Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sample birth plan for a natural hospital birth

Before I had my first baby, I heard of a lady at church who at gone "all natural" for the birth of her babies. I pictured a woman lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to all the regular stuff, thrashing in pain. I think this is probably the way most people picture a "natural" (meaning no pain meds) hospital birth. I had already started reading a bit about natural childbirth and felt that was the direction I wanted to go. Since that time, I have read and studied and read and studied some more about the subject and, of course, given birth a few times! The birth plan I have worked out and feel really happy with is not really just about not having pain meds during birth; it is really about achieving a birth with as little intervention as possible.

An intervention-free birth is very important to me. I did not work hard to bring this sweet baby into the world only to have him whisked away by nurses when he should be cuddling skin to skin with his Mommy. I didn't go through 3 months of pure nausea to be tied down to a hospital bed with wires and monitors and IV's plugged into me . I didn't endure countless nights of insomnia only to be told by nurses to hold my breath and push while they count to 10! Not only are these interventions things that I personally don't like, they have all been proven to be pointless and even harmful to a normal, healthy labor.

The AAP has stated that the mother is the best means of warming a newborn and immediate skin to skin contact helps facilitate bonding and successful breastfeeding and yet the routine in most hospitals involves the baby being whisked away from Mom to a warming table and then not returned to mom until the baby has achieved a desired body temp and is wrapped tightly in blankets. Even though studies have concluded that breath holding and directed pushing can deprive your baby of oxygen, it is still the "norm" in most hospitals today. The same can be said for most routine hospital protocol...it's either just not necessary or it can actually hinder your labor/birth/bonding. This is where a good birth plan (and good birth attendant) comes in.

Below is a sample birth plan to help you achieve a "natural" or non-intervention birth.

Birth Plan for:

I would like to wear my own clothes during labor, birth, and postpartum.

I would like freedom to use the tub and shower as I see fit during labor.

I will not require a routine I.V.

I would like the freedom to move about and labor and birth in any position I feel comfortable. This may include giving birth in a location of the room other than the bed. If the birth does take place on the bed, I do NOT want the bed broken down.

I would like the room to remain dim/naturally lit.

I would like intermittent fetal monitoring with a Doppler, not continuous.

If labor augmentation becomes an issue, i would prefer to use natural methods deemed appropriate by me.

I do not want any extra people in the room while I labor and give birth. The only hospital staff present should be my midwife/doctor, the nurse, and the baby nurse.

I want to be able to push when I am ready to push with no directed pushing (holding breath and counting to ten.)

I would rather tear than have an episiotomy.

I would like my husband and/or myself to "catch' the baby if appropriate.

I want my baby's cord to sop pulsating before my husband or I cut it...a minimum of 5-10 minutes after birth.

I want my baby to be immediately placed on my chest following birth, nurse right away, and remain with me continuously. I want all procedures/baby checks to be done while my baby remains on my chest. I do not want the baby to spend any routine time on warming bed.

In the event of an emergency/unforeseen circumstance I want my husband to remain with the baby at ALL times.

My baby will not receive the eye ointment, vitamin K shot, or hepatitis B shot.

If my baby is a boy, he will not be circumcised.

I would like the freedom to return home within 24 hours after the birth if I so desire.

I would like my family to be able to visit myself and the baby immediately following the baby's birth if I so desire.

Yes, emergencies arise and sometimes plans need to be altered and that is fine...the key is to be as educated and prepared as possible to help prevent those emergencies. If you are interested in achieving a birth with little to no intervention, I recommend not being induced and waiting until you are in active labor before going to the hospital, as well as educating yourself. It is important to be flexible with your expectations, but in the case of a normal, healthy labor there is no reason why all of your desires for you birth can not be met! Hiring a doula (a professional labor assistant) will also greatly benefit you with having the birth you want!

Is a pain medication-free birth the best choice for every woman? No, I think every woman has the right to make that decision for herself...but it is every woman's right to have the safest birth and the birth she desires for herself and her baby...the fewer the interventions used, the more likely she will attain this goal.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Le Grande Cirque

7 or 8 months ago, Dave bought tickets for our whole family to go and see a troupe of Chinese Acrobats preform. They do an act similar to Cirque de Soliel and it sounded really fun and exciting! After anticipating it for so many months, last night was finally the big event!

