Friday, June 19, 2009

Birth Plan

I thought I might share my birth plan since I'm obviously not going the home birth route this time around.

Remember, the operative word here is PLAN.

This is all assuming a healthy, non-complicated, full term delivery.

· C-section is to be done ONLY AS AN ABSOLUTE LAST RESORT. All attempts to deliver both babies vaginally are of utmost importance. I really want a natural birth, but frankly, more than that, I really don't want to be recovering from major surgery while trying to care for two newborns and a toddler...

· Dad and/or doula to be present at ALL times.

· No epidural. I don't judge anyone if they have had an epidural. It's a very personal decision. I will admit, however, that I do feel a little sad...yes, it is painful, but really, I think women are missing out. It is an amazing experience and the pain is without a doubt worth it.

· No IVs. I don't want to be tied down to machinery. If I'm dehydrated, I'll drink water. I'm skittish about needles anyway and it's hard for me to just ignore its presence.

· Intermittent use of fetal monitors. Again, I don't want to be tied down to the bed. I want to walk and move. If they want to listen to heart tones, they'll have to do it in spurts.

· Freedom to walk and eat/drink during labor.

· No episiotomy, except to avoid 4th degree tearing. Many studies have shown that tearing is actually easier to heal from since your body isn't meant to be cut in a perfectly straight line. In fact, many OB's are no longer performing routine episiotomies anyway because of this. And I don't think mine does so this shouldn't be an issue anyway...

· Dad is to cut the umbilical cords…AFTER they have stopped pulsing. We aren't banking the cord blood (it's way too expensive, and interestingly, many cord blood banks won't take twins...not sure why). But the point is, that if cord blood is so important, I'd like my girls to have as much of it as possible since I'm not banking it.

· Delay all routine newborn exams for the first half hour. Babies can be cleaned up, weighed, etc. in due time. Please allow those first precious moments to be in mom and dad’s arms. I always find it interesting that nurses whisk an otherwise healthy baby away immediately. I don't care if my baby is "dirty". And you know what? They'll weigh the same and have the same footprints in 20 minutes. Let me cuddle thankyouverymuch.

· Unless otherwise directed, Dad is to hold Baby A during delivery of Baby B. This kind of goes back to the point above. Andy may decide that he doesn't want to hold the baby while the other is being delivered so that he isn't distracted, but I want that to be his decision.

· NO eye drops for the babies. Erythromycin drops are put in newborn eyes as a standard procedure in California (and most states). The purpose of the drops is to prevent blindness in case mommy has Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. Some studies suggest that the drops can cause damage to some babies' eyes...I don't know if that's true or not, but for us, the bigger issue is that I don't have an STD so it's just not necessary. Plain and simple.

· NO Vitamin K shot. The Vitamin K shot is given because babies don't have enough in their systems for their blood to clot properly for the first few days of life. This is important for timing of circumcision and also for a very rare, but fatal brain bleeding disorder. My girls will obviously not be circumsized, and while the brain thing is very very very rare, it is also very very very deadly. The Vitamin K shot gives babies a HUGE dose in one foul swoop. Some studies have found a link to childhood leukemia from such a gigantic one-time dose. Other studies have said that there is no link. I don't know. I'm not a doctor or medical researcher. I don't pretend to be. But what I DO know is that you can get all of the benefits of the extra Vitamin K without any potential issues (real or imagined) by giving them an oral dose of Vitamin K over the course of a few days, it seems prudent to just do that instead. You work with your pediatrician to get a prescription for the oral vitamin in advance of the birth...So basically, you get all of the benefits/protections without any scary is a great article.

· NO Hep vaccine. Again, this is one of those general health and welfare things (like the eye drops)...I don't have hepatitis, so we're good. My babies don't need to be pricked with a needle because doctors can't trust their patients to be telling them the truth about whether or not they are IV drug users. This is one of those things that is probably a good standard protocol for the general population and has likely made a difference for newborns...but in our case, Nancy Reagan taught me to Just Say No, so we're cool.

· Babies are to room-in with mom. This is standard at either of the hospitals I would deliver at, but I figured I'd throw it in anyway.

