Holly: Birthing Plan Improvised
As some of my friends and family are currently pregnant the conversation about Birthing Plans has arisen. A Birthing Plan is something that you and your significant other put together with your OB/GYN during your pregnancy that outlines your wishes during the labor and delivery stage. It can cover anything from the lighting and sounds in the room, to whether or not you want an episiotomy, to who can be in the room and the list can go on and on for pages!
For those who are just getting to know me you must understand that I am a bit of a control freak and am extremely organized. When I found out I was pregnant I didn’t want to just go into labor whenever it happened, so I asked my doctor if we could schedule a c-section. She told me that she wasn’t the type of doctor to do that: She only did c-sections if absolutely necessary. Well, I decided to that I respected her opinion and that I would take labor as it came. This was the first of many times that I changed my mind about things, decided to improvise and gave away a bit of the control to someone else.
When I was pregnant I read the book that most people do, What to Expect When You are Expecting. It is a decent book, nothing too spectacular about it. However, they do talk about Birthing Plans. I immediately decided that I needed one so I looked up examples on line and began putting together a list. I would ask my husband his opinion on things and he would say, “it is really your decision,” so I made a very long list of do’s and don’t’s that I continued to edit as the months went on.
Around the seventh month I decided to bring up my Birthing Plan with my OB. She told me that she would respect whatever I put together but that many times things are out of her control and that ultimately, we may have to go against the Birthing Plan. I went home that evening, thought about it, and said, what the heck, I’m going to go against everything I am and just go with the flow and improvise! And, it was a good thing I did…
Without going into the details I will do a run down of what I had on my original Birthing Plan and what actually happened…
-I didn’t want to use “drugs” but I ended up getting an epidirual (spoiler alert: labor is painful!)
-I didn’t want to use Petocin to induce my labor but I wasn’t progressing so they highly suggested that I use it, so I did
-I didn’t want my bag of waters broken but it didn’t occur on its own so they eventually had to have an OB come and break it
-I didn’t want to do anything unnatural to get the baby out, but she stopped progressing so after two hours of pushing they had to use the vacuum to get her out
-I didn’t want an episiotomy but because they used the vacuum it was causing too much tearing so they had to do one
-I wanted my husband to cut the umbilical cord- but he didn’t want to! Well, he did end up cutting it and he thought it was cool.
I share this because I want all of the soon-to-be-mommies out there to think through the idea of a Birthing Plan and make sure you are being realistic about what you are requesting and be ready to improvise a bit. When the time comes you never know what kind of entrance your little one wants to make!