One of my first posts was all about my ideal birth plan. You can read it HERE. Unfortunately, my beautiful, peaceful, natural birth all went to heck when Tiny got stuck in a foot breach position and had to come out via cesarean. Although I discussed cesareans in my birth plan, I never saw it as a reality and therefore, wasn’t really prepared.
My cesarean birth plan was solid enough but it went pretty much ignored by the entire birthing staff. I was drugged and had my head in the clouds. My husband had his head in “new daddy land.” My poor doula had arrived moments before my cesarean after attending a birth than took almost 48 hours. Poor woman was delirious. So basically, no one was advocating for anything in my plan. In the event that you or someone you know has to have a cesarean, please give some thought not only to the contents of my “contingency plan” but also to the notes I made about it (see comments in red).
· I would like to be fully informed and to participate in the decision-making process. YOU WILL NOT BE FULLY INFORMED. Stuff just starts to happen around you. Know that going in and make sure you have someone who can advocate for you.
· I would like my husband present at all times.
· I wish to have an epidural for anesthesia and would like to be awake/conscious throughout the procedure.
· I do not want the screen lowered during the procedure. I wish that I did have it lowered. I was scared I would throw up at the sight of everything being cut open. In hindsight, I would have like to have watched my daughter be born. Luckily, we snuck a video of it.
· All pain medications given must be compatible with breastfeeding.
· I would like stitches. NO STAPLES. This became a curse for me. I got stitches on the inside and tape on the outside. The tape was a disaster. I did not heal properly at all. I never knew that taping was an option. Do look into whether or not your doctor practices this. I suggest that you avoid tape.
· I would like the catheter removed as soon as I can get up to urinate on my own.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER DELIVERY
· Please hold off on bathing and other procedures so either myself or my husband can have immediate contact with the baby. I would like to bond with the baby first and postpone newborn procedures for up to an hour. This did not even remotely happen. The nurses took Tiny so quickly that no one knew what was happening. I was furious! Make sure that you advocate for this.
· I wish to have one hand free so I can touch the baby while my husband holds her.
· I would like to breastfeed the baby within an hour of delivery. Another infuriating obstacle with a cesarean! They nurses wouldn’t “give me” Tiny for 2 hours using her low temperature as the excuse. In all reality, I think that they prefer mom to come off of the drugs a little. In any event, another thing you must really advocate for.
· I would like to have the baby evaluated and bathed in my presence. My husband will help with the bathing. This happened in my husband’s presence which I was fine with. I would have liked to have seen what was going on but was being put back together so that was not an option.
· I plan to keep the baby near me following birth and would appreciate if the evaluation of the baby can be done with the baby on my abdomen, with both of us covered by a warm blanket, unless there is an unusual situation. Apparently this is NEVER an option when having a cesarean. I do not think I agree so check with your doctor/hospital.
· If the baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband or some other person I designate will accompany the baby at all times.
· Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.
· I prefer that pacifiers are not provided to the baby.
· I will leave the hospital within 48 hours after giving birth so long as both mom and baby are healthy.
· I plan to breastfeed the baby and would like to begin nursing within an hour of delivery. See earlier comment.
· I do not wish to have any bottles given to the baby (including formula, glucose water or plain water). Goodness those nurses sure try to push formula. Good grief. They try to scare you into thinking that your baby is losing too much weight and starving to death. Hold firm! You do NOT need to fall prey to the formula game.
· I would like to feed the baby on demand instead of on a schedule. Those pesky nurses sure do love schedules. They will definitely try to put you on a breastfeeding schedule. So guess what, I demand fed and lied to the nurses. Don’t tell on me!
Hope this provides some food for thought for all of your mama’s to be! Hopefully you can avoid a cesarean at all costs, but if not be as prepared as possible ahead of time.