27 February 2012

my birth plan? kinda.

Are you guys so sick of reading about pregnancy, birth and babies yet?? I told you was going to start talking about it more! Thanks for stickin' with me :-)

Okay so onwards we go --

When I was pregnant with Bennett, I really really wanted to have a natural childbirth. (you can read a little about my feelings on that at the bottom of this old post). I had a very specific "birth plan" all laid out, and I was gonna stick to it. I felt strongly, no wait, I still feel strongly that as women, we ARE capable of having a natural childbith, drug free.

...................
Those of you that don't know my birth story, here is the jist:

Water broke at midnight, contractions started shortly after. Per my "birth plan", I made it 9 hours into labor, all the way up to transition with out any drugs. At that point, Bennett wasn't dropping like he needed to. Why? Because he was posterior, or as most people say, he was sunny-side up. Which means that the largest part of his head was clunking down into my pelvis and in turn, that was preventing any progression. Thus, my labor was taking a little longer than it should have. So it was at this point that I decided to get an epidural, knowing full well that I would have to push a lot longer to get this baby out since he was "stuck" in my pelvis.

Long story short. My epidural failed. So as I approached being 10cm dilated, I knew I was in for it. SO. Much. PAIN.

2 hours into the "pushing phase", this kid was not coming out on his own. So... one episiotomy, a vacuum extraction attempt, another hour later & the threat of a c-section... I finally managed to get my 8.3lb baby out!!

So even though in the end, I ended up delivering him with virtually no drugs, the truth is that I WANTED THEM! Feeling ALL of that pain was ridiculous. However, looking back on it now, I am glad I went through that experience because it really made me appreciate labor/delivery.
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My point here is that labor is unpredictable. There was no way for me to know that I was going to be delivering a posterior baby. There was no way for me to know that the Epidural wouldn't work. What if I had gotten it sooner? Would we have had time to administer another one perhaps? One that would work? Who knows.


So my birth plan this time? :: Go with the flow.

If my labor goes smoothly (fingers crossed!), I'm progressing quickly and the baby is anterior (face-down) the way he's supposed to be... I think I could deliver without any drugs. I mean heck, I already did that once so I could do it again.

BUT - if it's anything like with Bennett. I'm all for the epidural. And this time? I am not waiting so long! :) I have come to accept that although we may have plans, we need to remain open to things unknown. Things that we don't have control over. And it's OK to go against our plan. It really is.

How about you? Did you have a birth plan? Did you stick to it?

39 comments:

Chelsea Thom said...

Oh my goodness! That sounds like a crazy labor-- I'm so sorry you had to go through all that pain. I know us women are built to handle that, but still, that sounds so intense! I made a birth plan to put off pain intervention for as long as possible, but I had never been through pain like labor pains in my entire life. So as soon as I got to the hospital I ordered my epidural (I had been walking around at 4cm for weeks already) and slept the rest of the day away! Now that's my kind of "labor" ;) Cory reminded me of my birth plan as soon as the words "epidural" came out of my mouth, but I told him to shove it! I Wasn't putting up with anymore pain! Haha

Actuarymom said...

That is the best birth plan!! I hate it when I hear really specific plans because I know things are so unpredictable.

jenni from the blog said...

My birth plan is (and was with my other two as well): Go into labor (via induction or otherwise), get epidural, hang out for a bit, push out a monster baby, eat lunch. ;)

I'm totally go with the flow, roll with the punches when it comes to labor.  It's so unpredictable and I'm not going to tie myself down to a specific birth plan that I know won't happen.  I'd rather go in there with a few wishes and hope for the best, but trust that I will make the best decision needed in the moment in order to get a healthy baby in the end.  After all, that's what it's all about :)

a happy mamma said...

i never had a birth plan because i knew if i did and it didn't go as expected i would have been so upset with myself.  i didn't want my first birth experience to be one i was disappointed with myself over.  you're cooking up a great plan :)

Meg @ Beauty&theBanker said...

I too wanted to go all natural. I wasn't opposed to the epidural I just wanted to give it a go without one. BUT after twenty four hours of labor, knowing I still had at least a few more hours to go, I got one. It was a beautiful thing! I was able to enjoy my labor after that and really soak in what was going on without being blinded by pain. It wore off as I was pushing but I was so focused by that point it didn't matter.

Next time, I will get one sooner. 

The go with the flow plan is the best thing you can do for yourself because you're right, you never know what surprises labor will bring you!

Katie McKenzie said...

