Ellie writes: There were no scented candles at the birth of my baby. No classical music, no yogic breathing. The only sound, apart from me swearing, came from a radio someone had left on in the delivery room.
"Take my hand," said my husband, "We'll make it, I swear." He still hasn't regained full use of his fingers.
Those are my memories of childbirth. They're not rosy, but they are real, and they are mine. I wouldn't swap them and I don't regret the decision to have my baby in hospital. I just wish others would respect it.
I always planned on a hospital labour, despite repeated encouragement from my midwife to give birth at home. I didn't doubt her expertise - I have huge respect for midwives and the work that they do. I know that home births are safe, and that they are the best choice for millions of women.
But I also know myself. I feel safe in hospitals. I have no issues with "sterile environments." To me, sterile just means clean, and that appeals as someone who hasn't hoovered under the bed since we moved in. I wanted to be as close as possible to all those monitors and medical professionals, and to have the option of pain relief if things got really bad.
As it turned out, things got really quite bad indeed. But we got to hospital too late for an epidural, and then there were complications. I ended up having an episiotomy and a ventouse - procedures NICE is suggesting I could have avoided if I had stayed at home.
It's not the first time I've heard this. I met a midwife at a dinner party who said it was "a shame" I "had" to go to hospital. I explained it was my choice, that I was grateful to have had that medical intervention close at hand. She said I should have hung on and pushed harder.
Maybe that's true. I'll never know. What I do know is that there were no long-term effects from these procedures. Three and a half years on, I am happy and healthy and so is my son. In fact, his head is less pointy than his father's.
Unlike my fellow Scummy Mummy, I wouldn't describe my labour as beautiful. I do envy her that. But nor was it the horror show hospital births are billed as. Less than 14 hours after it was over I was back home on the sofa, gazing at my gorgeous son. It was the best day of my life, despite the Bon Jovi incident.
All the same, I'm aware that my choice isn't for everyone. I believe every woman should have the right to make her own decision when it comes to her body and her baby. I understand that there is an ongoing need to campaign for the right to a home birth.
But sometimes that campaigning can be so strident it swings the other way, and women are made to feel guilty for having a hospital labour. I'm tired of reading about how having a baby at home is always preferable - that isn't the case for everyone. It wasn't for me.
I'm concerned about the creation of a culture of fear around safe medical procedures that are sometimes necessary, even life-saving. And I don't want those of us who have these procedures being made to feel like we've failed in some way, or haven't experienced "proper" childbirth.
I know women who had their hearts set on staying at home, but were disappointed when pre-existing medical conditions or last minute complications meant they couldn't have the "natural" labour they planned - as if there's anything unnatural about the birth of a baby.
One of the guiding principles of Scummy Mummies is that we try not to pass judgements on other mums or their choices. We've all got enough stuff to feel guilty about already. Although Helen and I approached our labours differently, we know we chose the best options for ourselves as individuals, and we respect each other's decisions. We believe every mother should have the right to decide where she gives birth, without feeling pressured one way or the other.
My second baby is due in February, and once again my preference is for a hospital birth. But I'm aware there are no guarantees - my midwife has told me that as my first labour was relatively quick, there might not be time to get out of the house. I'm fine with whatever happens, as long as my baby is born safe and healthy. I just hope everyone else is too. It's taken years to start shifting the stigma around home births - why create a new one around going to hospital?
Helen writes: I never thought I would end up having two candle-burning, classical music-playing, chanting-in-the-lounge type births. I grew up in Australia, where less than one per cent of babies are born at home.
The practice is frowned upon by the majority of the medical profession, and indeed the general population. As the daughter of a no nonsense nurse, I thought my births would be just like my mother's - in hospital, under the guidance of a strict obstetrician, complete with bright lights, stirrups and stitches.
But then I moved to the UK, where the home birth movement was already established and gaining momentum by the time I became pregnant in 2008. It was my midwife who suggested I have my baby right there at home, amongst the Ikea furniture and the drying washing.
As a first-time mother, I was nervous. I didn't feel like I was the type of person who could have a home birth. I like eating takeaway pizza and reading Hello!, not hiking and recycling.
But then I started to research the subject and watch videos of home labours online. I also began taking pregnancy yoga classes. It occurred to me that my mum had given birth to five healthy children, all with no complications, and that we have the same shaped hips. I decided there was a good chance my baby would come out the same way I did.
When I told my midwife, she was thrilled. We began the planning process - it involved lots of discussions about inflatable pools, plastic sheets and an unbelievable amount of towels. I started to get excited about the fact I wouldn't have to leave my own house or even get off the sofa to deliver my baby. Basically, I chose a home birth out of laziness more than anything else.
I was very open about my choice when it came to telling my friends and my National Childbirth Trust antenatal group. However, I kept it a big secret from my family in Australia. I knew what my mum would say, and rolling eyes are still rolling eyes even when they're rolling at you over Skype.
I was even more concerned about how my mother-in-law would feel. She is very sweet, but she is a champion worrier. So to save our parents the angst, my husband and I told them we were planning a hospital birth and had packed our bags. It's easy to keep up this sort of pretence when you live in different hemispheres...
In the end my happy, healthy baby girl arrived right on her due date, at midday. No stitches, no drugs, just a pool in the lounge and two smiling parents. Sure, I had a sore downstairs, but it all seemed worth it.
We rang our parents and told them our news, including the truth about how our baby was born. It was a strategic move that paid off - they were so elated to have a grandchild that the news of the "hippy" way she had arrived into the world was overshadowed.
However, many of my friends in Australia were shocked when I told. Most of them had their babies in private hospitals with the help of obstetricians. Their experiences were quite different from my midwife-led, NHS-funded care, for which I will be forever grateful.
When I heard the news about the NICE guidelines suggesting home births are the best option for many women, I was thrilled. I loved my home births and would wish the same for any woman.
But at the same time, I believe we should be advocating choice. I know what it's like to be afraid of sharing your birth choices, to feel pressured into "doing the right thing." No one should have to go through that. What's really best for any expectant mother is to have all the different birthing options available to her, without fear of being judged by professionals, friends or family.
We are so lucky that here in the UK, we have so many options when it comes to giving birth - and that's what we should be championing.
A shorter version of Ellie's portion of this post first appeared in The Guardian's Comment is free section.
NICE has published new guidelines suggesting home births are the best option for many women. Here the Scummy Mummies explain why they made different decisions when it came to their labours - and why they respect each other's choices.