My first experience of childbirth was a rather positive one. I really wanted to deliver my baby in a birthing pool. And with only one pool available for the whole of Aberdeen, I was extremely lucky to have done just that. For me, the sensation of being in water is a great way to ease the pain of labour. So for my second I was determined to do the same and I did. Except this time I opted for a Home Water Birth!
Why A Home Birth?
With all the funding cuts to the NHS and the continued lack of staff. I started to hear horror stories about people’s experiences in the ward. Overcrowding meant that some mums were turned away and/or asked to wait until a bed was available. Privacy was non-existent and my chances of nabbing the birthing pool seemed almost impossible. So after speaking to a few friends about their home births. I was intrigued and decided to look at my options.
As much as I wanted a water birth. It was more important for me that the health of my baby and myself came first. Previously whenever I thought about home births, my thoughts immediately drifted to Victorian times where mums to be had no other choice and were often at risk. However after gathering the experiences of other mums, doing my own research and having a low risk pregnancy. A home birth seemed ideal.
What To Expect
Here in Aberdeen, there is the possibility to hire out a fully functioning birthing pool in a box and accessories free of charge through the Grampian Home Birth Facebook page. The volunteer who runs it is amazing. The page is a small community of mothers who have all had home births or who want to know more about it.
After speaking to my midwife about my plans and given the all clear. I signed up for the pool scheme and reserved my pool. The pool is made available for collection from 37 weeks of pregnancy and is to be returned within a week of giving birth. (although Freya, the volunteer, is really helpful ).
My midwife came to inspect our house week 34 to make sure that it was suitable for a home birth and explained everything to me and my partner. We designated a room in the house for the birth and looked at places the midwifes could use to set up station. She explained that I would be designated two community midwives for the birth and they would stay with me until all was ok (and help to clear everything away afterwards) Once all was ok, she ordered a delivery for all of the medical equipment and we received 5 big boxes of gear including cylinders of gas and air for pain management.
The Big Day
The big day arrived and our little Fabien was born at 9:48am on Sunday 26th May in the birthing pool as planned. The whole experience was a great one and we (my husband and I ) believe that home births are the way forward if we were to continue having kids. I was relaxed and comfortable ( until a certain point 😂) and it was great to be in our own space and have control over my birthing experience. The NHS and midwives were fantastic and guided me through the birth even when I felt I was going to falter. They stayed after the birth to help clean up. Help me feed the baby and clean myself up and shower. At the end of it they felt like part of the family as we sat drinking tea and eating biscuits.
The only downside of a home birth is the limitation of pain medication. You have the choice to have morphine stored on site however you are responsible for getting the prescription and collecting it. I opted for gas and air only..something i regretted half way through labour. However pain aside it was a great experience and our little family feels complete with our new addition.
If a water birth or home birth is of interest to you then check out my Youtube channel to see my Birth Vlog. At first I struggled with sharing something so personal online and wasn’t sure I would do it. But other mothers airing their birthing videos really helped and inspired me when I was planning my birth. It is a magical moment and if it can help another mum then I am happy to share it.
You can go to my channel by clicking HERE
Check out my pregnancy journey on Youtube OR my other blog postsaberdeen home birthbirth vlogbirthing pool in a boxhome birthHome Water BirthNHS home birthScottish home birthwater birth