The performance was held at the Air Force Academy. We thought we'd try and get a better parking spot by going on campus (where you need a special clearance badge to get on) rather than waiting in the very looooooong line of cars to get into the regular parking. Hmm...didn't really work out that way! We were running a bit late already, so we argued a bit and then parked in a lot that I thought was closer than it really was. Apparently, Dave knew how far away we were but didn't want to argue too much with a pregnant woman...he'd rather see her hike 5 billion miles up hill. :) It was pretty darn windy and cold, but the kids were all super excited and that excitement gave them the motivation and energy to hike such a long way. I was grumpy about it, of course...and not mentally/emotionally prepared to walk (mostly up-hill) such a long distance. About 10 minutes into the hike, Scarlett turned to me and with bright eyes asked "will there be real live bats?" She was a bit disappointed as I tried to explain to her that bats had nothing to do with acrobats.

We finally made it to the auditorium just as it was supposed to begin, but there were so many people still coming in that they didn't start right away. We had a nice row 6 seats off to a side and Elijah and Sebastian sat behind us. It worked out perfectly that Brighton could walk around and was not able to escape our row.

The actual show was pretty good...very dramatic and exciting to watch with the usual cool tricks like 5 billion people on a bicycle, a guy balancing on a ladder who balanced a couple of girls on his shoulders, contortionists who sat on their own heads and stood on their own shoulders, plate spinners, guys who jumped and tumbled through hoops, etc. In between acts, there was a "funny guy" who pulled people from the audience and did entertaining and funny things...Haven especially really liked him. I think everyone's favorite act was right after intermission when they had the stage completely dark with black lights shining at it. There were performers dressed in glow in the dark clothes who did neat tricks, but mostly all the performers were dressed in black and you couldn't see their bodies...just the ribbon they were twirling or the table they were spinning or whatever. It was pretty cool.

My favorite thing about the evening was hearing the kids spontaneous reactions to what they were watching. The boys, who were sitting behind me, kept getting louder and louder as their excitement grew. Sebastian kept saying things like "spectacular" or "amazing" and Elijah kept saying either "rad" or "that's so cool!" It was sweet to watch Haven clap during parts she really liked...even though no one else was clapping at all. Scarlett, who was sitting next to me, would look over at me with a big smile when she saw something she liked. There was one part where ladies came out in costumes that looked like they had flowy wings and she said to me "those must be the bats!" :) Fiona leaned forward and watched everything pretty intently and mostly helped Brighton with his snacks ...and by "helping" I think that meant she got some snackage too. :)

The show lasted about 2 hours and, at it's completion, it was 2 1/2 hours past Brighton, Scarlett and Haven's bedtime! Scarlett was VERY tired...she almost fell asleep at the end and there was no way she was going to be able to walk all the way back to the car. Once we got outside, Sebastian sweetly offered to carry her. He tried for a few minutes, but his coat was very poofy and slippery and he hasn't figured out the hip carry thing yet, so it was pretty hard for him and not comfy for Scarlett. I offered to carry her and mentioned I had a nice little bump for her to sit on. She liked that idea. :) I carried her for a while, with Sebastian offering over and over again to carry her so I could have a break. He is a sweet son. :) I needed a break after awhile and tried to teach him the hip carry...but being an 11 year old boy, he doesn't really have hips...and again with the puffy, slippery coat...so it didn't really work out again, but even just the one or two minutes he carried her gave me the break I needed to be able to carry her again. (Dave was carrying Brighton.) The wind was even colder than when we had arrived and everyone was sooooo tired! After we got down a big hill, I needed another break from carrying Scarlett so Sebastian tried to create a "bump" for her by having the diaper bag hang from his neck and have her sort of sit on the diaper bag at his front. That lasted about another 2 minutes. Then I tried to coax her into walking a bit and told her we were almost to the car!! She kept saying "no we're not...I can't see it!" and was just too tired to walk. Then I told her "pretend you're a little pioneer girl and we're walking to Salt Lake!" She was not very thrilled about that, either so I scooped her up again and we all finally made it back to the car.

It was a really fun, family experience and I'm very glad we went. I have to admit, though, that it wasn't really that much more exciting than watching it on t.v....so while I'm glad we shared this experience as a family and my kids got to go, I probably won't be that excited to do it again. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to my mom!

Happy Birthday, Mom!! I am so lucky to have you as a Mom and as my kids' Grandma! :) Thanks for your wonderful example and all that you have taught me!! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Big boy hair!

