September 23, 2015

Our Birth "Plan"


As I sit down to type this post, I wonder if the Fates are already laughing at me for even daring to make a plan. After all, birth is just so unpredictable. You don't get to pick when you go into labor or even how your labor goes. I do believe however, in having goals and being as prepared as possible. That said, Adam and I have spent a lot of time preparing for the birth of this child. One of our first, and probably smartest decisions, was to hire a doula. Don't know what a doula is? You aren't alone. Check out this resource, or this one, or even this one

Our doula is named Tia and I love her. She is so kind, smart, and reassuring. I feel like regardless of what happens, she will be this calm presence in the room that will bring me a lot of comfort and a deep sense of security. We've spent the last 4-5 months getting to know each other and she texts me daily to provide me with motivation for the birth process. I absolutely love having her on our "birth team".

In addition to having Tia along for the ride, Adam and I have set a few "goals" for birth. I say "goals" mainly because they are what we "want" but I also realize that I've never experienced labor or birth before (at least being on this side of it) and I do not want to set any hard and fast rules of things that would be completely unacceptable for me. Why? Because if I do, and then due to circumstances beyond my control I'm forced to go down those paths, I'll feel like I "failed" at my plan. The last thing I want to feel like on the day I welcome my child into this world is a failure. Hell -- I want to feel like Superwoman regardless of how this all goes down. So, I only have "goals" for birth with the complete understanding that shit happens and not everything is within my control.
1) Labor at home as long as possible -- If possible, I'd like to stay in the comfort of my own home for awhile. We have a giant tub with massage jets, a kitchen with a full fridge, and I don't have to worry about any strangers hearing me making funny sounds. That sounds like a pretty stress free environment if you ask me.

2) Get to the hospital before transition -- Luckily, Adam and I only live about 5-10 minutes from the hospital where I will deliver. I'm hoping the short drive will give us plenty of time to get to the hospital prior to transitioning. I do not want to walk into that place with the baby crowning so there will be a fine line to walk between laboring at home and getting to the hospital in time. Thankfully, Tia is capable of conducting cervical checks and will be able to let us know when things are getting serious.

3) Use chemical free pain relief -- One of the BIG reasons we brought Tia on board is because she has intensive knowledge of pain relief techniques. If I have to have an epidural I will get one but it certainly isn't my "goal" to have one. I fully believe that women were designed to give birth and in most cases they should be able to naturally if they are fully supported both physically and emotionally. Now, I understand there are an entire host of reasons that drugs, including epidurals, get brought into the process and if those happen to me, I'll be glad I live in the 21st Century and I'll accept them. However, I'd really like to use Tia's vast knowledge and experience and avoid those things if I can.

4) Have immediate skin to skin with baby -- I'm a pretty squeamish person overall but I'm hoping that I'll be able to look beyond the goo and the blood and get immediate skin to skin with our son or daughter. This also depends on baby's health at birth obviously so we are keeping our fingers crossed that both Baby "Florken" and I fare well enough in the process for this to happen.

5) Delayed cord clamping -- After doing a lot of research, Adam and I decided that we'd like to delay cord clamping until all pulsing has stopped. This ensures that Baby "Florken" gets all the extra blood and nutrients from the placenta before they cut it loose.

6) Bonding time before visitors -- At our hospital, baby stays with mom and dad in the labor and delivery room for about 1-2 hours before everyone is transferred to recovery. Adam and I have decided that we'd really like to have that time alone with our child for immediate bonding. This decision has not made everyone in our family happy but we honestly feel it is the right decision for us. Everyone will be more than welcome to visit us once we transfer to recovery, but we'd really like to keep those first few hours with our child as quiet and serene as possible.

