First of all, the nurse was great! She did a wonderful job teaching and communicating the things we needed to know about giving birth. My favorite thing was that you could tell she was a proponent of natural, non medicated childbirth. She told us to keep in mind that for every intervention there are increased risks for difficulties. However, she also let us know that sometimes the interventions are necessary in order to keep the baby and/or momma safe. She also mentioned that if you come in knowing you would like have a natural birth, or perhaps you know up front you want an epidural, to let the nurses know because they have a great staff who will switch around nurses depending on what type of birth the patient is wanting! Yea! It is encouraging to know I will have a nurse who is on my side helping me through a natural birth!
Finally, in our packet of information, we got a piece of paper to fill out as to what we would like our birth environment to be like! Basically this is a birth plan. It wasn't necessarily meant to give to the doctors and nurses, but it will help Skyler and I know and communicate what our ideal labor and birth would include. It also give us an idea for our "plan B" (if my labor is much longer and/or harder than expected). Finally, it allows us to think through our options if we must have a cesarean birth. I really appreciated this material! I love that this birthing center is so supportive of natural deliveries, and really wants the best for our baby and myself!
So here is our plan . . .
My Birth Environment
AKA Birth Plan! :)
* My ideal labor and birth would include:
** If my labor is much longer and harder than expected I plan to:
*** If I have to have a cesarean birth, I would like to:
* My husband will be my coach and support person. He is the only person that will be in the room with me (besides the nurses and doctors of course!). I would prefer to have family and friends wait outside while I am in labor.
** If my labor becomes difficult, I would like Skyler to stay with me at all times. Even if I must have an epidural, I would like him to be there with me.
*** I would like Skyler to be with me if at all possible in the event that a cesarean birth is necessary.
"Mood" of Room
* If I am managing labor just fine, I wouldn't mind conversation and some natural light.
** Once my labor starts getting intense, I would prefer dim lights, and minimal/quiet talking.
*** Not sure if I really get much of a choice with a C-Section situation.
* I would like to be able to use whatever position feels most comfortable for me in order to relax during labor. If the nurse has suggestions for different positions that might make me more comfortable I would like her to tell me! (The birthing center allows for a variety of positions during both labor and pushing such as walking, birthing ball, shower, bath - if water hasn't broken, side lying, hands and knees, squatting, and of course semi-reclining)
** In the event I am having a difficult labor/birth, I would like the nurse to direct me in finding a good position to help myself and the baby regardless of whether or not it is comfortable.
*** If I must have a C-Section, I just don't want to watch the surgery being performed!
Use of Medication
* I would prefer to use no medication, and labor naturally as I focus on relaxing through each contraction. I would like for Skyler and the nurses to be encouraging, and help by working with me through the pain. When the pain becomes too much to bear, I might ask about meds or an epidural. Please keep encouraging me to continue labor naturally (as long as baby and momma are safe) - we're almost there!
**If I am having a very difficult birth, and the nurse (one who supports my decision to have a natural birth) feels complications have arisen to the extent medication may be necessary in order to avoid a C-Section, then I want her to give me her expert opinion. In this case, I do not want the meds delivered through an IV. I will opt for the epidural. I would rather have an epidural than other drugs.
*** In the case of an emergency C-Section, I am open to using whatever medication the Dr. and nurses feel is best.
Electronic Fetal Monitoring
* I would like to use external fetal monitoring intermittenly.
** If realize that if my labor is more difficult than we hoped, I may need continuous external fetal monitoring due to an epidural, and or having to take Pitocin, etc. However, I would like to avoid using an internal fetal monitor if at all possible. If this becomes necessary for the safety of the baby, I would like the nurse and/or doctor to discuss it with my husband and I first; explaining their reasoning, etc.
*I would like to push in whatever position feels best for me, however, I would also like to avoid the tearing of the perineum if at all possible. I understand that some positions make it more difficult to control the tearing, therefore, I would like suggestions from the Dr. and nurses on which position would be best. I would also prefer to push naturally when my body is telling me to do so.
** If we are not making progress with pushing, I would like for the nurse/doctor to help me find the best position to make progress. If something is wrong, and the nurse feels the need to tell me to hold off on pushing despite the natural urge to do so, I will most definitely need some coaching along with a brief explanation. If I am not able to push adequately due to a previous intervention perhaps, I would appreciate encouragement along with gentle coaching. Because I know that an episiotomy is hardly ever done (the doctor told me she has only given one in all her years of practice -22 years), except in rare emergency situations by our doctors . . . if this becomes necessary I will understand.
Contact with Baby/Initiation of Breastfeeding
*Once the baby is born I would like to hold her immediately and be allowed time for momma and daddy to bond with our new baby. I would prefer the umbilical cord to quit pulsing on its own prior to Skyler cutting it. I would like to try breastfeeding as soon as possible once the baby is cleaned up - within' the first thirty minutes or so (fortunately the birthing center allows the baby to be in the room with us the entire time!). Our baby will be breastfed exclusively. We do not want our baby to be offered formula or sugar water.
** Same as above if possible. If not please explain any emergency procedures with us first.
*** We would like Skyler to hold the baby as soon as possible, and I would also like to do so. I would like to nurse as soon as possible.
*I would like Skyler to be in charge of allowing visitors in the room. We may set a schedule so that I may nurse, and rest. However, we are very excited for our family and friends to meet Kyria!
**If the labor was a difficult one, we may need extra assistance in monitoring how many and how often we have visitors. Again, we will set a schedule so that I may nurse and rest.
*** Same as above.
Discharge - early or delayed
* If everything is going smoothly, and I seem to have a good grasp on breastfeeding etc. we would prefer to be discharged as soon as possible.
** With a more difficult labor, we understand that this may mean a slightly longer stay in the hospital.
*** Obviously with a C-section we understand the need to stay in the hospital longer. However, we would still like to be discharged as soon as possible.