Birth Plan

     The reality of birthing this baby doesn’t really hit until you get the paperwork from the doctor. I was all comfortable with everything because it was always a thought, never a “plan”. Well… I got the paperwork today and sure enough I didn’t know how to answer some of them. I mean until the actual delivery day (D-Day) how would you even know the answers to these questions. Don’t get me wrong I know some mothers plan their labor down to a “T”, but I am just hoping that I get through it. Whether you know or not, you get the questionnaire and you start checking off boxes.

X – I would like to limit the number of guests and phone calls while I am in labor by disconnecting my phone and by having a sign posted on my door. Well of course I am not going to be in any position to answer the damn phone, so why have it plugged in? Hubby will be in charge of the cell phones, but even my Mom will not be able to have a phone on her. I don’t want people calling or having conversations when I am uncomfortable. Call me selfish, but it’s going to be make Stephanie happy day.

X – I would like the lights in the room to be lowered. How the hell do you know if you want low lighting? I guess in the hopes of avoiding a migraine I will shoot for the low lighting, but at the same time… HUH?

X – I would like to be out of bed as much as possible during labor (such as walking, rocking). I don’t know if I will be able to walk by that point, but I would prefer to walk around if I can. I suppose this one will be ok until something changes on D-Day.

??? – I prefer to have intermittent fetal monitoring. Don’t they have an option to have consistent monitoring? I thought the whole point of being in a hospital was to be monitored 24/7.

??? – I prefer to have a saline lock (a plug for your IV needle) instead of a continuous IV. I am not too sure how to answer this. Call me dense for doing all this, but don’t you need meds (if any) to be administered through the IV the whole time? I must be an idiot or something. I have no idea.

X – I would prefer that the amniotic membrane “bag of waters” rupture naturally. I definitely want to try and do it all naturally, but I suppose if it came down to it and I had to, then we can go from there. The more natural, the better.

X – I would like to meet the pediatrician on duty if possible. Of course I would like to meet the doctor that will be working with my baby. That’s just a silly question.

X – I plan on using alternative pain relief options (such as breathing exercises, visualization/relaxation, massage, shower, position changes). I will ask for pain medication if I need it. Truth be told, I don’t know how I am going to handle labor. I am just as nervous as the next lady. I think that I can do it though, and I think I can do it with out the meds. I am hoping I can keep telling myself that and that my Hubby and Mom can try and support me through the pain, but I am going to try to avoid the heavy meds.

??? – I would like to be offered pain medication if you see I am uncomfortable. Again, not knowing how I am going to be through the pain, I am just hoping I can suck it up and get through it.

??? – I would like to have an epidural as soon as possible. It may get to this. I am not going to count it out completely, which brings us to the next one on the list.

X – I am considering having an epidural or suing pain medication, but will decide when I am actually in labor.  I want to say for certain that I am going to go with out the pain meds, but we all know that I can’t see the future. I just know that I am going to try my damnedest to avoid the meds.

??? – I would like the option to be in a position other than lying on my back when I give birth (such as semi-sitting, squatting, lying on my side, or on my hands and knees). How do you know what kind of position you want to labor in? I suppose this one will be left for D-Day.

??? – I would like a mirror available to view the birth. Ok, don’t get me wrong, but I am kinda scared to see anything. I almost plan to close my eyes and just push like crazy. I don’t think I would be able to focus long enough to watch anything. It would just freak me out and I wouldn’t want to push anymore.

X – I would like to touch my baby’s head as it crowns. Now, I am sure you are thinking, “WHAT?!?!? She will touch it, but she won’t watch it?” Yes, you are damn right! I honestly think this will be a great experience. I will be the first person to touch my baby before he is even out. I honestly love the thought!

X – I would like my baby to be placed on my stomach immediately after delivery. Again, I don’t care how gooey he will be, but it has been proven that the first 3 minutes of a child’s life offers more bonding than in the first 3 hours. Plus, I am so impatient that I want my baby as soon as I can have him. Now, if there is issues of course I will for-go this and want my baby to have immediate medical attention.

??? – I would prefer that the baby be dried off before being brought to me. Uhhh… NO. I want my baby, gooey and all!