Thats exactly how I was with my baby this past december...go with the flow. I was in intense labor for 36 hours and wouldn't have made it without the epidural. I was exhausted from the pain- but it did wear off when it was time to actually deliver, so I did get to experience the pain, which I'm okay with. I realized that whatever happened was not in my control- so I just took it as it came, one contraction at a time. Good luck!!

Ambrosia said...

My birth plan with all 3 of my boys was to not get an epidural no matter what! {Unless necessary for medical reasons like a c~section, etc.} My reason behind that was because I had heard of the possible long term side effects, like migraines. So I had all 3 of my kids naturally. It was a lot less hard for me though because my labors never lasted longer than 5 hours from 1st contraction to delivery, and I never pushed longer than 20 minutes. {First boy: 5 hours of labor total, 20 minutes of pushing; second boy: 4.5 hours of labor total with 10 minutes of pushing; third boy: 3 hours of labor with only 2 pushes.} I was so grateful that I was able to go through labor quickly with each one and that everything went great. But 1 year after my last boy was born I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, and had to have a hysterectomy...little did I know that for abdominal surgeries like that one, they give an epidural before they begin. I was TERRIFIED! I sobbed the entire time they were administering it...and guess what...ever since then, I suffer migraines :/ Go figure!

If I had gone through the kind of labor you went through though, who knows, I may have been whistling a different tune about getting drugs! You're a champ Mandy! I hope this labor and delivery is much easier for you! <3

Kara @ Just1Step said...

My labor with Krew was really similar to yours with Bennett.  Although when I finally got the epidural after stalling in transition, it actually worked.  And it was GLORIOUS.  So this time, I WILL be getting the epidural much sooner than I did with Krew.  You totally have my support if you decide to do the same. :)

Erin said...

Oh my goodness what a birth story! My epidural also failed, and yo are the first person I've ever heard this happen to as well!! Honestly, they offered me another a couple hours later. I refused and then a couple more hours later I told them heck yes, bring it on!

I think go with the flow is a great idea!

Alissa said...

I had a 'see how it goes' plan. I wasn't going to decide much before, beacause like you said - things happen. I do know what it's like being fully dilated without drugs and having weight slamming down on your pelvis...it was painful. My kids weren't that big though so I think I have an idea what a fullterm baby would be. If it weren't for the emotion of the situation, I could have delivered without drugs. If there is a next time, I will do whatever I feel I want in that moment. As should you.

Andie Zimmerman said...

I had one and it involved drugs...and lots of them!  With Landon there wasn't any issues of "maybe" not getting them.  I got them and I was happy.  Of course, they always give the minimum because they want you to feel the contractions for pushing.  With Liam?  I almost had to say bye-bye to the idea because I was moving so fast.  But, with persistent nurses and one freaked out husband, I was able to get the epidural with Liam as well.  I have a high tolerance for pain, and I think it's wonderful if a woman can get through it, but I just couldn't bring myself to make that decision.  It was bad enough with a little drugs in my system.  Ouch!  I hope all goes well.

nicole said...

i had a birth plan (the second time around) which consisted of drugs 100%. i had already done it once natural... and the second time around, i figured hey if i can spare myself a little agony... why not. 

obviously that failed. cannot plan a birth. hour and a half after my water broke, my little ball of energy was staring me right in the face. i BEGGED for drugs. they laughed and told me if i just stopped asking, i would already have a baby. 

fine. whatever. 

my point here was... i did a little research when "planning" braedens birth.. you should look into an "walking epidural". 

in the end... its all worth it ;)

Chelsea @The Curly Cues said...

I think going with the flow is the best birth plan you can have. Know what you prefer in certain situations and things that you are definitely not ok with and then just see what happens. That was kind of my plan last time and I ended up being really happy with my labor and delivery. We never know what things will come up so having an open mind is much less stressful in my opinion.

Heleen Kelly said...

I had a simple birth plan: have my son vaginally with only an epidural if I needed, no other drugs. Needless to say that failed. My son's head was too big to fit, so he wouldn't progress and every time they tried pitocin to get his head down, his heartrate would drop...so C section it was. I was so upset, but he's healthy and that's all I could ask for.

Amanda M. said...

Both of my boys were born posterior. I delivered all three of my kids with no drugs - not because I wanted to, but because it all happened so fast! I like your plan - go with the flow. Every birth is different. You'll do great!

dreamsandajourney said...

