What is a birth plan? I mean, I kind of know but you tell me what you think it is and I’ll tell you if you’re right…
Honestly, I’m pretty sure Andre and I have never actually had a birth plan. At least not a formal one. We got the free materials from the hospital that talked about all of the options and after just a few we were kind of over it. We agreed that it would only be he and I at the hospital for the birth (no family in the waiting or delivery room) and, when we already had kids at home, his mom would come when we needed her and my parents would take over when they were able to get here. I knew I wanted to see if I could have the baby without an epidural but when I was ready we got that sucker in, and I wanted to have a vaginal delivery if at all possible. We had a hospital bag but it wasn’t packed until the day of and therefore we usually only had one outfit for each of us and one outfit for the baby.
So while I’m pretty sure baby #5’s plan will be exactly the same as our others, here are some things I wish I would have considered a bit more before our delivery day:
· Hospital bag: There seems very little need to pack it a month early, but having a few options for baby and some loose fitting clothes for you (and a nursing bra if you plan to try breastfeeding) is something to make sure to include. Also make sure to pack a phone charger, deodorant and a toothbrush. If a full face of makeup on a daily basis is how you roll pack that too, but also know that your baby is going to love your beautiful, exhausted face no matter if there is makeup on it or not. (Kate from The Small Things Blog has a great post about the top things to put in a hospital bag!)
· Cord clamping/saving the cord blood: We waited a bit to clamp the cord for Mae but I don’t think it had even been mentioned with any other pregnancy! We knew we weren’t going to save the cord blood because of financial reasons, but I do suggest looking into these options before you are in the hospital.
· C-section: I really wanted to have a vaginal delivery with each child and have been able to do that, but I also suggest being prepared by thinking of any requests you may have if an emergency c-section is needed.
· Drugs: I, personally, was always okay with the idea of the epidural. The procedure sounded a bit scary but I also had heard about how much it helped with the pain. Make sure you go in knowing your ideal situation and be sure your partner is well aware and supportive of your wishes!
Things that seemed a bit silly but I suppose you should still consider:
· Do you prefer a certain position to give birth? Uh, yeah, the position where this baby gets out of me safely…I'm thinking this is also referring to the use of a tub or stability ball to help with labor. Definitely ask your OB/Midwife about those options beforehand if you are interested.
· How do you feel about fetal monitoring? I like knowing my baby is still doing okay in there. Although I just presented my opinion, this is something that should have come up in your prenatal appointments so it shouldn’t be thrown at you as soon as you enter labor & delivery.
· Do you want to wear your own clothing? During labor, probably not. Afterwards, definitely yes. It helps you feel like a human being again!
The thing I’ve learned: Hospitals have been doing this for years. Know your options but also be sure you deliver somewhere you can trust the staff to give you the best experience possible. If you are not 100% happy, tell someone!
Hi, I'm Rebecca
I’m a wife, mom to 5 kids, former choir teacher, Christian and advice giver? I can honestly say I never expected to be the one giving advice when I so frequently ask for it, but the advice I’ve received is so valuable and must be shared! Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far!