Ever since I was at my niece's birth in 2005 I've been thinking about the perfect birth: where I want it, who I want there, how I see the day going, things I would like to be done/not done, noise level, lights...
How soon is too soon to get that prepared. When did you ladies write up your birth plan?
I don't want a birth plan to set out rules to follow... I more just want one to help me invision how the day will go. I have a fairly good idea of what will go on, but having never given birth myself this is a whole new world for me.
Did you ladies do any kind of envisioning of your day, and for those BTDT how did your "vision" play out to the actual event? Did it help that you pictured and planned the birth before hand instead of going in blind?
I think it's great to have an idea of what you want- and for that, it is never too soon. Heck I'm 6 weeks along and I'm already planning.
That said, you need to leave a lot of flexibility in your plans. Birth isn't a very controllable process and odds are very high there will be deviations from your plan. I think the only thing I would change about my first birth was to have fewer expectations of how it would go- you got to just roll with what happens.
While envisioning your perfect birth scenario, I'd say always include a few "but if ___ happens, that's ok, I'll just ____". If so-and-so can't make it, if labor takes a LONG time, if (heaven forbid) I need certain interventions, if I end up having to birth under bright lights with a crowd of doctors and nurses... so long as you're making informed choices through the process, really any situation that brings about a healthy baby/mommy is going to be good. I'm not saying you're doing this, but make sure you don't set yourself up with a plan that you'll be disappointed in if it isn't achieved. Preparation goes a long way but so does adaptability.
I wrote mine around 30 weeks probably- because it was part of my NCB class homework. I wrote it once I felt like I had learned enough (through those classes) about all kinds of things to write it.
That said, I agree that it's never really too soon to start envisioning how you'd like your labor to go...but yeah... to be flexible.
I haven't given birth yet, but, am hoping that having written the birth plan makes a difference in a good way.
Mara & Joel, 2009
I think anytime is a great time, that way you aren't stressed at the end and possibly forgetting stuff. You can always add to/edit your plan as you go along and think of things.
DD1- July 2004
DD2- April 2006
DS1- December 2009
DS2- August 2011
Well, I think it's never too early to start in terms of knowing enough to make sure that you are with a care provider who is appropriate for and supportive of what you want! My BC has us bring in a written up plan at 36 weeks, and there's a lot of little details I'm just researching now for that, but the big stuff I've known since before I was even pg and ended up switching providers when it became clear I was going to have to fight my OB for a lot of it. For example, delayed cord clamping, water birth, no episiotomy, etc.
I never had a birthplan with DD, and also never visualized how everything would go. I think I was at a huge disadvantage because of that. I didn't know how else to relate it until I started running long distances. Before, during, and after a run, it helps significantly to visualize what you want to accomplish, see the finish line, and talk positively to yourself. If I go into a long run thinking, "I can't do this, I'm tired today, my legs hurt," etc, then about 99% of the time I will not complete the run. Likewise, if I go in with no goal in sight, or no idea of how things are going to progress, then I promise you I will not run as far as I could have if I had a plan. Affirmations are also very important to running and to childbirth.
That being said, after DD I began to gather ideas and thoughts regarding my birthplan. I have notes written here and there, and sometime in the next couple of months I will put it all together. I don't think it is ever to soon to start collecting your thoughts.
I would also recommend covering all your bases just in case. Talk to your DH about what you are going to do, how you will feel, etc if something does not go according to plan. For instance, DH and I had the conversation the other night about what were the circumstances in which I would immediately agree to a c/s? I came up with a list like placenta previa, baby in severe distress, etc. I know in those circumstances that mine and babe's life may depend on it. But things like being breech, are things that can be discussed further. These aren't all things that need to go in your plan (unless you want), but I feel so much more prepared now that we have covered almost every possible situation.
I went in with DD thinking, "well this is a natural progress, I got this!" I did no preparation (other than hospital CB classes ), and did not prepare mentally. Then when things went drastically different than my "non-plan", I was scared, unprepared, and devastated.
