I'm officially 37 weeks today, which means Julian is considered FULL TERM and in theory can come any day now. So I thought it was perhaps time to consider packing a hospital bag and think about what I'm hoping for in this labor/delivery. I've decided that I'll throw the hospital bag together when I'm 39 weeks or once I start having regular contractions. As for my birth plan it would look something like this if I were to actually write it down, which perhaps I will and give to the nurses.
Birth Plan: Delivery healthy baby
I'm serious, I have no expectations for this birth. I have hopes, but I've decided not to go into it with any game plan. Will I get an epidural? Who knows. Probably. I'll decide when the time comes. Will we have a birthing playlist ready? Nope. I don't even think we had music playing when Lukas was born. Do I care how often I'm checked at the hospital? Not at all.
I have one goal. Birth a healthy baby boy.
Now this is a much different perspective than my labor expectations with Lukas. So let's talk about that. Here is the actual birth plan we gave to the nurses at the hospital:
We have chosen to use the quiet and relaxed method of Hypnobirthing to bring our baby into the world. We appreciate your support of our choice for a natural birth with minimal intervention. Thank you for your help and care on this very special day for us.
IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY: In the event that the situation becomes life-threatening for either Ms. Swan or our baby, we will, of course, yield to any request for life saving intervention, upon the briefest of consultation. In the strong likelihood that we have the normal birth that we're expecting, we ask that you refrain from any routine interventions or measures that we have not previously agreed upon.
• Hydration: We ask that Ms. Swan hydrate herself with water and juice as desired, and will be happy to accept a Heparin Lock (but request that the Heparin Lock not be inserted in the back of either of Ms. Swan’s hands). IV to be implemented only in the event of complicating factors.
• Monitoring: We prefer intermittent monitoring as opposed to continuous. Internal monitoring, upon our consultation, to be used only in a life-threatening situation.
• Room Environment: We will be performing various techniques of self- hypnosis and for this reason we ask to be allowed to bring soft music, use dimmed lighting, and ask for the staff to kindly use a low voice - avoiding references to "pain", "hurting" or "hard work".
• Management of Labor: It is our strong desire to allow our birthing to proceed upon its natural course, in the absence of complications, without restriction to time. We plan to use pitocin or AROM only as a last resort after all other natural methods have been attempted.
• Vaginal Exams/Dilation: We request minimal vaginal exams – with permission. Please do not inform Ms. Swan of her progress or “lack of progress” in dilation. Please share such information with Mr. Cob instead.
• Coping with Labor: We decline discussion of pain tolerance or pain levels, and request that there be no offering whatsoever of pain management options.
• "Pushing": Because we are using hypnosis for childbirth pushing techniques, Ms. Swan will be using positions she finds effective, and this will be completely mother-directed. We ask that the staff respect our request and not direct us how to push, unless an emergency arises. We request a calm, gentle, encouraging atmosphere during the final birthing phase – calm, low tones of voice with no “counting” or “pushing” prompts.
• Breastfeeding: We will be exclusively breastfeeding our baby and request that no bottles of any kind be given to our baby.
Thank you for all of the care we've received during our pre-natal visits and in advance for the respect and assurance we know we'll receive from you during our birthing.
Ha. Do you think those things happened? No. Despite my lovely laid out plan, things veered off course. A bit. After hours of laboring through the night, I got an IV of fluids at 6am in anticipation of the epidural I decided I wanted (screamed for, even begged for), which I got around 7:30am. I was more or less confined to the bed thanks to the catheter and epidural (which was sweet relief and even allowed me a few hours of sleep after being up the whole night). The baby was monitored continuously once I got the epidural and I asked them to tell me how far along I was every time I was checked. Oh yea, and eventually I even got pitocin. Lots of it. And I distinctly remember counting during the pushing stage, which was done totally on my back (for only 15 minutes, thankfully). And right after he was born, Lukas was whisked away by the nurses to have tubes shoved down his throat to make sure he hadn't swallowed any meconium, so I didn't get the immediate skin-to-skin contact I wanted. I did, however, exclusively breastfeed and refused bottles even though he SCREAMED the entire day 2 in the hospital. So you could say things didn't go as I'd planned.
This time around I'm focusing on one thing and one thing only: healthy baby. And if he screams in the hospital on day 2, the kid is getting a bottle of formula.
And they say the second kid always gets the shaft.