I have nothing against birth plans. I think they’re great, and everyone should have one. Even me. Heck, I should have had one with my first pregnancy, then my second and probably this one too. But alas, I find myself doing other things like not writing a birth plan. And eating cookies.
I’ve had many friends who all had birth plans. They were committed to these plans—dedicated and driven by them, like a life force of epic proportions. These plans were detailed, thorough and specific. The stuff of a well-thought-out and well-researched path to delivering their child and ultimately into parenthood.
I am not this person. My birth plan is to have this baby. That’s it. It’s a solid plan.
You see, I’m a horribly indecisive person, so a birth plan for me would be pointless if I changed my mind … and I would. It’s why I don’t have any tattoos. A birth plan for me would have to be so short and flexible that it could be tossed aside when I’m in labor. Like this:
We have chosen to give birth at the labor and delivery ward of [hospital’s name] and hopefully not in the toy section at Walmart or in my neighbor’s car. We’re requesting your help in remembering the goals listed below, as we haven’t remembered anything since the birth of our first child:
First Stage of Labor:
- Those to be present at all times at the labor and birth:
- The doctor—eventually
- My husband. He’s not allowed to leave. Not even to use the bathroom. Provide catheter if necessary.
- I guess I probably should be there, too.
- I would like to have my birthing ball. So I can throw it at anyone making noise.
- Medication is fine upon request. For me, not my husband.
- I would prefer a hospital gown. Laundry’s not really my thing.
Second Stage of Labor:
- Choice of position for pushing will be whatever gets this baby out the fastest. If that means standing on my head while riding a unicycle, then I say get me the one-wheeled bike. STAT.
- If delivery assistance is needed, please use suction instead of forceps. Also get me some whiskey.
- Please place baby on mother’s abdomen after birth. This is a much more appropriate place to put baby than, say, mother’s head.
- Cord to be cut by father. Because he is the designated turkey-carver of the family, he’s the best man for the job.
- Birth placenta. I no longer need it. Nor am I interested in using it to make a stuffed bear.
- Keep lights low. A micro unit of a single ultraviolet ray will be enough to make me want to punch a cat.
Third Stage of Labor:
- Newborn to stay with my husband or I at all times. This is mostly so baby can get used to limited independence.
- Please delay all routine exams until I’ve had a shower. Because the first shower after delivery is better than ice cream.
- Please perform all my physical exams and procedures in room with parents. I get a day off from household duties. I’m not getting out of bed.
- If warming is needed, baby is to be placed on mother’s chest with blankets. Mother will still be accepting any form of whiskey to heat herself up.
- Father to stay with baby and mother at all times. He doesn’t get whiskey.
In the time it took me to completely make a fake birth plan—that only four of you will find funny—I could have made a real birth plan. Instead, I’m going to not make one and go find cookies.