I’d done a lot of reading on writing birth plans. Some couples loved having them because it saved them time rather than having to re-explain preferences to new staff when the nurses did a shift change, and it provided a quick and easy guide for their caregivers to refer to. Others felt like it was a reminder of disappointment when things did not go according to how they had planned.
I decided to write a birth plan, but called it “What we hope for” instead. This title is as much for me as it is for the hospital. I need to keep in mind that although there are things that I want or want to avoid, I need to be open minded and flexible when it comes to labour and delivery. I don’t want to have a strict plan because chances are, that’s just not going to happen. All that matters in the end is that we have a happy and healthy baby at the end of it all.
Here is a copy of our birth plan:
WHAT WE HOPE FOR – Our Birth Plan
[Tasha and M]
Due Date: Sept 2
Doctor – XXXXXX
Personal note: I’d like to give natural birth a go, but am open to medical interventions if needed. The pain medication I am most ok with is Entonox. The ones I would most want to avoid are any that may affect breastfeeding. I’d really like ideas and support for non-medical ways to manage pain. I’d like to know when we’re nearing the “point of no return” for an epidural so I can decide at that time if I think I can make it without one.
- I’d like M to be my main support person, who will stay with me as much as possible
- If needed, my mother may switch off with him to give him a break
- I prefer not to have my labour augmented as long as my baby and I are fine. If needed, I’d like to start with natural methods before going to medication.
- I’d like to spend the first stage of labour walking, sitting up or on a birthing ball, in the tub or in the shower.
- I’d like to eat, drink or have ice chips to stay hydrated and keep my energy up. If possible, I’d prefer not to have an IV.
- I’d like to push squatting or other gravity-helpful positions when I have the urge, not with coaching.
- I would like to use perineal massage, warm compresses and positioning first before performing an episiotomy. I’d rather risk a small tear, but if an episiotomy is necessary, please use local anaesthesia.
- I hope to have a vaginal delivery and would like to try as many options as possible to avoid a c-section.
- I’d like to have baby on my chest, skin to skin, immediately after birth so we can breastfeed, and continue to breastfeed on demand
- M would like to cut the umbilical cord
- Please don’t offer formula or soothers to the baby, I plan to breastfeed exclusively
- M will give baby its first bath
- If needed, M will accompany the baby to the NICU
We’re at 37 weeks now! Baby is now considered full term.
I can’t believe we’re here… Every day I am amazed at how big and strong baby feels inside me. My belly is absolutely HUGE – it sticks straight out and is so perfectly round that it looks like I’ve stuffed a beach ball under my shirt. Both M and I sometimes can’t help ourselves and let out a breathless “woah” when we notice how big it is.
I’m lucky that the weather has been mostly co-operative this summer. There have definitely been days when it’s awfully hot, but for the most part I’ve been able to cope quite well. My office is air conditioned and we have plenty of fans in our house. We also bought this amazing stacker tower fan, which is two fans stacked on top of each other. It’s been a life save. We keep it at the foot of the bed and just point it right at me to keep me cool on the hotter nights. I don’t think I would have made it without it! It’s getting hotter again now, though, just as I’m going to be biggest and heaviest.
I only have a week left at work before I go on mat leave. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’ve been awfully tired lately. I don’t sleep well at night because I’m too uncomfortable, even with my trusty Snoogle. Baby seems to kick a lot just as I first lay down, so it’s tough to fall asleep. Then, I usually wake up 3-4 times through the night because I have to pee. I’ve noticed in the past week or so that I’ll be woken up by some pretty serious Braxton Hicks contractions. They’re strong enough to pull me out of my sleep, and the way I’ve gotten them to go away is to get out of bed and do a bathroom run. Because this always happens at night, I sort of get the feeling that I’ll go into labour at night. I know it’s really not a good indicator at all, but that’s just the feeling that I get.
At my now-weekly exam, the doctor told me today that the baby has started to drop. Very exciting stuff! It’s still not fully dropped into my pelvis, but apparently baby is lower than it was last week. So – things are starting to happen. I think I really freaked M out a couple of days ago because he came downstairs and found me sort of hunched over holding up my belly. It was just so heavy and I could feel a lot of pressure from the baby pushing down. I’m guessing that that’s when baby started it’s descent lower into my pelvis. M said that there seemed to be a lot of grunting and other noises coming out of me that night!
Next week, we’ll do a pelvic exam and check my dilation and effacement. I am really starting to wonder when the baby is going to come!
I can barely believe it… Only ONE MONTH to go until I’m due!!! Looking back at everything we’ve been through since we first conceived in September and lost the baby in October… dealing with the miscarriage through November… getting our lives sort of back on track when I got my period again…. then that wonderful Christmas Day when we found out I was pregnant again…sitting on pins and needles through the first trimester… continued anxiety through my second trimester as I couldn’t shake that nagging worry…. dealing with sleepless nights due to this watermelon where my stomach used to be…. and now – at nearly 36 weeks!
September 2nd is oh-so-close!! I can’t wait to meet you, baby!