So there it is -- our birth "plan". Baby "Florken" is set to arrive one week from today (Eeek!) so we will soon know how much (if any) of our plan translates to reality. I will say that a LOT of time, energy, stress, and even tears have gone into crafting our plan. We'd dealt with some pushback from people who wouldn't necessarily chose to do it like we are and that's fine. In the end though, this is our birth and our child so we really have to stick with the decisions that make us the most comfortable. After knowing how much thought we've put into this plan, I'll never again question the in's and out's of someone else's birth plan. It is just SUCH a personal process and I fully believe all decisions should be respected even if they aren't fully understood or appreciated by the masses. So long as the goal is a healthy baby and a healthy mom, everyone else should just be supportive.

Did you have a birth "plan"? If so, go ahead and tell me how far your actual birth deviated from it! I'd love to know.

17 comments :

  1. We wanted delayed cord clamping too. Our hospital was really good about skin to skin as well. The goo and blood didn't bother me because there was already enough blood coming out of me anyway. It was kind of crazy in an awesome way.

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    1. * the birth part was crazy and awesome. Not so much the blood...

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  2. My birth plan was pretty much the same as yours, though I didn't have a doula. Although my labor was hard, everything went as well as I could have hoped for. My only disappointment was that I didn't get to have the water birth I wanted. But I realize that's small potatoes in the grand scheme of things! I hope you have the birth you want- you definitely have the right mindset! :)

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  3. That sounds a ton like what my birth plan was - minus the doula. I wasn't able to labor at home, though, because my water broke hours before I started having contractions and I had to get on antibiotics because I was GBS+. I also took some minor pain relief through my IV since I had horrible back labor. All that to say, your birth plan is totally possible!!!! <3

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  4. Praying for you as your little one gets ready to enter the world!

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  5. Skin to skin is the best! You really don't mind the goo and stuff, I don't even remember that. I just remember how warm he was and how sweet he smelled (which might be gross however you choose to think about it...) and the little noises he made for that entire first two hours of his life when we were just lying there staring at him. You will love it!!! I think your birth plan is reasonable! It isn't terribly detail specific like some and like you said, they're goals, not expectations. I can't wait to hear how it goes!!

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  6. I am totally with you! I am 32 weeks today and every one of the things you listed is something I hope for in my labor/delivery as well. It is funny how much you learn from research once you are pregnant from what you were brought up believing (like for me, cutting the chord immediately). I very much look forward to hearing your experience as I approach the last 8 weeks of pregnancy. So glad to always read we are not alone in our wants. Good luck and sending positive vibes your way!

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  7. My birth plan with my son was similar -- labor as long as possible at home, skin to skin, no visitors right away, and get an epidural if I feel like it (but no sooner than being at a 6). BUT then my water broke at home (at only 37 weeks) so I had to go to the hospital fairly quickly, and then my son's heart rate was decreasing when I was only dilated to a 1, and then we had a c-section. So pretty much everything flew out the window! Haha. But I was lucky that I got to do skin to skin in recovery, less than an hour after he was born, so all things considered... It was fine.

    With this baby girl my birth plan is to have a baby. Because who knows when she'll come, and if I can have a successful VBAC or need another c-section. Everything is up in the air!

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  8. I absolutely LOVE your birth plan! Tim and I spent a while thinking about our birth plan for 'Bumpy' and I'm honestly so glad we had one, even though Clara's birth went NOTHING like I had planned at all. I think it's best to set yourself up for optimal success than to think 'Oh, I have no control over this whole thing anyway', which guarantees you failure, really, especially with the way most hospitals and doctors treat birth today. I hope you have SUCH a wonderful labor and delivery because it really is a special event! And I'd be happy to talk about birth plans (and my own experience) all day if you ever want to chat :-) OH, and having a doula was one of my best decisions that I recommend to everyone, so I'm excited you'll have one!

