And the path to get to baby . . .

I thought I might have some requests to see the maternity photos in succession and I will say that it  is pretty amazing to see (click the image to view bigger):

progression

Although at this p0int, there may be a 40 week photo, 41 week photo and 42 week photo. . . I just got back from the doctor this morning and there has been no progress. Which I know doesn’t really mean anything because it could happen slowly or quickly, but I think I’m being taught a lesson in patience. Which I think means. . . week 42, here we come. . .

So during this time before baby, I’ve had time to really think through the delivery and I thought I’d share our birth plan.  It is a little graphic, so be warned ahead of time that these things are pretty candid and straight to the point. We are delivering in a hospital because it is significantly cheaper than delivering at a birthing center, but the hospital we are using is known for it’s flexibility and receptiveness for natural birth, which is encouraging. I know that our style of birth plan is not for everyone, but I do hope that it will challenge people to think about what options are available to them and encourage them to fully understand what is out there instead of just going with what is considered the ‘norm’ these days. I understand that everyone has different opinions and desires for having a baby and I respect the decisions that all moms make. It’s a difficult process to make all of these decisions but I believe informed decision making is a must! So please, investigate all of your options, even ones that don’t seem appealing to you. I ended up planning on an option I didn’t originally think that I would consider!

Labor

  • I plan to be free to move and walk around during labor and change positions throughout labor.
  • I plan to be able to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor.
  • I would prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.
  • I do not want an IV unless I become dehydrated.
  • I do not wish to have continuous fetal monitoring unless it is required by the condition of my son and I do not want an internal monitor unless my son has shown some sign of distress.

Labor Augmentation/Induction

  • If labor is not progressing I would prefer to be allowed to try change position and other natural methods.
  • I plan to have the amniotic membrane ruptured before other methods are used to augment labor. I would prefer Pitocin be the last form of induction tried.

Anesthesia/Pain Medication

  • I realize that many pain medications exist. I’ll ask for them if I need them.

Cesarean

  • Unless absolutely necessary, I plan to avoid a Cesarean.

Episiotomy

  • I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for my son’s safety.
  • I would appreciate guidance in when to push and when to stop pushing so the perineum can stretch.

Delivery

  • I plan to choose the position in which I give birth, including squatting.
  • I would like the chance to touch my son’s head when it crowns.
  • Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming my son is not in distress, I plan to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase.
  • I would like to have my son placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.

Immediately After Delivery

  • I plan to have my husband cut the cord and would prefer that the umbilical cord stop pulsating before it is cut.
  • I plan to hold my son while I deliver the placenta and any tissue repairs are made.
  • If my son must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband will accompany my son at all times.
  • I plan to decline the eye medication, the hepatitis B vaccination and the vitamin K shot (unless severe bruising has occurred) for the baby.

Postpartum

  • Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.

Breastfeeding

  • I plan to breastfeed my son and would like to begin nursing very shortly after birth.
  • Unless medically necessary, I do not wish to have any bottles given to my son (including glucose water or plain water).

Circumcision

  • I do not wish to have the circumcision performed in the hospital (something interesting that I learned is that Vitamin K – the vitamin that helps with blood clotting and healing – is naturally at it’s highest level on the 8th day of life, so to me it makes sense to wait until then to do a circumcision).
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19 Comments

  1. Posted June 10, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wow! You are so prepared! I didn’t have a birth plan (written anyway), and just vocalized what I wanted…. probably not the best way of doing things b/c when I’m in pain I just want to be left alone!

    And I just learned about the vitamin K and circumcision… interesting, eh? Maybe God’s natural way of doing things is better! 🙂

    Here’s to a lovely birth experience! Can’t wait to “meet” little Jude!

  2. Posted June 10, 2009 at 9:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    I guess the Jews had the right idea about circumcision 🙂 As for the episiotomy, I thought it was so you didn’t rip when the baby crowned. I didn’t realize there would be any health implications to the baby when you got cut. Elaborate? Send an email?

    Much thanks! Good luck! Learn your patience 😉

    • Elizabeth
      Posted June 10, 2009 at 10:02 am | Permalink | Reply

      Just a quick response to your episiotomy question in case anyone else has questions about it. Episiotomies can actually cause a deeper and longer tear than a natural rip. It’s not the standard procedure even in most hospitals any longer. Directed pushing (when to stop to allow the perineum to stretch), the correct positioning and the ability to feel what is going on (i.e. no epidural) all help reduce the risk of tearing.

  3. Posted June 10, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    Awesome post Beth. It sounds a lot like the birthing center recommendations/procedures that we are going with. They have a jacuzzi tub to sit in when your contractions start. Also dancing (rocking back and forth) with your hubby is supposed to help progress things. And no IVs, you must remain hydrated and I think you can even eat? I’m twelve weeks now so it seems much more real. You three are in my prayers.

  4. Posted June 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    i find it kind of amusing that people thought an episiotomy would be a smart move. if something already has a cut in it- boy it really rips when pressure is applied to it. a bunch of my friends had them when they had their kids (three years ago end of summer) and had nothing good to say about it.

    i’m glad that you are well prepared for your plan.

    also! it looks like you’ve gotten taller during your pregnancy. i love how you took your photos… i’m totally looking like you in the 16th week, and that’s about where i am… wish i would have taken pictures with babe #1, but i didn’t and we’re on #3 now. kind of weird to step it up after two kids, no?

