Yesterday saw me stepping back into the land of normality. Late afternoon one of daughter’s friends and her husband came round for a one-to-one active birth chat. Her second baby is due in 3 weeks and she would like to try and avoid all the intervention she experienced first time round. It was really lovely, informal, chatty and made me feel quite enthusiastic about midwifery again. When I felt I had covered everything I then asked if there was anything else they wanted to talk about and C said what did I think about homebirth. I was surprised as her previous birth had been so medicalised and she has always struck me as a person who requires loads of support. Her husband immediately expressed his doubts, the usual one about emergency caesarians. First of all I explained that there are some situations where homebirth is something we would advise against but having looked at C’s notes and history all looked ‘low-risk’ to date so we would be overjoyed to book her for one as long as all remained ‘normal’, I also said that they could always change their minds, right up until labour started. I discussed the issues of availability of midwives and warned them that if the midwives were already at another homebirth, especially at night, then they would be asked to go to the hospital. I then addressed the ’emergency’ situations. As usual I highlighted the fact that there are a couple of real emergencies that can occur at a homebirth, the shoulders getting stuck, the cord prolapsing, haemorrhage, and then went on to say that many of the situations that arise in hospitals, baby’s heartbeat slowing, long labour, meconium liquor, baby’s head staying high are observed, often for hours without invasive procedures purely because the labour is in the hospital and all the equipment, theatres are there. However, at a homebirth we do not observe once the situation strays from ‘normal’, we act, and the action is to transfer the woman into hospital. Husband seemed reassured by this and so the end result of our meeting was that C is now planning for a homebirth.
Still on a positive I went out for the meal with colleagues. It was so wonderful to dress up, put on make-up, socialise and enjoy a tasty Italian meal, with a couple of glasses of wine!
The good news continues. Another of daughters friends just phoned to say that a little bird had told her I was desperate to go to Ikea. I know, I get sadder, she is going to take me on Monday, at last, I am returning to normal!