My Natural Labor & Delivery Plans
You know what they say about the best laid plans and all of that, but, if I could hope, pray, and wish for my dream labor, delivery, and recovery, these are what those plans are. Obviously, everyone is different. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. But, this is what is best for me.
I don’t have plans to take these to the hospital with me. I’m not going to be the girl who shows up with a bullet point, high lighted, step by step birth plan….. mostly because my plans are “hands off, please”. But, that’s easy enough to say, and not necessary to be printed out on a piece of paper.
I remember when I got pregnant with Abigail, even though it had taken us a year to get pregnant with her, I was still fairly blissfully naive when it came to all things baby. First time parent, ah quite youthful, and just a bit uninformed. It was well into my 6th month or so, I was almost in third tri, when I was in Virginia to be a bridesmaid for one of my very best friends. We all got to talking about labor and delivery, and up to that point, I had planned to do whatever my Dr. told me and OBVIOUSLY get the epidural. Mostly, because I just hadn’t given it much thought. But the more we talked, and more and more of the women shared their stories about home birth, zero interventions, refusing induction and epidurals, the more I got to thinking….perhaps I should do some research myself?
Keep in mind that this was 2010, so it was basically the technological dark ages :p
I got my hands on a copy of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and it completely revolutionized the way I thought about childbirth. From that point on, I knew that I was going to have a intervention free delivery and made all of my plans based off of that choice. (You can read Abigail’s birth story HERE if you would like.)
And if the years of praying and waiting for Mabel, and the years of being a mama and taking care of a little one have done anything for me, it has been this: the pendulum of “crunch factor” has way swung and I only continue to up the ante on myself as I have choices.
The first time I read Ina May I totally, totally got her points. They made absolute sense to me, but I was like, DANG these people are weird as all get out. Rereading it this time around? I’m like, how can I get to “The Farm”(her “commune” for those of you who aren’t familiar with her) and live in a cabin and give birth there. Like, today. So, as I’ve said, it’s fairly obvious to see that I’ve continued down the all natural road and have no plans of putting the brakes on it anytime soon.
So, here is what I am already doing:
(This is all from consultations and advice from my naturopath)
Prenatal + Iron
Vitamin B Supplement
Vitamin D Supplement
Tons of water
Sitting on the birthing ball for a few minutes every evening
Rereading my birthing books(bonus if it’s while I’m on the birthing ball!)
As soon as it arrives, I’ll start drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
annnnd I’m starting to select birth affirmations and bible verses to start meditating on to prepare my heart and mind for labor and delivery.
The Plans For Me:
Refusal of all pre-labor cervical checks
Refuse any and all induction- obviously, to a reasonable extent. Abigail came on her due date, so I have no reason to think that this should be an issue. But, I’m perfectly ready to go up to 42 weeks if Mabel needs it.
Once labor begins, labor at home for as long as possible. On the birthing ball, in the tub, eating and drinking, staying calm and composed.
Once labor progresses to the point where we think it is wise to head to the hospital, then we will head that way.
Once at the hospital, no IV(will concede to a heplock), no constant fetal monitoring(if possible), and laboring how it feels best.
And that is basically it! I ended up wanting to push while reclining, that felt the most comfortable to me and my water didn’t break until completion so those were two non-issues last time that I hope will be the same again.
I mostly just want to be left to labor with Jim, my Mom, and my good friend who is a doula.
To me, this is the section with the biggest changes from my previous delivery. I didn’t do a ton of research as far as what baby goes through and what the standard procedures are in the hospital after baby is born with Abigail. Obviously, it all turned out just fine, but there are certainly things I want to do differently this time around.
After Mabel is delivered, if all is well:
I want her to be immediately placed on my chest for skin to skin and nursing.
Delayed cord clamping
Refusal of eye ointment
Delaying the Hep B shot until a later pediatrician appointment
Requesting that any and all checks, vit K shot, or other things be delayed until after the first nursing session or while she is on my chest.
If possible, not use pitocin to expel the placenta and let it deliver when it is ready.
And of course, keeping Mabel in the room with us at all times. Jim can go with her if they need to take her anywhere.
I’ve had a few different talks with my OB about my plans and she has been nothing but sweet and understanding about my ideas. Thankfully, I am a 100% low risk, textbook patient, so there isn’t any reason to worry much about how things will go. She also delivered Abigail and is aware of my previous labor and delivery, which I think helps keep our communication open. The hospital where I had Abigail has since closed it’s birthing center, but a brand new hospital just opened in March, so I should be using all new state of the art equipment and have been told that their birthing rooms are very similar to my previous experience(labor, deliver, recover all in the same room + room in with baby).
As my OB and I talked through my “plans” she just suggested that anything I say to the nurses about my desires to preface it with “Dr. B and I have already discussed this and she is aware of my wishes” or if she is present, just have Jim or my doula remind her of my plans(such as delayed cord clamping) so that we can achieve a great birth together.
So, at this point, in these last few weeks of waiting, I’m really just trying to prepare my heart and mind for what is coming. With Abigail, I was fiercely determined. And not so much nervous. This time, I feel anxious and scared because I can remember it hurting so badly. But, I know that it is what is best for me and for Mabel and I’m happy to choose it and do it the same way as I did with Abigail. I just need to get my head in the game before hand!
