I can't believe the baby will be here any day now!! This post on our birth plan has actually been the most requested post so far and I was a little nervous about writing it. Mostly because we shared a lot about our pregnancy journey in this podcast episode. How we started with an OB-Gyn, considered a home birth, and ultimately found a midwife we love and are delivering in a hospital. I thought our birth preferences were pretty clear in that episode (and we covered so much more!) so I wasn't sure if I wanted to write a post on it too. But I decided to write it to further my manifesting powers and take it out of my head and put it on paper!
As a first time mom, I already know that nothing goes as expected which is why I don't look at my vision for birthing day as a “plan.” I think plans lead to expectations and disappoint. Instead, I look at it as the experience I'm manifesting and envisioning. If you listened to this podcast episode on why we don't do New Year's Resolutions (and what we do instead), you may have heard me read an excerpt from the section on “what I'm calling into my life” in my 2017 letter to my future self that said:
“We will become pregnant, the pregnancy will be easy, in fact, I’ll be surprised by how easy it is and how much I enjoy being pregnant! The delivery will be smooth and the baby will be healthy in spirit, mind, and physicality, and everything in between and beyond!”
And honestly, my experience thus far as been exactly that. I truly have had an easy pregnancy and am utterly shocked at how much I've enjoyed being pregnant. So with that said, I look at a “birth plan” as the same thing. It's what I'm calling into my life, not trying to control. Whatever happens is what the baby and I signed up for in this life.
Side note: If you've been following our pregnancy journey via the podcast, you know I loved the book “Spirit Babies” and highly recommend! I kept having this feeling that our daughter and I had been together in “past lives” and sure enough, my friend was doing energy work on the baby and the baby's spirit confirmed I'd been her mother and E had been her father before (E and I have been together for centuries apparently if you listened to our reiki experience).
Anyway, that's my long winded way of saying:
This is by no means a “plan” or expectations or control. I know anything can change at any moment, because at the end of the day the baby has her own vision too and we are working together on this. This is what I'm calling into our life. This is what I'm manifesting, but again there's another spirit involved. In the simplest form I'd say that I'm calling in:
A safe, easy, healthy birthing experience where the baby's transition into this world is calm, loving, and nurturing and our bodies work together in harmony and love.
I usually say that to myself every day. In doing so I usually get some sort of vision that accompanies it and based on those visions and our experience in Hypnobirthing at the Orchid Nest is how I've come up with the below details.
Our birth “plan” preferences:
I really want a calm and unmedicated birth. The reason I had even considered a home birth was simply because I didn't want access to medications and I didn't want to be bothered by hospital staff. I like to go off into my own world during intense moments and figure birth will be like that too and I don't need people constantly poking, prodding and watching me like a zoo animal.
So with that said, I do not want to be induced. We actually received two due dates during pregnancy, 1/9 and 1/15. Because 1/9 is so early in the year, and my 2017 insurance wasn't accepted at the hospital I wanted, my midwife agreed to no vaginal examinations in the month of December. Basically we wanted to avoid “kick starting” labor early. E and I decided on no sex the last two weeks of December for the same reason. I really didn't want a December baby because on my new insurance I can deliver at a specific hospital that allows labor tubs, is accustomed to hypnobirthing and more doula friendly.
With that said, I also don't want to get to the hospital too early. I want to labor at home for as long as possible. We didn't put the deposit down on a labor tub actually since we were told there's always one on hand. I envision labor moving along so smoothly that I won't even have time or the need to get in the tub. So that'll be a last minute decision.
I don't want to feel stuck in bed or stuck on a monitor. Instead I see myself showering, switching positions with ease, and having the freedom to get up and walk around if that's what my body feels called to do.
In hypnobirthing there's an entirely different language set you use. It's all about comfort versus the traditional “pain” we see in the media. So I want very non alarmist language around me. Instead of contractions we call them surges. Instead of “level of pain” we refer to “comfort level.” Lastly, in hypnothbirthing you're taught how to breathe the baby down, versus “pushing” so I don't want anyone to tell me to push or bear down. Just remind me of my breathing techniques if they notice I'm holding my breath or out of sync with the surges. Nothing extreme, just neutral language around me.
We don't want any medical students allowed in the room. The hospital is a teaching hospital but I don't want the students coming in and checking on me or the chart. So they won't be allowed in the room. Normally, I'm okay with students observing and even doing things on me (one removed my stitches last year on my finger!). But for this experience I really want as few people around as possible. Beyond medical students, I also am going to request nurses that have been great with hypnobirths in the past or are just more accustomed and supportive of births with little to no medical interventions. If I could go deliver in a glass house in the jungle with the sounds of nature and only grounded women (midwife and doula) around me, I totally would.
Not telling anyone
With that said, we decided to not tell anyone when labor starts other than our doula and midwife. We want to keep the energy as calm and unaffected as possible and telling people labor started just seems like unnecessary pressure and chaos and check-ins. Instead, we plan to let everyone know when she arrives and we're settled and ready to have visitors.
Like I said, I want to be able to walk around, switch positions, get in a tub, and be free of fetal monitoring or a blood pressure cuff between readings. I really just don't want to be disturbed. So as few vaginal exams as necessary and just really trusting that things are moving at the pace they are meant to in the interest of the baby's and my highest good. If things are slowing too much we want to skip medical interventions and try more natural things to get labor going again (sex, tub, nipple stimulation, etc.) first.
Once the baby arrives
I want immediate skin to skin. We are going to do delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking. So the baby still gets a good amount, and our midwife knows when she needs to clamp to get what we'd need for banking. I envision the Vitamin K injection done while I'm breast feeding and delaying the ointment for as long as possible. I basically just want her handled by as few people as possible initially. So that means nothing medically unnecessary; like no bath either for the first day or until we get her home since it's not necessary and the vernix is good for the little babe anyway.
The reason I look at this as a simple birth plan is because most of the things I just wrote about are actually standard practice for our midwife and hospital. They don't wash the baby the first 24 hours at least. They do immediate skin to skin. The Vitamin K is typically administered during breast feeding so the baby can get the oxytocin at the same time. Really the only things I'm putting on the sheet that I'm bringing to the hospital are: delayed cord clamping while still getting enough for cord blood banking, no medical students, the request for neutral language and noting that it's a hypnobirth. So with that said, I highly recommend talking to your providers early on in your pregnancy journey to ensure they have similar philosophies as you. If I had this vision with my first provider and the hospital he wanted me to deliver at, it could be seen as more complex and out of the norm. But because this is what my midwife is known for and the hospital has similar philosophies it's pretty standard.
And there you have it! That's our birth plan vision!
p.s. If you want to see the actual plan I'm printing and bringing to the hospital, here it is: