I have been reading “Natural Hospital Birth – the best of both worlds” by Cynthia Gabriel. In my first post here I talked about the first two sections of part one “preparing for your baby’s birth”. I will now discuss my thoughts about the last three sections in part one “getting attached to your birth plan”, “creating a supportive team” and “extra support for special circumstances”.
Cynthia Gabriel discusses why we should get attached to our birth plan. She tells the reader that in most cases when someone says they are flexible it translates to most providers as being vague. In addition when you write a birth plan you can be specific but accommodate the unexpected. Also even if you are not able to fulfill your entire birth plan it is okay to be disappointed, she states that “isn’t always better to strive and fall short then to never strive at all?” (pg 22) I believe that is a very important thing for anyone making a birth plan to remember. That you can try to reach for your most ideal birth but it might not happen and that is okay. Also when this happens it is okay to grieve in some form over the loss of this.
Cynthia then walks the reader through how you can create your own birth plan through three steps. Dream it, plan the whole birth, then write a medical birth plan.
I had a really hard time with step one (which is why my post is so late). I pride myself on being a “feelings” person and being able to visualize or dream (daydreaming is one of my favourite ways to relax). However, with dreaming up my ideal birth plan I felt like something was holding me back for envisioning my perfect birth. It could be the fact that I have already experienced a birth and know the realities. Or it is the fact that I have attended a few births as a health care provider and realize the limitations that are set on hospital births. Either way I struggled to let go and allow my imagination to run wild. No matter how hard I tried most of what I could “dream” of was not that vivid. Though her questions did help some, I just could not get as vivid picture as what her case studies did. I finally came to the conclusions that most of what I was experienced were feelings. I wanted to feel safe and relaxed; I just didn’t want to be rushed. This was the main reason I chose a midwife. Everything is slowed down and the idea of why rush when everything is going good. To me I didn’t care where I was. So after going through the questions I have completed my dream birth (which I will probably come back to the further along in my pregnancy I get), the next step is planning it and then turning the plan into a medical birth plan.
So to plan your birth Cynthia gets the reader to reflect on the aspects of the dream birth plan that can be translated to the hospital setting. For me I know that I want to wait to go to the hospital so my plan is to labour as long as possible at home (well in my case my sister’s home, as we live 2 hours from the hospital). With a midwife this is possible because of the fact she would come to me and check on my progress. When I do get to the hospital I would like it to be just me, my husband, and my midwife there. This way I don’t feel like I am being watched. I also love technology so I more than likely will have my Zoom and phone handy just to take my mind of the contractions (or pressure waves for those hypnobabies :D). I would like to try to birth without any drugs. I plan on educating myself on ways to work through the waves (just started my hypnobabies course).
So the last part of making my birth plan is writing it down for my medical team. Cynthia ones again has a series of questions to help the reader develop their own plan (and shares a few of her client’s birth plans as examples). She also reminds the reader that you can be direct in your birth plan but polite. You can achieve this by focusing on what you want rather then what you don’t want. For instance I do not want to have labour augmented unless absolutely necessary (I have experienced a Pitocin drip and hated every moment an IV was in my hand). So instead of saying I don’t want my labour augmented unless medically necessary, I would rephrase it to say I would prefer to go into labour naturally. I am still ironing out my final birth plan and I think I will continue to until I go into labour. But these are a few of the things that I would like to see happen.
- Labour to start on its own
- Have my membranes rupture on their own
- Allow my husband to be my coach
- Allow my daughter to visit briefly
- Use a tub or shower as pain relief
- For staff to offer non medicated options first
- Use massage and warm compresses to lessen the risk of a tear
- I would like to use my Hypnobabies cd’s and techniques as much as possible
- After birth I would like to hold my baby immediately
- Please wait to clamp the cord till after it stops pulsating
- If possible hold off on newborn checks until after I have held and breastfed for the first time
- I will be rooming in with my baby and husband
- I would like all procedures to be done in husband’s or my presence
- I hope to avoid a cesarean
- If I need a cesarean my husband is to be present at all times
- I would like to have contact with my baby as soon after as possible
The book then goes on to discuss surrounding yourself with a health care team that provides you support in reaching these goals. I don’t think this will be much of an issue for me as I have a midwife that is aware of my desire to have a natural hospital birth. However, I will still be giving her a copy to have so she is aware of my wants in regards to pain control; in particular my wish to use the techniques that are in Hypnobabies. But I feel this is a very good section for those still searching for a care provider or wants to make a switch. She gives several good questions to ask a potential care provider and how to find the one that is right for you and your family.
The final section of part one talks about special circumstances which for me I just skimmed over as I do not fall in this category. But for anyone who is having twins, VBAC, or is a survivor of a traumatic event this is a great section to read. I especially think her VBAC section is a great read.
That is the end of part one of the book “Natural Hospital Birth – the best of both worlds” by Cynthia Gabriel. My next post on this subject will be focusing on part two “giving birth”.