· Mom or Dad to be present if babies are to be taken from room and during all procedures. This is basically just so we know what is being done and/or given to our kids.

· NO bottles, formula, water or pacifiers. Mom plans to nurse exclusively. I think this one's pretty self-explanatory.

· If the babies require specialized care, they are to be kept together in the same isolette, if possible. I don't even think this is necessary to write down because unless they are hooked up to way too many machines and have major issues, I think most NICU's put twins together anyway...many many many studies have shown that when multiples are put together they heal and get better much sooner!

· Discharge from hospital as soon as possible (preferably within 24 hours of birth). I hate hospitals. I am very thankful we have amazing medical advances, but in general, I hate being in them unless I ABSOLUTELY have to. Some people see hospitals as bastions of cleanliness, safety and security. Honestly, all I can think about is death and germs and sickness. They give me the heebie-jeebies. I know, it's kind of weird, but I always feel like I'm on the verge of passing out whenever I'm in one...

· Discuss ALL procedures with us PRIOR to performing them.

So there you have it. My Birth PLAN. Who knows what's going to actually happen, but this is what I expect assuming all is well and there are no emergencies or other unusual circumstances...


Joanie said...

This is awesome! It is a lot like mine was, so I'm tearing up reliving those precious memories. :)

I totally agree with you on the epidural - no judgement to those who choose it, but natural birth is wonderful!

I pray your darlings' birth will follow along these lines as much as possible - and it is possible because you've made it so far!!

Kate said...

you are amazing! i think you won't have much problem with the nurses and doctors sticking to those guidlines because most of what you are requesting is how my three births went at french without me even writing out a plan. (aside from the epidural and twin things of course). so excited for you!
p.s. i had a dream two nights ago that your had your babies and you named them rylin and rylee. kinda wierd...

Serenity Now said...

Just curious - I never had a birth plan...but do you give this to you doctor as well as the nurses at the hospital? and do you make sure that each shift change, everyone knows your plan as well? I just don't know how that works - so I'm curious...maybe I'll do one for my next baby.
I was really happy that after my c-section, they wrapped up our boy and handed him to hubs who immediately was able to go hang out with family and they even waited for me (which took 3 1/2 hours) to do the bath and the footprints. I love that they didn't do all those procedure stuff until later and just let everyone enjoy the new baby first!

You give alot of "food for thought" in this post :)

Jeannett Gibson said...

Kirsten-yeah, you give it to each nurse/doctor/'s short, just a few bullet points (the italics I added for my blog)...I didn't really NEED one but I just wanted to be sure that some of the standard procedures that we don't want done are made clear that we do not want them before some nurse just kind of goes through the motions and does it, you know? Glad you had a good experience with your c/s. I have no problem doing it in an emergency situation, but I just don't need the extra drama! I'll have plenty to keep me busy!!! :)

Kate-Funny names...especially considering one of my dogs is named Ryley, so you can rest assured, that it won't be one of the girls' names! :)

Jacquelyn said...

I'm on the same page with you - medically speaking that is. No needles, no drugs (for me or Isaac). The nurse told me I had to be monitered 10 min. of every hour because I was being induced and we made them stick to it. I knew that I had to stay 8 hrs after birth for the newborn screening (necessary as I am a carrier for cycstic fybrosis) but I was packed up and ready to leave as soon as that happened. It's much nicer to recover at home! Hope it works out for you!

Jeannett Gibson said...

Jacquelyn-I could be wrong, but I think the newborn screening is actually required by law (since 2005?) even though i'm not a carrier, it has to be done anyway...I remember having this conversation with Brenda with Henry's birth...they have to be submitted within a certain number of days after birth or something...

Mama Mote said...

John 16:21
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.

I held onto that verse when I knew there would be pain. And what a blessing to see Scripture held true. I will definitely pray for you plan and pray it's also God's plan. You will do great!

Anonymous said...

This is all well and good, but you do realize that now that you have written it, you will have your girls in the back of your car on the way to the hospital.
God is funny like that.