Accidental Hospital Births
Maybe some midwives are acting on auto-pilot when they ask a woman planning a homebirth to "just come in to be checked", or maybe they are hoping that a hospital birth will "accidentally" happen. Either way, if it is important to you to have your baby in your own environment, you do need to think carefully about attending any hospital appointment in late pregnancy if there is any chance that you might be in labour.
It can be very hard to assert yourself and go home when there is explicit, and implicit, pressure on you to "help everyone out" by just staying put. Remember that you planned a homebirth for a reason - it presumably wasn't just a random, spur-of-the-moment whim. You have the rest of your life to be a "good girl", to be cooperative, to "help everyone out", to avoid making things difficult to people - if that sort of thing appeals! But you will only have this baby once; you don't need to feel guilty about doing what's right for your family.
Birth stories - Accidental Hospital Births, and Near Misses
- Lisa Rabin-Smith went to hospital in early labour to have her baby's heart rate checked as the midwife thought it sounded 'quiet' on the Sonicaid. Lisa intended to come straight home after monitoring, but didn't get the chance.
- Karen Tye-Walker was asked to go to hospital to be checked when she was in labour, because the on-call midwife had a cold and didn't want to come out to her. She refused, and another midwife arrived to help at her lovely birth.
- Jillian went to hospital to decline induction at 10 days postdates, and found it was too late to go home.
Katie called the hospital because she started bleeding, and forgot to mention that she was booked for a homebirth. She was asked to go to hospital to be checked out, and it turned out she was bleeding because she was in established labour, but had not realised. She was persuaded to stay in hospital to give birth.
- Emma went to hospital for a stretch and sweep from her obstetrician, and was told that she was actually in latent (early) labour. She went home and continued with her homebirth plans.
- Emily was booked in for a stretch and sweep, but suspected she was in early labour. She decided to go for the appointment anyway, and was found to be 5cm dilated. Now at this point, most women would decide to either go home, or stay in hospital. Emily decided to go to Tescos!
- Judith G: "..she asked me to go into hospital to be monitored briefly and have the consultant prescribe oral antibiotics to last me through the night if all was well.
This is the point that I regretted ever since – I should have refused to go - there was no evidence of any foetal (or maternal) distress, and absolutely no reason for me to transfer into hospital – I was not even in established labour at this point!"
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