X – I would like to have Hubby cut the cord, if possible. This is something that I know would mean the world to Ben. He is going to be so excited to see his son that he will want the honors of this.

??? – I would like to delay newborn procedures (such as bathing, measuring, physical exam, eye medication, vitamin K injection) for one hour so that I have a chance to feed and bond with my baby. If baby is good and healthy. No issues or problems. I would definitely like to have the first hour to bond and feed the baby. I am ready for that, but I also want to make sure that baby is taken care of properly, so this will require some additional research and questions to the doctor.

X – I want all procedures that are done and all medications that are given to my baby explained to me before they are carried out by the medical staff. Well DUH!

X – I would like to have the baby evaluated and bathed in my presence. Again, who would say, “No” to this?

X – If the baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, I would like Hubby to accompany the baby. Ben knows that if ANYTHING were to happen to baby that he would be the one to elbow his way into the room or be right next to him. That is Ben’s job… Baby is Ben’s job.

X – I plan on breastfeeding my baby. Oh yes… I am ready to join the breastfeeding brigade! I want the nutrition, the bonding, and the good stuff for baby.

X – I would like to be consulted before my baby is given a bottle or pacifier. Now, I might be super dense about this again… but I have heard that the more bottle a baby is given, the less likely they are to stick with the boob. I don’t know if that is the case with newborns, but honestly I would prefer we all stick with the boob until further notice. LOL!

X – If I have a boy, I DO/do not plan on having him circumcised at Kaiser Permanente. Yep, our boy will be circumcised. Personal preference, not religious. I realize some people my disagree, but ultimately… it’s not your kid, so I don’t really want your opinion. Thanks!

     All these questions made the thought of labor all that more real. I mean who would think that I am that close to having my baby with me. I know I still have 16.5 weeks until baby’s expected arrival, but it feels like it is approaching very quickly. Before you know it I will be like this…

And we will have baby here. I just know that I can’t wait until baby gets here.

     So, what would some of your answers be to the questions above? If you can answer some of my ridicules questions and offer some insight into watching you labor in a mirror, the intermittent fetal monitoring, etc. please let me know. I would love some more info.

     More fun to come later in the birth plan process I am sure.

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7 thoughts on “Birth Plan

  1. well here are my answers to the questions, these are gleaned from observations i made when your mom had Matthew, comments made by friends when they had babies, time spent in hospitals, and some quick research in wikipedia…

    answer to question one – you mean you don't want me popping into your delivery room every hour to check on progress and report back to the troops?!?

    answer to question two – definitely lower the lights, last thing you need is glaring florescent lights shining in your face, plus what is there to look at? You are not exactly going to feel like reading a book!

    answer to question three – having watched your mom – i would recommend walking if you can, it just makes it seem to last longer to lay in bed

    answer to question four – i think they mean there are two ways to monitor – one way is to put a sensor on the baby's head and that means you can not walk around but are stuck in bed, the other way is for an external belt so you can move around that makes it intermittent

    answer to question five – again goes to mobility if you want to move around and not have to wheel a iv stand around with you – go for the saline lock, they will insist on an iv being in place in case an emergency med needs to be administered

    answer to question six – well duh, baby has been swimming around for nine months – he likes being wet- why dry him out any sooner than necessary

    answer to question seven – of course you want to meet the pediatrician – agree this is a silly questions

    answers to questions eight, nine, ten and eleven – as the nurses and doctors told me when i was in the hospital – there is nothing to be gained by being in pain, if it can be relieved or lessened you should go for it – one you will recover faster and two you will be able to understand what is going on around you and be able to participate in decision making if you are in less pain.

    answer to question 12 – go with the flow

    answer to question 13 – definitely do not watch, that is just a visual you do not need in your head

    answers to question 14, 15, 16, 17 – I guess some people think babies should look like a plastic doll before they have to deal with them, go for the goo

    answer to question 18 – might as well let them get baby squared away while the get you all squared away, then you can relax and have uninterrupted time with baby

    answer to question 19 – absolutely dad needs to go with the baby

    answer to question 20 – you certainly have the equipment for the job! (lol)

    answer to question 21 – if they are given a bottle or pacifier at least they are learning to suck on something, and less likely to become dehydrated

    answer to question 22 – definitely get it done immediately baby will thank you later.