My baby boy weighed exactly the same. I worked up till the day I delivered and I moved 8 months preggo across a couple a states... so the entire pregnancy I did have time to get caught up in planning if you know what I mean... I didn't even go to one class or read one book about anything haha. From the get-go I knew I wanted to go with the flow and I felt God would tune me in and get me through every step. I was going to go ask long as I could without drugs and I did... I labored at home 3 hours got to the hospital at 2am had contractions every 5minutes since 11pm that night before till 11am next morning -kid you not! It was INTENSE. The doctor kept telling me this lil guy was just taking his long dandy time and that he wouldn't probably come till later that night... wow. So I kept in there and although it hurt like heck (I have always handled pain well weird enough) I was in for the long haul... UNTIL... I heard the worst screaming screeching I have ever heard in my life (like out of a movie horrific!) coming from not even next door but down the hall! It absolutely did a number on both me and my hubby... FREAKED me out... and after about another hour of crazy pain -I said forget it... if that's what going natural might be like... no -no -no... I want to remember and enjoy this first birth. I got an epidural... slept quite awhile, laughed, slept some more and when it was go time -I was all there in the moment and it was the most incredible thing I've ever experienced! I had zero pain and yet I could totally feel myself pushing -I don't know how to explain it but it was perfect and he was out in 20minutes after my first push (don't forget I labored FOREVER oy oy) and one of the first things out of my mouth after the delivery was -"wow, well heck I'm ready for baby number two -that was nothing..." haha. I very well know it might not go like that again! I have SOOOO much respect and I'm truly in awe of women that go natural -wow wow wow... and I also completely get why women use the drugs. :) My dream would be if able... to have a home water birth WITH an epidural hehe ;)  You are my hero. 

dreamsandajourney.blogspot.com

Carolyn said...

I totally agree! You have to be open to the unknown because you have no idea how it's all going to go down.  We all wish that it goes somewhat as planned.  I didn't have a birth plan for my first (I was 20 and didn't put to much thought into it)  I did have a plan with my second and my third but it was mainly more of "what I don't want"  For sure I didn't want that drug "Demerol" I had it with my first and did not like it.  It spaced me out, all I wanted to do was sleep even after my baby was born.  I felt out of it.  It almost felt like I didn't appreciate her birth because all I wanted to do was rest and go to sleep.  I did not like it, AT ALL. So that was pretty much my plan for my 2nd and 3rd baby.  


P.S. I hate epidurals!!  Didn't work for me either (3rd time) but that's a whole another story.

Jessica said...

I didn't go in with an actual birth plan. I'm more of a go with the flow kind of person. I knew that I wanted an epidural though. That's one thing I knew for a fact before ever going into the hospital. I didn't actually get to experience my water breaking on its own though. We had an appointment with my doctor like normal and we did everything we normally did at the appointments. They checked my blood pressure and it was 150/100 plus I had protein in my urine. So, that got them worried so they made me do a stress test(or whatever it's called) and Landon wouldn't move. They made me drink an entire coke and he still wouldn't move. So, then sent me straight to the hospital where they could monitor me for the next hour to see what was going on. It's so weird but my contractions started about an hour after I got admitted. I was in labor for 31 hours and pushed for almost two hours. I did get an epidural but I was having such a hard time pushing that they cut me off(without telling me) so I ended up feeling everything when I was pushing. Landon crowned for like 15 minutes because my doctor was delivering another baby at another hospital. It was so painful.

Oh, wow. Another novel comment, haha.

Sarah said...

My first epidural only took on half of my body. They kept moving me around and saying that it *was* working, and I kept saying.. you guys are crazy...I KNOW MY BODY! So I got a second epidural and it was glorious. Seriously, it was so worth it and if/when I have more babies I will definitely not be against having one. Things will happen the way they are meant to be!

Emily @ PeckLife.com said...

Thanks for sharing this. :) I didn't have too strict of a birth plan the first time because I felt like I didn't know what to expect...looking back, I wish I would have been more prepared. But, I agree with you - the key is to be flexible!

Alexis Dedrickson said...

My birth plan last time was to go with the flow. I really wanted a natural birth, too. I prepared myself the best I could and went with it. I made it to 8cm, but was so tired and in SO much pain. The deciding factor for me was that I was starting to push involuntarily. It felt so good! But, I knew that it was bad to do that. I absolutely didn't want to get that far and ruin it lol. Now that I work in L&D, I see all spectrums. I still want my natural childbirth. I am very hopeful I can do it next time, provided my labor is as smooth,.... and it's shorter. Almost everyone has a shorter labor the next go-round. With that said, I still know that birth is unpredictable! If I go into labor in the middle of the night, I am probably going to get an epidural, because I am destined to be exhausted haha. I swear it seems that the longer your birth plan, the greater chance of things going wrong lol.

Katie @ Lovesoflife said...

