Thursday, March 31, 2011


I have my next midwife appointment scheduled for the 11th April at which point it will be time to sit down and work out my birth plan. I have pretty much been in denial about how I am going to get this baby boy out of my growing belly and the bigger it gets the more I try to block it out. But I can't live in denial forever. I wish it could be as simple as the stork dropping the baby into the bassinet beside my bed while I slept but unfortunately that isn't quite how it works (sadly for us woman folk!) and I somehow need to push this baby out. To be honest at this point I am a whole lot more excited about giving birth than I am terrified, but I am sure as the time draws closer that will change! I have only 13 weeks and 3 days to go and the closer I get the more people ask me what my birth plans are. Will I have an epidural? Will I try a natural birth? At hospital or at home? Eek! I have started doing some research and:

#1. I will definately be having this baby at the main hospital in my city. I have nothing against homebirths but I'm not taking any chances. The smaller hospital closer to home which I know is a nicer environment does not have any obs or access to drugs and if something does start going wrong you have to be taken to the larger hospital via ambulance as they don't have the facilities to deal with it. I just don't want to risk it.

#2. Epidurals - I think I would like to try a natural birth but have the option of an epidural if I want it. I don't know if that decision is based on me wanting a natural birth or based on the fact that many of the woman I have spoken to about their birth experiences are against epidurals and managed to birth without one, putting the fear of god into me that epidurals are bad. My midwife is a bit old school and seems to be singing the same tune. The jury is still out on this one. Do I really want to endure all that pain when I don't have to?

#3. Waterbirth. I think this is what I want to try. The hospital we are going to is newly renovated and each birthing unit now has a birthing pool and I think I would like to attempt this. My midwife said the hospital isn't overly keen on waterbirths but will allow it if the midwife is happy to do this and mine is. I'm still thinking about this one though and really need to do some more research.

Those of you who have given birth before - did you have a birth plan? Did you stick to it or did it go out the window completely when the time came? Did you have an epidural? Those who haven't given birth before whether you are still TTC or currently pregnant - is this anything you have given much thought to?

Any advice/opinions more than welcome!


  1. Cool! A new post! I love reading about your pregnancy :)

    For me, birth plans seem like abit of a waste of time. Absolutely every idea I had for the birth of my first baby went out the window as things took unexpected turns etc and it was the complete opposite of what I was hoping for. It left me disapointed and sad when I looked back on it. This time around, I'm not making a birth plan. Whatever happens will happen. The one thing I have discussed with my midwife though it the use of drugs (which I think is a very important discussion to have). I had an epidural with my first baby, I had no one at the birth to properly coach me along and I beleive I could have done it without, it made things alot slower. So this time my only "plan" is to be pushed as far as I can possibly be pushed by my midwife and husband, and if I STILL want an epidural then it to be a last option. I'm hoping to try water etc first :)

    Long story over! Sorry! Try not to "plan" too much. It'll only leave you feeling a smidge disapointed if something doesn't happen the way you'd hoped :)

  2. The threads on OB about VBAC's are really really helpful. The ladys on there have been through the birth process, ended up having a C-sect for whatever reason and are determined to not have a repeat. Most of them have really good detail birth plans and how they want their support person to work with them etc.... I would go have a look as you might learn something new! Good luck :D

  3. For me, a birth plan was merely a guideline of what I would like to happen, nothing set in stone etc. I guess at the end of the day you just don't know how you will feel until you are there in the throes of labour and you can quickly change your mind, not to mention things may just NEED to change.
    My labour plan was simply put as I would like a natural birth, preferably no drugs and the people allowed in were hubby, sis and mum. That was it.
    I honestly believe your attitude towards it is what will make it, just have an open mind and accept that things may not go according to plan but keep telling yourself it WILL end... there is always an end to it and you just have to work on getting through every single contraction at a time.
    Good luck Haidee you will be perfectly fine! Sounds like you have a great midi too

  4. I had a birth plan for my first, I did none of it, partly due to me not being brave enough to stand up to the midwives. For my second I didn't even bother and was just happy going with the flow as it can change so much. I was so much more relaxed the second time because I wasn't thinking "but my birth plan says this" etc. I had an epidural with my first which didn't work (too far along) and had no drugs with my second apart from the spinal block when it was time for the c-section (he was breech) even when he was coming out bum first I still didn't want drugs. I was so much happier during my second, I was joking and able to laugh (until the very end) I don't know if that was because I sort of knew what to expect this time round so was much more relaxed about it.


