22 November 2013

Giving birth in the Night Garden

I'm going to give birth in the night garden. Makka pakka and Iggle Piggle will be my birthing partners and the tittifers (can anyone say that without sniggering?) will provide the soothing soundtrack. 

If you don't have children under 5. These are the tittifers. They sing a nice song.

In the past few weeks, BoyDad and I have come to a decision that has always been in the back of our minds but we've not been brave enough to make it happen until now. We're going to have a home birth! 

Judging by reactions I've had since announcing this, the chances are you will now be in one of the following camps:


A. "Risky" camp. You think I'm risking the life of myself and my baby by not being in a hospital where they can slice me open and get the boy out at a second's notice.

B. "Hippy" camp. You think I've suddenly become a vegan, who doesn't wear a bra and will be guzzling placenta smoothie by the end of the week.

C. "Brave" camp. You think I'm brave but ultimately a bit odd for not wanting to be high on the hospital drugs during labour.

As previously discussed however, I'm a nurse - a proper, medically trained, highly educated, research reading professional. I wouldn't be doing anything that was dangerous for myself or my precious newborn baby. It's just as safe for 2nd time mums to give birth at home as in hospital and there is a lower chance of me needing/having a birth intervention if I'm at home. [Interventions being things like pulling the baby out with metal spoons (forceps) a hoover on it's nogging (ventouse) or cutting your hoo-ha to get it's head through (episiotomy)] Anyway, I don't care if you think it's dangerous because it's not and you are intelligent people who can read the research for yourself if you want (*cough*Dad*cough*) .

Seriously, who doesn't feel safe looking at this?
I also don't care if you think I'm a hippy, because I am a tiny bit of one I suppose. I'm drinking raspberry leaf tea as I drink this in the blind (not research based) hope that it'll make my birth easier. I have also been listening to birth relaxation podcasts, during which I 'breathe golden light' and 'take myself to a safe space'. Incidentally I had been really struggling to picture a 'safe space' where I couldn't be disturbed and nothing could hurt me. I tried 'going to' beaches (sharks and crabs), hotel rooms (cleaners), sunny meadows (I'm scared of cows)... In in the end it turns out my 'safe space' which I will 'take myself to' during labour is The Night Garden. It's calm and beautiful and nothing threatening has ever been or could ever be in that garden. Granted, there's a chance that Iggle Piggle could turn up and do a bit of falling over, but that can only help right?

On the other hand, I'm not sure proper hippies need to use exam revision cards to remember their 'birth affirmations'. Nor do they check the expiration date and packaging on every single medical item in the midwife's birth box.
A proper hippy would remember this using chanting or something.

The midwife box. All present and correct!

With regards to perceived "bravery". I think I'm just lucky. I have given birth before without the hard drugs. I complained fairly loudly during most of it but once I got the gas and air I was high as a kite. I've had morphine before, after surgery and it made me feel sick. Gas and air, however, made me feel like I was on another (more wonderful) planet, one which I can't wait to go back to. If they didn't bring gas and air to my house I would definitely reconsider, but they do... so I'm staying put!

I have put in a special request for 2 cannisters of this wondrous stuff.

To help you understand my decision a bit more, here are the top five reasons to have a home birth:

1. Not giving birth in the car. Boy1 came pretty sharpish and the first words I remember anyone saying after he was born were from the senior midwife on the ward. She came in and was shocked I'd had him so quickly. Her exact words ring in my ears: "Blimey, that was quick! You probably won't make it to hospital next time!! haha!"... Well no lady, I won't. And now I don't have to spend the next 4 weeks stressing about going in to labour during rush hour and giving birth on the A4020.

2. Comfort. I gave birth to Boy1 on a hospital trolley in a hospital gown. It was fine, but it'll be much nicer being at home in my warm living room with my own duvet to snuggle under when he's born.

3. Food. After the most physically gruelling task of my life I was offered the choice of a stale tuna sandwich or a stale cheese sandwich. No thanks NHS, I'll be chowing down on an all day breakfast, or a feast of chocolate and mince pies, or a turkey dinner, or a fishfinger sandwich... or all of the above! And drinking proper tea out of my favourite mug with real milk.

4. Privacy. In my own home, while I'm mooing like a cow in various states of undress there will ONLY be the midwives I invite in and my husband. There will be no cleaners wandering, no spare midwives who come in to have a chat with their colleagues, no one.

5. Post-natal care. Once I've had the boy I won't have to spend 6 hours in a room full of other people who've just had babies. I want to hang out with my baby and my husband, not a load of strangers and their crying babies and buzzing call-bells. Most importantly of all, no one lets you watch Muppet Christmas Carol on repeat on a maternity ward!

 Watch this space for a 'how it all worked out' blog!! 


  1. I often wish I'd had my second at home. The hospital birth was fine, but it would have all just 'worked' here I think.
    I love that the nightgarden is your happy place!
    Hope it is all going well. And good luck.

    1. Thanks! Yes, exactly, I'm sure hospital would be fine, but home might be a little bit nicer so why not give it a go! I'm not going to be devastated if I get taken in, just extra pleased if it all goes smoothly here :)

  2. Your reason about giving birth in the car rang true with me. For me, like you, Boy 1 arrived very quickly. My second born, arrived even more quickly. Before even the midwife! She was safely delivered by my mum on the bathroom floor while my husband relayed instructions from the ambulance control room. With number three, we decided there was no option but to home birth, which we did. And it was fabulous - no worries about delivering in a lay-by, no worries about wandering around the house naked (I can't bear to have any clothes on when I'm in labour - which could cause an issue in a hospital). And no worries about the moo/whale groans of a birthing mother.
    I think the Night Garden is a lovely birthing place - as long as those pesky pontypines don't start playing hide and seek in your bushes (snigger, snigger).

    1. Thanks for your comment. Great to hear positive stories about fast 2nd labours and enjoyable (?!) home births :)
      Hopefully it'll be nighttime and the pontipines will be tucked up in bed, then it's just that naughty Iggle Piggle to deal with. Will he EVER go to bed on time?! He's setting a terrible example if you ask me ;)

  3. Really enjoyed reading this as you've pretty much summed up my own thoughts here. We've decided to go for a home birth for #3 who is due in Feb... Very best of luck to you, look forward to your follow up post :-) #PlugYourPost

    1. Thank you :) I'd better practice typing one handed so I can write my blog while breastfeeding! Best of luck with your pregnancy! Xx