Today I’m thinking about birth plans. I didn’t have one – at least not a written one – when I went to the hospital to give birth to my daughter two years ago, mainly because my doctor didn’t really want me to make one. He felt that it was better to go with the flow (his flow, I guess). I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing because you do have to be flexible. I mean, if you are adamant that you don’t want a C-section but it becomes medically necessary, you have to be able to trust your doctor to be able to make the right decision for you, despite your desires. But if there is anything that is really important to you and you don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised (like if you don’t want an episiotomy no matter what) you should definitely make up a birth plan.
I’m not sure if I really want to try to do a birth plan this time around because I honestly don’t care how this baby is born as long as he comes and we’re both healthy and in good shape afterward. However, there are a couple of things I will speak up about and make sure my husband knows to speak up about (he’ll be my support person and advocate).
1. I don’t want to induce, even if I go past my due date. Emma was 10 days late and I survived that… well, barely. ;-) (Note: As my due date gets closer, I’m starting to re-think this one…)
2. I would like to labor alone for as long as I can without any medications. I want to try to do it without an epidural but honestly don’t know how long I’ll last since my pain tolerance is fairly low. With my daughter, I got the epidural pretty much right away, mainly because it was in the middle of the night and I was scared and didn’t realize there would be so much pain. The pain is worse when you aren’t comfortable and relaxed, that’s for sure.
3. I would like to try alternative methods of “getting things moving” before being given Pitocin in case it is absolutely necessary. I hate Pitocin.
4. I definitely do NOT want a mirror. Thank you very much. ;-)
5. I would like my husband with my child if he needs to be taken from the room at any time, and I don’t want to use the nursery after delivery.
6. I would rather wait to receive people who want to see the baby until I get home unless they’re specifically invited. I’ll feel much more up to enjoying having people coo over my baby when I’m home and rested. :)
There were things I did with my first pregnancy/labor that I definitely would want to go differently this time, like the fact that family visited immediately (like minutes) after Emma was born… I know it’s exciting to be waiting for the baby to come and then get to see the baby after, but it was sooo exhausting for me and I hadn’t finished nursing yet, either. It’s important to me that I have time to bond with baby and get nursing established without having to worry about people waiting to see him. (That said, if my mom was here I would want her there… but she’s out of state unfortunately.)
Another thing I had planned with Emma was to bounce on a ball during labor and sit in the jacuzzi (which was really just a deep bathtub in a tiny bathroom) to try to get through the labor pains. I hadn’t wanted pain meds. All that went out the window the minute my water broke – in the middle of the night. I was tired already from the day and scared to death of what was to come. At least now I know what to expect for the most part! I don’t plan on trying to bring my ball this time but would be open to a jacuzzi. I found out at my last appointment that they have a tub room and I’m excited about seeing it.
I am also more open to an epidural (which would make sitting in the tub impossible and unnecessary so it’s either one or the other) because it really was nice not to have to feel most of my labor and, although it wore off in the end when I was actually pushing and I had horrific back labor, I didn’t feel the doctor sewing me up from the episiotomy.
So I’m wondering – what plans did you have for your labor and delivery, and did you stick to them or let them fly out the window when you found yourself in labor?
For me, the real prize is the baby you’re going to be holding in your arms at the end… I really don’t care about the “perfect birthing experience” because I know that it’ll never be perfect no matter how much you plan. The perfect part is the end result – your perfect baby. :) I just want us to be together and to be safe and healthy!