You’d think that at 40+5, my birth plan would be complete; signed and sealed if not yet delivered. However, going past my due date has given me some time to give it some more detailed consideration.
The essence of my birth plan is four words: get the baby out.
I’m well aware that birth does not generally go to plan. I don’t mean that in a negative way: just that it’s impossible to know when, how, what and where labour is going to take place. I’m a great believer that thinking about something too much in advance of it actually happening usually leads to disappointment.
And yet, I am an organised soul; there’s no getting away from that. Yes; I’m the person who completed an audit of all wedding-related decor two weeks before the wedding, just because I couldn’t handle not having an itemised, numbered list of everything along with labelled boxes.
So alongside my unusually laid back birth plan, there is of course a little more detail:
- minimal pain relief (if I can cope)
- water birth if possible
- encourage active labour
- skin to skin after birth
- wait until umbilical cord has stopped pulsating before cutting
- husband to cut the cord and announce gender
- yes to vitamin K injection and injection for third stage
These all seem like fairly arbitrary things to me though: over the past week or so, since I actually filled in the birth plan section in my maternity notes, I keep thinking that I’m missing something. Should I be more specific and add more detail? For instance, to keep active, I’d like my husband and the midwife to prompt me to change position when possible and necessary. But I’ve presumed that they will do that anyway and have discussed plans with my husband, so he’ll know to prompt this. I’d like to try and get the baby to latch ASAP on after delivery – but again, that seems to be something that will happen if possible anyway.
As I’m hoping to have the baby in our local midwife-led birth centre, I’m assuming that the less medicalised, more patient-centric approach will encourage my wishes as part of their ethos. But are these details that are worth spelling out? And does the birth plan even get more than a cursory glance in the delivery room anyway? Any thoughts and experiences are very welcome.