Birth Plans are all the rage. A quick google search produces articles and even worksheets on how to create the perfect plan to birth your baby. These days, mommies-to-be are not only planning how and where they want to give birth, but what thread count the sheets they are laying on are and what song is playing while they push. No joke. I even found one hospital that offered to change the art on the walls of the birthing rooms to accommodate specific birth requests. Yikes.
I had a Birth Plan. It was simple. Get the baby (or babies in the case of my twins) out of me with as little mental and physical trauma as possible. Oh, and I had a “Plan B” too. A c-section.
So what is a birth plan? Apparently, it is a “communication tool” that may include the following items so everyone understands your preferences for labor and delivery. My sarcastic self couldn’t resist answering these questions, so here goes . . .
• How would you like to manage your labor? As calmly, as painlessly, and as quickly as possible. Thank you for asking.
• How do you feel about monitoring devices? They are vital for the doctor and nursing team to read the stress, heart rate, and health of the baby. So, I feel good about them.
• Will you need to be induced? Uhhhh, you tell me.
• How do you feel about pain medication? I feel very good about them. Very.
• What if a Cesarean becomes necessary? Doesn’t the word “necessary” cover this question?
• Would you like to avoid an episiotomy? Why would anyone want to avoid that fun procedure? Bring it on, sounds like fun.
• Do you want cameras/video cameras? Music? I would love to document the birth of my baby, however any camera that goes south of my hips will be destroyed immediately. Music? Sure, how about “Who Needs Sleep by The Barenaked Ladies”?
• How should Baby be handled immediately after birth? With care? Honestly, what kind of a question is this? Sure, I’d love to hold he/she/them, but do what you got to do!
To me, Birth Plans are like maternity bathing suits; the first time around they seem smart, necessary, and cute. The second time around, well, not so much. Point is, if you have ever had a child, you know that nothing goes the way you want it to. Heck, I’ve talked to people who planned on being induced and the night before gave birth to the babe in the lobby of CMC. Soooo, chances are, you will need to deviate from your plan. But, if it gives you strength and confidence, draft up a Birth Plan . . . just don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t all come together.
Chances are once you hold that little one in your arms, the actual details of the day will be long forgotten and you won’t care if you are staring at a blank wall or an original Rembrandt. Minutes after delivery the actual labor becomes a distant memory and much like the maternity bathing suit, something you will look back on with tears.