Friday, 5 February 2016

My Birth Plans, Hopes & Fears Third Time Around

So we're now into February, and for me that means it's baby month!

I can barely believe the month is here - I remember so clearly taking that pregnancy test in the bathroom and being left reeling at the positive result, standing there looking at my 4 week old baby thinking to myself "Oh my goodness, how is this ever going to work?!".

Perhaps it's because we didn't announce the pregnancy until I was 6 months along and so there was very little time spent discussing it, but it feels like the whole thing really has flown by in no time at all - and even though the past couple of months have been quite difficult compared to the relative ease of the rest of the pregnancy - I'm still a bit sad to think it's all going to be over with so quickly, as this could well be our last baby and the last time I'll ever be pregnant! (No decisions have actually been made on that, and we have said we may well consider a fourth...though not for a good few years time!...but we're undecided.)

This baby is going to be born via elective c-section, just as my other two children were - but this time is slightly different, as it's classed as medical need rather than maternal request as the previous two were.

With the birth now so very imminent I've been thinking about my hopes, plans and fears for the delivery this time.

Even though a c section is something I elected to have with previous births, it still leaves me with a lot of anxiety - when I think back to Noah's birth and remember how long it took them to correctly fit a cannula as they were unable to locate a vein, I panic! The worst part of the surgery for me is going numb and worrying if I'll ever get the feeling back, and so the longer I have to lay there panicking about the numb feeling...the worse my anxiety gets!

My midwife has written in my notes to remind them of the trouble they had last time and suggest that an ultrasound machine is available in theatre to immediately locate the vein, so hopefully it won't happen again - but the thought still scares me!

To be perfectly honest, I had never really thought that a c-section birth allowed for a mothers own choices and decisions to be made - I thought it was simply a case of me turning up for the operation and going along with whatever way of doing things the hospital had - it was only after Noah was born that I learned of other C-section mothers devising a birth plan and making specific requests to make the experience more personal to them.

With that in mind, this time I do intend to discuss a few things with my midwife that would make the experience more comfortable for me and help to ease my anxieties - these include:

*Requesting music or radio be played during the procedure  - this was something that was done during my first sons delivery and I found it really helped to give me something other than the beeps and whirrs of the machines to focus on. During my second sons delivery the theatre was silent, and I found this very anxiety-inducing as I focused so much on the sounds from the machines and panicked when any of them changed at all.

*Delayed cord clamping - I'm sure this won't be an issue as it was recommended by the hospital themselves when Noah was born and wasn't something I'd heard of, but after reading up on it I will be requesting it's done again

*Cord Ties - I really hated how big and bulky the plastic cord tie was which was used for Noah, and it was only after he arrived that I heard about handmade cord ties using embroidery thread when reading Belle Du Brighton's birth story  - they just seem so much more comfortable for baby, less intrusive for feeding and nappy changing, and just look so much nicer as I really felt that Noah's huge plastic clamp spoiled a lot of his new born photos! - so if possible I'll be asking that my own cord ties are used instead.

*Skin to skin - With both of my children, the baby was taken away and cleaned up before being handed to us wrapped in a blanket a few moments later - this time I would really like to request immediate skin to skin if possible. I have always been told this isn't possible for a c section due to my position and the position of monitoring wires on my chest but I have seen many mothers having c sections being given the chance for immediate skin to skin contact, so I want to try to press for it more this time.

*Baby to be shown to us right away for us to see the gender - As this baby is our first "surprise" when it comes to sex, I really would like for them to hold it up so we can see for ourselves and find out together what bits baby has!!

If the above things are agreed I know I will feel much happier about the birth experience, I plan to discuss all of this with my midwife at my next appointment which is today - wish me luck!

What specific requests did you have for your birth plan? Is there anything you think I should add to my list? As always, I'd love to hear from you!

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