Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Birth Planning

I have been thinking about this post for a while now, but I was not 100% sure that I would write it. Birthing a baby is such a personal moment and everyone prepares in the way they think is best for themselves and their family. That said, reading about other people's birth plans and birth stories has been incredibly helpful to me as I have gone through this journey and I wanted to share my thoughts, decision process and plans.

During the first part of my pregnancy, I was really nervous about losing the baby and focused on taking everything day by day. I felt like we got ahead of ourselves in several ways with the first pregnancy and I didn't want to do that again. It was not until I was about 25 or 26 weeks, really close to viability that it dawned on me that I should probably think about what I needed to know to be prepared to birth this baby.

From there I started reading. I also thought a lot about what was important to me and what scared me. I can say that going into this journey, my biggest fear is to have a C-section and honestly that fear still holds today. As I started reading, I realized that there are a lot of things, most of which I was unaware of, that can increase the likelihood you will have a C-section. Some only increase your chances slightly, while others have a rather dramatic impact.

After processing all the information I decided that the natural childbirth route was going to be the best option for me. From there, we started looking at various methods. I looked into both Hypnobirthing and The Bradley Method and while I am not fulling doing either, I plan on incorporating key learnings from both. We also took the natural childbirth class at our hospital and learned some good coping techniques there as well. Additionally, we have hired a Doula to help us through the process. Neither one of us has been through this before, so  we felt that having someone with recent experience would be key.

Additionally, I sat down and wrote out a birth plan that outlines our preferences. Since we have little control over the birth, I know they may not all be met, but I felt it was important to document them while I was thinking clearly, or at least as clearly as a pregnant woman can think.

Even with a plan at the end of the day, it is about keeping both baby and myself safe and healthy. I like to think that the plan is written in pencil to allow for rewrites and changes as needed.

Did you have a birth plan? Was it helpful while in labor? How close was your birth experience to what you planned?