If you came here via a link looking for information on Wexham Park and giving birth there, click here: Giving birth at Wexham Park for all my posts about it.
Lena was born in the birth centre at Wexham Park hospital. A lot of people have come across my blog by doing a search on Wexham and birth, so I thought I would offer a few tips and advice based on what we experienced.
They were very accommodating to whatever I needed when we went in. They even suggested I take a bath and ran it for me. Later, it was no problem to take another when I felt like it.
It wasn't busy in the actual birthing centre. One woman came in and gave birth while I was there, but other than that, I was the only woman in there over a period of 18 hours or so. Don't worry about room at the inn, if you know what I mean. The post-natal ward was full however, but I couldn't say if that is normal or not.
There aren't beds there, but when it was 3 in the morning and we were both trying to sleep, with me on the beanbag, they did bring in a thick foam mattress for G. He wasn't stuck lying on the floor or in a chair.
The midwives were very good about providing water, tea and biscuits. I would recommend bringing in your own sugar supplies though, because you will probably want them. I brought müsli bars, which I wouldn't do again. I think something easier to chew when you are tired or busy in a contraction is better. Think more like chocolate or digestive cookies.
Drink lots of water and keep going to the toilet to let it out.
The fans in the rooms are a godsend. I used G as my slave, getting him to turn it on and off at my whim. Sometimes you are really really hot, sometimes you don't like the breeze.
After the birth, there was no rush to get up and out of the birthing room. Take your time and enjoy those first few moments. Anything they want to do will go on around you, you don't have to move.
Don't be afraid to be assertive with what you want. I know that's not usually a British trait, "mustn't grumble" often being the idea. But you and your baby are the focus here, so use the opportunity. If you want more water, get someone to get you some. If there is a certain medical procedure that you don't want done (in my case, breaking my waters artificially), unless it's really necessary for the health of you or your baby, don't be afraid to say you don't want it. They might try and convince you otherwise, but the choice is yours. If you are overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask for support, be it mental or physical.
Last point - we decided to pay the extra money for a private room in the Astor suite. There were a couple reasons for this. One, the post-natal ward of the birthing centre was pretty full, so it would have been us and 5 other mothers with newborns, which isn't really how we wanted to spend the first few hours with our child. No offense to any of those lovely ladies. Two, I had been having contractions since Wednesday morning and by the time Lena came on Saturday morning, I was exhausted. It was fabulous to be able to get some sleep in a room alone with her. There was way more room for all our stuff too. Three, it's not like you give birth everyday. It's a lot of money (145 or 175 pounds per night, including meals) but it's not like we are going to be staying there once a week or anything. It was worth the splurge for us, but others might decide to save it for something else. To each their own.
I hope some of these points might help someone else with their birth. Good luck to you and happy delivery!