In addition to having Tia along for the ride, Adam and I have set a few “goals” for birth. I say “goals” mainly because they are what we “want” but I also realize that I’ve never experienced labor or birth before (at least being on this side of it) and I do not want to set any hard and fast rules of things that would be completely unacceptable for me. Why? Because if I do, and then due to circumstances beyond my control I’m forced to go down those paths, I’ll feel like I “failed” at my plan. The last thing I want to feel like on the day I welcome my child into this world is a failure. Hell — I want to feel like Superwoman regardless of how this all goes down. So, I only have “goals” for birth with the complete understanding that shit happens and not everything is within my control.
1) Labor at home as long as possible — If possible, I’d like to stay in the comfort of my own home for awhile. We have a giant tub with massage jets, a kitchen with a full fridge, and I don’t have to worry about any strangers hearing me making funny sounds. That sounds like a pretty stress free environment if you ask me.
2) Get to the hospital before transition — Luckily, Adam and I only live about 5-10 minutes from the hospital where I will deliver. I’m hoping the short drive will give us plenty of time to get to the hospital prior to transitioning. I do not want to walk into that place with the baby crowning so there will be a fine line to walk between laboring at home and getting to the hospital in time. Thankfully, Tia is capable of conducting cervical checks and will be able to let us know when things are getting serious.
3) Use chemical free pain relief — One of the BIG reasons we brought Tia on board is because she has intensive knowledge of pain relief techniques. If I have to have an epidural I will get one but it certainly isn’t my “goal” to have one. I fully believe that women were designed to give birth and in most cases they should be able to naturally if they are fully supported both physically and emotionally. Now, I understand there are an entire host of reasons that drugs, including epidurals, get brought into the process and if those happen to me, I’ll be glad I live in the 21st Century and I’ll accept them. However, I’d really like to use Tia’s vast knowledge and experience and avoid those things if I can.
4) Have immediate skin to skin with baby — I’m a pretty squeamish person overall but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to look beyond the goo and the blood and get immediate skin to skin with our son or daughter. This also depends on baby’s health at birth obviously so we are keeping our fingers crossed that both Baby “Florken” and I fare well enough in the process for this to happen.
5) Delayed cord clamping — After doing a lot of research, Adam and I decided that we’d like to delay cord clamping until all pulsing has stopped. This ensures that Baby “Florken” gets all the extra blood and nutrients from the placenta before they cut it loose.
6) Bonding time before visitors — At our hospital, baby stays with mom and dad in the labor and delivery room for about 1-2 hours before everyone is transferred to recovery. Adam and I have decided that we’d really like to have that time alone with our child for immediate bonding. This decision has not made everyone in our family happy but we honestly feel it is the right decision for us. Everyone will be more than welcome to visit us once we transfer to recovery, but we’d really like to keep those first few hours with our child as quiet and serene as possible.
So there it is — our birth “plan”. Baby “Florken” is set to arrive one week from today (Eeek!) so we will soon know how much (if any) of our plan translates to reality. I will say that a LOT of time, energy, stress, and even tears have gone into crafting our plan. We’d dealt with some pushback from people who wouldn’t necessarily chose to do it like we are and that’s fine. In the end though, this is our birth and our child so we really have to stick with the decisions that make us the most comfortable. After knowing how much thought we’ve put into this plan, I’ll never again question the in’s and out’s of someone else’s birth plan. It is just SUCH a personal process and I fully believe all decisions should be respected even if they aren’t fully understood or appreciated by the masses. So long as the goal is a healthy baby and a healthy mom, everyone else should just be supportive.
Did you have a birth “plan”? If so, go ahead and tell me how far your actual birth deviated from it! I’d love to know.