For my Bradley Birth Class, I need to submit a birth plan tonight. Since we are planning a homebirth, my instructor suggested that I write my plan assuming a hospital transfer as that is when it will most likely come in handy. Take a look at what I put together and let me know if you see room for improvement or something I overlooked. (Writing it made me really happy we are planning to NOT have to use it!)
Lish and Jr. Stac’s Birth Plan (In case of a hospital transfer)
- Our goal is to have a healthy, natural, intervention-free birth, followed by non-separation.
- People to be present: Jr.Stac, the dad; Ellen, our doula, Kathy, our midwife; and my parents. We would like as many people to stay with us as allowed.
- If interventions are suggested we would like a full disclosure of all risks and benefits associated with the intervention and the R&B of NOT doing the intervention.
- I want to be able to eat and drink freely
- I prefer intermittent fetal monitoring and no IV so I can move freely
- Please do not offer any pain medicine.
- I want to use water as a comfort mechanism (want access to bath and/or shower)
- I prefer minimal or no cervical/internal exams. Do not break my water.
- I do not want any students/apprentices in the room during my labor or the birth. I prefer to limit hospital personnel to only those necessary.
- I want to be free to push in any position that I choose.
- I want to push when I want or feel the urge to push; no directed pushing (unless I ask).
- I want hot compress or comparable care to my perineum.
- I want to avoid vaccum or forceps assisted delivery.
- I do not want an episiotomy.
Immediately following birth:
- I want immediate skin-to-skin contact.
- I want to see and keep my placenta.
- I want Jr.Stac to be the one that announces the sex.
- Jr.Stac will cut the cord, but only after it has stopped pulsing (!).
- I do not want the baby to go to the nursery during my stay. All newborn exams must take place as close as possible to me.
- I do not want the baby bathed or given pacifiers, formula, or sugar water
- I do not want eye cream applied or the HepB vaccine given
In case of a cesarean section:
- I would like my CNM to scrub in as “first nurse.”
- I would like my husband and mother there. She can stay with me while dad goes w/baby.
- Following birth, the baby should immediately be skin-to-skin with Jr.Stac.
- I want to be with baby as soon as possible to start nursing.
- All other requests in “immediately following birth” section apply.
Today you have been in my belly for 15 weeks 3 days. You are about the size of an apple–around 4 inches long. I started feeling your tiny flutters today, and it is the most amazing thing. I can imagine your cute tiny toes wiggling back and forth and your little fingers finding their way to your mouth for sucking. I have no doubt you are the cutest fetus there ever was. I can’t wait to see you at my 20 week ultrasound!
Your dad and I talk about you a lot, especially on the nights when we use our doppler to listen to your tiny heartbeat. It’s so fast and precious! We imagine what you will look like, if you will be a boy or a girl, if your grandparents will go crazy spoiling you. We think about the excitement and nerves that will be running through us when the big day comes and labor starts. (I hope it snows and our Christmas tree is still lit.) We like to argue about what sports you should play–I don’t like soccer because it’s cold and games are long and kids hardly ever score. I see you more of a tennis player We’ve already thought about where we want to send you to school and when we should make you a little brother or sister. We mostly just let our conversations wander instead of making definite decisions. But one thing we know for sure is that you will be the most loved baby in the world. You already are.
We haven’t bought anything for you yet except two Phish onesies. Your dad bought them about 5 minutes after we realized we were pregnant with you. He’s crazy! Actually I guess you could say we also bought you a house! You will love it. There is a perfect little nursery for us to rock you in and a nice back yard for you to run and play. We picked the house because we want you to have a happy fun place to grow up. We already have a painter scheduled to paint your room, but i’ll tell you all about the nursery later.
Keep fluttering away. It melts my heart.
Love you forever,
A week ago, I was a doula for an amazing couple. Because this is THEIR birth story and as a doula I love myself some confidentiality, I will forego the details and tell a simple birth story expressing my feelings and role during the birth.
And, well, it was AMAZING. In every prenatal meeting Mom wanted a med-free birth, but, when we got to the hospital, she told me how she would be “fine with getting an epidural if she needed one.” Well, I knew she really wanted a natural birth, and while I would obviously support and respect her in any decision she made, I made it my goal to try and get her that med-free birth she wanted.
