My birthing plan is something that’s been quite clear in my head for a while now. There have been a few questions I’ve needed to ask, and a few facts that I’ve been told by other mumas that I hadn’t taken into account; but it’s pretty much stayed the same since I was about 3 months pregnant.
Initially, when I first found out that I was having a baby, I simply wanted to have a natural birth, on the hospital bed, using gas and air. I was open to some other options and really against others. I had my reasons for not wanting certain types of pain relief or labour options which I’ll explain now, and it’s quite funny to look back at my reasons then compared to my reasons now!
I didn’t want to have a c-section purely because of the scar, that may sound vein, and I know now that the scar isn’t even that big and even if it was it’s a scar from something beautiful, but that really was my only reason for not wanting one. Surgery doesn’t scare or worry me which I know is a main reason to put off women, but I’m pretty calm about surgeries and anaesthetic so it wasn’t a factor.
Now though, my reason for not wanting one is purely the recovery. I want to be as independent as possible once Rabbit is here. I know that I don’t need to be as I’ll have heaps of support from Pete and our families and friends but I want to know that I can lift him and Rhys as well as drive without having to wait to heal.
I also wan’t to be very aware of what is going on during the birth and if I had to have a c section where I was put under I’d feel like I’d be missing the birth and I think that would panic me a lot.
I’d heard a lot about an epidural and how fab it is as a form of pain relief. I’d also heard about how huge and scary the needle is (later to realise that this is just a lot of women’s way of trying to scare new mums and act brave!) however needles as with surgery don’t really phase me.
My reason for not wanting an epidural was simply because my aunty had one and suffered from a bad back ever since. I’ve had a bad back since I was at school. Nothing major, just my lower back gets inflamed and I often get aches and pains so part of me didn’t want this to get even worse whereas another part of me thought, if it’s bad already I could put up with it being a little worse couldn’t I!?
This is an option I’ve been open to until recently when I discussed my birthing plan with my midwife, I’ll explain why it’s now no longer part of my plan in a moment.
This is one form of pain relief that I hadn’t heard of before until my mum told me about it. She said that it was fab as you can control when you get a dose of it therefore making you feel more in control of the birth and less panicky. She said that of course you still feel the pain but it really great for relieving a lot of it when your pain levels are milder.
I did consider this for a while but then I read that it can make the baby slightly drowsy when they come out and this put me off.
The thought of a home birth has always made me feel a little cringe. It’s not that I have anything against them, I’ve just never seen myself having one. My mum had one with my sister but it was unplanned because she decided to come very quickly! She hasn’t given the experience a particularly negative review compared to her hospital labours for me and my brother but on the other hand she hasn’t raved about it.
The thought of giving birth in my home (which would either be our bedroom or, well that would probably be the only place I’d consider) although I’m sure would make me feel comfortable, I’m afraid would put me off going in there ever again! I know it would be cleaned up and would probably remind me of the happy memories but if it reminded me of the uncomfortableness (I’m not going to say painfulness as according to my natal hypnotherapy it won’t be painful merely uncomfortable) I’m not sure I could go in there again … which may prove difficult!
I have been told that as I’m low risk a home birth would be a great option for me but along with the above reason, I also feel a little uneasy about being away from all of the medical equipment and experts just incase circumstances changed (touch wood this wouldn’t be the case anyway).
I look back at my view on water births and find it really laughable! I never even considered having one purely because of the following reasons:
1 – If I’m in the water for too long I’ll get wrinkly
2 – When I get out of the pool I’ll be cold
3 – Won’t the water be all gross?
I now see how crazy these reasons were. Everyone I told them to had the same answer ‘when you’re in labour you won’t care about any of those!’. Being wrinkly will be the last thing on my mind and the room will be kept at a temperature that won’t make me shiver when I get out of the pool. Even if I do feel chilly, I’ll have a towel and hoody plus I’ll have Rabbit, so again, won’t be worrying about the cold!
The dirty water part I also now see is ridiculous. The only things that will make the water a bit gross is what will come out during labour. As soon as labour is over I’ll be out of the pool, it’s not like I’ll chill in there for a while!
My final plans
So after much deliberation, here is my final birth plan. Considering I was so against a water birth in the beginning, it is now the only option I really want to go with. Since being pregnant, being in water has been such a great pain relief and relaxer for me! If ever I get a backache, or when I had those urine infection pains a few months back, a bath has made me feel great!
The odd times I’ve been swimming I’ve also loved the weightless feeling of my bump in water and this makes me realise that a water birth is the right option for me.
As I want to keep it as natural as possible, I only want to use gas and air. I also know that I can’t have a water birth if I’ve had an epidural or pethidine so that rules them out as far as my plan goes anyway!
I’ve been practising my natal hypnotherapy CD (post to come) and the majority of the time I listen to it in the bath. I dim the lights, light a candle and enjoy the relief of the water. This is the scene I’d like to set during labour – a dark room, relaxed music and a quiet environment with as few people as possible.
Pete will be my birthing partner and apart from a midwife I’d like the room to be empty. I’ll go into more detail about my relaxation before birth when I post about the natal hypnotherapy as it’s all related.
I know this sounds a bit odd, or maybe it doesn’t but I want to be the first to touch Rabbit. I watched Kourtney Kardashians birth to her daughter and she pretty much pulled her out herself. She’d had an epidural but I really want to be able to do this in my water birth.
As Rabbit is back to back I have been told that it will be better for me to be on all fours during labour so I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to do that or if the midwife will need to catch him and hand him to me, in which case I want him to be handed to me straight away, before he’s cleaned up or anything.
Pete will cut the cord and do skin on skin as soon as possible – I can’t wit to see this 🙂
I’ve agreed to there vitamin K injection for Rabbit. After discussing it with the midwife I really can’t see why I wouldn’t. I’ve also agreed to the injection for the active 3rd stage of labour to help to expel the placenta easily.
Of course I know that things don’t always go to plan. My labour may end up completely different to my plan and I’m fine with this thought. My natal hypnotherapy has made me feel really relaxed about it all and I trust that whatever I’m told needs to happen to get Rabbit out safely is what is best for both me and him. I’ll handle any kind of birth that I’m faced with but think I’ll be a tiny bit disappointed if I don’t get to carry out my plan as I’ve been preparing for it both mentally and physically for a while now.
So that’s pretty much it for my birthing plan. I’ve found it really helpful watching One born every minute as it’s exposed me to so many different types of labours and reactions. Even the screamers haven’t put me off which has really surprised me!
What does annoy me is when people I know talk to me about how painful or difficult it is. Why would you tell a woman who’s about to go through labour and may already be feeling anxious and scared that it’s going to hurt? Women should want to support each other and prepare them and then once it’s all over they can talk about the discomfort and nasty bits!
I’d love to hear about your birthing plans and thoughts on mine 🙂
Thanks for reading! xx