While I may be living in a fantasy world, I am still hoping for labor to spontaneously begin with no intervention or prompting. I am still hoping for an intervention-free labor and delivery. Whether that actually happens is all about wait and see.
My husband and I have created a one-page birth plan that we plan to take to the hospital once labor begins. I wasn’t going to create a birth plan because I am very willing and able to self-advocate and open to change as the situation dictates. My husband, however, wants our preferences in writing because he is afraid he will be more focused on not vomiting and/or fainting during the labor and delivery process than on what the nurses and doctors are saying/doing.
Knowing that right now the chances seem slim that I will be able to have labor begin spontaneously, I have also prepared two other birth plans that reflect our preferences for an induced labor and delivery, and a cesarean section.
As I have browsed the web looking for birth plans that closely mirror my preferences, I have realized there are many different approaches to outlining the ideal birth to medical professionals. We have chosen to take a slightly humorous approach in ours.
Please note that there are many other things that could be outlined as preferences (such as specifying intermittent monitoring if a wireless baby monitor is not available at our chosen hospital) in a birth plan. We tried to keep our preferences to things applicable only in our hospital or specific to our obstetrician. We also felt that a one-page-only birth plan was extremely important to ensuring it actually gets read in its entirety.
Our birth plan for spontaneous labor:
Let’s face it, Nurse, you’re busy. So, let me quickly say we appreciate you. I (Mindy) probably won’t be saying that in L&D because I’m a crabby, witchy person when I’m in pain. So, when I (Mindy) snap at you in about five seconds, please know I really, really appreciate you and I’m sorry I’m a terrible person.
Here’s what I want, knowing that poop happens, and plans go awry (notice I didn’t even call this a birth plan? I’m a realist, most of the time), I know this is all subject to circumstances:
- No visitors, please! We will let you know if someone is supposed to be let in. I know you are busy and you can’t stand guard outside our door, but I’m hoping something can be clicked in our electronic record keeping visitors away.
- I am all about informed consent. As long as I’m conscious, please obtain informed consent from us both, not just my husband. If I’m asleep, please wake me.
- I will be monitoring my blood glucose levels during labor. If you would like these readings, please let me know.
- Point me in the direction of the nearest bathtub please!
- Going for unmedicated; please don’t offer me drugs.
- Feel free to drug my husband, though, as I will greatly appreciate it.
- I need to be left alone as much as medically possible.
- I would like to be up and active during labor. Telemetric monitoring please!
- If you ask me how I’m doing, chances are I will tearfully tell you how horrible I feel. I am a sucker for sympathy. So, don’t ask. I will tell you if it is beyond my ability to bear.
- Yes to as few vaginal checks as medically possible. The fewer hands in my vagina, the better.
- I would like to deliver in whatever position seems to be working for me.
- No pitocin at any point please (unless I’m hemorrhaging, obviously, I like to live).
- Heplock me up, Scotty!
- I will be eating and drinking. I do understand possible aspiration risks if I go under general anesthesia. I assume all risk.
- No extraction assistance please unless we have given clear consent.
- Any help preventing a tear during second stage labor is much appreciated. Where do you keep the PAM spray? Vegetable oil? Anything. Really.
- Give it a couple of minutes before cutting the cord, like while wiping the goo off of our son.
- Please let the placenta detach naturally.
- We would like some uninterrupted time with baby after birth. Maybe an hour or two?
- We are opting for a circumcision.
- Yes to vaccinations.
- Breastfeeding (a lactation specialist consult would be great).
- No pacifier.
- No bottles.
- Maybe to rooming-in. Depends on how tired I am.
- Still all about informed consent.