I have an appointment with my consultant this week to discuss my birth plan for the impending baby. Having a birth plan seems to be the norm now and it’s something my hospital actively encourages. I even had a midwife tell me that she panics a little bit now when a woman presents in labour without a birth plan as they need to deduce the woman’s choices in the moment. I think it’s great and a sign of the times, I’ve heard so many family stories from my Mum’s generation of women being shouted at, bullied and even sedated so they would be a good girl and give birth ‘the right way’. We have choices now that we’ve never had before and I for one will be taking full advantage.
I should now state however that I only have one line that truly matters in my birth plan:
“Please help deliver my beautiful baby in the safest possible way.”
Everything else can go right out of the window if it were to compromise that first line in any way.
But since I’m expected to discuss the following with the consultant, I figured I would give it all a good think and share my choices with you lovely ladies. I ended up with an emergency caesarian with Ethan. If you’re interested, you can read both parts of his birth story here and here. I started this pregnancy with a bit of an obsession over choosing a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). But after some new health-related variables, a lot of research and reconsideration, Gavin and I have decided on a Planned Repeat C-Section instead.
So this rundown on my birth plan focuses on a caesarean section, but if any of you are interested, I’m sure we can focus another post on birth plan choices for a vaginal birth?
Also, remember that each consultant’s advice and hospital policy differs, so please have an open discussion with your own consultant about what feels right for you. It’s a special day that you will remember for the rest of your life, so whilst none of us has a crystal ball to know how any birth will go, we all have choices.
Gavin is currently working on a playlist of songs for the birth. I have friends who have said that it just adds a whole new level of relaxed atmosphere to an elective section (better tell him to keep the thrash metal for another day then). I also love the idea of one of the songs he’s chosen playing as the baby is born and having that one song remind me of that moment forever.
Explain It To Me
During Ethan’s birth, one of the things that settled me most on the operating table was the awesome anaesthetist that talked me through the entire procedure. I was never left wondering what was happening to my body below that sheet. She kept me involved. I would love that in theatre this time too.
Drop The Screen
I’m going to ask that the screen is dropped when the baby is being lifted out of my tummy. I have a photo of Ethan being born which is one of my most precious possessions, but instead of having Gavin waiting in the wing with a camera, I’d love us both to be present and be able to watch the baby being brought into the world.
Keep Baby With Me
This, for me, is the most important part of my birth wishes for this time around. When Ethan was born, he was in respiratory distress and was whisked away, thankfully! The wonderful hospital team looked after him and he was ok. But I didn’t get to see him for about six hours after the birth. This time, providing there is no medical reason to take the baby away again, I’d like the baby to be laid on my chest as soon as s/he is born and kept in my arms in theatre and recovery.
Delayed Cord Clamping
If possible, we’re asking that the umbilical cord is allowed to pulse the blood from the placenta to the baby for a short while after the birth, instead of being cut immediately. This has been proven to give a variety of health benefits to the kiddo and poses no extra risk to me. It also just makes sense in my mind to let the baby get the most out of the placenta and the blood before being separated from it.
Pain Relief Options
I have been prescribed Tramadol after two previous surgeries (one being Ethan’s birth) and man… It did not agree with me. It gave me shocking palpitations and anxiety through the roof. I’m going to specifically request that I don’t receive this at any point. After having a baby, I don’t need anything that’s going to make me feel even more bluesy and vulnerable that I might already feel!
Revealing The Sex
We haven’t found out the sex of the baby this time and my dream would be to hear the news from Gavin. I know it sounds silly and I don’t really have any reason other than the romantic notion of having my husband tell me “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” (between you and me, my money is on girl… Although I will be delighted either way).
What are your thoughts on birth plans?
What have been the choices you’ve made for your babies birth?