Friday, August 24, 2012

Preparing for Childbirth.

Even though we're still (just over) two months away, Jason and I have been actively preparing for the BIG DAY! As I have mentioned before, I am terrified of hospitals and have been really nervous about this whole "giving birth" thing. So being as educated as possible has really helped me to calm down and feel more confident about the whole experience. 

The past few weeks we have been taking childbirth classes and I am so glad we did (Jason will probably say otherwise). Even though I had read pretty much all of the information in books or online, it was nice to hear everything again and I was glad Jason was forced into learning this stuff too...because we all know he's not going to be reading any baby books. The class was three sessions long and pretty much covered it all from the stages of labor, medication options, c-sections & other procedures, post-birth care for moms and of course the famous breathing techniques. 

Then, earlier this week we did a tour of the birthing center at the hospital where our little nugget will be born. 
After seeing the hospital, the labor rooms, the postpartum rooms, learning about their typical procedures and learning all I need to know in our birthing classes, I finally felt confident in creating a birth plan. I found some great worksheets online which I used to create an initial plan, then I brought it to my doctors appointment yesterday to discuss my options and thoughts with my doctor. I am obsessed with my doctor and trust her completely, so I really wanted her input. 

Initially, I had written down my preferences in regards to every little detail (using this awesome template: The template was super helpful in deciding what was most important to me and was also a great way to share my thoughts and discuss our options with Jason so that we were both on the same page. However, if I walked in to the hospital with that 4 page plan the nurses would not only laugh at me but there's no way they'd read through the whole thing. SO, I shortened "The Plan" down to what is really most important to me.

Those who know me well will probably be shocked to hear that I want to attempt to do this naturally. The more research I've done, the more freaked out I've become of epidurals. I really want to go in with an open mind (something that is VERY difficult for me) and do everything in my power to get through this without the help of medication. I've never done this before, so I don't know what to expect-- maybe I'm fully capable of natural childbirth or maybe I'll be screaming for the meds within minutes. Either way, I am fully aware that this baby dictates the plan and everything I thought I wanted could easily be thrown out the window at the start of the first contraction. Nonetheless, I have done a lot of research and together with my husband have decided that IDEALLY this is what is best for me and our daughter:

  • If I go past my due date and the baby and I are fine, I'd prefer to go into labor naturally rather than be induced. 
  • I would like to labor at home for as long as possible.
  • Please do not offer pain medication. {if I decide I need and want it, trust me, everyone in the room will know}
  • I prefer to be monitored intermittently to allow for as much mobility as possible {Plus, pretty sure I don't need a monitor to tell me when I'm having a contraction. I trust I'll be able to figure that out on my own.}
  • I'd like to set the mood with my own music and dimmed lights {ugh, florescent hospital lights are the worst!} and I'd prefer to wear my own clothes during labor and delivery.
  • I would like to be encouraged to try whatever positions feel right at the time. 

After Nugget makes her debut:

  • Please wait for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before being clamped, and allow my husband to cut the cord.
  • As long as my baby is healthy, I would like her placed immediately skin-to-skin.
  • Please delay all non-essential routine procedures until after the bonding and breastfeeding period.
  • My baby is to be exclusively breastfed, please do not offer any formula, artificial nipples, pacifiers or sugar water.

I know this plan isn't for everyone, and I'm sure everyone has an opinion and who knows, maybe when this is all over I'll think that this was the dumbest plan of all time. BUT, my hope is to navigate this new adventure with the help and support of my husband (no critics welcome) and I know that the two of us will find our way. And with that, I have just a quick note to my daughter...

Dear Daughter, 
Please cooperate with mama's plan. 
Thank you!


Schnelle said...

I couldn't possibly relate to this post more. My best friend (who is also a momma) suggested that I make a birth plan and while I don't have one down on paper just yet, I have been thinking about it a lot. I have all of the same wishes as you and I'm going to try to do everything as naturally as possible. Great post:)

Ashley said...

So just laid out exactly what I have written for my birth plan!

Plenty of girls I have talked to have scoffed and said BP's are a waste of time - they are also the ones who have had a hellish experience, where absolutely nothing went right(including them being on bed rest). So, I don't think it's a waste of time! It's an organized way to have your wishes and hopes laid out if all the circumstances are right to make them happen.

I think your little gal will cooperate just fine :)

J and A said...

How did I lose your blog?? Well, glad I found you!!

Sarah said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing I feel a lot of the sames ways about birth but I don't know if I have the balls to go through naturally!

Kelly said...

Great post! Sooooooo exciting :-D I think it is awesome that you're getting your plan laid down on paper. You never know if a turn in the road might come around and it's a great peace of mind knowing that the answers to any questions are all laid out. My mom was 100% natural with my sister and me... Crazy to think but I THINK YOU CAN DO IT!! Have a fabulous weekend :-D

Kelsey said...

you are one prepared mama! I totally think you can pull the all natural you seem to be very determined!

Erin said...

You are so prepared girl, you are going to do awesome!!! I've actually heard all about people making a birth plan but had yet to read the "highlights" of someone, so thanks for sharing! There are things I'd never even thought of (obviously i don't have kids yet but still)!

kristen said...


You know everything you want and I think thats amazing!!!

So excited for you!

Britni Kesselring said...

Looks like an awesome plan!! I had a lot of the similar things on mine as well, but learned things can change in a second. I wanted Kyle to cut the cord, skin on skin right away and no formula or bottles but Easton was taken away to the special care nursery and none of that happened. I was also nervous like you are but if you go in with a plan but yet an open mind things will go perfect and really what matters is having your daughter healthy in the end. November will be here before you know it!!

Melissa said...

Good for you having an open mind. I felt the same way since I had never been through it before and had no idea what to expect. I was not planning to go natural, but took more of a "wait and see" approach to drugs. I did end up getting an epidural after a few hours because I had a lot of back labor and I couldn't handle the pain any more. I was very glad I got the epidural as it allowed me to relax and enjoy the experience (really!). I know other mamas who made it through without an epidural and did fine, so every experience is different. Good luck, girl!

Kristen said...

good for you! this sounds like a great birth plan and kudos for staying open-minded that things may not go how you expect them. Best of luck to you!

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

What a wonderful birth plan! I've never been pregnant, but all my friends are or have just given birth so I've talked through a lot of these issues with them. I think, like you said, being open minded to change is one of the most important things. So far your plan sounds a lot like what I want to do. :)

Nicole-Lynn said...

Sounds like a great birth plan to me!

Stephanie Ann said...

I really liked reading about your birth plan. I don't think some of your choices are for me BUT it was really great hearing about them to get me thinking about what I wanted for for my birth plan, there were a few things in there that I hadn't even heard of yet and will get me researching. I love how honest and frank you are. It is hard to put yourself out there with personal decisions with the fear of getting criticized.