We’ve taken two out of our five childbirth classes so far, so I decided it was time to get together a rough draft of our birth plan. I’m almost eight months pregnant (!) and I suppose it’s time to face the fact that at some point in the near future, this baby is coming out, one way or another. To be honest, I’ve always been pretty terrified of giving birth – those videos they show in sixth grade health class really did a number on me – but as I get closer to the end of my pregnancy, the fear is slowly subsiding. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s hormonal? Maybe I’m realizing I can’t be scared because it’s coming so soon? Maybe as I learn more, I fear less?

The basics of our birth plan are as follows:

I would prefer not to be induced if I can avoid it. I already know this could be a challenge because I was 9lbs 12oz when I was born, so big babies run in my family. When a baby looks like it’s going to be big on the ultrasounds, doctors like to start talking about induction even before the due date. The reason for this is that it’s easier to push out a smaller baby, and if the baby is allowed to get too big and the mom has trouble delivering, a c-section could be necessary. However, I’ve read so much about how early induction for non-medical reasons can lead to c-sections anyway. A seemingly big baby isn’t a medical reason – doctors can only estimate a baby’s size based on what they see in an ultrasound. Pitocin, a commonly administered drug to speed up labor, also intensifies contractions so an increase in pain medication like an epidural is needed, which in turn slows down the progression of labor. This creates a vicious cycle that makes labor last longer than the doctor might like, making him or her want to do a c-section to get the baby out in a timely manner. I’d rather just let nature take its course when I’m supposed to go into labor instead of rushing things.

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Another challenge I might face is that my mom was also two weeks late with both me and my brother. From what I understand, a doctor won’t let a woman go beyond 42 weeks without being induced. Hopefully our little guy will come on his own before that!

Since I’m hoping to go into labor on my own, I’d like to labor at home for as long as possible before going to the hospital. This way, I can move around, eat, wear what I want, and do what I want in the comfort of my own home until I can’t take it anymore and feel ready to go to the hospital. According to our childbirth instructor, a doula who also works for the hospital teaching classes, we do not have to rush to the hospital if my water breaks at home (as long as the fluid is clear). Most doctors will tell a woman to go in if her water breaks, but she said we could stay home as long as 12 hours after if we wanted to so that our labor could progress and we wouldn’t be stuck in the hospital for as long. Usually, doctors like to see the baby born within 24 hours of the water breaking, so that still gives us plenty of time.

Once we decide to go to the hospital, I have not ruled out an epidural. I don’t want anyone to mention it to me in case I’m in the zone and doing fine, but I know that labor is painful and I know I’m not the toughest chick on the block, so I don’t want to rule it out. If I want it, I’m sure I’ll ask for it! One thing our teacher told us was to make sure to have them check dilation right before they administer the epidural. There is no cutoff point, so they could give a woman an epidural when she’s 9 or 10 centimeters dilated without knowing it, and maybe if she knew how close she was to the end, she would have wanted to stick it out.

We have also decided that we don’t want anyone else in the room during labor and delivery besides the two of us (and doctors and nurses, of course). We know that this might change and I might want my mommy there, so we’ve asked that she is available once I go into labor, but she also knows that she might not be allowed in the room. I really just have no idea how I’m going to feel at the time and I don’t want to promise anything now, only to go back on my word later. I’ll admit, when I first told my mom about this, she was pretty shocked. She wasn’t upset, but she was definitely surprised, as she assumed she would be there. I assured her that she would be the first (and only, sorry MIL) person I’d want there, other than Mr. TTT, and that we’d love for her to be available just in case.


Our hospital’s policy is one hour of skin to skin contact immediately after birth, which is something we really want. We also plan to ask for delayed cord clamping to allow all the blood from the placenta pulse into our baby before the cord is cut. This is not standard practice, but I plan to ask my doctor about it on my next visit and, knowing him, I’m sure he’ll agree. However, since I’m part of an HMO medical group, there is no guarantee that he will be the doctor who delivers my baby. Hopefully, Mr. TTT can convince whichever doctor is there (as I’m sure I won’t even remember to say anything) to delay the clamping of the cord until it stops pulsing.

