We were expecting our 2nd child in September 2015. We had already tried a home birth with our first before transferring into Poole because it wasn’t progressing. We ended up having pethadine, an epidural and eventually forceps. However, despite this, we were keen to have a home birth again and up until 37 weeks, everything was going well.
During our 37 week appointment with our NHS midwife for an antenatal check, the midwife told us that the measurement over the bump had measured larger than it should have by about 4 weeks as well as measuring over at our previous appointment. We were referred for a growth scan at Bournemouth which was booked for the next day. The scan estimate a 9lb 8oz baby and estimated that it would measure about 10lb 4oz by the due date. We were asked to see the consultant to discuss this straight away. The consultant was positive and agreed that a natural birth, without interventions would be best. However, when we mentioned home birth, the consultant advised us against this, telling us that we needed the support of a medical team should there be an issue with the birthing of the shoulders, but they could not guarantee the pool would be an
option or our choice of birthing centre.
Having left the consultant, we didn’t know where we stood or what was best for our baby. We were left with no future appointments or follow up. We went to speak with the midwives at Bournemouth who explained a bit more and provided us with a basic birth plan should baby arrive soon. We ended up reading webpages from the internet for information and studies into larger babies.
We arranged for a further appointment with the consultant at Bournemouth and were met by him and a midwife. The consultant discussed the risks of shoulder dystosia but could not prove any information on risk levels. His suggestion was that if it was him, he would not risk it with his child. We asked what the risks were around home birth and what could be done at home to counter the risks and he advised us that he had no experience of home birth so could not assist. We ended up having a discussion with the midwife after the consultant left and decided that Poole would be the better option. This was upsetting as we had lost our chance of a home birth before labour had even begun! We felt like our choice of a home birth had been taken from us, as we had no support from the consultants and that the midwives did not have the confidence or experience in dealing with the home birth of bigger babies. Also, we were advised that if the on-call midwife wished to refuse to assist, they could and the hospital would have to call numerous midwives to find one to assist.