I finished the baby penguin quilt! It took me a few tries to get the binding on but it's done and it even survived the washer and dryer. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
Now for the serious stuff. Since I'm now 35 weeks, it's time to start to deal with the fact that in a few weeks I will actually have to deliver a baby. Crap. I've been putting off this reality for oh, the last 8 months.
John and I took a childbirth class and we've hired a doula, so I feel as prepared as I can be. And being an engineer, I have done (probably more than) my fair share of research. So I finally put together my birth plan.
You'll notice that I'm intending on having a natural childbirth experience. Although, I reserve the right to change my mind at any point int time. When I started this little adventure, I definitely was going by the Peggy Hill philosophy: stick me full of drugs and wake me up when it's over! Then I actually started to do some research and did a complete 180. Really, the natural approach is more in line with my personal beliefs and lifestyle anyway.
At our class, they recommended having a "safe word" in case it gets to the point you really want drugs. That way, everyone involved knows you've thought about it and are at the point where you really need pain relief. John said my safe word is "I want to be an architect" because if those words ever come out of my mouth, he knows things are really bad. That made me laugh. Hopefully, those words never do come out of my mouth. :)
I looked at several examples of birth plans online and that my doula gave me. Here's my plan, with all personal info removed. I'll take it in to my next OB appointment for her to review and sign. Then one copy goes to the hospital when I pre-register and another copy stays with me. That way, if my OB is not the delivering doctor, the hospital already has a signed copy so they know my OB has approved my choices. I know this is one thing I have no control over, but I feel better having my preferences recorded on paper and acknowledged by my OB and hospital staff.
It seems like a lot, but I saw birth plans that dictated the lighting, the playlist, and other completely ridiculous requests (aromatherapy, level and type of conversation in the room, and the list goes on). Another trend I noticed was labor and delivery photography. Not just the new dad with a camera, I mean like hiring a wedding photographer to be there and photo/video the wonderful, disgusting miracle of birth. Seriously? Who pays over $1000 for pictures that I hope to God will never be framed or publicly displayed? I told John if I saw a camera in the delivery room that I would kick that person in the face. And I'm not even joking. Some things should remain private and intimate.
We are excited about our baby’s birth and we have chosen to have a natural delivery. We understand that giving birth is unpredictable and we are willing to compromise in the case of an emergency. The health and safety of mother and baby are our first priority, which is why we are choosing a natural birth. We thank you in advance for taking the time to review our birth plan.
Labor & Birth
· A room with a birthing tub
· A saline lock instead of routine IV fluids
· A nurse who is committed to natural birth
· Intermittent monitoring to allow for as much mobility as possible
· A minimal number of vaginal exams
· To be allowed to push and deliver in whatever position feels best
· Not to be offered any pain medication. If I need pain relief, I will ask for it.
· Except in the case of an emergency, I want the opportunity to accept or refuse any procedure or medication
· Mother directed pushing. Please do not ask me to hold my breath.
· Not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely necessary. I would prefer to tear naturally unless there is reason for intervention.
· To delay Pitocin after delivery to see if breastfeeding will get my uterus to contract
· If a C-section becomes necessary:
o Please use double-layer sutures when repairing my uterus.
o As health permits, I would like to skin-to-skin contact with baby, to stay together during repair and recovery, and to breastfeed during the initial recovery period.
o If John has to leave the operating room with the baby, I would like Catherine to take his place in the operating room.
· To wait at least a minute to cut the cord
· To delay all procedures until after initial skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding
· For John to help bathe and weigh him
· Our baby boy will be circumcised
· To breastfeed. Please do not offer formula, pacifiers or artificial nipples.
Generally, we would prefer to recover at home and we would like to be released as soon as mother and baby are cleared to leave.