I was reminiscing yesterday and while looking through files full of baby Grayson photos, I came across my birth plan. The final, final version that is, since I may have edited it just a few times. It made me chuckle. I’m still glad that I spent so much time preparing for my first birth and outlining all the things I “wanted” during labor, but it sure is comical how things can veer so far from the vision you have for your “birthing” self.
I actually did end up with the natural birth I imagined, but several of the things I outline in my original plan below did not go off as planned. For one, I asked my midwife to break my water. Ahem, I mean more like begged for her to break my water. At only 6 centimeters dilated, I wanted that baby out, yo. But look how sweetly and nicely it’s typed out that we partake in no such birthing indulgence.
Also, notice that I politely but clearly asked that the smelly nurses stay out of the room. Guess who stunk? I DID. Yea, after 17 hours of labor I remember thinking that I couldn’t handle the way I smelled. Were those nurses laughing? They must be thinking, who does she think she is? She’s the smelly girl! That’s the chatter that was going on in my head while I was pushing my baby out.
Regardless, I would do everything the same actually – gullibly optimistic birth plan and all. Well, maybe I’d throw a stick of deodorant in my birthing bag. But I’m not sharing our plan to laugh at it (although I do think it’s funny). Ours provided a lot of guidance and peace of mind throughout my labor but I’ll still admit that there was a fair smidgen of blind, clueless hope that went into voicing a desired birthing process prior to ever having gone through the pain and desperation that is natural birth (along with the beauty and magnificence of it I’ll add…for posterity’s sake).
But what is a 9-month pregnant, fat, sleepless mama supposed to do? We have no choice but to put some meaning and direction into the thing before jumping off (or rather, being pushed off) the ledge that is birth. And thus, a sweet birth plan is typed up with nervous fingers. It’s all so tragic and hilariously sad in my humble opinion. But beautiful at the same time. Birth is a hard thing to describe, with its planning and its grunting and its sweating and its ability to create a screaming, rosy-cheeked ball of skin that we love more than anything in the world. It is every extreme emotion felt down to your very core all slammed into the most chaotic yet serene moments of your life.
But anywho, I’m sharing it today. I know a lot of people like to snoop around when creating their own so it might be helpful. I certainly did work from a friend’s. But more importantly, I’d love to hear how your “birthing plan” measured up to reality. Would you do anything differently when drafting your birth plan again? I talked to a friend yesterday who ended up having a natural birth accidentally.
So regardless of going the “natural” or c-section route (or pulling-a-baby-out-of-your-nose route), do you think it’s as tragically hilarious a process as I do?
You can read all about my baby Grayson’s birth here. I’ve pasted my original plan below, every word for hopeful word. It was printed out by a loving, but very nervous husband and handed out to anyone who would listen…or could hear, rather, above the intense birthing groans made by his lovely wife.
Christina & Matt Honkonen
Thank you so much for being a part of our birth!
We are planning to have a natural, drug-free delivery. I’ve spent a lot of time preparing for this delivery by following the Bradley method, eating the right foods and exercising, etc. As my nurse or midwife, I ask that you provide as much support as possible as I experience my first delivery. Alleviating any fears and staying positive are very important to me and I know I’ll need help to make that happen! So, a big thank you ahead of time to those who bring good vibes into the room.
Also, if you wear perfume, I’d very kindly ask that you not enter the labor & delivery room. Under normal circumstances I love good-smelling people, but ever since the morning sickness phase I’ve been extremely sensitive. Thanks for understanding and apologies ahead of time if this offends anyone!
As long as no medical emergency exists and Mother and Baby are safe, we plan to adhere to the specifics below.
Mother’s allergies: Nothing that we are aware of
- Water Tub set up in room
- Squatting Bar in room
- Mother will move freely during labor, and will utilize various positions in the room, tub or bed
- No continuous fetal monitoring
- I.V. access only – Please do not start Pitocin unless consent is made.
- Husband to be with laboring Mother at all times. Parents and siblings will remain in waiting room until 1 hour after baby is born
- Limited cervical checks
- Room quiet & dark when needed
- Please ask permission before having any students/residents into room
- NO Episiotomy (unless emergency situation to get Baby out quickly), mother would prefer a small tear. Please provide information about options – it would be greatly appreciated!
- Please do not offer an epidural or other pain relief options unless requested by mother or father
- Freedom to deliver Baby in whatever position is most comfortable
- Wish to keep bag of waters intact and please refrain from stripping of membranes unless consent is made
- No pulling/tugging on Baby’s head-please simply guide baby out.
- Allow placenta to expel naturally
- Allow for mother directed pushing
- Delayed cord clamping (20-30 minutes, at least until cord stops pulsating)-Father will cut the cord
- No Pitocin after birth for mother unless major hemorrhage-don’t hang bag
- Baby to Mother’s chest immediately after delivery (to remain with mother for up to 1 hour, given no emergency needs to allow time for breastfeeding), Baby to Father’s chest next
- Any and all assistance with breastfeeding from a certified lactation consultant is more than welcomed! It is important to me that we start off on the right path.
- No swaddling of Baby
- All testing done while skin to skin on Mother
- No bath after delivery – Mother & Father only to give bath if needed
- No separation of Baby and Mother & Father-everything needs to be done in the room
- Hepatitis B vaccine and Vitamin K – to be done after one hour
- Antibiotic ointment for eyes to be done after one hour
- PKU done while Mother is breastfeeding
- Father to accompany baby for circumcision at the hospital
How did your birthplan compare to your actual birth?