paediatrician – she knows what goes on in the maternity ward.

When planning for baby #2 I’d already started finding out more and it dawned on me, there was an even better way if the circumstances were right. Due to various circumstances we didn’t plan a homebirth, it just happened. And well, kinda fell into place on the day (erm mind the pun, although I’d not calling that falling, I still had to do a whole lot of hardworking pushing).

I can admit it now, but I wanted a homebirth so much, at one point I’d convinced myself that I was willing to let the dream go. I’m so pleased that I didn’t need to in the end, that it all happened without the stressy prep – better than I could have ever imagined. Mainly down to the midwife I had and my subconscious determination.

I appreciate that the best way to have a homebirth is to plan it, but don’t write it off if you haven’t. A waterproof picnic blanket and old towels was all we needed. But I guess the most important thing is the right frame of mind.

Any chance I get, I can’t help but rave about how good it was. It’s not just me gloating about the most amazing experience of my life. (cough cough…although it is a little, I still brim with pride now). But mostly it’s because I wish more expectant mothers would get switched onto the idea. This is how birth is meant to be. Not all gowns and hand sanitiser, and polished floors and bed rails.

If you are interested in finding out more, why not pop along to this homebirth support site

39 Weeks Pregnant – Stamina Found

I’ve had a little change of heart, I’m no longer thinking ‘oh my, just get this baby out’.

Maybe I’ve found some patience? Mmm, somehow I doubt that, I am very much of a ‘now’ person.

I think it’s more to do with feeling more comfortable. The desire to throw up at bedtime has gone and the eating is going better. The fat huge belly thing is no longer getting to me as I’ve become accustomed to being huge, and have less incidents of accidental bump scraping. Plus baby Boyo is no longer beating me up as the lack of space is starting to restrict his movements.

Doesn’t this make a change, I’m not moaning again? It was getting rather boring wasn’t it?

Toddler Update
I’ve got more good news, Babe is less clingy and has been an absolute joy over the last few days. Apart from hacking at the kitchen wall with my hair slide.

She was even proud of her wall art efforts shouting, “mummy come and look at this“. Bless her, she clearly didn’t realise that it was wrong, but after some explaining cutely said to the wall, “so sorry wall, so sorry”. I couldn’t be angry, she didn’t understand. In my view, this was not the time for ‘discipline’. Ok, if she knew it was wrong and had been bloody minded, but she showed immediate remorse when I’d explained how bad it was and it was the first time.

I myself recall an incident when I was a toddler, of toffee hammering the hall wall and painting the dots in. I don’t recall if this was done intentionally to be naughty or just to experiment. I was subsequently locked in my room, where I proceeded with the biggest of tantrums by pulling all the clothes out of my drawers and showering them around the room. While wailing at the top of my voice.

Did it teach me that lesson? Honestly (sorry mum) but I’m not sure it did. I was just isolated and lonely and thinking about that, and less about the terrible wall art I’d just created.

Filling Time
The nice thing about being 39 weeks pregnant is that I’ve got most of the big jobs done and I’m able to focus on what I fancy doing when it comes to cleaning and life organisation. I’ve learnt the lesson of not staying in all day with a toddler and it’s working so much better for he both of us.

As my due date crawls nearer I’m also being sure to schedule activities in advance to look forward to and potentially cancel (wishful thinking). It’s also my birthday next week, so I’m starting to hope that maybe he will come late, like a week late so that he doesn’t rain on my parade. It’s my birthday, MINE. I’m sure in the future he too will appreciate my perspective on this.

At the same time, if he wanted to arrive like now, I’d be cool with that. Our birthdays would still be a week apart. I’ve also refreshed myself on the optimum active birthing positions thanks to going to the local Active Birth class last week. And should labour progress super quick and I accidentally end up having a homebirth I have vitamin K in my fridge ready for the ambulance team to administer to it to baby Boyo. Plus that drug for helping deliver the placenta should I need it, although my plan is for a physiological third stage of labour (to naturally deliver it without stimulation from drugs). I might add, at the other end of the spectrum I’ve also prepared my emergency cesarean birth plan, so every avenue is covered. The plan A though is to labour at home as long as possible and then drive to the low risk birth unit at the local hospital and give birth in the birthing pool.

So keep watching this space.

