Tuesday, February 23, 2010

best laid plans

Here are my 36 and a half week belly photos--I'll be 37 weeks, and officially full term, this Thursday.

Mike and I had an appointment with our midwife yesterday, which was pretty uneventful. I'm measuring right on track and remaining consistently a few pounds over average weight gain. Baby Moohoo is supposedly right around 6 and a half pounds, which is exactly where she should be. Our midwife estimated that if she stays on track she'll be about 7 and a half pounds when she's born.... not bad! I'm crossing my fingers that she's right, but not exactly holding my breath. I weighed 9 pounds 14 ounces at birth, and Mike was 9 pounds 8 ounces, so Moohoo has some big baby genes in there. Supposedly your first child is your smallest, though, so maybe she'll surprise us all and be just a little teeny bean. We'll see...

As promised, this post is all about our birth plan! The actual plan itself is based on a lengthy checklist that we received during our hypnobirth class that helped to guide us. These are the things we've gleaned from that list that we feel are most important for our comfort and the baby's safe, successful delivery. Here's the rundown of our ideal birth experience!

We request...
- To complete as much of the required paperwork as possible in advance of labor
- To consider inducement only if onset of labor is unusually delayed and if there is a medical emergency
- To use natural means of inducement, only moving to gels, pitocin drip, or other procedures as a last resort
- To remain at home as long as possible before going to the hospital
- To take nourishment if early first stage labor is prolonged

During Hospital Admission:
We request...
- To return home until labor progresses further if examination reveals less than 4 centimeters dilated and other factors do not warrant admission
- To have a private birthing room with subdued lighting
- To have access to a cd player to play relaxing music in the background
- To only have the support partner present during birthing
- To have permission to take pictures and/or video

During First Stage Labor:
We request...
- The patience and understanding of medical caregivers to refrain from any practice or procedure that could unnecessarily stand in the way of having the most natural birth possible
- Quiet room, dim lights, our own music, only necessary hospital staff
- To be prompted using hypnobirth prompts that refrain from the use of words such as "pain," "hurt," or "hard labor"
- To be free of blood pressure cuff between readings
- No suggestion of analgesia, unless requested
- Nutritional snacking if labor is prolonged
- Freedom of choice to walk and move during labor
- To allow labor to take its natural course without interference or reference to "moving things along"
- To use natural oxytocin stimulation in the event of a stalled or slowed labor, and to be afforded the privacy to do so
- To be fully apprised and consulted before the introduction of any medical procedure
- No augmentation of labor without discussion and explanation of need
- Use of labor tub

During birthing:
We request...
- Use of hypnobirth breathing techniques
- To birth in an atmosphere of gentle encouragement during the final pushing stage
- To assume a birthing position of choice that will least likely require an episiotomy
- Immediate skin to skin contact with the baby on mother's abdomen
- Immediate breastfeeding to allow for natural placenta expulsion
- Allow at least 30 minutes for natural delivery of the placenta
- Uterine massage to assist placenta birth
- No cord traction or removal of the placenta unless there is an emergency

In the event of a C-Section:
We request...
- Birthing partner to be present in the OR and in recovery
- Birthing partner to hold infant after C-Section delivery and accompany infant to nursery

For Baby:
We request....
- Cord to be clamped only after pulsation has ceased
- That baby remain with parents for 2 hours
- Delay use of erythromycin ointment for baby's eyes to allow optimal sight for bonding for up to but no longer than 1 hr
- Breast feeding several times during the first few hours after birth
- Breast feeding only. No supplemental bottles, formula, pacifiers, or other artificial nipples.

This is our "fingers crossed" birth plan, which is definitely the ideal and not necessarily what we fully expect. Hypnobirth has taught us to learn all we can about the childbirth experience, but to focus on and expect a positive experience. Most importantly, I want as natural and relaxed an experience as possible, and optimal bonding time with the little alien after she is born. We saw some incredible videos of babies making their first eye contact with their parents, and having an immediate natural urge to breast feed, and I want to do everything possible to make sure that experience is facilitated and protected.
So, avid readers, what things am I forgetting? Now's the time to share your thoughts!


  1. Everytime I see a new picture of that belly 'o baby I start grinning.

    What a great plan - and yeah, maybe it won't all go quite that way, but you're going into it with the expectation and hope that it does, and that matters. The only thing I can think of, from my friend Echo's birth plan, is plans for cervical checks (they wanted to keep them to a minimum, I dunno if that's a thing, or what).

  2. om my gosh i feel like i'm going to have the baby too! Thats wonderful what hypnobirth has provided you! This is so well prepared - I'm not a mom but i think that bottom line is healthy and safety, which it seems is the goal of this plan...AND LOVE! :)

    But i'm a big proponent of making itineraries sooo i love this and Tom can vouch for me! :) I love you guys!!!!