I think it's great that you are preparing already. I visualize my birthing day every day. I think of the time, environment, lighting, noises, what my body feels like, etc. The mind is truly a powerful thing, and I believe that it does not get enough credit a lot of the times.
Ariel & John: Military Family since May 17, 2006
Sylvia: 12/18/08, Justus: 9/17/10, Bunni: 5/11/12, Surprise Baby: Guess Date 11/5/13
I don't think it's ever too early to start. You'll probably end up making a lot of revisions as you go, so why not start now?
My birth plan was kind of moot. It was mostly a bunch of "please don't do this unnecessary procedure and that unnecessary procedure" which when I talked it over with my mw's they don't do anyway.
Next time I'll focus more on the atmosphere I'd like. For example, I envisioned having lots of candlelight, but I never put it down in writing, and guess what I didn't have? lol I also want to make points about keeping coaching to a minimum (because it drove me nuts when people tried to tell me what to do, but I was too inwardly focused to be able to tell them to shut up).
Sorry, went on a bit of a tangent. LOL
Oh, I'd also mention that I would like to have the birthing ball as an option to try. Again, didn't put it down in writing, and when I was in labour I completely forgot I even own one and no one thought to mention it.
Ok, so long story short, I think that if you have a vision of what you'd like your birth to be, that would be a great place to start. If you want specific people attending, specific jobs done, specific mood enhancers used, put all that down.
Also, if there are any interventions that you do want, then put that down too. That sounds weird, but for example I'll be asking for the pit shot as soon as the baby is born. Last time I asked for it not to be given unless necessary, and it was necessary. So for me, I know that having the shot sooner rather than waiting will be to my benefit. So that kind of thing. Though I guess without btdt you might not have anything that you know will benefit you.
Last edited by MamaArty_RMT; 04-23-2010 at 09:40 PM.
I agree that it is probably never too early to start thinking about it. A lot of women start deciding what they want too late. This happened to me in my 1st pregnancy, resulting in a change of providers and birth locations at 34 weeks and me feeling like I wasn't prepared for the kind of birth I wanted. My second pregnancy I started planning for the birth very early (really, before I got pregnant).
I did the Hypnobabies homestudy and it recommends doing birth visualizations. I tried to do this, but found it difficult to not have my thoughts wander before the end because I always wanted to include too much detail and it took a long time to think it all. Details that were not really important--such as the time of day, what I did during early labor, etc. didn't hold true for the birth, but things that I thought were important like my DH being around (and not at work) when things got intense, laboring in a tub and on a birth ball, getting to the hospital at 8 cm, my water not breaking until late in labor--these things all happened. I was a few hours off on how long it would be (thought it would be shorter) and I had a really hard time visualizing myself pushing--I didn't know what it would be like because my first birth was with an epidural. Pushing ended up being a very difficult part of the birth for me, and I wonder if not being able to visualize it might have played a role in that?
I also did some journaling earlier in my pregnancy about what I wanted for the birth and worked through some emotions. I think that was helpful for me to prepare, too.
LOTS of great advice for you, Al!!! Yeah it's never too early to start. And definitely envision the birth. Be it your ideal birth, or what you feel might happen, or how you'd like it to go. Maybe toss in some different scenarios to imagine how you might react.
I have been envisioning this birth since I got pregnant. It's my favourite thing to do before I fall asleep.
Get something done in rough and post it!!! I'd love to see your take on the birth of your baby!
Thank you ladies so much. These are all very helpful. I like to picture how my perfect birth will go, but at the same time I know things can happen and change the plan.
I'll put down what (right now) seems like the ideal birth. I don't know how that'll change over the next 4 months, but we'll see.
I do like to picture myself birthing in other places around my house, just to see how I would do there. Or how things would be if I had to hospital transfer (for whatever reason), who would come with us, because I'd want someone with myself and with my baby the whole time, so I would need 2 people... and what if DH is totally passed out somewhere (a possibility.. I have NO clue how he's going to react! haha)!!