    AND- don’t lose hope. God doesn’t need to give you a bunch of *signs* that you’re gonna give birth… one of my friends went in, had nothing *goin’ on* and had the babe that night (and all was super healthy)

  5. Posted June 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, so exciting! I wish you the very best! You can do it!!! 🙂

    It’s neat to hear all of this stuff. Between you & a dear friend who is planning to do much of these same, natural methods, I’m learning a whole lot! I look forward to my own baby day one of these years….

    Blessings!

  6. Posted June 10, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful pictures and great birth plan! As a labor nurse and proponent of natural
    birth, I will say that yours is both thoughtful and realistic. There are so many unknowns in childbirth, but being informed before the pain hits brings less anxiety and therefore, less pain. My first was a big 9lb 2 oz baby….he was a really long and hard labor (20 hours), but I do not regret any of it. Going from such pain to such joy was an overwhelming gift! Prayers for a beautiful birth and healthy baby for you!

  7. PJ
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Before considering circumcision, I hope you’ll visit http://www.icgi.org/birth_care_providers.htm
    to read the wealth of information there on this subject, including viewing the video of an actual infant circumcision. The video “The Prepuce” is very informative about the anatomy and function of the foreskin. Increasingly, more and more parents are saying no to circumcision and leaving their sons naturally intact.

    • Elizabeth
      Posted June 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      We actually have not completely made our decision about circumcision yet. Hence the waiting 8 days in the least. 🙂

  8. Ruth
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Elizabeth! You sound like a very informed wise mama. I had two natural homebirths, and I can tell you, natural birth is an experience that’s out of this world! You will never regret choosing to do it as naturally as possible.

    As far as circumcision goes, I can offer my own personal experience. After extensive research, my husband (who is circumcised) and I decided not to circumcise our son. We felt that it is not a medically necessary procedure and does carry risks and in the end, figured that if our son wanted to do it, he could get it done when he was older.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find out how easy it was to care for my son. You just clean it like you would a girl–no retraction or washing under the foreskin is required. It was also nice not to have to deal with post-surgery stuff when I was that freshly postpartum.

    Have a wonderful birth!

  9. Jen
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 9:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi momma! Great job with the research. I hope your son has a gentle entrance into the world! One thing I wanted to point out is that you should really consider the harms of circumcision to your perfect baby boy. Don’t take your son’s right to a normal genitalia away from him. You don’t want anyone cutting into your genitals so don’t let anyone cut into his. The foreskin is a functional, vital part of the male sex organ. I encourage you to really learn about the structure and how it serves both protective and sexual functions. I have many great resources for you but I’ll just leave a few for now. Also, I wanted to mention to you that Mothering.com has a wonderful discussion forum with one room entirely dedicated to providing parents with accurate information about circumcision. The moms there would be happy to answer your questions. Here are a few places to start:

    http://www.intactamerica.org
    http://www.circinfosite.com/
    http://www.mothering.com/protect-your-uncircumcised-son-expert-medical-advice-parents

    Mothering’s Discussion Group:
    http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=44

    Best Wishes!

  10. Elizabeth
    Posted June 11, 2009 at 8:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Ah yes, the controversial circumcision debate. We are thinking and researching about this! I promise!

    • Posted June 12, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      wow…i had no idea…*shakes head*…wow

      • Elizabeth
        Posted June 12, 2009 at 9:59 am | Permalink | Reply

        It’s pretty amazing how passionate people are about their decisions regarding circumcision. . . it’s kinda one that I have to leave up to Jason!

        • prefer not to say
          Posted June 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          It’s all been said better above, but every time I hear people thinking about circumcision I am suprised that it is still even an option to be considered at all (excepting of course religious beliefs) Why would one voluntarily inflict pain on an infant for an elective surgery.

          Please do think very hard about circumcison, it is not something you can ever undo.

  11. Posted June 11, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    thanks for sharing this beth – may the baby come safe & soon! keeping you in my prayers

  12. Posted June 11, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    have you heard of the breast crawl? in a lot of other countries, they place baby on mom’s chest right after it is born and let it find its way to nurse, usually within the first hour, i think. maybe shorter. you mentioned wanting jude placed on you stomach/chest, and wanting to start nursing soon. didn’t know if you’d looked at this at all. it’s really interesting how God lets baby know where to get sustenance from! praying all goes well in labor and delivery!

    • Elizabeth
      Posted June 12, 2009 at 8:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      Our doula actually told us about this a couple weeks ago! It’s pretty incredible that the baby, even at that early stage, will seek out nourishment. . . Such an amazing design!

  13. Tara
    Posted July 9, 2009 at 6:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is incredible! I’ve read the actual birth too (both stories) and I’m inspired to try a natural birth. The only thing I’m afraid of is the size difference, since I’m only 5’1″ and my husband is 6’4″ and was over 10 pounds at delivery (at 38 weeks). I know the body is an amazing thing, but I think I’d just like to hear a similar story of a small woman delivering a large baby naturally first 🙂

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