First time pregnant
I am pregnant for the first time and I live on a small remote island. This is my story.
Part 9: Our plans for birth
Ever since we found out that we are pregnant we insisted that we were going to have a home birth. We live on a tranquil, remote and isolated island and I do not enjoy travelling by boat or plane so just the thought of having to transfer to a busy town whilst heavily pregnant made me feel exhausted. I always said that I would much prefer to have peace and comfort of my own home, my own loving dogs nearby, tranquillity and remoteness of our isolated home setting.
Also, we live in an old stone cottage that was built before the records began in 1700’s which makes me think that many children would have been born in this house and I liked the idea of adding yet another such memory to the atmosphere this old stone building. To add to that, I am contracted by the local authority to be a local Registrar on Eday, which means I can register every new birth and death that occurs on this island in the official Scotland records. The thought of having a child born in this house and then registered in this house was so special, James and I were determined to make that happen!
I mentioned this idea of a home birth to the midwives at the maternity unit and they advised me that both I and the baby appear to be healthy enough for a home delivery. However, as the time went on and they considered just how remotely we are located, they became increasingly aware of the difficulties we would face should any complications develop on the day. They advised me that nobody ever plans for a difficult birth, but one can never predict if any specialist intervention might be needed. They further explained that it might take up to 12 hours for an emergency helicopter to land on Eday which, if we were faced with a really serious situation might be too late to help me or save my baby. It was indeed a serious concern.
I understood their advice but also explained that I still didn’t like the idea of giving birth in a hospital, away from my loving dogs - James would be there regardless, but I wanted my whole pack together! There was something about sharing such a monumental moment with my entire family that I really loved - and before you ask, James and my two dogs are my entire family, so I simply needed them all there with me and wanted us all to be together when the baby arrives.
The midwife didn’t just shut the door on my idea of a homebirth, instead, she went ahead with organising accommodation on the mainland that we could stay in for the two weeks nearing the due date. She explained that it was a good compromise - we were going to be located reasonably close to the hospital, should we need additional specialist care yet could all stay together and have our own space and privacy for welcoming our first child.
With all this in mind, and having discussed our options at length with James, our friends and our local nurses we decided to make a sensible choice. It was a first truly “parent-like” decision as for the first time we weren’t just thinking about ourselves, but were considering the implications and wellbeing of our little baby. Yes - we were going to have a home birth, but not in our home! It was a compromise that we gladly accepted.
I also since talked to my Nan about our options and she informed me that she had my Mum a couple of weeks prematurely and that my Mum had me a couple of weeks early too - so that added a level of concern as these things can often be hereditary. If my baby arrives a few weeks too early I would certainly like to be close to a hospital where they can get all the help and assistance they needed!
So, as it stands now, we are going to have a two week “holiday” in Kirkwall at the end of September! Dogs and all! We are still awaiting for the confirmation on the accommodation, but I trust the Health Service will look not let us down, and James has been busy planning the meals, day trips and TV series we could binge watch to pass the time, instead of pacing and waiting.