I’m a list person. I make a list reminding me to make a list. I’m very organized. I like things planned in advance. I like to think of all possible scenarios that have the slightest chance of happening so that I can plan accordingly. This trait of mine of course carried into labor and delivery.
I made a very detailed birth plan months before my due date. I needed to have everything in writing, plus I wanted to make sure that my midwives and L&D nurses were all on the same page with my wishes. My midwives looked over the list carefully and were thrilled that I had a birth plan. I thought that I would be laughed at by the L&D nurse (you know, for being the crazy lady who was refusing even the slightest medical treatment…I didn’t even get an IV!), but thankfully I was blessed with the most wonderful L&D nurse; she was oh so sweet, very patient, and had delivered her third child naturally just nine weeks prior. When I first met her I was at 7 centimeters so everything was starting to get a bit blurry but I remember asking Kris to give her the birth plan. He took out the folder that I prepared with five copies of the plan (you know, five copies just in case it was a hot item) and she stopped what she was doing (attending to the freaking out laboring lady) and read through it. I thought that I would have to put up a bit of a fight with the nurses since I wasn’t doing things like they are used to…no IV, no epidural, etc…but they didn’t question my decisions at all. Would you question a lady who was screaming and crying and generally acting insane? Didn’t think so.
Here’s my birth plan, edited for the potentially “gross” stuff that was on there!
I would prefer to avoid interventions, but trust your medical opinion of what may be necessary. Please discuss any interventions you believe may be necessary with me and my husband, Kris.
I prefer a LDR room with a Jacuzzi tub, if available
Please assign a nurse who is supportive of my natural, med-free birth plan
I will be avoiding an IV/Hep Lock unless it becomes medically necessary
I prefer intermittent fetal monitoring unless the baby is in distress
I will be using Hypnobirthing/Hypnosis as a labor tool
I wish to labor freely in the Jacuzzi tub, shower and on the birthing ball
Please do not permit observers such as interns, students, or unnecessary staff into the room. Only my midwife, husband, and assigned nurse should be present.
I would like to choose my positions for pushing and giving birth
I would like to try alternative means of labor augmentation, like walking or nipple stimulation, before artificial rupture of membranes, prostaglandin gel and pitocin are attempted (in that order)
Suggestion is a powerful influencer! Please do not offer anesthesia/pain medication unless I ask for it. If and when I do ask for pain relief, please offer nonmedical choices for coping and/or remind me how close I am to the birth.
If I do receive medical pain relief, I prefer a light dose (walking) epidural. I would like the epidural to wear off slightly as I approach full dilation and the pushing stage.
Should extraction become necessary, I would prefer hand delivery and manipulation, followed by vacuum extraction
Immediately after the birth
Please allow the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before it is cut.
I would like time to deliver the placenta naturally without the use of pitocin
I would prefer not to be catheterized until I've had some time to attempt urination on my own.
Cesarean Section Delivery
I feel very strongly that I would like to avoid a cesarean delivery. However, if a cesarean is necessary, I expect to be fully informed of all procedures and actively participate in decision-making
I would like my husband, Kris, to be present during the surgery.
I would prefer epidural anesthesia, if possible, in order to remain conscious through the delivery.
If conditions permit, I would like to be the first to hold our child after the delivery, as well as breastfeed immediately after birth. Or to have the child given to my husband, Kris, immediately after the birth.
Please allow my husband to accompany our baby for all checkups and evaluations immediately following delivery.
When suturing the cesarean incision please use multiple layer stitches, as in the future we would like to attempt a VBAC
I would like the baby laid immediately on my chest after delivery
I plan to keep our baby near me following birth and would appreciate if the evaluation of the baby and PKU screening can be done with the baby on my abdomen, with both of us covered by a warm blanket, unless there is an unusual situation
I would like to hold our baby while I deliver the placenta and any tissue repairs are made
If our child must go to the nursery for evaluation or medical treatment my husband, Kris, will accompany our child at all times.
Please delay all newborn procedures, including eye medication, vitamin K, and weight and length checks for our child until we are well past the initial breastfeeding and bonding period
Our pediatrician will handle the HepB vaccine; please do not administer.
I plan to breastfeed exclusively and want to nurse immediately following the birth.
Please do not give our child supplements (including formula, glucose, or plain water) without my consent, unless there is an urgent medical necessity.
Please do not give our child a pacifier or bottle
My midwife knew that I had a birth plan but since I waited so long to go to the hospital (arrived at 5:15am and delivered at 6:45am) she didn’t arrive until about thirty minutes before Parker was born so I didn’t get the chance to give her a copy to review again. As I was getting ready to push that wonderful Kris of mine asked Louanne if she was aware of our birth plan. Not only was she aware, but she started rattling off my wishes…love her!
It’s taken this entire post to finally get me to my Friday Flashback point. In addition to the birth plan, I also had a list of non-labor related things; such as make sure the nurses use the natural baby shampoo we brought, not to forget to use the natural baby diapers, etc. Of most important on this list was to make sure that we got hand and footprints! I brought the baby book with us and some extra cardstock for framing purposes. The amazing nurse made sure that we got our hand and footprints! I probably have twenty copies of my sweet baby Parker’s little hands and feet. There was some extra ink on Parker so we put it to good use.
I’m so not a tattoo girl (I’ll deliver naturally but you’re crazy to think that I’ll let a tattoo needle get within ten feet of me) but if I had to get one, I think that I would pick something as beautiful and perfect as my baby’s footprints.