If one more person asks me how I’m feeling I may slap them. Just the other day my mom asked me for like the fifth time, that day, and I told her I felt like a walrus and that she should just assume I feel like a walrus until I notify her otherwise. Truly, that’s how I feel at 38 weeks pregnant.
At this stage labor and delivery are on my mind frequently, it shifts between that and trying to find a bathroom. Many weeks ago I dragged my husband to a labor and delivery class so that someone else would have to say words like “mucus plug” and explain afterbirth to him. Which they did, and I also got more detailed information on pain measures.
We discussed it then and decided on our birth plan. Now, your doctor may roll her eyes when you say birth plan. Because some women get it too ingrained in their heads that their birth WILL go according to plan. It won’t, babies are little humans who start their lives by throwing yours upside down. It’s to prepare you for the next 18 years of them throwing your lives upside down and ignoring what you want.
While there are many different options for birth plans, and you must truly evaluate what is right for you, your baby, budget and so on I’ll tell you my ideal birth plan. As well as what I plan to do if something doesn’t go according to it.
Epidural at 7cm
Fairly simple, that’s my ideal birth plan. You don’t need these long drawn out complicated birth plans. Where? How? Pain Meds? Breastfed or no? Almost everything else is per hospital policy anyway. My hospital does skin-to-skin immediately following delivery so long as mother and baby are both stable. My hospital encourages all mothers to breastfeed their babies as soon as baby is willing to try after delivery, and they won’t give them a bottle or a pacifier. My hospital has a rooming in policy, provided mom and baby are doing well. So you see? Going to that labor and delivery class informed me of a lot of things about my delivery that were going to happen regardless. This allowed me to simplify my birth plan.
Truly the most that could really happen to mess with that would be if baby arrives by c-section. While not ideal, it’s not the end of the world either. In the United States roughly one third of all births are c-sections. So while it is major surgery, it’s also relatively routine. Remember though, the number of c-sections is much higher than it should be in the U.S. Knowing that be sure that your doctor has an actual medical reason for you needing to have a c-section.
Example: When I was born I was an emergency c-section. My mom’s cervix had stopped dilating and was going backwards and my heart rate was all over the map. Emergency C-section. However, when it came time for my brother to be born the doctor just said, “So, when would you like to schedule your c-section?” Looking back my mom says there’s no reason she shouldn’t have been able to at least try to have a vaginal birth. But, the doctor was so matter-of-fact she just assumed she needed a c-section with him too.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make your desires clear. Now is the time to do so, before you’re sweating and in pain and maybe not thinking straight. This is your baby after all, you need to make the best decision for both of you.
With my plan in place, the nursery ready, and a cleaning service coming in 5 days before I’m due (thanks dad) there is little else for me to do but wait. While I’m waiting I’m walking, napping, and prepping as much food for the freezer as possible. Preparation is key to success in school, at work, and the arrival of a new human. Nothing’s better than seeing the light at the end of this 40(?) week long tunnel.