Disclaimer: If you haven’t read Part 1 of my Birth Plan, please check it out. It explains why I chose to write a birth plan and how I hope it will help me during the birth experience. It also explains that my birth plan is flexible, meaning I’m not going to allow myself to get into an unsafe situation because I want to stick to the plan so badly. Birth plans can be a touchy subject and often work their way into the mommy wars. Everyone has different priorities, hopes and fears when it comes to birth. This is how I’m dealing with mine.
After a few weeks, I’m now finally getting around to writing about my actual birth plan! I’ve felt very encouraged by all the positive reactions I received from Part 1. Thank you all for your kind words of support and for sharing your stories as well! I’m hoping I receive the same amount of grace and encouragement now, even if my preferences are different from what you would want or have done.
It’s important for me to share, before I begin, that I have been researching childbirth options for years. It’s something that I am very interested in. Over the time that I’ve spent researching, my opinions and preferences have changed on several points. I believe this birth plan most accurately reflects what I want for myself and my baby.
Sidenote: I’m not going to share every single detail of my birth plan, as some of it is quite… graphic. If you’d like to talk to me about the intimate details of my hoo-haa, please don’t :).
- If I go past my due date and Lil’ Ziggy and I are fine, I prefer to go into labour naturally rather than be induced. I believe in Alberta they “won’t let you” go more than 10 days over. If induction becomes necessary, I would like to try natural induction techniques first.
The reason for my preferences here is that medical induction techniques such as Pitocin can cause contractions to be much more painful, but not any more effective. This can often lead to more medical interventions as labour progresses (or doesn’t).
- If my water breaks before I go into labour, I would like to wait the recommended 24 hours before being induced. I’d still rather use natural induction techniques but my main priority at that point would be avoiding infection.
At the hospital
- I prefer that Chris and my doula stay with me at all times.
- I’d like to use any and all labour equipment available. I’ll be bringing in an exercise ball to bounce/sway on, and I’ll be switching up labouring positions and making use of the squatting bar and shower.
- I’d like my room to be as calm as humanly possible, given that it’s in the L&D ward in a hospital. I’ve asked for a private room so hopefully they’re not packed the day I go into labour. I’d like to create a calm environment by dimming the lights, playing relaxing music (another reason why hiring a massage therapist as my doula will come in handy!), and having people speak softly when in the room with me. I will be the only one yelling in there.
- I’m cool with wearing the super sexy hospital clothing. I’d probably get whatever home clothes I would wear all gross from sweat and baby so I might as well wear something that can be thrown away afterwards. I’ll have some comfy clothes and sweaters in my hospital bag.
- I would prefer to not be hooked up to an IV. Now, if I require antibiotics or other interventions for any reason, I won’t refuse. But I also want to be free to eat and drink without restrictions, so I don’t think hydration will be an issue. I would actually prefer to not even have a saline lock unless it becomes necessary, and having something sticking out of my hand while I’m in labour creeps me out.
Pain Medication Preferences (here we go)
- I will do everything in my power to avoid pain medication during labour. Now before you go all “psht, good luck loser!”, remember that I’ve done a LOT of research on this. And by research, I don’t mean reading crunchy mama blogs, I mean I’ve read literature shared by Alberta Health Services as well as medical journals. And after all that research, and weighing the pros and cons, I. Do. Not. Want. An. Epidural. I do not want a needle going into my back, inserting a catheter into my back, and leaving it there. I don’t want to feel like I can’t move around. I don’t want to risk further complications like a C-Section because my labour slows or stops. There are so many reasons why I don’t want an epidural, but those are the high-level ones.
- I would consider laughing gas or another kind of pain medication before an epidural (mostly because they don’t involve needles in the back), but I don’t like the idea of it affecting my whole body and the baby as well.
- Side note – yes, I know it will hurt a lot more. I know that I may become exhausted. The point is, for me, the cons and risks of an epidural outweigh the pros.
The Main Event
- As long as the baby and I are still doing okay, I don’t want to have a time limit on pushing. We will be on MY schedule, not the doctor’s.
- I do not want the doctor to tell me which position I have to push in. I’ll push in whatever way feels best for me.
- I do not want to have an episiotomy.
- I do not want to have forceps or a vacuum used unless it is a case where the baby could be in trouble without it.
- Lil’ Ziggy will be placed on me immediately after birth for skin to skin contact, and all procedures will be done there.
- I’m cool with the vitamin K shot and the eye ointment, but I will wait until Ziggy’s had some food and is about to fall asleep (can be up to two hours).
- I want to wait 1-3 minutes before the umbilical cord is clamped and cut in order for more blood to return to Ziggy from the placenta.
- Chris and I have discussed it, and he’d like to cut the cord.
- If Lil’ Ziggy is having any problems and has to be taken out of the room, Chris will go along and be present at all times.
- I’d like to exclusively breastfeed Lil’ Ziggy and will gladly accept any help or guidance from the nurses to make that happen. I don’t want the nurses to give Zig formula unless they’ve asked me and we’ve determined that it’s the best thing to do at that moment.
If a C-Section is necessary
- Obviously, I will try everything I can to avoid a C-Section, including avoiding induction, epidural, etc.
- Chris and my doula are to remain with me throughout the whole thing, and I would prefer to be conscious (which would require an epidural. I’m sure I’ll have bigger things to worry about at that point).
- After Lil’ Ziggy is out, I want to see and touch him/her as soon as possible.
And that’s pretty much it. My full birth plan is a little longer, but I cut out the boring/graphic points. I really believe that this is a good plan, and I’m really confident that I can make it happen. Of course, things happen and we may have to change it up, but in just having a plan I feel more positive, prepared and ready.
I can do this!
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