  5. Hey hun,
    no birth plan for me!! I think it really depends on the person. I was very scared to give birth until I went overdue and just wanted him out. I only used the gas and by the end that was actually starting to make me feel sick so when I was pushing him out wasn't using anything. I must admit that hearing the stats about epidurals kind of freaked me out which is why I wouldn't have it and also a needle in the back didn't sound very appealing to me. I didn't have the best labour for a first time mum it was actually quite scary but let me tell you abbe once your in there and in pain you just want to the baby out.. Goodluck I am sure you and Hayden will go with what's best for you and baby.. <3 <3 <3

  6. I didn't really have a birth plan. I went in thinking that if I needed any drugs I would start with a bit of gas and work my way up to Peth and then Epi if necessary. I was lucky in that the gas was enough for me. Still felt the contractions but the gas gave me something to focus on and assist with controlling my breathing. I was also lucky in that my labours weren't too long. DD was 6.5hrs from when my backache kicked in and DS was 9hrs of managable pre-labour (he was posterior) then 4hrs of real labour.

    This time things are quite different and alot of my options have been taken away from me. If I'm able to birth naturally (if these babies get into the right position of course!) then I will still have to have an epidural in case Twin 2 needs assistance to come out, or if they don't turn I'll be booked in for a C-section.

    When do you start your birth classes?? I found they were great for getting the information you need for birth and then being able to make your decisions from there.

    Have an idea of what you would like, but don't rule anything out. And if you want to ask any questions (no matter how TMI!) I'm more than willing to chat with you about it :)

  7. Hmmm I can't offer you any advice on Birth Plans LOL! But I think a water birth sounds great, and I think you sound in such a good frame of mind about everything hon-I'm glad you're excited about it- it must be one of the few things in life where there's a lovely reward at the end of the pain! Good luck with the plan :) xxoo

  8. Oh dear, I was a mental first time mum who had a written birth plan, with copies for me, my Ob and midwives! Absolutely mental! But my plan was executed to the last letter! I had a complete natural birth of 5hrs. I do recommend staying at home and labouring as long as you can, the longer at home the less intervention. When you reach the hospital your cervix tends to halt the dilation. I was 7cm when I arrived at hospital and took 2&half hours to dilate the remaining 3cm. So it did slow me up. I had a spa at the hospital and believe this helped me relax and cope with the pain. But it's GOOD pain, meaning muscles are doing their job, not bad injury pain. Try not to fight it, just go with the contractions and breathing is your best friend. I recommend a book called " A Labour of Love: An Aussie Guide to Natural Childbirth". It's a book gull of natural birthing stories to empower you and give you confidence in your own body. I swear by it and happy to send you mine if you can't find it. I will email you a calm chart I used to help me relax and dilate. I'm a nerd I know! I sadly relive my sons labour about 4 times a week in my head so I NEVER forget it, cause I loved the experience so much and I'm scared I will never get a chance to labour again.

    Remember it's called 'labour' for a reason, not 'party' or 'holiday', so if you are prepared to put the hard yards in, then it's well worth it!

  9. I didn't have a birth plan, but I did tell DH that I wasn't against certain options. This is important as I was told to atleast tell DH or your MW what you are atleast comfortable doing. For me, even if I did have a plan it went out the window. Firstly I was overdue + having gestational diabetes, I was induced. Then C's heartbeat reduced each time I had a contraction and ended up with an emergency c-section. It's great to do your research and have a "mini-plan" in place, but anything can happen on the day and you don't want to be dissapointed if your plan doesn't well, go to plan!

