If you haven’t seen any of my other blog posts before I’ll give you a little low down. (Or you can read my first home birth story here, and why I chose a home birth here.) We chose a home birth, I took hypnobirthing and Hypno-babies classes, read books on birth like Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Birthing from Within, and had a doula and midwife feeding me all the information I needed to know about birthing at home without medication.
So, I thought that I didn’t need a plan for anything other than a home birth because no other outcome was going to happen… Right?
But there is more than one reason to write out your birth plan.
- It’s your emergency safety net, your back up plan in case things don’t work out the way you anticipated.
- And it’s your journal entry for what you expect to happen, and then for you to reflect on after birth and see how things worked out in the end.
I loved reading my birth plan after our baby’s home birth and seeing how much I really didn’t know before, also what I learned during my 16-hour journey in birthing Annabelle. I’ve decided to share my plan here to give you insight on how much first-time mothers (like me) don’t know, and what I now know. See below, in black is my plan, and the teal text was what happened and a few of my reflections that I wrote a few weeks after birth.
Baby Simmons Birth Plan: Est. Due Date March 12th,
Actual Birth: March 3rd, 2017
Location: At Home
Our Instinctive, Perfect Home Birth Plan
- Mom wishes to labor instinctively and with her training from Hypnobirthing class. Please refrain from overcrowding or giving too many suggestions that would clutter Mom’s mind and focus. We would like the room to be as quiet as possible, with music if requested by mom, and all voices in soft tones.
- Mama labored instinctively. With loud roars, sometimes she even felt like a wild animal giving birth to her young (we were surprised that the neighbors didn’t hear).
- She was very vocal and spoke to her baby girl constantly throughout labor. Encouraging the baby and herself to keep pushing forward. A lot of the time, it was just Mama and Annabelle, and the rest of the world disappeared. The suggestions on how to turn the baby from posterior to anterior were amazing, and truly helped relieve the back labor even for a little bit. Though being on hands and knees the majority of the labor made her hands go numb and her shoulders weak, it truly was the reason why baby turned to the right position to be born. The hypnobirthing and Hypno-babies tracks were a LIFE SAVER, especially the pushing baby out tracks while I was pushing. The focus and visualization were more help than anything for Mama to achieve what she did. And doing Hypnobirthing to prepare for the birth helped Mama to meditate and relax more efficiently through the pain.
- The breaking of the membranes and other measures will be taken into account if labor is not progressing well and Mom and baby need a little help to get the baby out.
- Mama did need help getting baby to descend into the birth canal. Betty broke her waters without consent, but did so by accident! She checked Mama once and the waters broke quick and easily, as Mama was at 10 cm at that time and the baby was progressing well.
- And looking back now, it didn’t matter that my midwife broke my waters without my consent. I knew that she wasn’t breaking them to hurry labor along, but doing it as she checked to make sure everything was going along safely. There was a lip in the cervix as well that Betty needed to help get over baby’s head so she could smoothly descend into the birth canal and come earthside safely, so it is good that my waters broke when they did.
- Skin-to-skin will be the first thing to happen with either Mom or Dad.
- Mama was the first to have skin-to-skin with Annabelle.
- The most beautiful moment of the birth was when Betty encouraged me to reach down and hold my baby girl for the first time, the first hands touching her being her mother’s. She slid out and right onto my chest, warm, soft, slimy and just perfect. Never crying, just peacefully whimpering from the labor and work. Whimpering in exhaustion, really. The sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard. And the sight of my husband crying in relief, joy and ecstasy added to the perfection. Our family grew in that moment, and nothing can match that beauty. THIS mattered most, and I know that if we were in a hospital, we would NOT have gotten this moment.
- Pitocin is not to be used unless Mom requests it.
- As soon as Mama had baby, she was done with pain.
- I was so worried that giving birth to the placenta would be painful. As I was sitting upright, with baby Anna in my arms, I asked my midwife if it would be painful. And she said I would just feel little contractions and that it will come easily.
- At this, the Hypno training kicked in in my mind again and I just breathed, relaxed, and didn’t resist the pain… It was going to be ok. And within minutes, the placenta literally erupted from my vagina, spurting blood all over everyone present. It was disgusting, but quite the comic relief after all the stress and tension of labor and birth. Unfortunately, the comedy didn’t last long, as I went white as a sheet and my blood pressure dropped drastically. We are oh so very grateful for Betty and her presence at this time as she gave me a quick shot of Pitocin to be sure I didn’t start hemorrhaging. She kept calm and collected, simply asking if Bradlee would give a priesthood blessing. He offered a beautiful prayer that I know was answered. Angels were serving and with us.
- Anyone can cut the umbilical cord, but we would like to give verbal permission before it is cut (from Mom or Dad).
- Annabelle stayed connected to the placenta for a good hour and a half at least. Getting all the nutrients that belonged to her and she needed. Daddy was the one who cut the cord. We were asked by our midwife all nonchalantly, as if she almost forgot that the cord needed to be cut. There was no hurry.
- Mom and baby would like to do a belly crawl when the baby is ready and would like to start breastfeeding as soon as the baby is ready as well.
- To be honest, Mama and baby were both too exhausted that this never even came to mind. Baby did so good breastfeeding that there was never concern or need for any belly crawl. It wasn’t needed. Just rest and skin-to-skin time.
- Baby is to be checked for Lip or Tongue tie as soon as possible after birth to ensure the best latch and to take measures to a pediatric dentist to fix ties asap.
- Baby latched beautifully, her tongue was so long it was like a giraffe, and she wasn’t shy about showing it. It was easy to see and such a relief that she didn’t need anything clipped to help her eat.
Hospital Plan (this was for Emergency, but didn’t happen, hope this can help you if you are wanting a sample)
- Whatever the circumstance, when our baby is born she is always in the sight of Mom or Dad.
- Baby will receive skin to skin contact with either Mom or Dad immediately after birth.
- Baby will not be bathed or have vernix rubbed off of her until Mom and Dad bathe her.
- The Umbilical cord will not be clamped or cut until Mom or Dad give permission.
- Baby will not receive any medication or vaccinations unless approved by Mom or Dad.
- Baby girl will not be forced to cry, and will not have her nose suction bulbed when she emerges.
- Mom will deliver the placenta naturally and without a massage to the uterus. She chooses to have her uterus contract to its previous state naturally and through breastfeeding.
- Dad would like to be the first to diaper our baby girl, preferably with a cloth diaper.
- If Mom is hemorrhaging the use of Pitocin to ease bleeding is permissible.
- Mom and Dad would like a private room in the hospital, and to not have to stay overnight if it isn’t necessary.
- If an epidural is needed, Mom wishes it to be as low a dose as possible. Same with the use of Pitocin, always in moderation to assist birth, not stress baby and Mom out more or exhaust us more.
- If Mom and Baby are fine we would like to have the baby’s heart rate monitored intermittently rather than continuous electronic fetal monitoring.