My daughter was born at home, with no family history of EHK, so we didn't really have the option of c-section. She didn't have any sort of blistering from the birth itself. We noticed first blisters on her hands which the midwives thought were sucking blisters. It wasn't until we started bathing her that her skin started peeling. She also has palmoplantar EHK, but we didn't notice build up on her feet and hands for a few months. We found with Ivy that she wasn't in critical care for the most part. She didn't get dehydrated or catch any bugs from the hospital. They mainly just wanted to watch her until they got a confirmed diagnosis.

If I were you I would note in your birth plan that you know the baby might be born with EHK and that it isn't a life threatening condition. I would desire the baby to still be placed immediately on my chest for bonding and the best start to the nursing relationship. I would do everything the way I have for all my home births: delayed cord clamping/cutting, waiting for the placenta to come out on its own, performing the tests they do while the baby is on my chest, etc. I would probably be pretty adamant that there be as few people in the delivery room as possible so that the risk of infection is lowered for the baby. And as a long shot I'd probably ask that the baby remain with me unless there is an indication that the baby is suffering from dehydration or infection. I'd make a list of the dressings that I'd need for the baby, and if the hospital doesn't carry something that you know you'll need, bring it.

Good luck. I hope that your husband's mother will be able to come and help, because I'm sure he doesn't remember his infant-hood very much! It will be a trying time if your baby does have EHK but you are so much more prepared than I ever was for this crazy miracle.

And I just want to add to the previous post that if you're at the point where the doc is recommending forceps or vacuum assist, you're probably past the point of a c-section. Once the baby is in the birth canal there's no way to do a section. You can always ask to try a different position to get the baby to move down more quickly, like squatting or hands and knees. (just my 2 cents though)

~Lizzy