It's hard to see it in the above adorable picture of adorable Brighton, but he was starting to sport a mullet. I don't have anything against people who choose this particular style of hair, it's just not my thing....nor do I want the mullet to be the thing for any of my kids. :) It was time for Brighton's first hair cut! I have wanted to trim it for some time, but the protests of his siblings and father have delayed this momentous event. It seems that everyone was very attached to his baby hair, except his mother. :)

But once I started throwing around the "mullet" term, I garnered Dave's full support...well mostly full. :) I trimmed it Sunday morning before he got in the shower with his daddy. He was very wiggly and the hair cut is NOT even in the slightest...but the mullet is gone and he is looking like a big boy! :)

Dave was slightly appalled that I could just throw his little baby hair away in the trash and not save any of it. The girls all came in and made sad sighing noises for the loss of his baby hair. When he came out after his shower, the boys all cooed over him and how sad it was that his baby hair had to be cut off...but everyone also made sure to let him know how handsome he looked. :) I'm just glad the mullet is gone!

A very delicate surgery

Sebastian decided that his remote controlled T-rex, now nick-named "Rexy", needed to have his broken legs stabilized through surgery. He gathered all the necessary equipment/tools and placed them on a "sterile" paper towel. Haven was assigned as his surgical assistant/nurse.

It started out just being Sebastian and Haven, but soon an audience formed.

Elijah and Brighton took a break from watching to play. :)

Fiona was later enlisted to help with the stitching up. She is the one, after-all, with the sewing kit. :) Haven is helping with the stabilizing sticks (pick-up sticks broken in half.) I'm not sure if Rexy is any more stable than she was before, but she now has cool scars to show off to all her dino friends.

The great computer change-over.

Usually Thursdays are one of my very favorite days of the week. Of course, Thursday is right before Friday and Friday is just about the weekend! Then there's the fact that my 4 oldest kids attend the Home School Academy all day that day, the house is quiet and calm and Scarlett and I get to hang out together. :) One of my sisters-in-law loves Thursdays and always celebrates that day. Thursday is also one of my work-out days, which I look forward to and love. Oh, and Survivor is on that night. :)

Last Thursday was not the usual joyous Thursday, however. I was scheduled to have my first root canal that afternoon (in place of my usual work-out...so not the same!) I had downloaded some stuff on to the computer the night before that I could put on my phone (which is also an MP3 player) to listen to during the dreaded dental procedure. I planned on getting this done first thing in the morning after I dropped the kids off at school...but the computer would not turn on!! I tried for about an hour to get the computer to boot up, but it wouldn't. Then I remembered the laptop and decided to use it, instead. Guess what? It's battery was just about dead and the power cord was not working!! I got to quickly check my e-mail and facebook before the battery died. I tried different plugs, wiggling the cord, everything but it would not work! Not the greatest way to start off root canal Thursday, in my book!

After lunch, Dave came home and I was off to my root canal appointment. Technically, I could've walked. I purposefully choose dentists (this is our 3rd...) who are located in the business park across the street from our neighborhood so that we can walk there. The biggest obstacle to this goal, however, is that the street you have to cross, although it does have a light, is freakishly busy and scary to cross. Plus it was colder that day. Plus, having never had a root canal before, I didn't know if I would really feel like walking home afterwards. I'm glad I drove.

I have inherited a lot of really wonderful things from my mom....my teeth not being one of them, however! (Sorry Mom...still love you!) She has told me how it can be very hard for her to get numb for dental procedures and how her root canals have been two-parter's. I didn't really think about any of this before my root canal...everyone said it would be no big deal at all, so that is what I expected. Until he had numbed me 4 different times already and I could still feel the drilling. The dentist said, as a last resort, he could just drill very quickly into the nerve cavity and then be able to inject anesthetic directly into it. Well, it turns out I also had a pulp stone (akin to a kidney stone, only in your tooth root) so he had to "quickly" drill into my nerve about 4-5 different times! Then he had to inject the pain killer directly into about 2-3 more times before I was finally numb! But this time, my jaw was already killing me from being propped open for 45 minutes, and the root canal hadn't even officially started yet! This is one reason why I only got 1/2 a root canal that day...

There was, however, good news when I came home from the dentist...Dave had called Sam's Club (where we purchased our relatively new and now dead computer) and the very nice manager there said that he would take the computer back as a return and credit us so we could buy a new one!! What a nice guy! And what great customer service! So we picked out a new one on Saturday and Dave set it all up Saturday night while I used the laptop (the new cord was ordered, but the old one was working again, randomly.) He spent a lot of time last night switching all our old computer data (which a nice friend of his from work was able to save off our dead computer!) to the new computer. I still have not hooked up the camera to the new computer, however, which was the whole point of this long-winded post. :) I have not been taking nearly as many pictures as I used to, anyway, since my camera is getting old and not taking very good pictures...but there are a few memorable moments sitting on that little card inside my camera that I really should download and blog now that the great computer change-over has taken place!