When I was pregnant with the twins, Mike and I took a series of classes called “Expecting Multiples” through the hospital where I was to deliver. One of the classes focused on having a “Birth Plan.” For those of you who may be unfamiliar with what this is, basically you write down what you want your child’s birth to be like, and then give it to your nurse for them to take to the break room and laugh about with everyone else on shift. It’s kind of like going to the cockpit before a flight and saying to the pilot, “Hey there! So, in the unlikely event that this plane crashes, here’s how I would like my death to go. I would like to be knocked unconscious before I have time to process what is happening, and then would like to die instantly with my entire body mostly preserved. And yes, my hand was like that before the accident. And also if there is a heaven I would like to go there. Thanks!”
Our instructor was deadly serious about having a birth plan. Mike and I were not. Our birth plan was “everybody gets out of this alive.” The end. Lets just say we were not her favorites. We got deep into her bad side a couple of classes later, when we were given two baby dolls and told to take them with us on our dinner break so that we would know what it was like to have two babies. Oh yeah, she did. And oh no, I did NOT. Mike and I got up and left, with her calling out, “Wait! Don’t forget your babies!!” Here’s why I refused to play along:
1) I am not a 15-year-old that you are trying to keep from getting pregnant. That train has left the station.
2) Even then, I knew it was bullshit. If after walking around for half an hour with two plastic dolls, some pregnant chick comes back to class and says, “That was the hardest thing I have ever done. When I put the babies down, and they just laid there all quiet like, not moving at all, I thought the stress was going to give me a hernia.” Then her life is going to be fucked beyond what you can prepare her for.
But anyhoo. Back to the birth plan. We were asked by our instructor to fill out a birth plan on the template provided for us by the hospital. We did not have a lot to write on ours at the time. Like, nothing really. Again, just the whole “everybody alive” part. But I have re-created the birth plan template here, in its entirety. And I have taken this opportunity to finally fill mine out.
YOUR BIRTH PLAN
You may use the following template to help you write your birth plan or you are welcome to create one of your own.
Mom’s Name: Meredith Belly Full of Babies
Dad/Partner or Support Person’s Name: Mike Trying Not to Smother Me with Plastic Bags from Babies R’ Us.
Introduction (optional): Hey there. I’ve got these things inside me that need to come out and I am hoping you can help with that.
Wishes or Fears (optional): I had no idea my fears were optional. Wishes, however, I knew about. And I tend to vote against them.
Room Environment (circle your preference):
Door to Room: Kept Open Kept Closed
*Closed, and there is a special knock for entry. The knock will be changed every hour. The knock series will last no longer that 20 seconds, but no less than 10. The knock will not be handicapped accessible. You get three attempts at the knock before you are permanently barred from access to my room.
Lighting: Bright Light Low Light
*I choose spotlight. On my cooter. I would like to avoid the possibility of forceps going into my anus because someone can’t see well enough.
Window Coverings: Open Closed
*I will bring my own drapes to create a rustic, “down home” feeling. Like when women gave birth on dirt floors in cabins. My drapes will be made out of a fabric called “Country Morning Puppies and Roosters in Beige”. There will also be a quilt, as this fabric is also available in brown.
Phone: On Off
*I will be live tweeting the birth for my 7 followers.
Visitors: Unlimited Check with nursing station before entering
*Yes. They need to check with the nursing station. Code Green means anyone is welcome. Please check for snacks first. No snack-y, no visit-y. And if they bring veggies and dip then kick them the fuck out. Code Red means only those who can handle seeing someone stick their arm up my hoo-ha for “checks” can come in. Yeah, it’s about their comfort, not mine. I couldn’t care less. I say round ‘em up and bring ‘em in. We can set up a betting pool on how many centimeters dilated I am per hour. Winner gets the placenta. I hear those are all the rage these days.
Conversations: Unlimited Kept to a minimum and kept to subjects of labor and birth
*Fuck all of you and your weekend plans. I don’t want to hear anything coming out of your mouth unless it pertains to my vagina. What’s that? You’re thinking of going skiing next weekend? Oh hey, that’s awesome. Are you skiing down Mount MY VAGINA? NO? Then zip it.
