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The Best Laid Birth Plans

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You've been planning for months, you have your bag packed, and your birth plan is printed up and ready to go. Now what do you do if everything falls apart?

JamesGalwayNicoleKidman.jpg

The buzz around the Web is that Nicole Kidman plans to have the music of Irish flautist James Galway during the birth of her child with Keith Urban. While we're touched by the fact Nicole is planning a relaxed birthing atmosphere, we can't help but laugh, because when it comes to pushing the kid out, after working furiously to get that birth plan just right, you never know what might happen. Nicole, your assistant could forget to bring your James Galway--it could happen. Let us tell you... you'd be just fine. Baby would arrive, perfectly selected playlist or not.

The fact is, when it comes to birth, flexibility is key. ( And we're not talking about your birth canal!) Some of us hired doulas that ended up sititng in the waiting room while we got an emergency Caesarean. Others found video camera batteries were inexplicably dead, even though our husbands SWEAR they charged them.  And, of course,  there are those who found themselves forgetting all about the dream of a natural birth and screaming at the top of their lungs for an epidural.

It's best to just go with it because, honestly, if you can't handle your birth plan going awry, you going to have a hard time rolling with the unpredictability a child brings to your life.

Did your birth plan stay on track?


next: Oh, Baby, This is Not Easy!
10 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 2, 2008, 1:28 PM

I thought it’d be a great idea to go without the epidural when it was offered. After my water broke and I was hollaring in pain, I asked for the epidural. It then took the anesthesiologist 2 hours to get to me! My advice? When offered pain meds—take them. Forget the birth plan because after 24 hours of labor and pushsing for 2 1/2 hours, I had an emergency c-section. ha! I want to read the story about her throwing the CD player across the room and not wanting anyone to touch her. First time moms have no idea….

AnnHA! July 2, 2008, 1:41 PM

I was SOOOO prepared at my birth for everything- except what actually happened: a cesearean so much for the birthing class the breathing excercises the meditation skills. For some reason i didn’t know anything about a cesearean- didn’t read about it. nothing. I was so friggin’ scared. When the told me i’d be awake when they cut into me I freaked.

Anonymous July 2, 2008, 1:45 PM

I was so excited about meeting my child. Yes take the epidural and whatever other drugs they offer. Its is so much easier to be wel rested for pushing… if you spend hours laboring, then you have no strenght to push. Babies get stressed that way too!

Anonymous July 2, 2008, 1:46 PM

Birth plans are a joke among doctors and nurses… it’s amazing how much you think you have control before you actually have the kid.

Ida July 2, 2008, 2:22 PM

I think the idea of a birth plan is good, but in reality (at least mine) it turned out to be a useless joke. I was laughed at by an unempathetic L&D nurse when I did bring out my birth plan, who then had the nerve to tell me that my anxiety was making the pain worse…it turns out that this woman had no understanding of the birthing process, never had children…when they wheeled me into the OR for an emergency c-section, they discovered that the epidural was never inserted correctly — hence I was going through powerufl contractions without an ounce of pain relief! Anyways, long story short, have a generic game plan, but don’t be surprised if things don’t turn out the way you envision them…welcome to parenthood!

Jodi July 2, 2008, 2:48 PM

I did have a birth plan with my first and am glad that I did. It made me stop and think about all the possible choices that I might have to make and I was allowed to make them with time and clarity on my side, not in the heat of the moment.
My plan was not all about playlists or mood lighting either, but primarily about medical choices. Pain meds - didn’t even want them offered to me. Episiotomy - no thank you. Monitors - used as little as possible.
I was able to have a relaxed calm birth that I wanted. Sure everything doesn’t always go right, but it certainly goes right far more often than it goes wrong. Having a plan in place was a good thing for me.

birdsfly July 2, 2008, 3:29 PM

I had a general birth plan… which went completely out the window when I got up to use the RR one morning and my water broke. I got the epidural against my original plan because it was taking so long that I wanted to try to take a nap. The idea of completely opting out of an Episiotomy makes me cringe, things can tear! Owwie! Also my birth plan involve my husband being there and my MiL being anywhere else but an Iraq deployment and a pushy MiL can change that plan quick (my sis was supposed to sub for hubby but baby came early and she had finals).

Jamie July 3, 2008, 2:54 AM

I didn’t have a birth plan because I have homebirths. I’m pretty much the only mom I know who has had two great births and I attribute that to a supportive birthing environment. You can totally give birth without drugs! But I agree that it is harder in the hospital environment. I’m not so sure I could do it. The laboring woman mirrors her environment. If she’s surrounded by calm and trust and support she takes that inside and has the strength to labor. [BTW, pain meds don’t take stress away from the baby. They can actually cause fetal distress.] So the best birth plan? I don’t know, plan a homebirth!

Richard July 8, 2008, 9:43 PM

its not that hard to have a natural birth, myself and my wife did a lot of research and found the right advice beforehand.

the pain is a product of losing control and letting stress and nerves take over.

we nearly lost it towards the end, but pulled through and it was worth it.

what they dont tell you is the drugs and c-sections etc. cause a huge recovery time, whereas my wife came home the next day and took the dog for a walk.

dont believe the horror stories, you can do it. look into hypnobirthing and Mary Mongan for starters and there are plenty of others.

Natalie July 14, 2008, 5:18 PM

I totally agree with Jamie! I had a beautiful homebirth. Looking back, it would’ve been fun to try out music, because anything that relaxes you is good! Walking, making noise, and water- a warm bath was heaven during labor!

I think new moms should make a birth plan if they’re going to the hospital, not because they’ll listen (they probably won’t) but because it will help you to be well informed before you get in there!


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