I'm linking up with Kaitlyn at Wifessionals again this week to share my birth stories, the good, the bad and the ugly and to talk about birth plans (yes, they are IMPERATIVE!!!)
I've already posted both Ewan and Cecily's birth stories on my blog and since they're pretty long, I'm just going to post links to them. But, here's the basic gist.
With Ewan, I was at a hospital with very backwards policies and due to the cascade of interventions and his position, wound up with a c-section after 36 hours of labor (12 at home) and not one, but two epidurals that only worked on one side. I've posted about this numerous times, but the whole experience has left me with severe post partum depression and ptsd.
With Cecily, I made one of the best decisions of my life to switch providers at 36 weeks from one who was forcing me into an unwanted repeat c-section to one who was allowing me a Trial of Labor After A Cesarean (TOLAC). I was at a different hospital in a different state and had the most amazing, empowering experience that resulted in a successful VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).
Do you need a birth plan? YES! Especially if you're planning an intervention free birth.
|My actual birth plan for your reference|
While you do need to be prepared for things to change and go off your birth plan if necessary, it serves as a great guide during labor. Several things to consider though. If your provider "doesn't believe in birth plans," Run. Bring at least two copies to your doctor for he/she to sign when you discuss it and if they refuse to sign it, Run. If they don't listen to you or barely glance at it and tell you they will "put it in your file," Run - this usually means it's going into the trash. A doctor that can't respect you enough to discuss your wishes in the office definitely isn't going to when you're in labor. If you aren't able to switch providers, I strongly encourage you to get a doula. They have tons of experience with mothers in labor and are able to suggest things that you may never have thought of otherwise. Plus, they can speak up for you when you aren't in a position to do so.
I know I sound like a crazy, crunchy mom (and in this respect, I totally am) but I thought I was so educated when I was pregnant with my son and that a c-section wouldn't happen to me, even though I had a gut feeling that my doctor and my hospital didn't necessarily have the policies I wanted or my best interests at heart. I thought that I would be able to stand up for myself during labor and once labor came, I wasn't able to do so and didn't have anyone there who could. My mom had a c-section herself with me and my husband, well, he gets anxious taking the cats to the vet, so he was no help. It's so unfortunate that not all in the medical profession necessarily have your best interests in mind and that a lot of "routine" interventions actually circumvent your labor! A doula is able to advocate for you and can tell you what is really going on. I had one with my daughter and she was so worth the money I spent!