I wanted home births, but both my births didn’t go to plan, they were very positive and empowering experiences, one started off at home and then was a very medicalised birth and the other was late preterm (36 weeks) a physiological birth.
You can read their birth stories:
Some of the other things I didn’t get to do but I intended to.
1. Wireless headphones instead of a speaker
For Willow’s birth I had a speaker playing my relaxing songs, even though Karl and my midwife were very quiet, I couldn’t completely switch off and when we transferred to hospital I was very chatty and I didn’t want to listen to music. When planning the birth of Oakley I wanted Willow at the birth but I knew she would definitely distract me, I wanted to use wireless headphones so I wouldn’t be able to hear her, if I closed my eyes and had the headphones on, then I could completely switch off from the room, I ended up birthing in a hospital due to Oakley turning up at 36 weeks, I used my wireless headphones, Karl spoke on my behalf and I just focused on my breathing and listened to playlists. I had the headphones on while I was labouring in the bath and took them off when I started pushing.
2. LED lights instead of candles
First time I had lots of candles around our living room, they were scented and after a while the scents did my head in. I bought LED string lights that would go in-between the pool and pool liner, garden fairy lights above the pool and battery candles. I didn’t get to use the string or fairy lights but I took the battery candles with me to hospital and we put them around the labour ward room and around the bath.
3. Scents on a flannels instead of a diffuser
Like with candles, the scents started to annoy me, I had a couple of essential oils on a flannel that I could sniff when I wanted to. I used it in the room on the labour ward and in the bath just before I started pushing.
4. Anti sickness tablets
During the labour of Willow’s birth, I was sick A LOT! after a while I started to get dehydrated and exhausted. I found that when being sick my stomach muscles were fighting against the uterus muscles of the contractions. It felt like they were banging against each other. I had pretty bad sickness during my pregnancy with Oakley and I knew I wanted to have some tables spare for the labour. When my waters broke, before I started to get surges I took an anti sickness tablet. I was sick just when I started to push, seconds before her head came out. (if planning a home birth, midwives don’t have anti sickness medication, if you are worried about sickness your doctor can prescribe them before your labour)
5. Vegan energy shots
With Willow’s birth it was a very long labour, I was tired and exhausted, my midwife recommended eating honey, it wasn’t enjoyable eating spoonfuls of honey (I couldn’t eat honey after that day) it did give me energy but I went vegan 6 months after Willow was born, so when planning for baby no2, I bought vegan energy shots. I didn’t use them in the end because the labour was very quick and I didn’t get tired.
6. Birth photographer
We didn’t get to have our birth photographer at the birth because I birthed in hospital, and due to covid she couldn’t come with us. But we did do a day in a life with a newborn photo session. I was gutted, I really wanted some good quality photos of the birth. I joke that even if I did have a home birth, my midwives and photographer would of missed it because it happened so fast, I didn’t think I was in active labour and then the next minute I was pushing.
7. First meal – a takeaway
I didn’t plan this, but being vegan this time I knew I didn’t want hospital food, I had so much energy after this birth, I was buzzing and I wanted some junk food, I sent Karl off to KFC to get a vegan burger. It was so good.
8. More maternity pyjamas
First time, I just bought 1 set of maternity/breastfeeding pjs, this time I had 5 pairs, I lived in them for the first week. We were still in lockdown when Oakley was born, we could get out but only outside, being March I didn’t want to. I was happy just to chill at home with my new baby and mental toddler. It was nice for them to get to know each other.
9. Anti Acid
I had heart burn loads during both pregnancies, I took my anti acid to the hospital and I’m so glad I did, I definitly needed it.
10. Multiple playlists
First time I had 1 chilled playlist, 2nd time I had 5 different playlists, party songs, songs that are important to me like our wedding songs, hypnobirthing tracks, chilled electronic, chilled alternative and chilled piano tracks. First time round I got bored of the music and I knew 2nd time I would want a range of playlists. I loved the music I listened to when I was in labour, I think it helped me progress quickly.