Since coming back from Dubai I’ve had a bit of deliberation over which hospital I’d like to give birth at out of Winchester and Southampton.

In the beginning I chose Winchester simply because I was still registered at my family doctors surgery in Chandlers Ford and that was the hospital linked to it. We had our first scan there and I got a really good feeling from it.

Once we moved to Hamble, I was given the choice of either hospitals but told that the midwifes at my new surgery don’t actually go to WInchester, so if I wanted to have my midwife there for the birth I would have to go to Southampton.

I don’t know if it’s because I just wasn’t fussed about which midwife was at my birth, or because I’d already seen one midwife in Dubai, then one at my family surgery, making the one at my new surgery my 3rd and therefore not really giving me a particular bond to any; but it really wasn’t an important factor for me in deciding which hospital to go to.

I said I’d to stick to Winchester, purely because I’d been there for a scan and I was born there – those are the only reasons that I had.

Now over Christmas I had a urine infection, but before I knew that’s what it was I ended up rushing into Southampton’s maternity ward as we were over my brothers house which is closer that way. The staff were fab and made me feel so at ease and comfortable. This was great but also a pain as I now had a difficult decision to make!

At my next midwifes appointment (with yet another new midwife, making it my 4th one) we discussed my dilemma, and she mentioned that if I were to go to Southampton hospital I wouldn’t be able to have my 34 week scan that I’d been booked in for due to my low PAPP-A, as Southampton din’t tend to give those scans out unless they were really concerned.

So that was it, decision made. I knew that I wanted that extra scan, even if it wasn’t necessary so we carried on going to Winchester hospital and made a 100% decision to stick with it for labour.

On Saturday we went for a tour of the maternity unit. Not that I needed confirmation of my decision, but more so that I could visualise where I’d go during labour and so that I’d know where to go on the day. It’s really helped me to feel relaxed and calm about the whole process!

Parking is normally a nightmare but on the day there were plenty of spaces. Even the midwife who ran the tour said that we’d picked a good day! We parked right outside and didn’t even get a ticket for not paying to park (we ran out of change and chanced it – shame on us I know).

There were about 6 other couples and they all looked about the same stage as me with a few weeks to go. I think you have to be 32 weeks before you can have the tour so that would explain it lol

We were showed how to get to the first floor (lifts or stairs) all seemed very obvious but I guess when you’re in labour your mind is probably a bit frazzled!

We were then told we’d have to ring the buzzer, give our names and wait to be let in. The ward had such a calm ambience about it that I felt so relaxed straight away. The midwifes were chattering at the front desk, there was music in the background, and contrary to OBEM there was no screaming!

We were shown the most important rooms for the partners – the kitchen and the bathroom and then taken around the different types of rooms for labour, of which there were three.

 

Birth pool rooms

Now in my plan I’d love to have a water birth. I understand that things don’t always go to plan so I’m prepared for changes but this is what I’m building up to. All of the natal hypnotherapy, aromatherapy and countless baths I’ve been taking have led me to ‘I am having a water birth’ so these rooms for me were the one’s I wanted to see.

There were two of them, pretty much the same except for the shapes were slightly different. I’m not kidding when I say they were like hotel rooms! There was nothing clinical about them, all soft wood furnishings and leather sofas! The rooms had typical hospital beds equipped with TV’s that you just needed to pop change in to work. They had double sofas that pulled out to beds, single recliner chairs and the piece de resistance … the birth pools.

For those of you who haven’t seen one, it’s like a hot tub. So spacious that Pete could join me although I’m sure he wouldn’t want to lol

There was mood lighting to make the rooms a tranquil tint of a range of colours. I’d probably go with purple as I’ve been using lavender oil a lot for relaxation so it may trigger my relaxation.

They also had large ensuites so really you and your whole family could come and stay and they wouldn’t even get in your way during labour!

The only thing that I didn’t like was that if someone goes into labour about doesn’t want a water birth they can still use those rooms for the benefits of the lighting and space. If someone who does want a water birth then comes in *cough cough ME* – I’d have to go into a normal room and miss out on the pool that’s not even being used. I think I’ll be staying at home until the pool rooms are free, either that or Pete may be bribing the new parents to up camp and move haha

 

Bed rooms

These were your bog standard hospital rooms and there were a handful of them. To be honest I didn’t pay much attention as one of those birth pool rooms is mine! I did notice the tiny little baby bed which made me feel all gooey inside to think that Rabbit will be chilling out in one of those soon!

 

Theatre

Now the minute that I saw this room was the first time that I have been nervous about giving birth during my whole pregnancy. I watch OBEM, I listen to other women’s stories, I even Youtube labour videos; but this is what made me panic.

I know that if I need to go in there then I have no choice and I’m sure my hypnotherapy practise will help me out but the clinical feel, strobe lighting and all of those ‘tools’ I guess just made me realise the seriousness of labour, the risks involved and the attention required!

We also got to see the shared wards and private rooms for after baby has been born but I’m hoping to just stay in the birth pool room until I’m ready to go home and then relax in our cosy cottage with my boys 🙂

Did you guys go on a tour before bambino arrived?

 

Thanks for reading! xx