I had an unmedicated, vaginal delivery with my first, and in order to prep for it we took 8 weeks of private Bradley classes with a Bradley instructor (who also ended up being my doula – I blogged about how essential she was here). It was in our Bradley Classes that I learned all about the different stages of labor, how to time my contractions, and what a birth plan even was!
I discussed my birth plan with my ob about 2-months before my due date to make sure we were on the same page, and luckily, he saw no issues with what I presented. I made 3 copies of my birth plan and packed it in my hospital bag to bring with me. One for Mr. Heels, one for the doctor, and one for the nurses.
This was the final version of our birth plan:
Our initial draft was over a page long, and filled with jumbled bullet points instead of separated out into sections. With the help of our doula, we were able to omit obvious points that was already standard procedure at our hospital (of course, I had no idea what was a given and what wasn’t!). In the end, we tried our best to maintain the KISS principle with our birth plan. We wanted the hospital staff to get a quick snapshot of what we wanted, thus short sentences and simple explanations were key.
We went into labor and delivery knowing that there could be the possibility of things not going according to plan, but even so, it was nice to have a plan and a goal to shoot for. Although I had prepped myself to be okay with anything as long as my daughter and I came out healthy in the end, attempting an unmedicated birth was important to me. Being the planner that I am, I wanted to make sure everyone had the same expectations going in to minimize confusion.
I was so glad I had a birth plan because I never had to explain myself to the nurses. I handed it over to them as soon as I was admitted into my room. My birth plan was pretty much followed to a tee – I even got a perineal massage from the nurse because I really didn’t want an episiotomy and was trying to avoid any tearing. I was so grateful to my nurses for doing everything they could to accommodate my wishes and make labor as smooth as possible for an anxious, nervous soon-to-be mom.
Did you/do you plan on having a birth plan? Was your birth plan followed, or did it get thrown out the window?