Thursday, December 5, 2013

My birth plan, or lack thereof

Total steps yesterday:  12,847
Exercise plans for today:  attempt at a run

So this is going to be a lengthy and very pregnancy related post - feel free to skip out on it if you're not interested.

I've worried about a lot of things during the course of this pregnancy.  Some are legitimate.  Some are not.  I've stressed about safe strength training and whether or not my body is ready to quit running.  I've stressed about how James and I will provide for our baby.  We've collectively stressed over whether it's more important to teach Lil W Latin or Spanish.  And I've stressed again about whether or not my body is ready to quit running.

One thing I've kept waiting to stress about is my delivery.  I've pretty meticulously researched every step in this pregnant journey, and have formed opinions and blogged about my feelings in regards to a lot of the life changes I've gone through in the last few months.  And I've tried really hard to do the same thing in regards to forming a birth plan.  In the end, though, is it such a bad thing if I just don't have one?

In my research, I've read a few stories of real labors.  I've read a few articles on what to expect.  I've talked to friends who have had terrible labor experiences, friends who have had amazing labor experiences, and friends who call their labor both terrible and amazing.  I've had friends who have had C sections and felt like failures because of it.  I've had friends who have had C sections and couldn't be any happier about the outcome.  I've stopped short of watching videos of real labors, despite having that recommended to me, because that's frankly not really something I feel I need to see.

I have a few general guidelines / expectations, but even those are fairly limited.

1.  Assuming the general health of me and the baby, I want to be lucid and have all decisions made / procedures started explained to me before they happen.  I feel very blessed to have doctors who I trust, but I'm also a 29 year old about to be mother, and I feel like the least they can do is communicate to me what's going on.  I'm not inclined to fight their recommendations, but I want to know about them as they happen.

2.  I plan to labor at home for as long as comfortable, largely because I want the freedom to move around.  I'm a big believer in walking out the pain, and I don't like the idea of not having the option because I'm strapped in to a bed and attached to an IV.  That said, unless the pain is significantly less than I anticipate, I do plan to get an epidural.  I've read stories from moms who were uncomfortable but the pain wasn't unbearable, and if that's me I'll skip out on the epidural.  But most likely, I'll have them sticking that thing in me as soon as it gets too bad or the contractions become too frequent.

3.  Oddly, this one is the most controversial birth decisions that I hear negative feedback on:  James doesn't plan to be in the room for the labor and delivery, and I support him in that decision.  If he changes his mind and wants to be there, I'll support that too.  At this point, he wants nothing to do with it, and  I'd rather he be home, taking care of our dog, doing any last minute cooking / cleaning, and otherwise keeping himself occupied until Lil W arrives.  This decision has spurred some bizarre comments, mostly revolving around me needing to force him to be there.  Honestly, I believe that if it comes down to it and I desperately want him there, James would do it in a heartbeat.  But for now, I'm at peace with his desire to not be there, and I don't think either of us would benefit by me forcing him to be somewhere he doesn't want to be.  It's a very short period of my life, and is basically just a transition from pregnancy to parenthood - James and I can live without each other for the hopefully not more than day it takes for Lil W to arrive.

4.  Hopefully, though, my mom will be there, and one of my good local friends has also expressed a desire to be there if she can.  Not sure how it will work out with my mom coming out - we've talked tentatively about her coming out around the due date, so as long as Lil W isn't super early, she should be there.  And said good local friend will always be around, except for a trip from January 18-22.  So as long as Lil W doesn't arrive in that 5 day span, I'll have at least one person to keep me company and sane during whatever the delivery holds.  That's more than enough to get me through.

5.  I really, really, really don't want a c-section, but that's exclusively related to me knowing that it will take me longer to recover from that / longer to return to running.  If my health or the health of the baby is ever in question, I obviously wouldn't hesitate to go the c-section route, but I'll avoid it if it all possible.

Beyond those general thoughts about what labor will look like, I have zero preferences.  I'm content to wait and see what happens.  If we have a second child in the future, I might have stronger opinions based on my experience this time around.  As is, I'm going in knowing that I'm pretty unprepared, and that there's not much else I'm going to do to more accurately prepare, and that it will all work out in the end.  One way or another, and barring something extreme, I'll be coming home in 6-11 weeks with a newborn baby.

Now, thinking about what life will be like after that point is a whole different story / research project.


  1. Well, hmmmm, so many thoughts. :) I know you and James well enough, to know that this is totally your decision, and that the two of you function well and decide well together. I know hospitals are not his thing, and I understand that. I want SO MUCH to be there, and as time gets closer, we will fine tune that. A couple thoughts:
    1) I think a prenatal/delivery prep class helps a lot - we took one with Eric (in Price, UT), Emily (in SS, CO) and Elaine (in Elko) - it's where we met the Aakers! And Lynne Hoffman :)
    2) have you thought any about music for labor? Do you have workout music? Feel like I should know that, but . . .
    3) I think you will find the OB nurses to be amazingly helpful - whether you have a class before or not. They are knowledgable, calm, and have "seen it all". When they see how amazing you are, they will love you and walk with you through the delivery - love them!! With Eric, especially, they were BETTER than the class - loved them!
    4) A C-section is not the end of the world . . .says your mama . . . I'm sorry anyone feels like they failed when it happened. Their baby came safely into the world, because of good hospital care and wise (and trained) doctors. I read a neat poem about that once, saying that others felt sorry for the delivering mom who had an unexpected C-section, like she couldn't love her baby as much (dumb thought!) and she replied that she was sorry they hadn't experienced their parents' births or their husband's birth - how could they love them as much if that hadn't happened? And recovery would be improved by your general good health.
    4) Stand strong in yours and James' choices - you know what seems to be best for you two. No one else (even your parents!!!) should tell you what to do. I do wish he could be de-sensitized to the anti-hospital feeling to be there, only because it is so amazing to be close, even if he can't be in the room. But I love James, I LOVE him!! And I trust you two. You have always known what is best for yourselves.
    5) the best "imaging" I had that helped me, was to know and feel (physically) that each contraction was doing just what it was supposed to do, and to know that each moment was spent - will be spent - bringing Lil W into the world. It is awesome!!
    Okay, I will now return to my regularly scheduled day. :D I love you, tweet.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, mom! All good ones. I'm really not too worried about the James and hospital thing. If he changes his mind and wants to be there, or if I change my mind and want him there, it will happen. Otherwise, he gets quality Zoe time and all is well.

      I really should sign up for a childbirth class one of these days...

    2. P.S. you won't - better NOT - be "strapped to a bed", and you can walk around with an IV. I agree to be as active as you can whilst "laboring".

      "6-11 weeks"!!! Aaaaauuuugghh! So exciting!!