One verse that has particularly stood out to me that I have been memorizing in preparation for her delivery is a verse that showed up during this semester’s ladies bible study(we’re studying 1st and 2nd Thessalonians):
Love this!!!!! So happy for you. I would totally go birth at the farm if I could. Sometimes the birders are the most difficult ones to deal with during a nucm hospital birth but so glad your dr is absolutely supportive and already have you the wise to preface with her name!!! Love it! So excited for you!
Love this! I'm so excited for us both! Our plans are almost identical (which I expected) except I'm hoping for a water birth. My doula recently sent me some ideas about laboring at home that I have been meaning to forward to you. And one of my favorite birth affirmations: your body was made to do this and your baby knows how to be born!
Your birth plan is very similar to mine & to my previous birth plan. We're planning to birth at a birth center this time but just in case of transfer I've gone ahead with making a true birth plan (my midwife is pro birth plan so there's no confusion with nurses etc in room) but this time I'm making a visual birth plan so it's easier for everyone to read/see at a glance & hopefully those that wouldn't normally read it, will since it's so easy!
Do it! My birth plans were pretty much identical to yours. Unfortunately, my little bundle of joy was 16 days late so I ended up being induced (http://sarahlillianblogs.blogspot.com/2015/03/lillian-isadore-birth-story.html) but I'm planning on a natural birth with my future babies if at all possible. Good luck, mama. Your body is made to do this and you can totally rock it!
I love love reading about natural births and birth plans! I'm so proud to know all of you who do it this way, and really wish I could see myself doing it… but I just can't. I'm a wuss and I know it. My feelings may change when we get to baby two, but only time will tell. I also may be high risk next time since I had preeclampsia last time. I love that birth is such an individual experience and can't wait to hear how Mabel arrives! <3
Rock it, mama! Loved reading this. I can't wait to read about Mabel's birth and the way God shows up and shows off through it!!! Also…that verse…dang. Labor of love! AMEN! xx
Yay! Can't wait to "meet" Mabel! Also, I start my OB rotation this Summer so this makes me even happier!
I loved reading your plan. I haven't thought too much about that part…yet. The hospital at which I delivered Cash & will deliver Baby Bean is labor, deliver & recover all in the same room with baby. I love it!
You go, mama!!! Like you – I plan to (within reason) – refuse an induction. Can't wait to hear about the birth and can't believe it will be so soon!
I really enjoyed reading this. I have done a lot of research but I think I'll fully settle on my plans once I get pregnant – which, who knows when that will be?! Honestly, my dream plan would be this: Be due in like May. Fly home to Aus in 2nd trimester because the whole health system is a million times better and babies are delivered by midwives and it's free and my mummy will be there. All the things I will have to worry about here will be non existent over there. Because it will be May, KC, who is a teacher, can fly over when the year ends, or earlier and we can stay in Oz for a couple months until we are ready to fly home. It's literally cheaper to do that than have a baby here.
If that doesn't work – or for a second child when we can't just up and fly around the world – mine would basically look like yours, although I'm not 100% about after the baby is born with the eye ointment and stuff. I haven't done a lot of research but from what i have, I am not opposed to some of the things they do here. Of course keeping baby with me and stuff. I mean, this is all just why I want to have my baby at home. So much less stress.
Anyway this was a ridiculously long comment for someone who isn't even pregnant.
hehe you said Dr. B…. Dr. Barlet?
My birth plan was to get through summer school… it didn't happen. I didn't want to be there anyway, the school didn't give me any choice. I was there every day up to my due date which she came on. I had planned to take finals that day since they thought they'd have to do a C-section (I don't really know why but there was something…) and then my water broke on my due date and she came about the time I would have been taking my final which was planned a head of time so. ha!
This is awesome! I cracked up about your mindset switching from "WEIRDOS" to "I want in!!!" Lol.
I had a very similar birth plan with both of mine. I also wasn't as well versed on the baby stuff though (eye ointment, delayed cord clamping, etc.) so I kind of just let them do whatever with mine and I do regret that and would do it differently next time. I am thankful for immediate skin to skin and nursing both times, though! That is awesome that your doctor is so supportive!! We went to a larger practice and I was SOOOO blessed to have an amazing, supportive doctor deliver my second daughter. I had never met her before that, but she was incredible and completely supportive of my desire to go natural and she really made the setting completely peaceful for me and just let me do my thing. It was totally different from the atmosphere at first birth at the same hospital!
Good luck to you, sweetheart! I hope and pray you can stick to your birth plan 🙂 Know that the nurses want what's best for you and I think it's great to state your plan in the way that your doctor and yourself already discussed it. I feel like the nurses would be more receptive to that 🙂 GOOD LUCK! 🙂
I think that this book you reference is right up my alley. Sounds like a plan I would go for if ever blessed with the chance. I hated how Ellie's eyes were after the ointment and wish we could have had more of a say in what happened with her (maybe we will for her brother?) but I am curious why you are foregoing the ointment all together? This must all be lined out in the book I presume.
Love love love this. This is all identical to both of my births except I stayed at home. Also, that's my favorite book ever, I read it about 5 times (seriously) because it was so encouraging and reassuring. Too bad we can't talk each other's ears off about this, one of my favorite subjects 🙂
I love this birth plan! I wanted to have a natural child birth with Weston, and unfortunately, everything went against me and I had a c-section. HAHA! It was fine though, but I still love the idea of natural childbirth!
Also – great birth story!!!
Love it. I'll be praying everything goes smoothly Mama!