Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Writing A Birth Plan

When I had Big Girl I was very much laid back about the whole giving birth process. I'd accepted I couldn't control it and the midwives had our best interests in mind. My birth plan was very basic, it spoke about not being able to have gas and air and wanting an epidural. I was induced due to my waters breaking and having Strep B. We were very lucky and had an amazing midwife who listened to me, made me feel safe and comfortable and despite a failed epidural, giving birth to her wasn't that bad.

Giving birth to baby girl was a totally different experience, there were a few more bits and pieces written on the birth plan, for example I wanted to breastfeed her, something that unfortunately didn't work out. To begin with I had a lovely midwife who was amazing and then her shift ended and in walked someone who felt she knew it all. I started to worry something was wrong, but was told I was being paranoid. I panicked as I didn't feel I was being listened to, suddenly I didn't feel supported, I didn't feel I could do it any more. I told her a few more times there was something wrong but she wasn't listening to me. Sure enough as I started pushing, it became obvious there was something wrong. I panicked, the husband panicked, the midwife panicked, alarms went off, Drs rushed in, the room filled up and I was scared. With out going into too much detail, a lot of blood was lost very quickly, my body went into shock and started to shut down. When she was placed on me, I never felt the instant rush of love for her and just didn't want her anywhere near me.

The first night on the ward was horrendous, I wasn't myself I was exhausted and very much still in shock. there was no one around to help and I sat and cried throughout the whole night. The whole experience made it difficult to bond with Baby Girl for many months, I went through the motions with her ashamed to let anyone really know what was going on, but feelings of resentment, guilt, sadness, horror and violation were in the forefront and I just found it all too difficult to deal with. I'm pleased to say things are very different now, I wouldn't be sharing this if they weren't!

It's left me scared of giving birth again, in fact, truth be told, I'm terrified! Far from being the trusting person I was when I went into labour with Big Girl, I want as little to do with the hospital as possible. If I had it my way I'd be having a home birth, but complications mean that just isn't possible, I cant even go to the midwife led unit, I have no choice but to accept this baby will be born in the big hospital in Bristol.

My community midwife has been amazing since I met her at 16 weeks and has listened to all my concerns and ramblings and has come back with many solutions to all my worries, the first being a comprehensive birth plan. Deciding what I want to happen, and as I know you cant really control much about labour, focusing on what I want to happen after the birth.

So what do you include in a birth plan?

-Who do you want there?
-What pain relief do you want?
-Is there contingency for pain relief? e.g. pethidine if not allowed in the water.
-What birthing positions have you thought about?
-Do you want the injection to speed the placenta delivery or do you want a natural 3rd stage?
-Who is going to cut the cord?
-Are you happy for baby to have the vitamin K injection?
-How are you going to feed your baby?
-Do you want skin to skin time with your baby?
-Do you want to be discharged to the ward or go home straight away? (Providing no complications)
-If giving birth in a hospital, did you know you can be discharged to your nearest midwife led unit rather than staying on the hospital antenatal ward? (Again providing no complications)

These are just some of the questions spinning round in my mind this week as I write down my thoughts for birth number 3. Is there anything you would add to that list? I'd love to know what your birth plans consisted of.

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