  10. I've had 3 births... this is my first story and this is my second story the third I haven't written yet as I only had him on Sunday but it was another planned drug free water birth and he was 9lb 1oz, so it can be done :)

    Good luck, whatever path you choose

  11. Thank you so much for all of your responses! Keep them coming as I love reading about all of your experiences as it really helps me to prepare. I think I will have a rough plan but be open to changing it. I have always said to the HG and my midwife that I plan to just take it as it comes - if I need drugs, I'll have drugs; if I can manage without them then I won't; if need a c-section then I won't fight it. I just want to deliver a healthy bundle of joy however it may pan out. And I am SO EXCITED!

  12. I wouldn't bother with a strict birth plan... I had pre-eclampsia in the end and I had to have an epidural to try and drop my BP, plus IV fluids, magnesium infusion, catheter, scalp monitoring for bubs, episiotomy and the whole thing was over in 2 hours. I wouldn't have had it any other way, it was the safest option and we ended up with a health baby girl (and I'm still alive!) and was still the most beautiful experience of my life. I know too many people who think they have failed if it doesn't go to "plan", and too many people who feed bad because they get the sneering "Well I could do it drug free, why can't you??" women making their experience seem less important... Despite all my complications I still have "friends" who make me feel like less of a mum because I couldn't do it au naturale. So Haidee, do what needs to be done at the time, and enjoy it!! Good luck!

  13. Wow - lots of comments poo-poo-ing the birth plan. I've not given birth, but I do think that it is worth thinking about and taking the time to communicate some of your general feelings about what you would like or not like. And maybe think thru a few different scenarios. If you end up with a -section, do you want your dh to stay with you or go with the baby to the nursery? who do you want or not in the room with you? Do you want pictures and videotape? stuff like that I would think it makes sense to prepare for in advance.

    I've actually done a ton of research about the different local hospitals and ob's. It seems to me that much of your birth plan is dictated by the dr you have and the hospital that you are birthing in. The closes hospital to our house has a nearly 40% c section rate and 90+% epidural rate. Another hospital a little farther away has a 10% c section rate and 40% epidural rate. I think it is fair to say that the staff at each hospital have a different way of caring for their laboring patients. It would be an uphill battle to have a natural birth at the first hospital, regardless of what my birthplace might say.

    It sounds like you are asking all of the right questions! Let us know what you figure out, okay?

  14. I didn't have a birth 'plan' so much as birth 'preferences'. That way it wasn't really set in stone and I didn't feel bad about not meeting it all.
    I had a few points which I felt very strongly about - I didn't want intervention, didn't want to be lying on my back and preferred not to have any drugs - but would take them up if needed.

    The rest of my preferences were stuff that could be changed. I pretty much stuck to everything, including the CD that was playing :) The only thing that I changed was that I had my waters broken as things had started to slow down so much. I didn't regret it.

    I was terrified of giving birth having had a friend tell me I could not possibly be terrified enough - not very helpful - so I did a course called Calmbirth. I'm not sure if this is avaialable in New Zealand or not, but I found it so helpful and have recommended it to anyone who I found out was pregnant. I didn't find childbirth painful and I believe that the relaxation techniques from the Calmbirth course helped me with this. I understand that it may not be for everyone. As with everything, you can only do what is best for you.

  15. With my first, I planned to use gas first before epidural, hoping to get through without one, which I did.
    I found a hot shower really effective for pain relief in active labour, and then the gas in transition. Save your pain relief until you really need it!
    The only other things i was set about was not wanting pethadeine, delayed cord clamping (and hubby was to cut it) and that the bub was to be put to my breast asap after the birth.

    With my 2nd, I planned to save the gas until I was desperate for it, which was at about 8cms.
    I had her in the bath in the birthing unit. I would highly recommend a water birth, it was a little hard to stay in the water during transition because I was feeling hot and dazed, but hubby wiping a cool washer on my forehead really helped.
    Listen to your midwife if you can, especially when the head is crowning. Its a new pain, so it shocked me with my first, and I just pushed him out. With my girl, I panted through it. I had a lot of stitches with my boy and took a long time to heal, but with my girl I had 1 stitch and felt fantastic afterwards. I think the water really helped with that too.
    Good luck, you have nothing to fear, it will be the best day of your life I can promise you that.

