As we enter the last trimester, the topic of a birthing plan came up today. Perhaps it’s my OCD, but I have this niggle that the baby may surprise us all and come early, so the conversation was not treated with the normal ‘roll of the eyes’ that seems to follow any form of communication shortly after I wake up. It was actually certainly a pleasant distraction from the rain and onslaught of heavy traffic we found on the motorway on our way up north to visit my family.
A Birth Plan… Well I thought it would be pretty simple, right?
- Have all your bags packed
- Go in to labor close to the hospital
- Be as quiet as possible when giving birth
- Don’t make too much mess
- If possible go in to labor at the weekend (Saturday morning is ideal)
- Have the baby quick (2 hours max.)
- Maybe have the baby in the morning so I can watch the football in the afternoon
Wrong! Apparently there is more to it than just that.
I found a check-list on-line and commented on relevant sections. Hopefully future parents will find it useful.
[x ] Full name: Choco
[x ] Partner’s name: Rambo
[x ] Today’s date: 28th November 2015
[x ] Due date: OR Induction date: 17th February 2016
[x ] Hospital name: TBC
My delivery is planned as:
[ x] Vaginal
[ ] C-section
[ ] Water birth
Rambo is not ‘too posh to push’ so ‘Vaginal’ I’d expect, but from what I gather I don’t get to make the choice.
[x] Partner: Rambo
[ ] Parents:
[ ] Other children:
…present before AND/OR during labor
May be difficult to have the baby if my Partner is not there.
During labor, I’d like:
[ x] Music played (I will provide)
Why not, the radio may really help me relax.
[x ] The lights dimmed
Yes. I hear it can get a little scary. Maybe the dimmed lights will help avoid any direct eye contact between Rambo and I.
[ ] The room as quiet as possible
[x ] As few interruptions as possible
[x ] As few vaginal exams as possible
I’m a modern man, I don’t mind doing a Vaginal exam, but maybe someone more qualified should do it.A doctor perhaps? I’m not really sure what I’d be looking for anyway and besides, last time I did the exam we ended up pregnant.
[x ] Hospital staff limited to my own doctor and nurses (no students, residents or interns present)
Oh yes, I’d like the staff limited. Especially if I’m having to conduct my own Vaginal exams.
[ x] To wear my own clothes
I’d definitely prefer my own clothes but if I get a bit sweaty then maybe I’d wear what the hospital has to offer.
[ ] To wear my contact lens the entire time
[ x] My partner to film AND/OR take pictures
I better do the filming.. The angle Rambo will be at will probably mean she will not get the best pictures.
[ x] My partner to be present the entire time
There may be occasions, especially if she gets angry, that I may want her to leave the room and allow me to listen to the radio, but generally I’d say she should be there at all times.
I’d like to spend the first stage of labor:
[ ] Standing up
[x ] Lying down
[ ] Walking around
[ ] In the shower
[ ] In the bathtub
I may have to do a lot of hand holding and encouraging….. getting of my feet and resting may be a good idea.
I’m not interested in:
[x ] An enema
[x ] Shaving of my pubic area
[x ] A urinary catheter
If I have to, I will shave my pubic area, but I’m not really sure how it will benefit anyone. Also, the chaffing may be uncomfortable and I’d want to be relaxed at all times.
A catheter and enema could be useful so I don’t miss anything whilst in the loo, but I’ll pass on this occasion.
For pain relief, I’d like to use:
[ ] Acupressure
[ ] Acupuncture
[ ] Breathing techniques
[ ] Cold therapy
[ ] Demerol
[ ] Distraction
[ ] Hot therapy
[ ] Hypnosis
[x ] Massage
[ ] Meditation
[ ] Reflexology
[ ] Standard epidural
[ ] TENS
[ ] Walking epidural
[ ] Nothing
[ ] Only what I request at the time
[ ] Whatever is suggested at the time
Wow, if a massage is available during the process, then sign me up. This birthing stuff doesn’t sound too bad to be honest.
During delivery, I would like to:
[ ] Squat
[ ] Semi-reline
[ ] Lie on my side
[ ] Be on my hands and knees
[ ] Stand
[ ] Lean on my partner
[ ] Use people for leg support
[ ] Use foot pedals for support
[ ] Use a birth bar for support
[x] Use a birthing stool
[ ] Be in a birthing tub
[ ] Be in the shower
A stool will be fine. I’d love to have people available for leg support but who would I get to do it?
As the baby is delivered, I would like to:
[ ] Push spontaneously
[ ] Push as directed
[ ] Push without time limits, as long as the baby and I are not at risk
[ ] Use a mirror to see the baby crown
[ ] Touch the head as it crowns
[ ] Let the epidural wear off while pushing
[ ] Have a full dose of epidural
[ ] Avoid forceps usage
[x] Avoid vacuum extraction
[ ] Use whatever methods my doctor deems necessary
[ ] Help catch the baby
[ ] Let my partner catch the baby
[ ] Let my partner suction the baby
This sounds wrong. A vacuum! For gods sake what has the world come to.
If a C-section is necessary, I would like:
[ ] A second opinion
[ ] To make sure all other options have been exhausted
[x ] To stay conscious
[ ] My partner to remain with my the entire time
[ ] The screen lowered so I can watch baby come out
[ ] My hands left free so I can touch the baby
[ ] The surgery explained as it happens
[ ] An epidural for anesthesia
[ ] My partner to hold the baby as soon as possible
[ ] To breastfeed in the recovery room
It may prove difficult to stay concious. I’m not great with blood.
I’d like baby’s medical exam and procedures:
[ ] Given in my presence
[x ] Given only after we’ve bonded
[ ] Given in my partner’s presence
[ ] To include a heel stick for screening tests beyond the PKU
[ ] To include a hearing screening test
[ ] To include a hepatitis B vaccine
I’m not sure how it will take to bond so I could potentially be putting the baby at risk by waiting, but let’s see how we get on.
I’d like to feed baby:
[ ] Only with breastmilk
[ ] Only with formula
[ ] On demand
[ ] On schedule
[x ] With the help of a lactation specialist
We had decided on breast milk but I’m keen to find out what a lactation specialist is…. hence the selection.
I’d like my partner:
[x] To have unlimited visiting
[ ] To sleep in my room
Seeing as she is the one who has given birth, I think it best she has unlimited visiting rights.
As needed post-delivery, please give me:
[x] Extra-strength acetaminophen
[ ] Percoset
[x ] Stool softener
[ ] Laxative
The whole process sounds exhausting: Vaginal exams, massages, enemas…. Anything to boost my strength cant’t be bad.
After birth, I’d like to stay in the hospital:
[x ] As long as possible
[ ] As briefly as possible