Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Birth "plan"

Since my post about going med-free got so many responses about being open to change or things not going as planned I thought you all deserved an update.

For those of you who don't know Bradley classes are 2.5 hours long once a week for 12 weeks, yes 12 weeks. In those 12 weeks we cover everything from nutrition to stages of birth to labor techniques to info on interventions (pitocin, water bag breaking, all the way to c-section).

I have had three classes so far and already am amazed at how little I will be able to "plan" surrounding the birth of my baby. I am realizing that birth is going to a lot like parenting will be. Both of them will be like playing a hard card game: you can chose how to play the cards you are dealt, but you don't get to chose the cards, AND every 5 seconds a stretching BEEP is going to go off in your head to ruin your concentration. In the case of labor you are also going to be an emotional mess.

To be honest it doesn't sound like much fun, and a csection does sound a hell of a lot easier BUT I also know my body was meant to do this. Generations of women have done this before me and I look forward to pushing my body to the edge of it's limit and seeing what I am capable off. Of course the moment my baby is in trouble we will do what ever necessary to have a healthy baby. I always feel like that goes without saying. I would NEVER NEVER do anything harmful to this baby, but isn't that also why I don't want the interventions.

What I don't think my last post on the subject conveyed to my readers is that I am well aware of both sides of this debate over natural births. I am well aware that we have interventions to save lives of both the mother and the child, and I am also aware that those interventions are at times used for convince rather than medical necessity. This is why I think education about labor and interventions is so important. I would never expect to learn the same amount of info in 12 weeks of class than a Dr does in school, residency and possibly years on the job. But I also would never receive any treatment by a Dr without research first. In labor there will be no time for research, and so the research must begin now.

For me empowerment = education and I want to feel empowered by the birth of my child. I don't want to be scared during labor and delivery, I want to know what is going on, to know what is happening inside me and outside of me. If I am all drugged up how will I hear what my body is telling me is going on? I need to be as aware as possible during it so that I can focus on what needs to happen.

I am looking forward to preparing a birth plan that will fly out the window the moment the roller coaster takes off. I look forward to the roller coaster and that when the ride stops my life will have forever changed and I will be a mom.


~Jess said...

I'm right there with you. I want to experience child birth, not be doped up through it, but the well being of the child is my priority.

Have you watched the business of being born? They talk quite a bit on that about how doctor's make major medical decisions (c-sections, pytocin) out of convenience, not necessity.

My biggest fear is them putting me on pytocin and forcing me to push and tearing.

I think it's good to have a birth plan and the bradley classes sound wonderful.

nora said...

good for you ariella :)
of course i hope everything goes according to your birthplan, but it is so important to know that everything can change at the drop of a hat, and you will be okay with what is best for baby and you! by doing research and being informed, YOU know a little bit more about what is best :)

Stephanie said...

I think that it is good to have a birth plan. I have found myself terrified of labor my whole life, but I thought just what you said - look at all the women who have gone through it before me. I hope that you can deliver just how you plan to without any interventions.

Diana said...

I am looking forward to reading your birth plan!
Here is a link to mine in case you want to copy any of it. I also did the Bradley classes and it was created with everything I learned. Sadly I didn't get to use much of it but I would be very happy for you if you could!

Heather said...

Just found your blog today and I wanted to pop by and let you know that you are doing the right thing getting as educated as you can, so that decisions will be easier to make as you are in labor.

I will tell you that I was able to experience a pain-med free birth and it was the most wonderful experience of my life. I still feel like a powerful woman because I was able to do this. I only say it was pain-med free, as I did have to get put on pitocin. My water broke 4 weeks early and I think when that happens, your body decides to change it's mind part way through - but it's not allowed to after your water breaks, LOL! Anyway, when I did my breathing exercises I had a focus point which was my DH's eyes. It sounds corny, but he really helped me focus by having us both stare into each other's eyes during some really bad contractions.

Wishing you lots of luck!

mischievium said...

Semi-long time reader, first-time commenter here--

I found your blog awhile back through a string of various blogs about infertility. My husband and I ended up needing to do IUI w/ clomid and HCG trigger to conceive (although we were told it that we would probably need IVF w/ ICSI and that we could try IUI first because we were "young" and "had time," but I digress).

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in here to say: good for you. I kind of come at birth from both angles. Natural birth and minimal interventions resonate very strongly with me, but I've also been a NICU nurse for 4 years and spent a few months in L&D. I fully believe the best anyone can do is plan for success (like researching interventions and finding ways ahead of time to cope with pain without meds) and make educated compromises when needed. I, personally, am planning a midwife attended birth at a freestanding birth center because I feel that it is the safest choice (obviously, we will transfer to the hospital next door, if need be).

I've been a long time member of the message board at ( and, while there are moms on all ends of the spectrum as far as birth goes, it is generally a very supportive community for women seeking a natural birth. The "I'm Pregnant" ( section might be a helpful place for you to check out as you continue to prepare for the arrival of your long awaited little one.

I promise, they're not paying me to link to their forums :o), I just thought you might find the info and support there helpful.

Good Luck!