With my first baby I was very go with the flow. HOWEVER, I did know that my body was capable of birthing naturally, and I wanted to go for as long as I could without drugs if possible. So then I was in labor for about a good 8'ish hours without pain meds...and I WANTED them at that point. Got an epi..and was pain free for one hour, next thing you know, FELT EVERYTHING AND THEN??? It was too late. Time for her to come. Basically I felt the whole thing natural and like you.....HOLY CRAP. Yea. So, this time? Same plan...I would like the epi earlier I think, lol.

lilvicky14733117 said...

I started a blog the other day, and this was one of my first posts. Im aiming for a waterbirth but as he is back to back like yours was.. im going with the saying 'you have what you need'. No one knows how they will cope in labour, and every labour is different. Do what you can to get the little ones out eh? :) ive just followed x

Giliane said...

wish you all the best Mandy. I admire your thoughts because you are right, childbirth can be unpredictable but you have to keep an open mind to whatever might happen. Just like you said, it is nice to have a plan but if that does not take, it is good to accept it. Hopefully this time the baby will be facing the right way. Well here are some tips which might help achieving this:
1. the trick is to have your tummy at a lower level than your back so that the baby's back (which is heavier than his tummy) will roll towards your tummy, the optimum position. 
2. you can achieve this by sitting up straight, instead of leaning back when seated. For instance when watching TV you can sit down and lean forward, for instance sitting on the floor and leaning on bean bag cushions or sitting on a chair and lean forward resting on the back of another chair, so you bring your belly at a lower level from your back.
3. when driving or in a car put a cushion below your buttocks so you pelvis leans forward
4. do not cross your legs as you reduce the space at the front of the pelvis and your baby needs most space at the front
5. if possible do not put your feet up and lean backwards as this enhances posterior positioning
6. sleep on your side not on your back
7. swimming with your belly facing downwards is a great way to provide optimum positioning for your baby
8. exercising on all fours (like cat) helps to position the baby
9. if the baby is already in the posterior position, sway your hips from side to side when on all fours to help the baby move into a different position, crawling also helps 
10. if all fails think about giving birth on all fours because it makes it easier for the baby to pass through

I am sure you will manage whatever side the baby is facing because you did it the first time, the 2nd time is almost always easier =)

loads of luck,
Giliane
http://thesimplethingsinlife2012.blogspot.com/ 

Ashley said...

My birth plan was to definitely go with the flow, but I wanted to see if I could handle a drug free child birth.  My plan was to labor in a tub (not a water birth, just labor).  Unfortunately I was induced because of pre-e, and thanks to the constant monitoring was stuck in my bed.  Six hours of labor like that was all I could handle, and ended up with an epidural.  Thankfully my epidural worked like a freaking charm and I napped and ate popsicles for the remaining six hours of labor.  I didn't feel a single thing during the pushing process.  When we do it again, I'm not sure what I'll want.  The epidural was FANTASTIC.  But I also felt like I didn't reach a high or anything once Ryann was born.  It only took 18 minutes of pushing to get her out, and like I said, I didn't feel anything.  It was kind of a weird experience.  But pain free!

Mindi said...

Wow I had a very similar birth experience to you but mine ended with a c-section for my first son.  Nothing in my birth plan went as planned.  I like you wanted to do it naturally but the pain was so intense I chose an epidural.  I had an episiotomy and 2 vacuum extraction attempts, which both failed.  My pelvis was tilted upward so baby's head was not coming out.  C-section it was.  Ugh.  Then for my second baby I had no birth plan and was suppose to get a repeat c-section.  Well, I ended up going into labor 3 weeks early and almost gave birth on the way to the hospital.  Needless to say I delivered naturally in the triage room....no time for an epidural and for sure no repeat c-section. Two totally different births...both equally crazy!  Good plan to have little plan. I love birth stories...such a great topic.  

Kelly Hamilton said...

My birth plan was also to go with the flow and see what happened. I was very curious to know if I could handle delivering naturally. My water broke unexpectedly at 38 weeks and I managed to labor for 2 hours at home before heading to the hospital to get checked. After another two hours of walking the hallways I began throwing up so I was confined to the bed for the remainder of my labor. I felt myself go through that transition stage and screamed for an epidural but it was too late! Somehow I had gone from 4cm to 10 in a matter of minutes and had to deliver sans drugs. The pushing was a HUGE relief and I couldn't wait to get C out! Thankfully an hour of pushing did the trick and he popped out. It was nothing like I expected but I am SO thrilled I went naturally. I feel like it's a pretty big accomplishment and I'm hoping if we have more children in the future I can do it again ;)

Kiara said...

