41 Weeks – The Birth “Plan”

I barely made it to 41 weeks.  I didn’t end up taking a bump photo, or writing a Bumpdate. I did draft a post about my “Birth Plan” which I wanted to share along with some random thoughts about being 1 week overdue.

And some maternity photos… Thank you Ashley Eve Photography. We love them.
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41 WEEKS PREGNANT

1. You will soon find out just how many people are screening your calls on a daily basis. Seriously, EVERYONE picks up hoping for big news. More often than not, “Are you in labour?” is followed by, “I am in the middle of something…” and your back to playing the waiting game and watching crappy daytime TV.

2. “He’ll come when he’s ready.” Is the most bullshit thing you can say to an over due pregnant lady. “Ya, he will come when he’s ready, but if he doesn’t come by Wednesday, I am being induced… so… ???”

3. This last week was definitely the moodiest for me. My patience had just run out.

4. Expect to get no less than 20 messages a day asking for an update. “Is the baby here?” “Are you in labour?” While this seems so ridiculous (if the answer is yes I am probably not checking my phone…) remember, these people love you.

5. While you feel like you will be pregnant forever, you won’t be.

6. Add the following things to your hospital bag:

  • An entire pack of pads and new-born diapers (the hospital does not always supply them).
  • A new-born sleep sack of some sort. Unless you are a swaddle pro.
  • Scratch mittens

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THE BIRTH PLAN

I haven’t really talked much about my birth “plan”. I find I get REALLY defensive whenever it comes up in conversation. I have come to be somewhat passionate about natural child-birth. Midwifery is becoming more and more common, but is still wildly mis-understood.

Truth is, birth is a personal choice and ultimately you need to do whats best for you.

As soon as you label something as a “plan” it’s pretty much destined to fail. We focused more on our intentions; how we would like the experience to go, discussing possible scenarios and preferred actions and outcomes. I understand we need to be flexible and we will not be disappointed if things don’t go as planned. The ultimate goal is healthy mom and baby.

A few of my dear friends back home had amazing home birth experiences. The way they talked about birth wasn’t scary or traumatic. I watched a few documentaries (specifically, The Business of Being Born and Pregnant In America), I was sold. I wanted to experience natural child-birth. I believe in my body, it was literally made to do this.

Pain Management Preferences

Pain is a funny thing. There is no way to describe and compare it. It is different for everyone and if you haven’t experienced something for yourself it is really hard to imagine and prepare for what it will be like. I have no idea what to expect. I remember learning about an epidural in Grade 10 Biology and thinking, “no way I’m putting anything near my spinal cord, ever.” So that also aided in my choice to go med free.

The pre-natal classes we went to focused a lot on pain management and demonstrated a variety techniques for coping. We also practiced ways Jeff could get involved: massage, applying counter pressure, different position, physical and mental support strategies. It was extremely helpful and I am excited he will be so involved in the experience.

Home or Hospital?

I am so grateful to be going through this experience in a time when we have options. We are very lucky to be working with a midwife. If everything goes well, we have the option to deliver at home. We have been planning for a hospital birth but preparing for home. Ultimately I can’t plan how I will feel in the moment. I don’t know if I will feel more comfortable (emotionally) at the hospital or at home. If everything is going well, I want to know we have the option to stay home.  I am planning to labour at home for as long as possible. After that, it will be whatever feels best at the time.

Preparing for a Home Birth.

We won’t be getting a birthing pool. We did get a giant plastic tarp and a big ball to bounce on. My biggest concern about a home birth was the mess. I just didn’t want to deal with it. Turns out mid-wifes are pros and with the proper preparations, there shouldn’t be much mess for us to deal with at all.

Making the bed: Layers: fitted sheet, regular sheet, plastic sheet, (Jeff bought a paint tarp, Dexter style), old fitted sheet and old pillows. Once everything is done (if we give birth on the bed), the plastic sheet and old sheet is scooped up and thrown away. Replace the regular sheet with the duvet and bring back the clean pillows. Voila, clean King bed, big enough for four. Can’t forget Rose Nylund.

At our pre-natal class we practiced lots of different pushing positions and ways Jeff can provide counter pressure and support. We can take these new skills to the hospital as well.

Adapting

I am going into this pretty excited. I trust my body, my husband and my midwives. Since passing my due date I have started to think more about what will happen if I have to transfer care.

Wednesday I go for an Ultra Sound. If everything is good I will go again on 3 days later, and then 3 days later. If anything is even a little concerning (for example, low amniotic fluid) I will be sent to Labour and Delivery and transferred to an OB to be induced. This is not an ideal situation, but ultimately a healthy baby is more important than my natural  experience.

Hopefully I will be able to share my birth story shortly! Whatever happens, I will get to meet our baby boy very soon!


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