Home or Hospital - dunno what to do...

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mandora's picture
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Home or Hospital - dunno what to do...

I'd like some advice/your thoughts. This is going to be a really long post - thanks in advance for reading it all....

Anyway, I'm having a really hard time deciding on what to do this time around, regarding labour/birth location. With DD I had a hospital birth and it was AWFUL. I was bullied into interventions that were totally unnecessary, but because I hadn't educated myself, I was easily persuaded that MY BABY WOULD DIE if I didn't go along with it all (pitocin, IV antibiotics, epidural, etc etc). Initial bf'ing was awful and we never got nursing down (gave into pressure on day 2 and started with formula), our first few days were spent in the hospital, where I had a breakdown, DD wouldn't stop crying, it was just awful. I ended up with a HORRIBLE flu virus, which combined with my anaemia from haemorrhaging during the birth just about killed me. It really was an absolutely awful time.

Just as an aside, labour, once it was established, was 4 hours from first 'useful' contraction (once I started dilating) to her birth. She came at 36 weeks (or rather, my water broke but nothing happened, so they induced, and it took a day and a half to establish real contractions).

With DS I was determined that I would NEVER go through that again and had a beautiful homebirth. It was absolutely text-book what you want to see - easy labour, short active phase, easy pushing phase, no tears, immediate skin-to-skin. He nursed right away, we had a lovely time of it all and it was very stress free. His labour and birth from start to finish was an hour and a half. He came at 41 weeks, 3 days.

Here's my dilemma. The midwife I have this time around was the same one who attended me in hospital. My other midwife stopped practicing. The midwife I have was my only choice in town for a homebirth at all so I chose her. She's a nice woman and means well, but she's very 'active management'. We disagree fundamentally about what birth is. My concern is that if I have a homebirth, I'm going to end up a transfer anyway because I honestly don't think she's comfortable with homebirth. Add onto that, I have 2 young kids (DD is 3, DS is 2) and a puppy (along with 2 older dogs) at home, which do not make home a stress-free or easy environment in which to labour without distraction. And while it would be nice to just have the babe and be in my own bed, I suspect that bed will be full of kids, dogs, family, etc. Our house is small (we moved since DS was born) and there's no real 'getting away' from everyone and everything.

The hospital would be a different hospital from last time, but with most of the same staff - they opened a new facility in our area, but most of the staff is the same as last time. However, they know me now as a doula, they respect me as a colleague, and I know I won't be pressured (or AS pressured, anyway). I suspect if I request it, I'll be left alone to do my own thing. My only issue is the rule of no eating or drinking in labour - something I can do at home but not in this hospital (it's a rule they won't bend for me, and although I could just ignore them, I don't want to hurt my relationship with the maternity staff there, so I wouldn't)... however, my labours are so short that it's never been an issue anyway. I've never had the desire or need for food, so it's probably a moot point, but something that's been bugging me none the less.

Which brings me to another point. My labours were 4 hours and 1.5 hours. There's a good chance this one will be similar.... so, will I even make it to the hospital or feel like transporting while in intense labour? If I go into labour overnight, I'm not sure how I'd even GET there, since DH doesn't drive. During the day I can ask my grandfather to drive me (he lives just behind us, across a courtyard, with my parents), but over night I'm not sure that the phone would wake him.

And lastly, I know that if I homebirth, I'm going to be SUPER concerned with making sure my house is presentable and orderly from the time I hit term until she comes out... I'm hoping to continue working for the next few weeks anyway (or rather, I have a contract and HAVE to continue working), and by the time I get home I'm not interested in cleaning... I just want to sleep. But with all the kids and dogs in this house, it gets out of control very quickly, and I don't want to be wading over junk while trying to labour.

So... your thoughts? I am seriously very confused by this whole thing and have no idea what to do.... and I need to make a decision soon, because I have nothing prepared at all (homebirth wise, or hospital-bag wise). And I've only got 2 more weeks before I hit 'term'.

Should I just prepare for both and see what happens in the moment? I don't really have a whole lot of extra cash, so the idea of spending a couple hundred dollars on homebirth supplies that I won't end up needing really doesn't appeal to me, but similarly, I'd rather be prepared if I DO end up birthing at home.... UGH, I don't know. Sad

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At this point..... plan for both... kinda? make ONE room- maybe your room, a nice haven, and make the other rooms you'll NEED- bathroom, kitchen... presentable. If you have ANY spare storage space, basement, attic, garage, just fill totes or boxes up with stuff you can live without for a month and put it off to the side. then when you're all done, if you don't miss it you can get rid if it as clutter. Not a permanent solution to a clean house really, but its one way to make this work for now.

now, expecting a short labor, unless a horrid emergency arises, i dont think the MW would really have time to transfer you unless it was a real horrible emergency. Plus, you can always call her as late as possible into the game, show up, catch, post-partum care - no need to be harassed in between!

mommys's picture
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Wow, you definately have a lot going on that makes your decision hard.

