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“I want to have the baby at home” she said.

I thought she was joking, so I replied:

“Ok, well you’re the one who’s got to push it out”.

(I know, what a douche).

But, and let me get my defence in here, it’s hard to say something encouraging, when really you’re screaming inside.

“Are you kidding? At home? Why the heck would you have it at home? Babies should be born in hospital – a birthing centre even, but not at home!”

At this moment in time I am convinced of one thing: no more ‘Call The Midwife’.

A little context; this pregnancy is baby no.3. L was born in 2013 in hospital, induced early because of pre-eclampsia. Not a pretty birth. But delivered by a wonderful team at our local hospital.

ALL HAIL THE NHS!

N was born in 2015 in hospital, due to pre-eclampsia with L, but came much faster. Normal birth. Delivered again by a wonderful midwife.

ALL HAIL THE NHS!

So now, baby no.3…

There are a number of factors which led to the idea of home birth:

1. Getting to the hospital while in labour was not fun and was quite stressful. Ensuring you have everything with you, physically getting in the car, traffic etc.

2. The concept of when you’ve had the baby, being able to stay in your own bed, shower in your own shower.

3. A more familiar atmosphere meaning, hopefully, a calming atmosphere during labour.

4. Baby number two came very quickly so the concept of

i) me delivering the baby 😱

ii) delivering the baby in the car 😱 or

iii) baby being delivered in the hospital lobby (this actually happened to someone we know! 😱)

5. Daddy can stay around the whole time. Hospitals are, and quite rightly so, very protective of who’s around new mums and babies – men often get kicked out after hours.

Having talked with Ellen through all this I was still unsure and had a lot of questions still to ask.

What happens if something goes wrong? Who will deliver the baby? What happens if something goes wrong? Where in the house? What happens if something goes wrong? What about our other children? What happens if something goes wrong? What about all the mess? What happens if the midwives don’t get there in time? What about pain relief? What if we change our mind halfway through?

Luckily we had an incredible community midwife and during one visit I was able to ask all these questions and have my mind put at rest.

• Who will deliver the baby?
Two on-call midwives will come to your house and deliver the baby.

• Where in the house?
Wherever you are comfortable downstairs/upstairs and there is room!

• What about the other children?
When you feel like it’s happening – ask a family member/ friend to take the kids.

• What about all the mess?
Big sheets of tarpaulin and plenty of dark towels.

• What happens if something goes wrong?
If at any point the midwives are unhappy, an ambulance will be called, your case goes to the top of the list and you are blue lighted into hospital. It takes 10-15mins to prep surgery anyway and so by the time they are set up you’re coming through the door.

• What happens if the midwives don’t make it?
A woman knows her own body and you’re in constant contact with the labour-line = tell them when you need them! Or, call 999!

• What about pain relief?
The midwives will come with plenty of gas and air. If you’re after something stronger, this ain’t for you.

• What if we change our mind halfway through?
That’s totally ok! They won’t shut the doors on you.

Having asked all my questions, I felt a little more at peace with the idea.

So when it happened it was amazing! Oh my word, I am a HOME BIRTH CONVERT!

During labour my parents took the kids, and then we sat in front of the TV and watched four hours of Friends. When labour really kicked off, two exceptional midwives arrived at our house at 1am and took control of the situation. Gas and air arrived 🙌🏻. They delivered our baby, cleared up, helped wash Ellen, checked baby was feeding ok, said goodbye and left. They were in our house for about 4 hours give or take and we then went to sleep in our own bed, together. Another midwife then rocked up the next day to check we were ok.

ALL HAIL THE NHS!

I’m aware this won’t be for everyone and it’s got to be a decision you make together but it was such a wonderful experience for us and I would highly recommend you think about it.

Have you had a home birth? Are you thinking about it? What would put you off?

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James • Daddy of 3 • 👦🏼👧🏼👶🏼 • Husband to "Little N and the Lion" • Ramblings of a guy just trying to do his best for his family. • Follow on Instagram @life_of_daddy

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