* I want the following people to be present during labor and birth, and preferably no one else: my husband, Brent Bates; my mother, Patricia P. Thweatt; my friend & doula, Maria Brooks; and the midwife (Peggy, Ursula, Brynne, or Grace).
* I would like to be able to play music or dim the lights if I choose, and wear my own clothing if I choose. Or not wear clothing, if I choose. (Who knows what the heck I’ll choose.) I want to be able to walk and move around during labor, and eat and drink as I feel necessary.
* I want to try any birthing or laboring position that feels right, or that the midwife or Maria thinks might be helpful.
* I strongly prefer monitoring of the baby by intermittent listening of the heartbeat and not by continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring.
* I want to try any pain-management technique known to midwife and/or doula as I feel the need: positioning, massage, breathing techniques, bath/shower, hot tub, etc. Do not offer pain medication; if I want it, I’ll ask for it. If I do ask for it, I want to be encouraged to hang on a little longer and be given some idea of my progress; if I can gut it out I’ll be much happier in the end. If I really do want pain medication, I will insist on it despite encouragement.
* I do not want a time limit set on the progress of my labor.
* I want to be able to listen to my body and push as I feel the need.
* I do not want an episiotomy. Any techniques known to my midwife or doula to help prevent this are welcome. Bottom line: I prefer to risk tearing to being cut.
* I would like to view the birth with a mirror if possible, and be able to touch the baby’s head when it crowns.
* Brent would like to help “catch” our baby (or in his more elegant and liturgical terms, “receive the baby”).
* I want to hold her right away (no warming unit), and breastfeed as soon as possible. I plan to breastfeed exclusively and do not want any bottle feeding to occur (no formula, water or sugar water) as this may interfere with the breastfeeding learning process. I want all newborn procedures to take place in my presence or Brent’s presence and with our explicit verbal consent.
* We want 24-hour rooming-in with our baby, and would like to postpone the first bath and bathe the baby in our room. For any newborn procedure that must be done in the nursery, Brent should be present.
* We want to waive the eye medication procedure and are prepared to sign a waiver to that effect.
* If something horrible happens and I must have a C-section, I want to understand the situation and see the necessity of it. I want Brent and my midwife to be there. I definitely do not want to be knocked out completely (if this is possible) as I want to be as alert as possible. I’d like for Brent to be able to hold her as soon as possible, and to be present for all newborn procedures. I want to be able to begin breastfeeding as soon as possible.
We know that birth is unpredictable and that we cannot anticipate every decision we may be faced with. Mainly, we want this birth plan to show that we prefer, generally, as little interference as possible and as much freedom as possible. We’ve never done this before and don’t have any idea what it will really be like, so it’s important to us to be able to experience things as they come without undue anxiety. No panic, people! I am healthy and strong and have a lot of confidence in my body’s ability to figure this out as it goes (my head can catch up later).