Wednesday 5 December 2012

16 weeks - some disapointment

Today I had my 16 week appointment with the midwives (I'm actually 16+4).  I was quite excited.  Well, there aren't many appointments with your second, so any appointment is a source of excitement   It also forces me to focus on what we're actually doing because most of the time I'm too busy with Ethan, going to and from pre-school, doing housework, food shopping, blogging, stella & dot work, organising stuff for Christmas.. the usual, most of the time I forget to actually "connect" with this growing bump.  I don't quite forget I'm pregnant due to the fact that the nausea hasn't completely left, my boobs are still growing (by the second it feels) and are terribly itchy, I still get odd cravings and feel hungry all the time, I'm always exhausted and my bump is growing.  But it's almost like it's not connected to the growth of a new human.  Just a load of stuff that's happening to me on top of every day life.

So... yes, it's nice to have an appointment.  To stop and take stock.  To think about the fact that 5 and a bit months from now (maybe 6) we will have another child.

Unfortunately, my good mood was soon destroyed during my appointment today.  When I went in for my booking in appointment I told my midwife I would like a home birth   She was happy with that as my choice, didn't mention any issues, wrote it down in my book and that was that.  Since then I've been happily planning the birth I want in my head.  What music I'd have, how to hire a birthing pool, where to put it in the house and all the other bits (ironically as I write this an advert for Call The Midwife is playing).  I've been getting really excited about it.  I don't want to go to hospital if I can avoid it.  I don't want to have to go on a ward again.  I hated it.  I know no one really likes it, but I think my PND was compounded by the night we spent on the ward.  I felt so scared, so alone.  There was so much noise, I didn't sleep a wink.  That lack of sleep (after the 30+ hour labour) compounded my tiredness and it all spiralled down from there.  I know there isn't always very much control in birth and labour, but whatever control I can have, I want to have.

I digress... Today I saw a different midwife (as often you do) and I mentioned the home birth to her.  Her face dropped straight away and she proceeded to tell me that despite her and her colleagues being huge advocates of home birth, it's not something they recommend.  She told me "It's an option, but I have to tell you that most ladies who opt for a home birth in our area end up giving birth on their own because no one can  get to them on time".  She even told me if I were to call an ambulance it might take up to 40 minutes to get to me.  She went on to explain how it works on an "on call" basis, which is fine, but the area they cover is HUGE.  Far too large for the number on midwives who are on call at any one time.

I feel my dreams have been shattered.  I appreciate this is the reality of the situation   I don't know where to go from here.  The midwife told me I can still have home birth as an option, but is it really a valid option?  It doesn't feel like it when someone tells you that in the same breath as telling you that safety of the baby is the most important thing and that you may be left to give birth on your own.

I honestly can't express how disappointed I am about this.  I know this isn't a countrywide issue.  My friend who lives in London is having a home birth with her baby (due in January) and from the get go she has received nothing but support and confirmation that unless complications arise  her baby will be born at home, as she wants.  I feel jealous of that.  Terrible useless emotion, I know..  I also know that 5 years down the line, most likely all this won't really matter as long as I have a healthy child at the end of it.  It's just so bitterly frustration to have choices removed from you.  I feel like the carpet has been pulled from beneath my feet.

I'll get over it.  I have to.  This is the reality of the situation.  But today, I feel low :(


  1. Please don't discount this as an option, I was told the same thing, but amnaged a home birth with the midwife of choice and with a 2 hour labour, if you can't be sure of the nhs consider an independant midwife, go ask around more locally and different midwives and GP. You have the right to the care you want, I'd recommend not giving up yet. x

  2. Sorry to hear that, just wondering does your hospital have a birthing centre? Ours has one that is apparently more 'homely' and the rooms have birthing pools (I know it's not quite the same). If hospital was the option and you really didn't want to stay overnight and all was ok with you and baby you may be able to discharge yourself, especially if you explain how you felt about being last time? Hope you manage to come up with a solution that suits you x

  3. Hi Alex, it's awful to hear that you might not be able to have the home birth you'd like but I guess you need to way up the options. I had a really bad time first time around and had to be consultant led this time and a ward birth....couldn't even go in the birthing centre (which looked lovely)I did however invest in hypnobirthing classes and wrote a strong birth plan with my consultant and even though the birth took place in hospital again with another unplanned section, the hospital staff were really supportive of our choices and respected our wishes and we were pretty much left to it. Like you, I hated the ward the first time around but felt much more in control this time and only had to stay in for a day and a half. You'll be amazed by how much more relaxed and confident you are this time around....I certainly was! Best of luck love x

  4. Alex, I was going to comment on your outfit post when I scrolled down and saw this. I am so, so sorry, my Friend! I was in a similar situation and our doula encouraged me to keep searching online and by word of mouth for a private practice midwife. I don't know what the regulations are in the UK, but here, they can be on call for a private patient. I don't blame you for not wanting to be in a hospital. Are there any smaller birthing centers in your area? I will be praying for you, I hope that something close to what you are hoping for works out. I'm so glad you are healthy and that both your little babes are healthy. Hugs across the pond to you, Alex! ~Sarah


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