When I was pregnant with our first child I joined a Due in November (DIN) forum (long before Facebook) which included ladies from all over the world. For me it was an opportunity to talk with women who were in my exact stage of pregnancy, give or take a week or two. We shared first kicks and hiccups and first ultrasounds and celebrated the various stages our pregnancies together. Just like with most things pregnancy, there were many different opinions about how to deliver, where to deliver, if you should or should not have an epidural. It was an eye opener for me. Until that point I had myself convinced that everyone went to an OBGYN and that every baby was born in a hospital. Go ahead and laugh at me. If I could go back and laugh at me, I totally would.
Today resources about pregnancy and birth are abundant. I would have known about the various options had I been pregnant in 2013 rather than 2005. It took one woman in the group named Sarah sharing her plans for a home birth to spark my interest in alternatives to a hospital delivery. Unfortunately for me, my OBGYN was completely anti home birth and could not deliver at any home (I ditched her after our first son was born) and there were no midwives around my rural Ohio home.
Then, there was the problem of my husband.
While we both knew that the pregnancy was occurring in MY body, my body was growing his first baby. Needless to say, he was overprotective. All of the talk on the forum about home birth, epidurals vs. medicine free and vaccines vs. delayed vaccines vs. no vaccines and circumcision vs. taking home a baby intact and more completely scared him. It awakened me. Thankfully, my husband is open minded and listened to what I told him about the chatter on the forum as well as my ramblings about all of the research which followed.
On November 12, 2005 I delivered our first baby boy much differently than I had originally anticipated. I met middle ground with my husband and delivered in the hospital with a rushed and obviously annoyed OBGYN who was missing her Ohio State football party back home. I had a birth plan printed in triplicate (something I didn’t know existed until the forum) with instructions regarding my preferred method of care and the care of my newborn son. Each step carefully researched and considered after having learned so much from the ladies who shared their ideas and plans on the DIN forum. My birth plan served as a plan, just… a plan. Since plans change, so did ours during the course of the delivery of our son.
In the end I created and printed a plan for the delivery of all three of our sons. Something I would do again if we ever had another child. The plan, for me, allowed me to communicate my wishes with all of those around me without having to repeat my wishes over and again. I also didn’t have to say much more about the care of my sons after they were born. It was listed on the “Baby Plan” page in bullet point. No formula for any reason. Remain intact. In my room at all times.
I was fortunate enough to deliver our third son with a midwife. Our second would have also been born with a midwife, but he was in a hurry. In the end, the births were all very unique. Hadn’t it been for one courageous gal named Sarah, they could have very well been very different from what they were.
The moral of the story is this…
Take the time to consider ALL of your options. Research and discuss them with your partner. Some have told me that my body is MY body, but I tried to keep in mind that my husband was sometimes questioning my decisions out of fear for his son in my belly. Once I took the time to explain the why and how to him, he was usually on board. In the end I gave birth three times with him standing beside me knowing full well that every decision we had talked about was carefully read through by those who were there for us that day.