Birth plans are funny things, really. I don’t actually know anyone who has ever completely followed their birth plan but I did see this amazing episode of ‘One born every minute’ once where this couple had a laminated list, laminated focus cards and laminated inspirational quotes to help get them through. That’s dedication for you.
I’m not so dedicated, but we did go through our birthing plan last week with our midwife. I already had a fair idea of what I wanted right at the beginning of this pregnancy and attending our antenatal class on labour and birth plans affirmed my beliefs on what I definitely did and did not want. However I am totally aware that birth plans are really a guidance and everything can change. Ultimately as long as both baby and I are safe then that’s all that matters.
In an ideal, non asthmatic, with no episodes of reduced foetal movements, world I would have a water birth. With my current back pain I find a warm both so relieving and I know during labour the birthing pool would provide immediate relaxation and pain reduction but unfortunately I won’t be allowed. I have to be monitored throughout my labour (albeit wirelessly) so not being able to be in a pool has been a disappointment, but something I was aware of from the start of the pregnancy.
With this in mind I plan to stay at home in the beginning of labour for as long as possible. We don’t need to call our labour ward until the contractions are three minutes apart and fortunately we’re only about a 5 minute drive away. When the time comes (and I’m sure I’m in labour) I’ll be calling my mum as my second birthing partner so she can start getting ready to travel to our house. I plan to have a warm bath, use paracetamol and put my TENS machine on for initial relief.
At the hospital I really hope to be able to stay on my feet/ birthing ball and active. I will have CTG straps monitoring baby’s heart rate but as these can be wireless they shouldn’t stop me moving around. The last thing I want is to be strapped to a bed and unable to self position freely so with this in mind I definitely don’t want an epidural. Although these are obviously amazing for pain relief I just think they have so many negatives- no eating or drinking, no moving, a catheter. Not the kind of birth I want but equally I’m not putting any pressure on myself. If an epidural was the only thing that meant I could get through labour safely and not distressed then I would have one. But It’s not in my PLAN.
Analgesia-wise, I’m opting for good old Entonox (gas and air) and if needed, a remifentanil patient-controlled analgesia pump. This means that when you want a small amount of the drug you press the button, and its pretty short acting so won’t stay around in my system or cross the placenta for long as it just works for a few minutes at a time. I like the idea of being in control of my own pain relief and not having the risk of making baby sleepy at birth. I can also stay mobile with this too.
I plan to have the injection to speed up delivery of the placenta and I’ve asked my midwife that they keep it so we can have a good look at it before it gets disposed off. I think the placenta is an amazing thing and I’d like to take some photos when it’s out.
When little pea is born I’ll be having her straight onto me, skin- skin and hopefully latching on in the ‘golden hour’. Then of course she’ll go onto Andrew too.
I appreciate this all sounds idillic and straightforward but I do know anything can change during labour. I see our plan as more of a positive-thinking guide. It’s something I can focus on in the coming days/ weeks and hopefully will hold me more accountable when I’m screaming out for an epidural during the transitional phase of labour. If I’ve discussed it and it isn’t in my plan then I rationally made that decision and Andrew can remind me of that if needed. He’ll know if I mean business or not.
So there it is! My Birth plan. Sorry that it was posted a bit late, I’ve had a busy week and when I haven’t been socialising I’ve been sleeping! I have my works baby shower tomorrow which I’m ever so excited about and a spa day on Friday for my lovely friend’s birthday, which is definitely needed.
Hope you’re all doing well,