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Birth Vision

June 20, 2012

When I got pregnant, I was adamant about not wanting a birth plan. Given that there was no way of knowing what my labour could possibly be like, I didn’t want to place restrictions on myself and end up feeling disappointed with how things went. That’s not how I wanted to start my adventure in motherhood!

That being said, I’ve done a lot of reading over the past 8 months and I’ve had a lot of time to think about all the options that are available to us. My tune has changed a bit as a result, and A and I have been taking a lot lately about our vision for the baby’s birth. (I like the word vision…it’s less rigid than a plan).

Despite the fact that it’ll be me physically going through it, our decisions will have an impact on our daughter and so I feel it’s important to make decisions with my husband. Not to mention the fact that he’s my support system. I’m going to rely on him to help me through the contractions and if I’m at any point unable to make logical decisions, he’ll be my liaison, so to speak, with the hospital staff. We need to be on the same page. I’m still not going to be upset or disappointed if it doesn’t go the way we hope, but having this ‘vision’ actually helps me feel excited about giving birth, and not anxious. I read that women who feel less fear during labour actually have shorter births!

The first point of our vision (preparing ourselves for labour): don’t plan on anything happening in a certain way. Stay open to the possibilities and be aware of all the options.

The next point of our vision (for labour itself): labour and give birth as naturally as we can, with as little intervention as possible, be it medical or pain related. I’m not opposed on principle to pain control or medical intervention, but will do my darnedest to avoid it.

I’m not looking to receive an award if I’m able to give birth naturally. I don’t want bragging rights. As far as I’m concerned, any woman who gives birth, regardless of how, is my hero. You brought a child into this world. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Period. It’s all about doing it the right way for you and in the way you consider to be best for your baby.

I’m very aware of the fact that my labour experience is a complete unknown but I’m also very aware that I have very real concerns for how interventions, especially pain management (drugs and I do not mix well and epidurals scare the bejesus out of me), will impact me physically and mentally. Besides, I’m curious to see how much I can handle. I might surprise myself!

The other reason we want to be as natural as possible is that one intervention generally leads to another. We’re not ruling any thing out, but if we can avoid it, we will. Our vision includes being aware of our options if an intervention is suggested. If time allows (as in if it’s not an emergency) we’re going to ask questions. Why is it necessary? Who will perform it? What are the risks? What are the alternatives? You get the picture. Hubby and I (most especially hubby) aren’t going to let anything happen until we’re satisfied it’s the best thing for the baby. Baby is #1. (I’ve already told A that if for whatever reason they have to take her out of our room at birth, he’s to forget about me and not let her out of his sight! He’s on board with that, most definitely). Information is key and according to our instructor, people who are kept informed during their labour have a more positive experience, even of its not what they originally envisioned. I totally get that.

The last part of our vision (for post delivery), is this: Skin on skin, an attempt to breast feed right away, and delayed cord clamping.
Delayed cord clamping is something I’ve been reading about. We have decided not to bank the cord blood so instead we would like the doctor to wait a few minutes after our daughter is born before they clamp and cut the umbilical cord. This will allow a considerable amount of blood that is still in the placenta (most likely to reduce the baby’s volume as she passes through the birth canal) to pass to the baby. In this blood is gads of antibodies and immunity strengthening goodness, not to mention a ton of iron that will increase her internal stores and last for months. Sounds like a good thing, no? I’m told we should have no problem with this; we just need to keep our birthing team in the loop and A will have to remember to remind them once she’s out.
As far as skin on skin and breast feeding, both are encouraged by our hospital (though their policy is to support your choice in how you want to feed, which I love. It’s all about choice and not pressuring new moms!), so I’m not overly concerned about making sure those things happen. All the same, we’ll make sure our birth team is informed.

And there ends our vision for the birth of our beautiful baby girl! I can’t believe my due date is just five short weeks away. Soon enough I’ll be sharing my birth story with you!

Regardless of how it happens, there is one additional part of our vision we know will be happening: Living happily ever after with our new family 😉


5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2012 3:59 pm

    I agree that a vision helps me and I don’t think I will be disappointed if things out of my control happen and I don’t get what I’m envisioning.

    5 more weeks! Eek!

  2. Becky permalink
    June 28, 2012 5:17 pm

    Most of our OBs are doing the delayed cord clamping already. It’s a great thing! The people I know in veterinary medicine are surprised it’s just catching on in hospitals (horses have benefited from this for decades…centuries). We do all our initial resus, if required, in the labour room. Not sure what hospital you’re delivering at, but that’s how it works at Mac. Oh and babies frequently don’t cry much until their cord is clamped (makes sense, oxygenated blood still flowing into babe from placenta), so don’t worry if it doesn’t happen right away!

    • June 29, 2012 8:49 am

      Good to know re: crying! And also that a lot of hospitals are getting on board with the delayed clamping! I love how everything is done in-room. I’ll labour, deliver and if I’m lucky stay post-delivery all in the same room (unless there is a surge in deliveries when I’m there)

  3. Becky permalink
    June 28, 2012 5:19 pm

    *surprised it’s only catching on NOW in hospitals…

  4. July 2, 2012 8:22 pm

    I love the idea of having a “vision” rather than a plan! I think you took the words right out of my mouth….Good luck with yours!

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