Yep, had a birth plan, and stuck to it.  Of course I was begging for help, but when offered I was stubborn and refused.  It was scary, terrifying, and the coolest thing I've ever done.  I can't wait to do it again (minus the tailbone injury, the stitches, and the hemorrhoids that popped up a few weeks later)!

I'll be saying lots of prayers for an anterior labor for you!

Summer Crosbie said...

Hudson was sunny side up so I know what you mean. My birth plan was thrown out the window after 2.5 hours of pushing (which ended in c-sction).  Up until then I was doing pretty good. 

I think more women should go with the flow because no matter what you prepare yourself for, it depends on the baby. 

Amber said...

Granted I don't have kids, but I have MANY friends who do, and I think going with the flow is the best option. Some people luck out, like my friend who had an at home water birth and everything went smoothly, but that isn't always the case. My Auntie wanted two natural births, and had epidurals for both.

I think if you go with the flow and don't have a specific plan, you won't feel any disappointment if things don't go your way. That's just my opinion., for what it's worth.

Amanda said...

I had a "loose" birth plan with Ellie, and I will again next time. I've definitely learned so much from my last delivery that it changed my plans a little bit. I am actually leaning even more towards a natural, drug-free labor and I have some ideas of how to get there based on my labor and delivery last time......but I'm also more aware of how many different things could go wrong or change my plans, so I think I'll be more flexible, too :)
You're getting so close to the end.....I'm sure it's hard not to think about this stuff all the time!

Shondra Walker said...

With my first, I planned on getting an epidural.  I watched my mom deliver my little sister and was a little scared of the pain.  When it came time to push, I pushed for 2.5 hours.  Definitely not fun.  With my 2nd, I was on pitocin because my water broke.  After a few hours of pitocin,  I started having terrible contractions.  They were so intense and way worse than anything I remember having with my first.  After about an hour of those, I got an epidural only to find out I was already at 10 and crowning.  I was so scared that I was going to have to push for hours again since I had just gotten an epidural and couldn't feel anything, but amazingly, he came out with very little effort.  It was AMAZING! Less than 10 minutes of pushing.  

I hope that happens for you! 

kerANDuh said...

way to be open to change! that's what my labors with austin and bella taught me. i had all the plans in the world and they all failed. the only thing that went my way was making sure it was natural. i only have my family /friends to thank for that. but thankfully {maybe..i guess} i tend to have quick labors. within two hours of pain, my babies are born so that's kind of a bonus!!! lol i can't wait to see your new little!!! yay for babies!

Lea said...

Oh, yes, it was sooooooooo long ago but some things you just never forget.  I wanted all the drugs that they would give me.  I had no plans but guess I'm a whimp! :o)  I just bet things will be different this time and you will do just fine. I'll sure be praying for you.  Blessings at this special time in your life.

amy@agoodlifeblog said...

i'm totally with you.  my birth plan is whatever is best for the baby!  my epidural didn't work with parker either & it was the worst pain of my life so w/ this baby i just plan on rolling with the punches!  

Alex said...

I had a birthplan, to have my husband be with baby if a c-section was necesary. That I wanted to breast feed as soon as possible if administered any drugs or the c-section was done.

The original plan was to have a home birth drug free, in a nice warm pool. :-) I was very blessed to be able and birth my 9.1 lb baby all natural. His shoulders got stuck and I did tear a bit but it was an amazing soothing and empowering experiance.

I hope I can do it again with my second one (not ready to have them yet) but I will keep my previous birthplan handy since I feel that is still fits how I am now, things might change later who knows. :-)

By the way I love your blog! Just haven't had the pleasure to coment.

Nichole Thomason said...

I love birth stories too!! No birth plan with Jackson. My water broke 6 weeks early so I had no idea what to do! Had taken no classes. Nothing. Thought "we have plenty of time!!" though I was not opposed to an epidural! And I certainly am not this time around. My only "requirement" is that it is just me and my husband in the room (& medical staff of course!). No moms, sisters, friends, kids NOTHING. Just us. This is still my only "requirement". This one has already cooked longer than Jackson so for that I am grateful. I just can't wait to meet him! This pregnancy has been such a different experience so I am excited for how the birth will be different as well. Best of luck to you!!

Mama Monkey said...

I've always gone with the flow, because you never know whats going to happen.  My babies are all large too (smallest 9lbs 4oz, biggest 10lbs 3oz), but luckily none have gotten stuck.  I've never even torn!!  Oh and I love reading about pregnancy and birth stuff, so keep it coming :)

Mama Monkey said...

I forgot to add that I had a failed epi with my second (it worked partially on one side) and a failed spinal with my third--my biggest baby--.  It's truly amazing what us women can do :)

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