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  9. Your birth plan sounds great. I wanted to labor at home but ended up not being able to because I started bleeding and needed to get induced. The cord clamping was the best thing ever! It took about 3 mins for it to stop pulsing. My hospital actually had the "Golden Hour" where it's just mom, dad and baby. I wish I would of made people wait at least a day to see Liam. It was so overwhelming and I was extremely emotional. I have a whole blog post on our birth story coming, it's just taken a while bc I'm waiting for the video. Can't wait to see your little bundle :)

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  10. This was almost exactly my birth plan, the only difference is I had a midwife. I never saw a doctor during my pregnancy or during labor/birth! I am happy to say that my birth went according to our "plan". I believe this is largely due to my baby being born a month early which put her under 7 pounds and my labor was less than 10 hours! I hope you have a peaceful and exciting birth and wish the best for you and baby Florken! We did immediate skin to skin and they wiped her down while she was on me and she wasn't nearly as gooey as I thought she'd be! I'm so excited for you!!

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  11. I certainly have zero experience, but I can't imagine having a whole bunch of people around me during labor or even right after. My SIL had lots of family members for my first niece and it seemed like the most stressful thing ever!

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  12. I have never heard of delayed cord clamping. Mind you, I haven't been pregnant in a decade and there seems to be something new every day in the world of babies and giving birth. But I am super interested to go do some research on it now.

    I think your birth plan is beautiful and I too aspire to have a more calm and serene PLAN this next time around (we're currently TTC).

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  13. I have been talking with a lot of new moms. (No, I'm not pregnant.) and they say to stay at home as much as possible. I'm starting to think that's a good idea.

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  14. "I want to feel like Superwoman regardless of how this all goes down." This is my favourite part.

    I LOVE your birth wishes. LOVE. (That's pretty much what I wanted, verbatim. I got it, too. I was only at the hospital for three of my nine hours of labour, and one of those hours (ish) was pushing. It was awesome.) You're amazing, you've got a great handle on this, you have set yourself up with a baller team (yay birth doulas! SO glad you found one you love so much, who is such a rockstar), and you're absolutely you, so you will knock this out of the park. However it goes, this is 100% your story and I have a lot of faith that it is going to be outstanding, no matter how it goes. :)

    Also? The baby bonding thing at the beginning? Yes. That was so important for me and my husband, too. It was certainly great for us with The Dude, but more than that, it has since meant so much for us and our relationship, having that time to start to get to know ourselves as parents without any judgement, well-intended advice, or any distractions from the mysterious, nervous, amazing bliss of new parentdom.

    ANYWAY. Best of luck, lady! I can't wait to read about your birth story. Again, you're amazing. You got this. <3

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  15. My daughter had a similar plan to yours.....her due date was October 29.....and then Baby M had other ideas on September 22......birth plan out the window, Baby Girl in their arms - she had HER own birth plans and her parents haven't thought for one moment about "their plans" as it truly is ONLY about the baby.

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  16. I had no birth plan. I had no plans at all, frankly, except for GET THE BABY OUT OF MY BODY PLEASE. I did have two goals.

    1. Labor at home for as long as possible. I did this, only because I was sneaky and pretended I wasn't in labor and sent my husband to bed. He was way too anxious to let me labor at home. So I labored at home for about 8 hours total and eventually went and woke him up. It was way worth it. I was only in the hospital about 36 hours after baby was born and I could not wait to leave!

    2. Direct skin to skin immediately. I did this as well. It was perfect and honestly I didn't notice the goo. Everything else is pretty gross anyway so by the point the baby comes it doesn't even matter.

    We didn't allow anyone in the delivery room either. We waited almost two hours before letting anyone in at all. I thank God we did this. It was amazing to have the experience of just Eric and I together. Then even when we did let people in, we only let in two at a time for the first day. I had been awake for like 30 hours and I was exhausted. Eric didn't want me to feel overwhelmed so he asked each guest to wait and come in the room in pairs. We didn't plan that but it was really helpful that first day.

    Having a birth plan or not is your own decision. I hope you get every single thing you want. If not, I am sure you won't be too upset once they drop that baby in your arms!

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