I figure it's better to call it a "wish list" than a "birth plan". I mean let's be honest... Birth isn't exactly one of those things you can entirely plan out. I've met so many women who started out planning for one thing and ended up with another just because things change, and that's ok.
So partly because I don't want to jinx myself I've started a "labor wish list," of things I'd like to see happen. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this and there's a lot of things I keep changing my mind about, but some things I've remained firm on.
I won't bore you with all of the details but here are the highlights:
-I'd like to labor at home as long as I can stand it if my water hasn't broken yet. I'll sit in the bath, try hypnosis and breathing techniques as long as possible.
-I'd like to discuss pain medication options as soon as possible. I'd like to know the options I have before hand and know about how long they take to get if I decide to go for it.
-I want to labor as long as possible without an epidural because my hospital doesn't have a "walking epidural" and I'll basically be in bed after I get it. I'd like to sit in the shower, on a birthing ball, walking, or whatever as long as possible before I resort to an epidural. I'm not against it though, if I decide I want it it's ok, but I'm hoping to try to labor without it as long as I can... That may be 5 minutes, or 25 hours.
-If induction is necessary after 42 weeks I'd like to try natural inducing techniques like breast stimulation castor oil, acupuncture, and things like that.
-During labor I'd prefer the room to be dark/ have natural sunlight, and play my own music.
-I'd like to be provided with a squatting bar.
-I'd like photographs to be allowed during labor.
-I would like my daughter to be placed on my abdomen directly after birth (before being cleaned off)
-I'd like my husband to cut the umbilical cord.
-If a c-section is not an emergency, I'd like time to think/ discuss the option before we're asked for written consent.
-I would like my baby to be placed on a pulse oximetry for a minimum of one hour between 24 and 48 hours after birth to rule out any obvious heart conditions present then.
-I'd like to instinctively push when I feel the urge unless I ask for direction.
-I'd like a lactation consultant to visit with me to answer any questions I may have about breastfeeding.
-I wouldn't like my baby to receive formula without my permission (I'd like to exclusively breastfeed her).
Those are the nuts and bolts but there's quite a bit more.
The list of requests dealing with options after birth seems longer than the things actually during labor. To me, many of those things are more important. I am more looking forward to the bonding after birth than the actual process of getting her out of me. It's not going to ruin my whole life or my experience if the room is lit and my baby gets wiped before placed on my belly, but basically there are some ideas of things I'd like to discuss and continue to think about.
I think my biggest goal is to be open-minded, and aware of my options. Filling out a labor wish list did get the discussion going with my husband, bring up more questions for us to ask our doctor, and give us things to look forward to learning in our birthing classes.
Part of me wonders if my "wish list" isn't granted how I'll feel after. Did you create a birth plan? How did it go? If well, what do you think helped? Were you upset when things didn't go according to the plan?
Visit Jennifer's personal blog BabyMakinMachine.com.