As the birth of my little boy approaches I thought I better put all of my thoughts and heartfelt desires for my birth onto paper, to have at the ready when it's time to go to the hospital.
I would ideally like to have a home birth, assisted by a licensed mid-wife. Well, living in New Brunswick,Canada where midwifery is allegal and where currently there are no certified midwives accepting new clients, this ideal cannot be a reality for me. And although I would do a home birth with "just" a doula, Mitch is not comfortable with that. So, we will head to the hospital when labour happens.
So here it is... my plan for a natural hospital childbirth (extended version):
I am planning a natural, intervention-free birth. I have never done this before, and although I'm a little nervous, I am hopeful, prepared, and determined. Please support me in this endeavour.
-I would like to begin labour naturally. I know that artificially induced labour can hurt more than a labour that begins on its own, and I really don't want to have to use pain medicines.
-If my water breaks first, I would like to wait for contractions to begin on their own. I am prepared to try natural ways to augment the start of contractions (walking, nipple stimulation, etc.)
-I know it's a "frivolous" request but I would really feel more comfortable in my own clothes during labour, birth and post-partum.
PEOPLE IN THE ROOM
-I request that I have the fewest number of people in the room as possible (please no extra students, residents etc. Just the doctor, nurse and baby nurse)
-I would like to have no other visitors or guests, etc., before or during labour. It should be just me and my husband.
FIRST STAGE OF LABOUR
-I request that only intermittent fetal monitoring be done and that I not be hooked up to an IV so that I can be mobile throughout this stage of labour.
-I request that vaginal exams be limited (one upon arrival to the hospital and one when I feel the urge to push). I don't want to be disappointed by a low number.
-I am aware that pain medications are available. If I need them I will ask, so please don't ask me if I want them.
-I plan to manage my pain in a variety of ways: changing positions, using an exercise ball, walking, using water (shower/ tub), etc.
- Please do not break my water... I would like that to happen on its own
SECOND STAGE OF LABOUR
-I would like to choose the position in which I push in ( this most likely will not be on my back)
-I would like to push without coaching or "counting to ten". I will push and breathe at my own pace
-As long as my baby and I are healthy I prefer no time limits on pushing
-please use perineal massage and warm compresses on my perineum
-I would rather risk a tear than have an episiotomy... Please get my consent before doing an episiotomy.
-please do not use forceps or a vacuum extractor unless absolutely necessary... Again please get my consent before using them.
If the heart rate if my baby becomes a concern I would like to do the following:
-eat and drink something to see if the extra sugars will wake the baby up
-change positions to see if this moves the baby off of his umbilical cord
-after this, I'd like to have the heart rate checked with a handheld Doppler
-please rub the baby's head to see if his positively affects the heart rate
- I STRONGLY hope to avoid a cesarean section. However, if one becomes necessary I would like my husband to be present at all times of the operation.
-I would like to touch/hold my baby as soon as possible... Before an examination of the baby.
-I would liked husband to be with the baby at all times
-I'd like to hold my baby immediately after birth as I know how important skin to skin is
-I'd like the staff to wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsing before clamping it
-I would like my husband to cut the cord
- I do not want routine Pitocin post-partum. I have confidence that the uterine contractions that occur when breast feeding my baby will help deliver the placenta and stop any hemorrhaging
-I would like to have all routine newborn procedures post-poned until after I have held and breasted my baby. I would especially like to post pone eye ointment
-I would like all newborn procedures to be done in my presence, while I am ( or my husband is) holding/touching the baby.
-NO HepB vaccine! I understand it is important that my baby receive the full gamut of vaccinations as a baby but I would rather delay them and do them on my own schedule.
*If at any time there are complications and the baby has any problems I'd like my husband to be with the baby at all times!*
I am excited to bring my baby into the world naturally, and I am excited to bring him home as soon as possible. I would prefer to be discharged as soon as we can, especially at this time of year where whooping cough and Norwalk virus are around. I understand that I will have to being my baby back for PKU testing within a few days and will definitely do this. I have always struggled with being comfortable in a hospital and would just prefer to be back home with my family and personal support system as soon as possible. This will allow me to rest better, and will allow me to relax and bond better with my baby and will allow my milk to let down more easily as well.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this over and for all of your patience and understanding. This once in a lifetime experience (having my first baby) is something I look forward to with anticipation and joy.