It sounds like you will be fine if you do go to the hospital, so despite your initial experience you won't have a repeat. I do think though that the homebirth is your best bet. I'm sorry you have that same midwife again, but you have done a very successful homebirth and I think you will be fine even with her there. Since your transportation is sporadic and you've had such short labors, I really think this is the best decision, especially once you weigh in how much you want a relaxed, natural birth.

Chimmy's picture
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Our situations are somewhat similar & I'm struggling with the same thing, so I can really sympathise with you!! Wish we could just go out to lunch & gab about it for a few hours Lol

My house is small too and I'll have 6 kids to contend with - so the idea of spending my time in the hospital after the baby is born is a nice thought, the birth however isn't because like you I birth fast & once in labor I don't want to go anywhere. My last homebirth was wonderful, except for the pp time.

It really is a difficult choice because both have good points, and both have not so good points. Is there anyone who can animal sit & kid sit for a day or two? I'm guessing if there was you might of already planned that - but if not it's an option so you can have the space to birth that you need & then a few days to recover. I like the idea of making your room your safe haven, and then making the bathroom & kitchen presentable. Packing away whatever else you don't need for a month or so.

I wish I had some solid advice, but I don't really. Just LOTS of sympathy & understanding.

gardenbug's picture
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Sounds like you'd make the best of either location. The duration of your labor is likely to be rather short.
I'd be tempted to be in the hospital, get a cleaning lady to fix up around the house while you have baby, then wash my hair and take a shower before coming home! (But that's me... :rolleyes:)

Most of all, don't fret about this. Remember to enjoy the birth!!!

Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
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You have gotten lots of great advice I just wanted to offer some support and hugs. I know you will do what is best for you in the end. Smile

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Have you tried getting in touch with the other midwife? Even if she's "not in business," she might consider attending your birth & it doesn't hurt to ask.

In cases like this, I find it helpful to make a pros & cons list, side by side down a piece of paper. Keep it in a handy place so you can add to it when things strike you. For the cons, think carefully about them & consider if there might be an alternative, and maybe start giving them priority. For the pros, also look at them carefully & make sure you're not viewing them through rose-colored glasses. Wink You might find that many of your cons aren't really that bad or that many of your pros aren't as strong as they first seemed. I've never felt I made a bad decision when I did this. I hope you find a good solution, and have a beautiful peaceful birth.

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Sounds like you will make a situation work with either of the choices. That is hard though. I like the idea of making the list and see what you learn from that. Maybe once its on paper one option will really jump out at you.

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I know you've probably already considered this, but is there a possibliity of your parents/grandfather helping out with kids and dogs while you're laboring at home? Since you have such short labors, homebirth seems like a more likely option to me, but there really does seem to be pros and cons for both. If you do opt for the homebirth, I agree with the idea of just getting rid of a lot of stuff and storing it for a little but, to clear up some space, and also maybe just calling your midwife in during transition so she's just there to help out towards the end. Anyhow, it's a tough decision, but I believe you will be able to make one that is right for you. {{{HUGS}}}

mandora's picture
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Thanks ladies. Smile I really appreciate all your thoughts and advice. I think I will do the list, and see if it will give me some clarity. I've done it in my head over and over, but maybe putting it down on paper will make things obvious.

As for my old midwife, she's moved across the country to be closer to her family while she raises her own little one... so, sadly, not an option there.

My concern with having someone watch my kids/dogs is that the youngest dog was a rescue and is VERY attached to me. She's very good with others if I'm not around, but if she knows I'm in the house she NEEDS to be by my side. I'm really not sure how she'll cope with being closed out of the room, especially if she knows I'm in distress. I don't really know who I could ask to take her while I labour (my parents have dogs of their own, and one of them doesn't get along with my pup). The kids will be no problem, really, if they don't want to be in the room and be quiet... it's just this pup that I'm concerned with.

I'll let you know what I come up with. Smile

Chimmy's picture
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Good luck! I hope your able to figure things out with the pup & that your birth goes beautifully for you Smile

mandora's picture
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So, I had a conversation with my m/w today, and I'm feeling a bit better about it all. I think we're just going to go with the idea that if I labour quickly, we'll do a homebirth, and who cares about chaos because if it's too fast to transfer, then I won't even notice the chaos around me, and if I have time to make a nice leisurely trip to hospital, we'll do that. Whichever works in the moment. She said she'd 'prefer' to have a plan, but that doesn't always work out, so we'll just deliver wherever it happens to be in the moment. I expressed my concern about supplies, and she basically said, 'pff, I've got everything we REALLY need, except a sheet to cover your bed.' So, I'm just going to get some very basic things ready (plastic sheet, some old towels) and then if I need them, super... I'm not going to buy all the other 'optional' stuff (heating pad to warm babes clothes, for example... I've got dogs who can lay on them and keep them warm!) Smile

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sounds like a plan

Chimmy's picture
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I've gotta say I'm a wee bit jealous that she'll deliver in both places!! I'd LOVE that option lol Am looking forward to hearing how everything goes for you & I'm so glad that your feeling better about things. Peace of mind is everything.

mommys's picture
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"mandora" wrote:

(heating pad to warm babes clothes, for example... I've got dogs who can lay on them and keep them warm!) Smile

Lol

I'm glad that you are feeling good with an either/or option. Smile