The Birth Plan – that didn’t go to plan…..
1st July 2013
This month we feature our very first feature blog written by YOU! And on the first Monday of every month we will post a new reader’s blog – written by one of you guys about your story of becoming a parent, or pregnancy, or birth, or babies, you choose! But now, it’s time for us to be quiet, and hand over to the lovely Sarah…….
” Home birth?! Are you mad? Is that not dangerous? Is that allowed? You’re brave! All of these were very familiar responses to my decision to have a home birth for my first baby.
I have never been a big fan of hospitals; well actually that’s a bit of an understatement…. I can’t stand them! So a home birth felt like the right choice for me and it was a choice my wonderful community midwife, Linda, supported. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a total nutcase (although some might say otherwise…!), I was never going to be one to stick to my ‘plan’ at the expense of my health or the health of our baby. But I was up for giving this home birthing a go, after all my great-grandmother managed it seven times, so it can’t be that hard….right?!
From the day I found out I was pregnant I was always ‘planning’ and ‘researching’. I could tell you the top-selling breast pump and justify to my husband why the most expensive play-gym was worth it by the 5 star reviews it had received, so naturally I had a birth plan and I researched it. I did find that many of the birth plan templates were written by people who had ‘researched’ things even more than I had (shocking I know), they contained information about pulsating umbilical cords I had never even heard about, so I decided to leave some of these finer details out….
My birth plan was centred on my home birth and at the end had a few statements under the heading ‘should I go to hospital’, however this was not part of my plan, so I didn’t think about it too much. My labour started very much as ‘planned’, at home, supported by my husband and a fabulous team of community midwives. I had a birth pool inflated in the kitchen, (naturally I researched this to death and decided that buying an inflatable one was the best idea), I had my playlist lovingly created playing in the background, surrounded by fairy lights and practicing my ‘yoga breathing’ (with a little bit of help from my new best friend gas and air…) Things were most definitely going to ‘plan’, however our son had other ideas….
After 12 hours of labouring, I was stuck half way down the ‘washing line’ (TBJ graduates will understand…) and was going nowhere. Eventually the words were uttered ‘you’re going to have to go to hospital.’ I have to admit at this point, although really disappointed, I just wanted to get to the end of that washing line, whatever it took!!! I was taken to Gloucester Royal in the back of an ambulance, most definitely not part of my ‘plan’, nor was two ambulance vehicles turning up outside of my house with their lights flashing – ‘turn your lights off, the neighbours will talk.’ I seem to remember saying in between my drags of gas and air!!
A few more hours in labour and a couple more pegs down the washing line, I ended up in theatre and our son, Felix was delivered with the assistance of forceps, needless to say he had a bit of a headache from the experience and to be honest, I’d definitely had better days…. There we were, sat in hospital, nothing had gone to plan and he was screaming, very loudly!! I shed a few tears about the way things turned out (partially attributed to being a hormonal mess…) and people often ask me, ‘don’t you think it would have been better to go to hospital in the first place’ and I honestly answer ‘no.’ The best part of my birth experience was labouring at home and if I ever get drunk enough to decide having a second baby is a good idea, I would definitely opt for a home birth again. The care I received at home was very personal, relaxed, centred on what we, as a couple wanted and all in the comfort of our own home.
I like to think Felix had other plans to teach me an important lesson, no matter how much planning and research you do; nothing can EVER fully prepare you for becoming a parent!!”
Thank you Sarah for a fab blog!
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