In the past few weeks, BoyDad and I have come to a decision that has always been in the back of our minds but we've not been brave enough to make it happen until now.
We're going to have a home birth.
Judging by reactions I've had since announcing this, the chances are you will now be in one of the following camps:
A. "Risky" camp.
You think I'm risking the life of myself and my baby by not being in a hospital where they can slice me open and get the boy out at a second's notice.
B. "Hippy" camp.
You think I've suddenly become a vegan, who doesn't wear a bra and will be guzzling placenta smoothie by the end of the week.
C. "Brave" camp.
You think I'm brave but ultimately a bit odd for not wanting to be high on the hospital drugs during labour.
As previously discussed however, I'm a nurse - a proper, medically trained, highly educated, research reading professional. I wouldn't be doing anything that was dangerous for myself or my precious newborn baby.
It's just as safe for 2nd time mums to give birth at home as in hospital and there is a lower chance of me needing/having a birth intervention if I'm at home. [Interventions being things like pulling the baby out with metal spoons (forceps) a hoover on it's nogging (ventouse) or cutting your hoo-ha to get it's head through (episiotomy)].
Anyway, I don't care if you think it's dangerous because it's not and you are intelligent people who can read the research for yourself if you want (*cough* Dad *cough*) .
I also don't care if you think I'm a hippy, because I am a tiny bit of one I suppose. I'm drinking raspberry leaf tea as I drink this in the blind (not research based) hope that it'll make my birth easier. I have also been listening to birth relaxation podcasts, during which I 'breathe golden light' and 'take myself to a safe space'.
Incidentally I had been really struggling to picture a 'safe space' where I couldn't be disturbed and nothing could hurt me. I tried 'going to' beaches (sharks and crabs), hotel rooms (cleaners), sunny meadows (I'm scared of cows)... In in the end it turns out my 'safe space' which I will 'take myself to' during labour is The Night Garden.
It's calm and beautiful and nothing threatening has ever been or could ever be in that garden. Granted, there's a chance that Iggle Piggle could turn up and do a bit of falling over, but that can only help right?
On the other hand, I'm not sure proper hippies need to use exam revision cards to remember their 'birth affirmations'. Nor do they check the expiration date and packaging on every single medical item in the midwife's birth box.
With regards to perceived "bravery". I think I'm just lucky. I have given birth before without the hard drugs. I complained fairly loudly during most of it but once I got the gas and air I was high as a kite. I've had morphine before, after surgery and it made me feel sick. Gas and air, however, made me feel like I was on another (more wonderful) planet, one which I can't wait to go back to. If they didn't bring gas and air to my house I would definitely reconsider, but they do... so I'm staying put!
To help you understand my decision a bit more, here are the top five reasons to have a home birth:
1. Not giving birth in the car.
Boy1 came pretty sharpish and the first words I remember anyone saying after he was born were from the senior midwife on the ward. She came in and was shocked I'd had him so quickly. Her exact words ring in my ears: "Blimey, that was quick! You probably won't make it to hospital next time!! haha!"... Well no lady, I won't. And now I don't have to spend the next four weeks stressing about going in to labour during rush hour and giving birth on the A4020.
I gave birth to Boy1 on a hospital trolley in a hospital gown. It was fine, but it'll be much nicer being at home in my warm living room with my own duvet to snuggle under when he's born.
After the most physically gruelling task of my life I was offered the choice of a stale tuna sandwich or a stale cheese sandwich. No thanks NHS, I'll be chowing down on an all day breakfast, or a feast of chocolate and mince pies, or a turkey dinner, or a fishfinger sandwich... or all of the above! And drinking proper tea out of my favourite mug with real milk.
In my own home, while I'm mooing like a cow in various states of undress there will ONLY be the midwives I invite in and my husband. There will be no cleaners wandering, no spare midwives who come in to have a chat with their colleagues, no one.
5. Post-natal care.
Once I've had the boy I won't have to spend six hours in a room full of other people who've just had babies. I want to hang out with my baby and my husband, not a load of strangers and their crying babies and buzzing call-bells. Most importantly of all, no one lets you watch Muppet Christmas Carol on repeat on a maternity ward!
I am a toddler's mum. Soon I will also be a baby's mum. It's not just me and 2 boys. My wonderful beer-brewing, offal-stewing, DIYing, App-designing husband.
Blogs at: Two Boys One Mum