Sorting out some filing from 4 years ago (I am a slob) I found something which made me positively cringe.
My birth plan for Edward.
Who want’s a laugh? Well, here you go! I am about to openly embarrass myself by showing you the instructions I gave the midwives for how I was going to give birth to Edward. There are so many things wrong with this sentence. Instructions. Gave. I was.
There are more rules that The Bible. Thou shall not deviate from the birthing plan, medical professionals! I don’t want to bore you with all of it, so I am just going to note down a few of the better beauties. My actual birth plan points are in black ink. My comments from now, are in italic.
- *I HAVE SYMPHYSIS PUBIS DYSFUNCTION (SPD) / PELVIC GIRDLE* This sounds like a veneral disease from the 1800’s. It isn’t. It is a hip and pelvis problem I developed during pregnancy with Ed. I like how I put it in CAPITALS and in BOLD and put stars by it. Short of tattooing it on my forehead, I don’t think I could have done more. Although maybe I could have been extra patronising to the midwife staff and drawn a diagram and put a web link on directing them to extra information online.
- I am allergic to penicillin. Fair enough, that one. I let myself off.
- I would like to use the birthing pool if available
- I would like to use gas and air (aren’t I polite? Or, possibly being a bit of an arse licker. I am basically saying “Er, midwife, I put “I would like” on my birthing plan, that wailing trout in the cubicle next to me only put “I want”, So, if it comes down to a choice between two of us for the pool, pick me and my manners”.)
- I would VERY MUCH like to AVOID an epidural (unless it becomes absolutely necessary). I like how I raise my voice effectively at VERY MUCH, quieten it for “like to” and then raise it again for AVOID, and again get really polite with, unless.
- Booked in to the birthing centre.
- I would LIKE TO AVOID giving birth on my back
- Due to my SPD I have received medical advice not to open my legs wider than that allowed by a pre-measure tie which I will provide. Oh Jeez. Yes. As much as I hate to admit it, I really had that on there. Our NCT leader had told me to put that on there and had a little tie for my bag. Jeez. “Hi, yeah, im here to give birth. Open my legs? Oh no no NO! You notice my tie and my birth plan?”
- I am happy for a student midwife to be present in addition to an experienced midwife. This was one of the best parts of my birth plan. Our student midwife was a third year student and supervised by a fully qualified midwife. Unlike afully qualified midwife who would often be taking care of several labouring women at one time, floating amongst them a student midwife could only stay with one woman giving birth. So, she was 100% ours and held our hands the whole way. She rocked .
Oh, we had it laminated too! Why? For extra reference to it’s importance maybe? To prevent the ink running from any bodily fluids leaking on it during the event? I don’t remember…
I am not criticising birth plans per se. I am criticising MY birth plan and was horrified when I found it amongst a load of bills and scraps of paper and started reading it. My jaw dropped. We joined the NCT for ante natal lessons and birth plans were one of the subjects they covered. The NCT classes were good for some things (I did disagree on a lot of it – especially the breastfeeding mafia part but that is by the by) and talking through different birthing options is essential. You need to discuss all options and be aware of everything. But that to me, is pretty much the opposite of a birth plan. It is narrowing your mind, and, in my case with me tie-ing my knees together, the birth canal and baby exit. Birth plans are about going in to the birth feeling like you have a morsal of control over the whole thing, and whilst that is a good part of the birth plan I think it is an exercise essentially just for that. “My body my choice” yes. But, sometimes, when your body doesn’t understand or “get” your preferred choices, I think you need to give a big fat high fives to the medical professionals.
So, my birth plan? It didnt work out. Any of it. My laminated plan was not effective (shocker) – the best laid birth plans of mice and women. I was induced (this was not even possibly thought about when I was writing my plan and came out of nowhere!), Ed was a massive baby (9lb 8.5oz), with the neck muscles of a rugby player. There was no way he was going to be born naturally, said my midwife later on when I was home. Nice. Perhas they could have mentioned that before? I could have ammended the plan a bit.
My birth plan for Alex was much easier. I scribbled on a post-it “C-section” and stuck it on my forehead as they wheeled me in to theatre.