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Late Pregnancy: Come on Baby

I’ve almost had it with being pregnant. Tomorrow I’m 38 weeks and wishing it were the end. Surely this kid is nearly done baking?

The latest development in suffering has started to tip the balance. I’m still sleeping well, but getting increasingly tired, and hence not relishing my time with Babe (my toddler) as much. We’re still having a ball, I’m just finding it much harder than a week and a half ago.

WARNING: Don’t read the next bit if you don’t want to hear about puke.

The arrival of the desire to puke when I lie down is really ticking me off. And it’s not from nausea but a feeling at the back of my throat like my food has not gone down properly. Yet at the same time I’m blooming starving! Just before bed I really need to chow down a bowl full of cereal to keep up my nursing prego mama carbohydrates, but after a chunder incident the other night, I’m airing on the side of no ‘supper caution’. Instead I slope off to bed feeling a little hungry with a cereal bar to shove in my drawer should I wake up totally starving in the night.

The general food thing is driving me mad too, I can’t eat much and then I’m famished again 30 minutes later. I need an all day buffet in my house.

Bedtime is also disturbed by baby Boyo and his evening excersises, it sometimes feels like he is doing ten rounds in a boxing rink and I’m the opponent, except it’s dirty fighting where anything goes – kicks, head-buts, the lot.

So I’m now talking very sweetly (ok, so perhaps not so sweet) to baby Boyo, asking him to get a move on with his fattening up and final lung developments, and then get the hell outta there.

I’d really like him to be a September baby, as I am myself a Virgo. But I’d rather he didn’t make his arrival on my birthday. Which might yet be the case as his due date is a couple of days before. If I were to choose, and I know I can’t, but if I could, he would be born on Friday.

Babe, my toddler was nine days late, I’m really hoping that the theory (or is it an old wives tale?) that the second one is often early, comes through for us. Obviously I don’t want him to be born until all development is complete, and I won’t be forced into early induction at 10 days post due, but all the same I’d like it to be over with shortly.

Come on Boyo the end is nigh, it’s time for our meeting. Please don’t be late, that’s just not polite.

Is natural childbirth down to luck?

This topic came up on one of the mumsnet.com forums recently, and I thought it worthy of a short discussion, feel free to add your comments at the end. 

I’m not a big believer in the concept of ‘luck’, things happen for a reason. Well I’m not going to have a philosophical debate about that now. But I am going to add, before I climb onto my soap box, that I’m not really qualified to make the best judgement on this topic because my experience is somewhat limited as I’ve only done the childbirth thing once (speak to the woman with ten kids for perhaps a more informed view). But I’m not going to let that stop me now. 

Babe an hour old

Yes to luck
There are some medical factors that you can’t foresee, particularly if its your first child. So you could call that luck. 

Kinda luck
Getting a good midwife. I was lucky enough to get one of the best midwives at the hospital, who was pro-natural birth. There is no doubt that without her, medical intervention would have been required. It was a close call though, she had nearly given up on me and was getting ready to ship me off to theatre. One last threaten at 4.30pm (a day after it all started) that if I didn’t get this baby out now, then the natural plans were gonna get thrown at the window. That was enough for me to pull out all the stops. 

No to luck
But surely a certain amount comes down to preparation? More the mental preparation if I’m honest. I went to natural birthing classes for about four months (not just to do yoga, meditate and enjoy the end of session massages and herbal tea n biscuits),  I also went to aqua natal classes (again not just to catch up and giggle with my new-found friends) – these helped me prepare a lot mentally. But all this was important from a physical side too, the fitness and learning all those natural birthing positions and breathing stuff. They also say physical fitness is very important for having a natural birth. I really do think this is true, if you have a very long labor (like me) you need a certain amount of ‘staying power’. In fact I think I might have been more fit when I was pregnant than I am now..lol. 

As you can tell I am pro-natural birth, yes it was hard work, painful and all the rest – but it was an amazing achievement at the end of it all. Yes, I admit it didn’t all go to plan, I didn’t get to actually give birth in the birthing pool, but I had a good try. But I came out the other end at 5.04pm on Monday 15th December 2008 with it all over. Able to get straight on with nursing my new-born baby…I like to forget about the hour of stitches that I had to endure after that. 

What’s your opinion, and how was this shaped by your childbirth experience/s?