When I decided to become a single mom, I planned everything out clearly. My father always taught me that when you fail to plan you plan to fail.
I have all intentions on being a good mom. I know kids don't come with a manual, but in the areas that I do have some control, I'm on it :)
For starter I have a Birthing plan. I have wonderful family and friends to be with me on delivery day and throughout my child's life, but lets start from the beginning, shall we?
Desi's Birthing Plan
NOTE: Please don't be offended when you read this -
- Continuous IV or IV heplock: For the love of God, just put one in. I will not whine about it. Draw all the blood you need or want.
- : Make sure the baby [heart rate] is reactive. If I wish to ambulate, go ahead and use portable monitors. I will stay close to my room (or wheelchair alcove) so I don't go out of range and you have to hunt me down like a lost puppy. If you're good with only intermittent monitoring, so am I. Any whopping decels, put in internals [ ]-just let me know ahead of time. If you plan on putting in one internal monitor, just put them both [heart rate and contraction pressure] in. This will be easier on us all.
- AROM [assisted rupture of membranes]: If I need it, do it. Please have lots and lots of bed pads. I will change them as I need to because I know it can get nasty quickly. I would love a stack of big peri pads and mesh underwear to change often if I wish to ambulate. I don't want that junk dribbling down my legs.
- Augmentation [making labor stronger]: I'm up for it if I don't make ANY change over 2 hours. I would prefer AROM first if I haven't already ruptured. If that doesn't work, nipple stimulation would be great. Just give them a tug every once in a while. Just kidding. No man-handling of the boobs. Pitocin is just fine. Give my body a good fighting chance first, though.
- Exams: Check me as often as you think is necessary. Or less often if that's better. Whatever you want to do.
- Foley vs. Straight cath [to empty bladder]: If I have an epidural and need to be cathed, please just put a foley [indwelling catheter] in. It saves me a little bit of dignity, and it's easier on you. Obviously, if I'm being cathed right before delivery, straight cath is just fine.
- Pain relief: Trying to go NCB [natural childbirth], but I realize that I'm a wimp. I would like to ambulate, get in the shower, and sit on the birthing ball. Please sterilize the ball first. No way would I ever request getting in the tub. If I eventually ask for an epidural (or straight off the elevator) try to convince me that I don't need it. If I give you the evil eye, just call anesthesia. I don't care who places it, just make sure they do it quickly.
- Students: I'll get back to you on this one.
- Residents: If I like you, feel free to join the party. Depending how much pain I'm in, I will be very blunt if I don't want you in . If I haven't met you before (or have had only limited contact with you), introduce yourself and try to win me over.
- Attendings: Please just tell me your opinions and thoughts in front of me. If you think I need something, let me know instead of keeping me in the dark. I'm a big girl, I can handle it.
- Vaginal Delivery vs. C/Section: Vag delivery is the goal. Unassisted would be great. If I have an epidural and am not feeling the urge to push, let me labor down until I feel something. I would rather not push for hours upon hours, but I do understand that we can't wait forever either. If I push for a long time, I'll let you know if I'm up for vacuum, forceps (if the head's low enough), or c/section. I would prefer forceps first, but I understand some people are not comfortable using them. Vacuum would be the second choice, and I have brought a Dyson from home to assist (they never lose suction).
- Cesarean Section: Obviously, c/section is bottom of the barrel. Of course, if baby is breech, in distress, if I fail to progress or descend, I understand c/section is the only way to go. Be gentle, make sure I'm nice and numb, and be careful not to nick anything important. That's all I ask. No staples. I think they are the lazy way out of a c/section.
- Episiotomy: Don't really want one. If you think my butt's going to split opArticleen if I don't have one, by all means, cut away. If there's enough time before and I'm still going NCB, do me a favor and numb the area first.
- Enemas and shaving of the pubic region: I understand that for the last decades we don't do these anymore, but every birth plan still includes them, so I didn't want to deviate from everyone else. No enema. If I poop, I poop. I'm sorry. I know it's disgusting. I'll try my best not to do it. If I do, just try to wipe it away without gagging in front of me, and keep some spray handy so I don't stink up the entire floor. That would be so embarrassing.
- Shaving. I think I've done a fairly good job staying trimmed up. Don't tell me if I've missed a spot or that I have the most bumps you've ever seen. It's hard to see what's going on down there, so be happy that I tried at all. If you've ever given birth, you know what I'm talking about.
- Once the baby is out: Hold the crotch area up so that my Bestie/Sister Yolanda can announce the sex. Don't laugh if she fumbles or get's it wrong. Even if my little boo doesn't look good and has any mec [meconium], I would like him/her up on my chest for exactly 12 minutes. I'm just kidding. I just want him/her long enough to see what he/she actually looks like. I do not expect the baby nurse to do the entire assessment while the baby is latched onto the boob. I would like my Bestie/Sister Yolanda to cut the cord. You do not have to wait until the cord stops pulsating. I couldn't care less about this. If my baby looks crappy, feel free to cut away and send him/her over to the warmer. Once there, if my Bestie/Sister Yolanda is able to at least trim the cord, we'd be cool with that.
- Cord blood donation: No private donation.I would like to do public donation if I deliver when the people are in house. They don't even have to ask, just take it.
- Video Recording: Not an issue, we're not even bringing the camcorder. And hospitals don't usually allow them anyway.
- K and erythromycin: Give it.
- Breastfeeding: I'm going to give it a go. This is the only thing that I REALLY want to accomplish. Please give me any words of wisdom and encouragement that you have.
- Circumcision: If the baby is a boy, whack away. Just make it tidy. I don't want my son with a botched penis. I would never forgive myself.
- Visitors: The only I want in the room (besides all of those caring for me) is my Mother and my Bestie/Sister Yolanda. If family comes up to the floor, you have my blessing to send them away. Because my dad is extremely squeemish, I seriously doubt he'll be peaking in, but my brother Al is NOSEY and will most likely have a camera, so please guard the door. All my family and friends have been informed of this, and they are well aware that I may be in labor for a long time. When they need an update, we will give them an update. If I change my mind and want additional people in the room, I will let them know. You should not feel obligated to keep track of them. Let me know if they get annoying so that I can yell at them after I deliver.
- Eating: I know I am not supposed to eat solids in labor. If I want to sneak a little bit of food, I will. I just won't tell you about it. Don't hate me. If anything else comes up that is not touched upon here, just ask. I just want a healthy baby and to be a healthy, happy mom. I can't wait for everyone to meet this munchkin. They've been looking forward to this as much as I have. I love them all and make sure everyone gets the chance to read this birth plan. It may be the only one that makes sense to me.