I’m almost embarrassed to type this.
You see, about three years ago at this time, I was a nervous wreck. We were embarking on the greatest (most terrifying) adventure that two people can ever have. We had no idea what we were doing. And in just over a month we would be sent home with a life… and no instruction manual.
But that wasn’t even the worst of it.
The worst of it was, that life was growing inside of me… and before we could take it home, it somehow had to come out. Women… you know what I’m talking about!
9 months of sheer, dreamy bliss all overshadowed by that looming reality that pregnancy cannot last forever. The day will inevitably come when somehow, some way, you and your body will go through something ridiculously unimaginable… until you’ve done it.
So naturally, in my soon-to-be-new-momness I was thinking and reading and planning just how that huge event would go. Over-thinking and over-planning, if I do say so myself. In the process of my thinking and planning, I stumbled upon a really great book in the local used bookstore. It’s called The Birth That’s Right For You Hands-down best labor & delivery book ever. They are honest. They take into account the fact that everyone’s story is different and everyone is made differently. And in the end there is no right or wrong way to do labor and delivery. The only mistake you could make is not being true to yourself- both in the planning and in the process.
In this fabulous little book they encourage the reader to write a “wish list.” Not a birth plan, because hey… who can plan these things?! But a wish list. How you would PREFER the process to go if you have any say in it.
I loved the idea and the great tips they gave, so I immediately sat down a month before my due date and began hashing out my deepest wishes for that big day. All of them. From labor to delivery to pacifiers to eye salve. I covered everything that I could imagine I might possibly face… and I listed my wishes. With bullet points ordered by preference.
I even had a sweet little introduction that shared about my husband and I, and also shared (with whoever bothered to read it) how I best dealt with pain, how I preferred to be talked to during these kinds of procedures, and how we could all work together as a lovely little team come the big day.
Um… my birth plan was 5 pages long. (I can hear the collective groan of L&D nurses everywhere)
Reading it recently, I couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculously thorough I had been. How I had planned for every possible little thing. How I laid out my wishes very diplomatically and with the constant reiterating that “I respect the knowledge of the L&D staff…”
If only I had known how that day would go, I never would have bothered. But… at the time, it was an invaluable tool for me personally. I needed to know what I felt about these things. I needed to know what my convictions were, if any. And I needed to have them written down, more for myself than for anyone else! Because when you’re in the moment, it’s quite possible to forget what you have spent 9 months determining.
And I can assure you…. as the day dragged on and item after item after item kept being crossed off of my wish list, I was incredibly grateful for the kind staff who read it through (or at least skimmed it) and did their very best to walk us through that memorable day. Even though NOTHING went as planned.
You can read our crazy birth story here.
You can also download and read (and laugh at) our 5-page Modified Labor and Delivery Wish List.
Who knows… maybe there are some more over-thinkers out there who could benefit from a sample birth plan. Or at least an exhaustive list of all of the possible scenarios you could face when going into labor.
(PS. My nurse friends have requested that you DO NOT use this 5-pager as a model for your birth plan! And some of them have let the secret out that an extensive birth plan is mysteriously responsible for c-sections everywhere… so beware the lengthy birth plan! Maybe just wing it? Haha!)
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