Thursday, October 26, 2006

birth plan, version 1.1

Well, I wrote up our birth plan and took it to our prenatal appointment yesterday. And can I just say I love my doctor? She really should have been a midwife because on SO many things she just has more of a midwifey attitude than a medical attitude. She totally sees birth as the natural event that unfolds in its own time and own way than the medical event that should be managed into a standard mold to fit all women.

Anyway here is the birth plan:

Throughout labor and delivery of the baby, Tim (lastname) (baby's father) and J_____ ____ (doula) will remain with me. I have faith that my care providers during this birth will allow me and Tim to make informed decisions regarding all procedures. outlined below are our preferences for labor and delivery. We expect a normal, uncomplicated, vaginal delivery, but understand that things may happen beyond our control. If complications arise, we would like to try the least invasive intervention first, if possible.

Here are our preferences should the birth procede normally:

First stage of labor:

- I prefer a heplock and oral hydration instead of an IV.

- I would liked to be hooked up to a fetal monitor as infrequently as possible and would like a telemetry unit if one is available.

- I would like to move around freely, use a birthing ball, and change positions for comfort.

- I realize that there are several options for pain relief available to me. We are planning a drug-free birth, though, so I do not wish to have drugs offered to me.

- I would like infrequent vaginal exams, and I don't want to be told each time how dilated I am unless I ask. If I seem "stalled" at a particular measurement and I and baby are still doing fine, I wish to give my body time to finish laboring on its own before discussing augmentation or a surgical birth.

Second stage of labor:

- To help my perineum stretch gradually, I would like warm compresses, perineal massage, and slow pushing. I wish to avoid an episiotomy and would rather tear than be cut.

- I would like to push with my body's own urges, taking a new breath as necessary, instead of holding my breath and pushing to a count.

- We did not find out the gender prenatally and would like to see for ourselves what our "surprise" is instead of having it announced.

After birth of baby:

- Baby's father would like to cut the cord, after delivery of the placenta.

- I would like to breastfeed immediately after delivery, to help contract the uterus and deliver the placenta. Please no shots of pitocin or uterine massage without discussing first.

- I wish to keep my baby skin to skin immediately after delivery, with assessments and tests delayed for bonding time or done while baby is in mother's arms.

- We want to room in with our baby for our entire hospital stay.

- We have chosen to decline antibiotic drops in baby's eyes.

- We have also chosen to decline a hepatitis B vaccine. Baby will receive that vaccine at a later well-baby visit.

- If baby is a boy, we do not want him circumcised while in the hospital.

- Baby's father would like to give the baby its first bath.

I do have to revise a couple of things on here but they are VERY minor and I'll post the updated version after my next appointment in a couple of weeks. :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

still pregnant with #1, but already worrying about the birth of #2

Guess I'd better get an entry in here before October leaves us since I haven't done anything for this month yet. :P

I am now 32 and a half weeks pregnant with baby #1. December is just around the corner, and I have faith in God and my body that the birth will be fine and I will be able to push him/her out with few interventions from the hospital. My doctor and I are so far in agreement of the few "major" items I've mentioned on my birth plan. I'm going to take a rough draft to her this Friday to discuss the rest of the options I'd like to have available to me while I am in labor.

We searched for a doula and I interviewed 3 of them who do it professionally, but didn't really click with any of them as much as I would have liked to. A close friend of mine had a home birth this past June, after having a C-section in June of '05, and early in my pregnancy I thought of asking her to be at the birth, but didn't know if she could make it since she had two young children who would need looking after. But it turns out that all this time she had been wanting to offer to be at the birth but didn't want to make herself seem too pushy or anything. :P So she will come over sometime in early (but active) labor and help me stay at home as long as possible, then help hubby to be an advocate for me at the hospital and keep the nurses away during a contraction and help me to not be overcome with a bunch of interventions.

When I think about the upcoming birth, I don't really know how it will turn out (like with how long it will last and will it happen at night or at day, etc.). But I do feel peaceful about the whole thing. That is the feeling I have most, above even excitement and anticipation.

Now for our second birth, hubby and I will probably try for a home birth, or at the very least a birth center birth. We will probably be living in a different state by then so I won't be able to take my hospital experience with me, even if it is a good one. Just before my last appointment, I got a copy of my medical records and noticed that my dr had accidently put "does want antibiotic eyedrops" instead of "does not want antibiotic eyedrops." I got them b/c I was going out of town the next day and if something should happen I wanted the records with me. Well I happened to be talking to my mom and let it slip that there was that error on my chart. She went ballistic. I told her why we weren't doing it and later she talked about it to my dad. I called her again today, just to say hi and stuff, and she said that my dad wasn't going to say anything but that if we didn't get the drops and there was something wrong w/ the baby's eyes then he was going to sue our doctor! Um, wouldn't that be MINE and HUBBY's decision as the baby's parents?

Before hubby and I started trying to get pregnant, he let slip at a family gathering that we would try for a homebirth. I'm sure my parents are just ecstatic that we are going to a hospital this time. We WILL do a homebirth or birth center birth next time, but I am already worried about the reaction my parents will have and the discussions we would have over the 9 months of that pregnancy. I mean, if they get THAT ballistic (threating to sue my doctor??? how meddlesome can you be, really) over just eye drops, then they would surely completely flip out over an entire BIRTH at home. At my last prenatal appointment, my doctor HERSELF even said that she is supportive of home birth (but wouldn't do it herself b/c she has seen everything that can go wrong). I would hate to cut ties with my family for the duration of the pregnancy, but I just have a feeling that is what I might have to do because I doubt they would do the reading and research and everything to have a rational discussion, and instead try to use scare tactics to get me to change my mind.

Well guess what mom and dad, I'm an adult; I'm my own person; I really do have a good thinking head on my shoulders; and I am your stubborn daughter and I will not let you "scare" me into going to the hospital. Please, just accept that, and let's be friends again, ok?