Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the birth plan

I have been meaning to type this up for months...  But, I kept putting it off, waiting until I was at a "safer" place in my pregnancy.  I did this when I was pregnant with Piper, too.  I would put things off until I felt like there was more of a guarantee that everything would be okay.  Well, now that I am over 31 weeks pregnant and have single digit weeks left before we get to meet this little guy, I am going to go ahead and say that I'm about as "safe" as I'll ever be.  And, besides, I don't really believe that writing this post will cause anything bad to happen.

So, onto the birth plan.  Like any other plan, I am going into it this time around assuming that while I can make plans all day and all night long, sometimes things don't turn out the way we want them to, but I sure do have some preferences!  For starters, I am going for a VBAC.  After much debate from MBL and a lot of research, I've decided that this is the best plan for me and my body.  When it comes down to the safety of c-sections versus VBACs, the first post-cesarean delivery is kind of a wash--neither way is necessarily more safe (especially in my situation since my children will be almost 2 years apart).  If I am able to have a VBAC this time around, then my next VBAC will carry less risks than another c-section and because we aren't sure if we want to have #4, I feel more comfortable attempting a vaginal delivery so I have the option of having more vaginal deliveries down the road.

Another important reason I want to go for a VBAC is that while my hospital did everything they could have to make my c-section enjoyable, nothing about the experience was pleasant for me.  I hated how the anaethesia made me feel; how it made me shake uncontrollably on the table and throw up afterwards.  I felt so miserable during the entire procedure that I couldn't really enjoy what was happening.  I like the fact that during a vaginal delivery I will have a better appreciation of what is going on.  I'm also hoping that I won't be as nauseous during a vaginal delivery as I was during my entire c-section (can you tell I hate throwing up?).

Another clincher for me in pursuing a VBAC is that Piper and I struggled with breastfeeding from the very start.  The nurse tried to latch her on in recovery and I spent the whole time getting sick.  Then, Piper was so sleepy from everything that every feed was a struggle.  I'm not sure if I had low supply due to those first few days, but I know that missing out on immediate skin to skin and not being able to feed immediately certainly didn't help.  I'm hoping a vaginal delivery will give me an edge up in this department.

And now for the interesting part, we are not only pursuing a VBAC, but I am also planning on giving birth 5 hours from where we currently live.  The reason for this is simple, MBL just took a job with a lot of travel and *if* I end up with a repeat c-section, the only family nearby is my sister and she has 3 kids.  With a c-section, I won't be able to pick Piper up and if MBL is out of town there is no way my sister can come over every time Piper wants "up please" or every time she needs a diaper change.  So, I am giving birth at the hospital where several of my siblings were born and we will be living with my parents for about 2 months.  That way, if I have a c-section, someone will be available to help me with Piper any time of the day or night.  My dad is retired and my mom is a teacher who will be on summer break approximately 3 weeks after I give birth.  If I get my VBAC, then it will just be super nice to have help readily available if I need it.  My parents are awesome and this is really going to be a great situation.  I may even get some extra naps in with their help :).  And it sure doesn't hurt that all the birth suites at their local hospital were recently redone:

I came up with this plan while MBL was away in November and when I pitched it to him I was a little worried he might think I had lost my mind, but instead he applauded me for coming up with such a great solution.  It means that I don't have to stress out over the "what ifs" and he doesn't have to feel bad if his work wants to send him on a trip 2 weeks post partum.  Win win.

And there you have it.  My birth plan.  I guess we'll just have to see how it all pans out!*

*the baby is currently transverse, which if he stays that way automatically means c-section.  there must be something goofy with my uterus to make my babies want to lay in there incorrectly!  i'm hoping he behaves and flips soon.

Did you have a birth plan?
Did things go how you expected?
Is there anything you would change?


  1. To answer your questions first...yes, no!, and yes. I think you have a great plan in place for the birth and afterwards, and a good perspective about it all. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Good for you for considering a VBAC. You can totally do it! I really, really hope that your birth is a good experience this time around. Have you considered hiring a doula? I never, ever could have done my natural birth without one. She was amazing. Even if you don't necessarily plan to go natural, it might be helpful to have someone there who KNOWS you can do this, who trusts your body more than you do. Doulas can be expensive (we had a friend do ours and she only charged us $400, totally worth it), but some hospitals offer them for free or for a donation. There are also two nonprofit doula organizations in our area that allow you to pay what you can afford. Maybe there's something like that around you, too. But if you're not interested in a doula, I'm still confident that you can have the birth you want. I'm so excited to hear how it goes.

  3. That is a VERY difficult decision to make. If I had had a c-section ONLY because I had a breech baby, then I absolutely would try for a VBAC. But because of my experience with an outrageously long labor + c-section, and a HORRIBLE recovery, I did a repeat c-section because it gave me a better chance of an easier recovery and my chances of a repeat experience would decrease. It was quite difficult to not pick up Jude (especially since he was only 15 months old) but it was very short lived. All that to say - it wasn't horrible and if you do end up with a repeat c, to me it was much much better than labor and then a c-section. I do hope you get your VBAC!!! That would definitely be ideal!!

    Oh - and my OB said he would comfortably do 4 c-sections... and has done up to 7! We want 3-4 kids and I don't plan to change MY plans so long as my OB sees no reason to stop. :-)

    1. Oh my goodness! If I had your experience I would totally do a scheduled C. I have another friend who had a HORRIFIC birth experience and had her girls 18 months apart... Her scheduled C was a dream. And they plan to go for at least #3. I have heard that a scheduled C is easier than labor+c-section. I'm hoping that if I go into labor that everything progresses well and I get my vaginal delivery, but I'm totally open to whatever happens!

      And my OB would do 4 c-sections, too, but the hospital said that's really the max that they like to see. I don't really plan on having more than 4, so if I end up with another c-section, I will definitely have the same attitude that you do... It won't change MY plans :).

  4. Hi! I've been wanting to comment but was having issues with logging in (darn Blogger...)!

    I truly hope you get the VBAC that you are hoping for. That being said, I have to tell you... a repeat C-section was the hands-down best decision I made when I delivered our little guy 7 weeks ago. It is such a personal decision, so I am truly NOT trying to sway you. My mother-in-law is a labor & delivery nurse and has told me so many scary stories about women who attempt VBACs unsuccessfully when their babies are a couple years apart. My repeat C was SO, SO, SO less stressful - first, my body didn't labor at all, so I went in for surgery after preparing for the fact that I was going to have a baby on a specific day, was alert, awake, and pain-free, and was cuddling my little guy back in my postpartum room within 20 minutes of his birth. And the idea about not being able to pick up my first child... well, let's just say that even though doctors discourage picking up things for awhile after surgery, I was picking up my little guy the day after I got home from the hospital... with no pain. And I went for a mile run a week post-delivery. I am not a rockstar by any means... the recovery is just so much different when it's scheduled.

    Again, TOTALLY NOT trying to sway your VBAC decision - I can't wait to hear about your experience! Just know that if you result with another C, it will likely be a way better experience the second time around.

    1. Your blog actually really got me thinking about scheduling a repeat C! That and the fact that I've heard nothing but good things from ladies who have scheduled their c-sections rather than having one unexpectedly. Truth be told, I know what to expect with a c-section and I really like that aspect, plus I am really not all that interested in the other kinds of trauma you go through when you have a vaginal delivery.

      All of that being said, for whatever reason, I have really thought about this and want to pursue a VBAC. If my migraines don't go away, I may change my mind ;). But, I like the fact that I can at least give it a go!

      And I am SO glad you shared your experience!! Thank you!