My Birth Plan – The Second Time Around

With my first pregnancy, I never got around to drafting a birth plan. I definitely took the childbirth classes with my hubby, which we enjoyed going to because we viewed it as the last time we would do anything alone as a couple. But as far as a birth plan, I was not too keen on setting a plan in stone because:

1. I thought I knew what I was doing. I kept thinking to myself, “Women have been giving birth for thousands of years.  I got this.”

2. I am a very go with the flow kind of person. I had everything I learned in class tucked in my brain and practiced breathing exercises 9 million times. I would instinctively know how to get through each contraction, breathe calmly, while gently rocking on a birthing ball until baby girl was ready to enter this glorious world.

Then I went into labor and all hell broke loose. I was induced with Pitocin which is often described as contractions on steroids and then the BACK LABOR hit. That hurts like a b*tch. I had every medical intervention known to womankind.

Here’s what you would have heard me say in the birthing room about an hour after I was induced:

Stadol? Yes, please!!!

Pitocin? If it will help move labor along, bring it!

Where is the anesthesiologist with my epidural?!?!

Thank you Mr. Anesthesiologist, I LOVE you!  Please come back every couple of hours.  Thanks.

In the end, my beautiful, healthy daughter was delivered via c-section. I do not have any regrets about how it all went down. But one thing I do recall feeling is a lack of empowerment. So this time, I am opting out of the scheduled c-section, not because I have any strong opposition against them, but because for some reason I like to torture myself and take the difficult road in life. Just kidding. I just want to have a different birth experience. There were so many factors that I didn’t know about three years ago that may have led to a different outcome. There are so many things I know now that could lead to a very different labor and delivery. With knowledge, comes empowerment. To do this successfully, I need some sort of plan of action.


This is how I felt the first-time around. But maybe some sort of plan is what I need to get what I want!

Here are some things we are doing differently:

*I got a doula this time around. She’s pretty awesome. Hopefully her calm, soothing demeanor will keep me from losing my shit patience.

*I’m taking another childbirth class with my husband. But this time I’m doing it from home via a skype-like computer app.  It’s very convenient and we don’t have to worry about childcare for our daughter.  However, without fail, she decides to jump into our laps to watch the birth video portion of the show, especially the part where baby is crowning. We try to shield her eyes, but we cannot hide the mother’s wailing. Then she always asks me why the mommy is screaming and I always tell her it’s not screaming, she’s just happy because of the new baby…or something to that effect.

* My husband is taking on a bigger role.  Our classes are centered just as much on turning dads into strong coaches as they are about getting mamas ready to birth.  I also promised my husband that this time he will be fed.  I plan to have many chicken parm grinders from Franklin Giant on hand (for him and me for when I get hungry from all that walking, meditating , and maneuvering on the birth ball that I plan on doing).  I didn’t realize how tough labor and delivery can be on a dad, until I looked back on our photos.  My poor hubs looked haggard and banged up.  Hopefully we can avoid that this time.

*I will not be wedded to the idea of one specific outcome.  As much as I am planning and hoping for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), I will not be disappointed if it doesn’t work out that way.  Healthy, living baby, and healthy, living mama are most important.  But I do plan to ask a ton of questions of my hospital staff and I will not be afraid of the process – I will finally feel empowered – no matter what the outcome!

How different were your labor experiences?  Did you follow your birth plan?


12 thoughts on “My Birth Plan – The Second Time Around

  1. I had a birth plan and a doula and wanted to aim for as natural as possible…I expected that things wouldn’t go exactly as I wanted them to, but did it ever not go that way — my water broke, precipitous labor followed, the doula had to meet us at the hospital because things went so fast, then I had an emergency c-section under general anethesia because baby’s heart rate was so low. I joke that my labor was completely natural (9 cm!) up until the emergency c-section, ha! The next time around I’m going to go for a VBAC (and if I have to have a c-section, so be it, but hopefully I’ll be awake for it!). I did do amazingly well/was extremely lucky with breast-feeding (still going 16 months later), so that part of the plan worked at least.

  2. It’s after having the baby that you need a plan for ! I had my third child in August and the entire hospital stay, people would parade in and out if my room every 15 minutes. I finally told the nursing staff to leave me alone for a few hours because I couldn’t get any sleep!

    1. The same thing happened to me! I was in this teeny, tiny recovery room and people kept coming in and out for what seemed like every 10 minutes. It was so stressful and I ended up leaving a few hours earlier the day I was set for discharge because I had to get out of the hospital! I am glad you said something, because I plan to this time around too. I didn’t cover it in my post, but the other part of feeling more empowered is knowing when (and how to tell) staff and other well-meaning visitors that you need space after the birth. Thanks for bringing that up.

  3. oo i was one of those, “Get this baby out as fast and as safely as possible.” I really was up for the safest route for me and the baby. I had great outcomes with both, and i trusted in my doctors and nurses. In the moment i was definitely like WOAH- even the second time around- it’s a very crazy and fast paced scene in that delivery room!!

    1. Safety is a #1 priority for me too! I feel good about the team I’ve got so I have faith things will go the way they are meant to happen. Wish me luck!

  4. I don’t have a birth plan, I have birth “hopes”- I’d like to avoid an epidural, but I want the anaesthesiologist ready for when I change my mind. And I hope I don’t need to be induced. But I’m getting so much criticism for not planning, mostly from people who have never given birth! My husband and I feel good about this after our birthing class, I’m so glad he’s so supportive. I just don’t see the point of agonizing over the perfect birth plan when it may all go out the window anyway!
    And my due date was yesterday, so my OB is throwing around “let’s schedule an induction!” and I’m disappointed. Hopefully we won’t last until the induction date.

    1. Congrats! And good luck – I am keeping my fingers crossed that your baby will come soon. I love your phrase “birth hopes” rather than a plan because you are so right, it may all go out the window once labor hits. I did find it very helpful though for me just to write out a few specific points (like I did here for the world to read) and not get too caught up in the details of a very long and drawn out plan. I do know a little more in hindsight, so that’s why I am writing out my “birth hopes” to make things much different this time. It sounds like you and your husband are ready to go, so don’t worry what others say! Again, best of luck!

  5. I was like you, go with the flow and trust the professionals to get the baby here. Luckily I was at a hospital that I really really liked with nurses that I loved. I had a long labor and especially long pushing (so close to C-section). I got an epidural even though I had planned not to. And then the second time around I had NO guilt around the epidural. Back labor both times – it’s awful!

    1. I will be at your hospital, too. It’s the same one I had my daughter at 3 years ago. Hopefully it will go as well as yours. And I am not going to poo-poo the epidural entirely. If I need it, they better BRING it! Lol.

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