I’ve always wanted a home birth. It was planned with Jake. We had the appointment for the midwife to come and deliver the magic box at 37 weeks, but I had a bleed at 35, and so the doctors decided that they didn’t want me to go overdue just in case my placenta was failing, and I was to be induced. With Zack, I didn’t even get as far as suggesting it. My consultant (I was consultant led due to having my thyroid removed) needed convincing about me using the Birth Centre instead of the Delivery Suite, but when I had *that* scare, even Birth Centre was off, and Delivery Suite it was.
I know now, after spending a LOT of time researching things, that actually, I could have still had a home birth if I wanted to. They aren’t allowed to say no, but it would be against medical advice, and a Supervisor of Midwives would come and explain the risks to you.
Ultimately, they have a duty of care to attend you. The Nursing and Midwifery Council says ‘Should a conflict arise between service provision and a woman’s choice for place of birth, a midwife has a duty of care to attend her… Withdrawal of a home birth service is no less significant to women than withdrawal of services for a hospital birth.’
And so, this time, pregnancy number 3, and once again I have brought up the subject of home birth. I never started this pregnancy wanting a home birth particularly. To be completely honest, I thought it was beyond the realms of possibility being consultant led. But then she said she would discharge me back to midwife led care at 36 weeks providing my second growth scan was fine, and I had no reason to believe it wouldn’t be, seeing as Zack’s birth weight was a healthy 7lb 4oz. So I started the research, and then I chatted to Neil, and I we decided that we would give it a go this time, so I joined some home birth groups on Facebook, and I reserved a birthing pool. I’ve chatted to my midwife, who is fully on board, although she suggests the the SOM will still want to talk to me about risks as I’m not *normal* due to my thyroid issue, but doesn’t see it as being a problem.
I should stress the point here – I AM NOT ANTI HOSPITAL BIRTH. I’ve had two healthy babies delivered in hospital, with two very different labours, and I am grateful for that. I am however, pro home birth.
Yes, I know there are *risks*. But don’t we take risks every day? Every time we cross the road, we risk getting run over. Every time we get in the car, we risk having a crash. We go to a shopping centre, we risk a bomb going off, etc etc blah blah. But you know what? Most of the time, we are okay. If I need to transfer to hospital for any reason, we are literally a five minute drive away. It would be quicker to get Neil to put me in the car and drive there than to wait for an ambulance.
I have carefully thought about it, weighed up the pros and cons and decided that this time, home birth is the better option for me, for my family, and it’s going to take a lot for me to be convinced otherwise.