How appropriate that I scheduled this post for today as it marks exactly 4 weeks until my estimated birth date…so exciting! I can’t believe how fast time is going at the moment. Thankfully, everything that we need for his arrival has now been bought and delivered. Anything extra is really non-essential and we can take our time with purchasing those. I’m still debating whether to get the baby monitor now or wait until after his birth though.
It feels like there is still so much to consider and sort out, but ultimately I accept that you can never be fully prepared for something like this. I attended my second active birth class last week and they have been fantastic in preparing me mentally for the birth. We learnt a new breathing technique, position and talked about the stages of labour and generally had a good old chat about our up coming births and partners.
Due to everyone’s warnings that the baby could potentially arrive any time from now, I actually started packing my labour bag. I’ve still got a couple of bits to buy like toiletries and sleepwear, but other than that it’s pretty much good to go. I bought some lovely organic and from Amazon the other week and they look like they’re really good quality. I’m so in love with my hospital bag that I was kindly asked to review by Pink Lining – a more detailed post on what’s in the bag is coming soon! I have a couple of social events coming up in the next few weeks, so this bag will be coming literally everywhere with me.
Last week I had my midwife appointment which I always enjoying going to. My blood tests and regular check ups were all on point and my midwife is very happy with our progress. Definitely my favourite part of these check ups is listening to his heart beat, it’s always so clear and strong. Apparently his measurements and my weight are all on track too. It’s so reassuring to know that we are heading into labour strong and healthy. Speaking of which, I’ve finally written down a labour and birth plan, helped by this fantastic from Earth Mama Angel Baby.
Now I know that although you can plan your perfect labour, nothing under these circumstances will necessarily go how you initially imagined. I really loved renaming of her birth plan, which she called her ‘Birth Preference’, because essentially that’s what it is. My plan is based on my ideal labour, but I’ve allowed room for flexibility:
First stage of labour
- I would prefer that there was no intervention in the early stages of labour.
Second stage of labour
- I want to handle the pain using natural methods such as breathing, massage, relaxation, shower/bath.
- Ideally I want to be able to walk and move around during labour to allow gravity to do it’s work.
- Intermittent monitoring of the baby to allow me to move around as much possible.
- During the second stage of labour I’d like to try different positions to help me remain comfortable.
- Natural methods to prevent tearing such as compresses, massage and breathing techniques. No episiotomy unless medically needed.
- Immediate skin-to-skin after birth and postpone any procedures.
- Wait for the cord to stop pulsating before clamping.
Third stage of labour
- I would prefer the placenta to be born spontaneously without the use of pitocin.
There’s actually quite a lot to think about when it comes to labour! I’m aiming for a natural birth and to go drug free if possible. As I’ve already mentioned before, I’m not totally sure how high my pain threshold is, but if I feel that I need medical intervention from drugs, I won’t feel like a failure for requesting them. I want my labour to be an enjoyable and an empowering experience, free from any harm and distress. Active labour classes have taught me to visualise each contraction and how to breath properly for each stage of labour. I feel very positive about my labour and hopefully will make the most of every contraction.
Another consideration that was brought to my attention by the birth plan template was postponing the clamping of the cord, which I have included in my plan. I found this on how this technique can benefit babies and got some positive feedback when I posted it on my a while ago. It’s not something that I had really thought about until reading this article and discovering it in the birth plan template. After speaking to my midwife she was very positive about it too. There are still a lot of nutrients left in the cord and I would like to use this opportunity to allow it to finish pulsating after your recommendations. Also, If I go over my due date I would rather try natural techniques to go into labour spontaneously instead of being induced.
So that’s the general outline of my birth plan, but I know that there needs to be room for change. My sister-in-law told me at the weekend that her birth plan went completely out the window with my niece. However, I do feel better knowing that I’ve at least educated myself and thought about what I would like to happen. I know that I can rely on Alfie to be an amazing and supportive birth partner too. Fingers crossed for the big day!
What do you think will go into your birth plan? If you’ve had children, did you think about anything that I’ve mentioned above?
Also, I would be interested to find out what you did with your placenta after the birth? It’s definitely something worth reading into, but placenta smoothies or eating it really aren’t my cup of tea!