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  • Chris Keen

Preparing For A Home Birth!

It’s not long now until we become a family of four! The new baby keen will be with us any day now and I couldn’t be more excited! Holly is going to be such a great big sister!


If you follow me on social media you will have seen a post I put up the other day about us preparing for a home birth. The NHS dropped around a load of equipment like oxygen bottles, drugs and other kit they might need when the time comes.


Since putting the post on social media there has been so much support but also people asking us why we’ve decided to have a home birth, it’s a good question as I never thought we'd have one.


So the simple answer is... So that I can be there at the birth with Kelly (or at least nearby).


If we chose to go into hospital then I won’t be able to be there because toddlers aren’t allowed in, so I'd have to stay at home and look after Holly.


You’re thinking... Well EVERYBODY with more than one child has that problem but they don’t opt for a home birth! You’re right, however most people live pretty close to friends and family and are able to call upon them to step in and look after the children.


Our closest family is a 5 hour drive away so this isn’t really an option for us unless family come up to stay with us until the baby is born but that could be anytime within a six week window. It’s a big ask to get somebody up for that length of time.


Our next option would be to get one of our amazing neighbours around to look after Holly, however because of all the lockdown restrictions that have been in place for most of her life, Holly literally hasn’t spent any time away from us, nor has she interacted with many other adults (except on FaceTime!). She's never been looked after by anyone else and has never spent a night away from us. The result of this is that she’s still adjusting to interacting with other adults. She has made good progress over the last couple of months... She doesn’t always cry in the face of the supermarket checkout people anymore! She’ll slowly come around to visitors in her own time too, but she’s not quite there yet and we can’t bear the thought of her getting distressed in the company of a stranger, who would inevitably be too polite to tell us.


Many people may judge us for this; that Holly is quite attached to us and not good with strangers, however it’s just not her fault. She doesn’t know any different, and hasn’t had the option to socialise throughout the restrictions. Many friends and family back home have still been able to utilise family for childcare and/or live so close that they were able to meet up outside and interact throughout. Unfortunately, we didn’t have that privilege. I’m sure there are many other military families with young children in a similar situation (especially those overseas), wondering/worrying about any long term impact of this lack of socialising at such a pivotal age in our children’s lives.


Can I just say though, that we do have INCREDIBLE neighbours on this patch, with several offers of help with this, offering to come over to the house at any time of the day or night and look after Holly if we need them to. It’s really humbling to know that they’re there for support, however right now it’s just now fair on Holly. Knowing that they wouldn’t want to tell us if Holly was distressed, it’s just another thing Kelly would be worrying about when she’ll have enough on her plate.


So because of all that, we’ve opted to prepare for a homebirth! If Holly isn’t asleep or napping, I may well still be busy looking after her, but at least I’ll still be there and able to meet the new baby straight away, instead of waiting an unknown length of time for them to be released from the hospital.


The midwife came round the other day just to let us know what the process was etc and it all sounds good, it almost makes me think, why doesn’t everybody opt in for a home birth!


So the team are on stand by from week 37 which is today and so when we call them to let them know something is happening, they have up to a 1 hour response time which is hopefully enough time lol.


I did ask what would happen if they didn’t get here in time and she just said well you’d call 999 and they’d explain to you what to do over the phone. Which I think means, I might be delivering the baby! No thank you lol. Let’s hope they get here in time!


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