Monday, November 5, 2012

Birth plans

Last weekend we went to our final "getting ready for baby" class on labor and delivery, and I think it was the most helpful one that we took.  It was worth the commitment of almost an entire Saturday because I really do feel a lot more prepared for the whole childbirth thing.  I definitely have a better understanding about what is going to be happening to me physically and what will be going on at the hospital once I arrive.  Although I have read some books that cover childbirth, I thought the teacher did a great job making the whole process easy to understand and remember.  Here are a couple things I picked up from the class that I plan to do/start doing in the coming weeks.

  • Dedicate a bag as the "going to the hospital" bag and start filling it up with stuff.  That way every time I think of something I want to bring, I can just throw it in the bag rather than having to try to remember as we're running out the door to the hospital.  We've been given several lists of things to bring, but some of the items I wouldn't have thought of are: 
    • The breast pump in case there are issues with feeding
    • Snacks for Daniel
    • PJs to wear if I want something more modest than the hospital gown but don't want to put on my regular clothes just yet
    • The iPAD and books/magazines in case we're there for awhile
  • Write a birth plan.  I was reluctant to do this before the class because I don't want to be "one of those moms" or a difficult patient, but after yesterday I think it's absolutely the right thing to do.  It's not about trying to script the event, "I will labor for this long and have this medication at this time and I will absolutely not have a C-section" which is obnoxious because it isn't realistic, but it's about laying out your feelings about the birth experience on paper for a time in the future when you might not be able to articulate them yourself.  It would be one thing if I could just talk to my doctor about my wishes ahead of time, but there's no guarantee that she will be the one who delivers the baby.  In fact, because there are several doctors on the call schedule, it is likely that she won't.  Here's what I'm thinking about putting in the plan:
    • If I'm having trouble coping with labor pain, I want to have suggested to me/ be reminded of different positions, breathing techniques, etc. first to see if those help.
    • If I'm not getting enough relief from non-medical intervention and ask for an epidural, I want to have my progress checked to see how far along I am.  If I'm in transition or getting close, I want encouragement to keep going and to be reminded that it will take awhile to get the epidural and have it start working.
    • If I get to a point in labor where I'm exhausted and distressed and delivery is not going to happen any time soon, I want to have an epidural so I can relax a bit and regroup to push later on.
Obviously all of that goes out the window if there's any concern about the baby's (or my) safety, but I think those are reasonable requests for a normal delivery... right?  Not too dictatorial or obnoxious?  

I actually really do want to try to deliver without medication, but I feel like it's just so hard to know what it will actually be like until I'm in the situation.  "They" say it's the worst pain of your life, and when I think of the worst pain I've experienced up to this point, it's probably being burned by the oven, but is having a baby like being burned by the oven for 24 hours straight?  I don't think so...  

Any moms want to chime in about things to bring to the hospital, birth plans, labor pain, etc?  



  1. Kristen LandrevilleNovember 5, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    It sounds like you have a great plan, very realistic and flexible. And birth pain for me was a lot of pressure pain during contractions, like a huge weight inside you putting a lot of pressure on your pelvis. For me, pushing was a relief because you get to exert some energy and you know it's almost done. The pushing part is when it feels like a burn, very bad burning. But in the grand scheme of things, labor and delivery is only a short period of time. It will end and you will get through it! Those thoughts helped me get through the pain. It will end, and then you will have a baby! You have a great outlook on the process and are as prepared as can be.

  2. Everyone has a different labor experience so it's probably not helpful for me to tell you about my 2. I will say that I had a one labor with lots of interventions (pitocin/epidural/other stuff) and one labor without any intervention. I think you're going about it the right way! A lot of my friends who have had really extensive birthing plans ended up with Csections and then had a hard time grieving the birth that they didn't get to have. I think if you go into it with an open mind that's the best thing to do.


    Tucks Pads (soothes the nether regions afterwards)

    Chapstick (if you use it)

    Phone Charger

    Medela Hydrogel pads (if you're planning on nursing it sometimes burns at first, these are amazing for helping with that)

    Hope that helps!!!