We also want to room-in and we don’t want any formula, bottles, or pacifiers to be given to the baby at the hospital, unless we ask. Breastfeeding is very important to me, and I want to make sure we start off on the right foot. I know things happen and this might change, but I’d still like my requests to be followed until I change them.

Since I know most doctors and nurses don’t actually read the birth plans that moms and dads -to-be bring with them to the hospital, I plan on attaching mine to some freshly baked goods that I hope to make at home in the early stages of labor. I also want my husband to have a list to refer to so he can remember everything, especially when my mind is elsewhere and I forget everything. So, here are two rough draft versions of our birth plans that we’ll bring to the hospital. Both of these were borrowed from Jenna of That Wife and edited to fit my needs.

Checking In

  • Mr. TTT will read over sign-in forms and consent forms.
  • I am okay with student doctors observing my treatment. I am not okay with having them participate.
  • We would like a private room if one is available (our hospital has two exclusive private rooms and the rest have two beds, but are almost never shared, so this shouldn’t be an issue).

Labor

  • I want to exhaust all possible options before undergoing a c-section
  • Please do not ask me if I want an epidural. If or when I want one, I will ask for it.

Pushing

  • No episiotomy.
  • Perineum is to be supported during delivery. This can be done by doctor, nurse, husband.
  • I will reach down and touch the baby’s head if I would like to do so.
  • I will request a mirror if I would like to watch the crowning.

After the Birth

  • Baby goes skin-to-skin with mom immediately after birth. If baby is taken away explanation must be given for why this is necessary.
  • Cord will not be cut until it stops pulsing unless something is wrong with baby and medical intervention is necessary.
  • All newborn exams are to be performed with baby on mom’s chest unless medically necessary.
  • I would like to let the placenta be delivered naturally.
  • I would like to keep the placenta. Please do not discard it (this one is a maybe – if we decide to do placenta encapsulation).
  • Baby will not be taken to nursery unless medically necessary.
  • Baby will not be fed anything other than breastmilk unless I say so.
  • Baby will not be given any bottles unless I say so.
  •  Baby is to be with mother or father at all times, unless we say otherwise.
  • No pacifiers.
  • Do not perform a hysterectomy without my explicit consent.
  • We would like the baby to room-in with us at all times.

And just in case a c-section is absolutely necessary…

During Cesarean

  • I want my husband with me at all times
  • Do not administer general anesthesia without my consent.
  • I would like to remain awake during the procedure.
  • Do not strap my arms to the table unless medically necessary.
  • Please show us baby before taking him/her to be examined.
  • All medications should be compatible with breastfeeding.
  • Use a low transverse incision. Having a VBAC is very important to me.
  • Use a double stitch to close the uterus.

After Cesarean

  • I want to hold the baby immediately.
  • Baby is not to be taken to the nursery.
  • Baby stays with mother or father at all times.
  • I want to attempt breastfeeding as soon as possible.
  • I would like to hold the baby while being stitched up, if possible.
  • Baby will not be fed anything other than breast milk unless I say so.
  • Baby will not be given any bottles unless I say so.
  • No pacifiers.
  • Do not perform a hysterectomy without my explicit consent. Having more children is very important to me.
  • We would like the baby to room-in with us at all times.

Did you/do you have a birth plan?

Hellobee Series: Mrs. Tic Tac Toe part 3 of 13

1. Bump Photos So Far by mrs. tictactoe
2. Gender Reveal by mrs. tictactoe
3. Our Birth Plan by mrs. tictactoe
4. Placenta Encapsulation by mrs. tictactoe
5. Maternity Photo Session by mrs. tictactoe
6. Baby Blue Book Shower by mrs. tictactoe
7. Shower Activity: Nursery Art by mrs. tictactoe
8. Measuring Up by mrs. tictactoe
9. Liam's Nursery: After by mrs. tictactoe
10. Why we fired our pediatrician by mrs. tictactoe
11. DITL: Newborn Edition by mrs. tictactoe
12. I'm better as a mom by mrs. tictactoe
13. Typical Day of a WOHM: Six Month Edition by mrs. tictactoe