  16. I am getting the same question "What is your birth plan?" I say "To get her here safely and not kill me in the process." I am planning on using the epidural when I can't take it anymore. We are going to request a room with a bath tub when we check in. I love taking baths for my back pain but if I'm bleeding I will be to grossed out to sit in my blood(sorry TMI). Thanks to going through IVF I don't fear, needles, surgery, random people seeing my ya ya.

    In the end I trust my doctor to do what's best for me and our baby. She wants to get her here safely too it's her job.

  17. Argh, I just typed a big long response and went to disappeared! Here's my two cents...

    I'm a big believer in birth plans. I don't think they make you inflexible, or unprepared for things that may happen that are out of control. Rather, I think they demonstrate a knowledge of the process of birth, and a desire to have things pan out as you want them. There's no point going into this expecting things to go wrong. A birth plan is a great aid to your midwife and birth partner, and any doctor that may end up needing to help you. You absolutely need to know what you want and what you don't want. I firmly believe that it was my birth plan that enabled me to have such a great outcome from an induced labour. After finding out I "needed" to be induced, thus preventing me from giving birth in the birth centre, I updated my plan to include all those things I didn't want that I knew would be pushed on me due to giving birth in a hospital that mainly deals with high-risk patients. The midwives thanked me for having a plan as they were not used to having labouring women that had such a knowledge of the labour and birth process. The things I wanted were important to me and they would not have happened had I not written them down. When you're in the midst of labour it's easy to lose your resolve, and it's hard to think about anything other than what you're doing right at that moment. Your partner and your birth plan are your voice. If I didn't have that plan I would have had doctors intervening left, right and centre when it was completely unnecessary. As it was, I had the best possible outcome from an induced labour and I truly believe it came from being informed and knowing what I wanted.

    I am of the belief that, apart from high-risk cases, pregnancy and birth do not need to be managed, and so should stay out of the hospital and away from doctors. I understand the mentality of wanting to be prepared in case things go wrong, but I do think that you need to go into birth without any fear. Women's bodies were made to do this, and yes, things do go wrong sometimes. But believing in your body's ability to birth your darling son is essential if you want a birth without intervention. That said, the best place for you to birth is where you feel the most comfortable. A comfortable mama is most conducive to a smooth labour. If you feel most comfortable at the hospital, that's where you should be! I would definitely be asking the hospital a whole bunch of questions in regards to their labour and birth policies. You'd be surprised the kinds of things that are not standard that you have to make the effort to ask for. If you're interested I can tell you exactly the kind of things I'm thinking about (this post is getting too long I think!). My view on epidurals is pretty much the same. If you truly feel you need one, if you think you need it to get through labour, then I think they are great. For me, though, the argument of "why go through the pain if you don't have to" is kind of irrelevant. It's more that epidurals really mess with the body's ability to labour as it's designed to; once you've prevented your body from working as it should, you've started down the very slippery slope to intervention. I'm not saying all epidurals end in intervention and c-sections, but a significant number do. I strongly suggest researching this, just so you're aware of all the risks involved. I truly believe it's a woman's choice to labour and birth as she wants to, so you need to do what's best for you. You just need to arm yourself with knowledge so that you are not pressured into doing things you don't want to do. I really recommend a book called Active Birth by Janet Balaskas. It completely changed the way I think about pregnancy, labour and birth. :)

    You're doing a great thing by thinking about all this now, and you're asking all the right questions. It'll be happening before you know it!


  18. Oh, and just remember: your body, your baby, YOUR SAY. I get really frustrated when I see women say things like, "my doctor won't let me go past 40 weeks". Your doctor is not in charge of you, they don't own you, and they have no real say over what you do. Doctors have a very different approach to labour and birth than midwives, and it's worth your while bearing that in mind.

    Ok, I'll shut up now. :)

  19. My birthplan consisted of a "see how labour goes" approach -I was happy for drug free, but was aware I had no idea what level of pain it would be. In the end I went the epidural route and have no regrets, for me it was the best choice. I ended up with an emergency C-section in the end.
    My advice would be to do research in advance about what possible interventions could be so that you and hubby are able to make informed decisions throughout the labour /birth. Good luck.

  20. Just noticed someone disliked this blog post . . . I wonder why?