And guess what? She kicked butt and had the birth she always dreamed of, med-free and all!
In between early labor and baby, there was a beautiful labor where mama and dad were slow dancing and moaning together. I was your quintessential new-ish doula with my lavender massage oil, flame-less candles, birth ball, and warm compresses. I got to use a tool I never used before and it worked like a charm. I have a hollow rolling pin that I filled with hot water (you can also fill it with ice) and rolled up and down her back while she swayed on the ball. There was a “calm” that flooded the hospital room. With lights dimmed low and soft pretty music playing, even though labor was intense, we managed as a team to get in the zone. Coping mechanisms were working, dad was loving, and my presence, I believe (hope!), gave her the confidence and motivation she needed to bring her baby into the world.
During labor, I noticed that certain words of encouragment worked better than others. These are phrases I used a lot:
- It’s aaalllll in your belly.
- Let the wave build up, then feel it release.
- This will end just like the last one and you will get your break.
- I am RIGHT here with you and you will never be alone. We will get through each one together.
- Just like that. You did it. We will do it again just like that.
- During transition: You CAN do this. You ARE doing this.
As soon as she expressed the first sign of doubt, I knew the end was near. It was transition if I’ve ever seen it. Then, in one quick moment, she needed to push. Not exaggerating, one minute later, her baby was on her belly. Doc didn’t even make it to the room!
We all cried tears of joy. It was AMAZING, beautiful, perfect, happy, a celebration of life, a celebration of women, and celebration of the human body and what it is capable of. I couldn’t have asked for a better Friday night.
Finishing out the perfect birth, baby latched on and sucked like a champ. Of course he did, we said, he was perfect in every other way.
I was honored to be this family’s doula and I can’t wait to hold the little guy (if she’ll share) this weekend during my postpartum visit.
Well, I am officially working on my 27th year of living!
I was born by an “emergency” c-section 26 years ago today. My mom has never written down my full birth story but we have talked about my birth and she felt she was coerced into a cesarean because her OB wanted to go play tennis. She was only 20 years old. There was meconium in her waters and because that was a sign of stress they said it would be better for me to be born via a c-section. She didn’t know enough to question them, she was young and scared, and said okay. But, being the awesome woman that she is, upon reflection she knew that she deserved better and wanted her next births to be hers. She had two unmedicated VBACS with my little sisters. Go, Mom!
I have set some goals to accomplish before next February 12. I figure if I post this blog I will be held accountable so they are:
- Finish doula certification
- Get pregnant
- Become healthier
- Get this blog designed and more established–find “my voice” if you will
- Move to a place in the city with outdoor space
I think these are all doable. I’m lucky because I know I have Jr. Stac supporting me in accomplishing them. We had a nice long talk over drinks last night and I can’t thank my lucky stars enough to have found him and to have him as mine. We have been together for more than 7 years and honestly, it’s a piece of cake, a walk in the park, and we love each other more every day. (I hope it’s okay to say that without sounding super braggy, but it’s the truth.) We are so on the same page with everything, it’s unreal. Our personalities are really different but all of our beliefs, values, and dreams are so freaking in line with each other. It’s truly awesome.
So I am feeling pretty positive about turning 26 and what this year will bring. I definitely want to change some lifestyle habits and I know it’s going to be hard. I need to exercise more, eat healthier, drink less alcohol, and be more active in general. Not only will this help me to be healthier, but I know it will also make me more fertile so it’s win-win.
Though as much as I love our CSA, I am not the type of person who gets joy out of working out and eating veggies. I like to watch “Say Yes to the Dress,” eat hot dogs topped with sauerkraut, onions and mustard; guacamole; cheese–LOTS of cheese; buffalo chicken pizza; and scrapple, egg, and cheese bagels. man. so good.
Well, on that note! I am going to go enjoy my birthday, but I will leave you with a blast from the past. Here’s Jr. Stac and me on my 21st birthday on our way to “$5 Prom.” Classic.