  2. Hi cousin,
    Having done a whole rotation in L&D, Postpartum, Newborn Nursery and peds, I feel that I may offer you some useful advice as to what I have witnessed and also done behind the scenes. I’ve witnessed many live births, and take care of many newborns from birth-to-nursery and back to mom. There are only a few topics I will touch base on:
    Guest: The hospital will only allow 1-2 family members at a time anyways to be in the room, so you don’t need to worry about having too many visitors. People will switch in/out as you allow. Having a cell phone isn’t a bad thing. It’s useful to give family updates, you can always ask everyone to make their calls or texts outside the room not to disturb you. The hospital may not even allow them on the unit anyways, due to increasing hippa protocols (varies per hospital). Phones are nice for instant baby picks to send to relatives. Having a camera is important too, I advise to tell whoever is taking picks to keep it above the waste, and of baby only…(typically no one wants to see it coming out of you..gross).

  3. Walking can be good to increase labor, but no walking allowed after an epidural.
    Sometimes the amniotic fluid has to be manually ruptured if it doesn’t do it spontaneously. Sometimes the doctor will want to rupture it to speed up labor (things don’t really get going unless it’s ruptured). It’s a painless and simple procedure, no big deal.
    You don’t normally get to make a decision on what kind of fetal monitoring you get; the MD decides what kind based on need. Both internal and external are constant fetal monitoring so that question isn’t really relevant. Everyone gets hooked up to an external monitor around the belly, unless the contractions are strong and baby isn’t tolerating them well. External only measures the length of the contractions, but internal measures both length and pressure being placed on baby. Sometimes an internal is necessary, but rarely. It’s a tiny electrode placed on top of baby’s head, but it doesn’t cause any harm.
    Again with the IV, you won’t really get a say on that either. The IV will be running with normal saline, for hydration, and possibly pitossin (a med that speeds up the labor). They will also use the line to give iv pain meds, and a fluid bolus before an epidural to prevent low blood pressure.

  4. Most importantly I cannot stress this enough, PLEASE don’t torture you rself and get an epidural and pain meds. I’ve seen so many people try to do it naturally but cannot handle it, they change their minds when it’s past the point of an epidural. And seriously it’s not worth it, the babies are all fine. I have seen many many many births with pain meds and epi’s and baby is not effected at all. So save yourself the excruciating pain and give yourself an opportunity to enjoy the birthing process and bring your baby into this world calm and happy. Epidurals are scary for a second, labors can last 24hrs.
    Don’t watch the birth, it will freak you out.
    The reason why they dry babies off immediately is because they are extremely sensitive to heat loss. Babies have ineffective thermoregulation systems and can become hypothermic very quickly with heat loss through their skin when wet or exposed. You can request to have baby dried off on your chest if you want briefly, just make sure you let the nurses do their job to look after baby too.

  5. I would recommend not delaying newborn assessments. You will have time with baby after delivery for a little bit before they take him away. You will need to get cleaned up after delivery with the placenta and other stuff. It is important to have your baby assessed and taken care of right away to make sure everything is ok. Also babies have no immunity get against anything so that’s why they give their shots immediately in the nursery. They always let dad go with baby during this time while the MD takes care of mom. By the time you get yourself taken care of down below and transferred to postpartum, baby will be assessed, immunized, and cleansed under a warmer, swaddled and waiting for you on the floor looking precious.
    I would definitely express no bottles to baby until you’re ready for it, or unless medically necessary. I can tell you the suck reflex is a natural reflex for newborns (actually something we do assess in the nursery). They will suck on anything because it’s a reflex for them, they really cannot tell the difference between a pacifier and a breast in their newborn state. A lot of times we would place a gloved finger in their mouth for them to suck on when we are assessing them; if they are fussy it actually soothes them to have something to suck on.
    I hope some of this knowledge may have brought some insight and possibly helped you understand a few things. I’m sure whatever you decide will be just fine.

  6. Thank you for the information. I know I am still going to probe my doctor a little further on some of the topics, but it is SO nice to have someone who knows in the family. Thanks again Tammy!

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