Music: No Yes
*Ok ok….I’ve got some good ones. Here’s is what I want playing during delivery:
“Head Like A Hole” by Nine Inch Nails
“I Need a Doctor” by Dr. Dre featuring Eminem and Skylar Grey
“Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (with no big fat woman)” by Joe Tex
“The First Cut is the Deepest” by Sheryl Crow
Anything by Hoobastank
Bath: No Yes
*No. Then I will just be damp and angry, like a wet cat.
Shower: No Yes
*No. I do not want to give birth while showering. That’s a recurring nightmare of mine.
Pain Medication Preference Scale:
*Someone who is good at math needs to explain why this scale goes from +9 to -7.
+9 = I want as much pain medication as I can have. I fear labor pain and believe I cannot deal with the pain and stress.
*I plan to arrive at the hospital unconscious. According to the guy in Sigma Phi Epsilon I bought the herbs from, I should not come to for 6-8 hours. So get cracking.
+7 = I want pain medication in labor as soon as my care provider will allow.
*I will ask you frequently if I can have it yet. That should speed up the process.
+5 = I want an epidural in active labor. I will try to cope until then, perhaps with narcotic medication.
*And perhaps with medical marijuana. Perhaps not. I just don’t know. Let’s keep it interesting.
+3 = I want to use some pain medication but as little as possible.
*Give it to me a drop at a time and make me beg for more.
0 = I have no opinion or preference.
*Yup. I have no thoughts whatsoever on my impending agony. None. Gonna be totally fine. Or not. Whatever.
-3 = I would like to avoid pain medication if I can. If coping becomes too difficult, I will ask for pain medication.
*I think -3 is best represented by the word, “eh.”
-5 = I have a strong desire to avoid pain medication. I will accept medication if my labor is very difficult or long.
*But really, what are the odds of a long, difficult labor?! ZIPPO! HA! Am I right or am I right? Huh, guys?
-7 = I strongly desire an unmedicated birth. I will be disappointed if I use pain medication.
*Thank you for phrasing it like this. Yes, if I give in to the pain of my vagina being ripped in half, I will regret it for the rest of my life and consider myself a failure. Thanks for putting it out there in black and white, hospital.
This is how I plan to handle pain in labor: I’m not going to lie to you, I’ll probably handle it pretty badly.
First stage of labor: Positions, Movement, Comfort Measures, Interventions, etc: Before introducing drugs, we would like to try other methods to induce labor. Like going for a walk, nipple stimulation, using castor oil, or having sex. Should this become necessary, we will require a nurse’s uniform and no interruptions for 5-10 minutes. If initial attempts are not successful, we may combine one or more of the methods above, in which case you will want to have an empty hallway available for us and a mop on stand by.
Pushing and Delivery: Positioning, Pushing Efforts (Spontaneous or Directed): I would like to hang from the ceiling like a spider, and allow gravity to take its course. When the time comes to push, I will need directions so I know where to aim.
Cesarean Birth Preferences: Sterile instruments.
After the Delivery: Immediate Contact with Baby? Skin to Skin Contact with Baby? Visitors? Breastfeeding?: After you hose it off, I would love to have contact with my child through our respective lawyers. As for skin to skin contact, that’s a maybe to the baby, but a NO to visitors. Even my husband isn’t going to have that for months. And while I have seen that video on the internet too, no I do not plan to breastfeed visitors. Jesus, hospital. What kind of fucked up shit are you into?
Postpartum Care for Mom: Is there going to be some of this?!!!! Here I was thinking it was all going to be about the baby. Sweet! And speaking of sweet, I shall require lots of pudding.
Newborn Care for Baby:
Feeding: Breastfeeding Formula Feeding
*Baby bird feeding, like Alicia Silverstone. I shall spit formula into my infant’s mouth. It’s nature’s way.
Circumcision: No Yes
*Female circumcision is not allowed in this country, you heathens. But if it’s a boy then sure.