On having a ‘birth plan’ per the Bradley Method

16 weeks pregnant IMG_8307 - Copy

Holy crap.  How the heck am I thirty weeks pregnant?  Where did the time go?!  I used to think thirty weeks sounded soooo far away, but now it’s here.  BabyHTP will be in my arms in ten weeks, give or take.  Ten weeks to go and I don’t have a nursery.  I haven’t bought a single diaper.  I still don’t know infant CPR.  Help.


Here’s what BabyHTP is up to during the 7th month of pregnancy:  “Your baby’s about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it’s not very keen; even after she’s born, she’ll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she’ll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)” (Source)


And here are some fun Week 30 statistics:


  • Total weight gain:  No idea.  Nearing 30 pounds, though. 
  • Workouts:  Moving into a new house counts.  It definitely counts.  I have been so exhausted just by unpacking boxes, gardening, and moving furniture around that there has been no energy for formal workouts.  I did go on a long walk today, though.
  • Baby Items Gifted:  The crib has arrived!  I am so excited to assemble it.
  • Baby Activity Level:  Kick, kick, kick.  Bump, roll over, bump.  She/he moves all day long now.


When I read that she’s 3 pounds, I freaked out. THREE POUNDS?! No wonder everyday activities exhaust me so much.


After the dust has settled from buying and moving into our new house, I turned to my baby list, which includes items like find a doula, finalize a pediatrician, do the nursery, and write a birth plan.


I feel the need to preface this post by saying that my opinions about my ideal birth are just that… My opinions on my ideal birth. I’m not trying to preach about what other women should do or judge other choices.  Personally, I have always found it interesting to read about what women decide to do and why, even if they do something I would not choose for myself, so that is why I am sharing. 


When you say the term “birth plan,” there are two general reactions: 1) “That’s a really good idea.  If you are sure you do or do not want certain things under certain circumstances, it’s helpful to write it out so your midwife, nurse, and doctor are aware,” and 2) “Birth plans are pointless. You can’t plan birth.  Just go with the flow.”  Since I’m writing a birth plan, I’m obviously in camp #1, but I can understand what those in camp #2 mean when they say you can’t plan birth.  It’s a natural process, things don’t evolve according to a chart, and sometimes, emergencies happen.


That being said… This is my body and my baby.  I have a right to make informed medical choices.  And, quite frankly, I need to write a birth plan because the statistics regarding what commonly occurs in a hospital are not in line with my personal preferences regarding childbirth.  For example, in 2004, the episiotomy rate was 24.5% (an episiotomy is a surgical incision of the perineum).  I would rather use midwifery techniques to prevent tearing (massage, warm compress) or tear naturally than get an episiotomy (here’s why).  I want to be 100% sure that my midwife, nurses, and doctor are aware that I do not want an episiotomy preformed unless it is a true emergency.


As I sit down to write my birth plan, I’m trying to integrate as much as the Bradley Method as possible.  I am waiting to write a complete summary post on the Bradley Method (probably post-baby), but I really love it so far and would recommend it to any expecting momma, even if you want an epidural, because the 12-week program gives you and your partner so much confidence regarding birth.  Bradley Method teaches natural childbirth techniques, and 90% of Bradley women who have a vaginal birth do it without medication – a pretty good success rate!


The #1 rule of the Bradley Method is not to go to the hospital too soon.  Basically, the later you arrive, the less chance of medical intervention (such as pain medication and drugs to speed contractions; remember, Bradley mommas are trying to avoid these things).  We are taught a variety of physical and emotional signposts to know when we should ideally go to the hospital.  Under normal circumstances, I’ll be laboring at home for as long as I can stand it and is safe – I really don’t want the Husband delivering the baby in our bedroom – and then my birth plan will kick in.


I’m not ready to share my final birth plan quite yet (if you’re interested in reading the draft, feel free to shoot me an email at caitlinjboyle@gmail.com), but here are some highlights.  Note that all of these items have been approved by my midwife; I can’t say that every doctor, midwife, nurse, or hospital would allow these things, but mine do.  Most of these items are in line with Bradley Method teachings, which is why I’m including them:


  • Caitlin plans to have a medication-free labor. Please do not offer her an epidural. She does not want any drugs to speed along labor (i.e. Pitocin). If there is an issue, and you believe these medications are necessary, please discuss it with Kristien.
  • Caitlin would like to labor out of bed and would like to be encouraged to try different laboring positions.  She may want to deliver out of bed.
  • If water has not broken by the time Caitlin arrives, water should be allowed to break naturally. Breaking water should be discussed with Kristien first.
  • Kristien would like to announce the gender of the baby to Caitlin.  Please do not spoil the surprise!
  • Please do not clamp or cut cord immediately.  Wait at least three minutes prior to clamping or cutting.  (Side note: here’s why.)
  • Please allow the placenta to come out naturally (no pulling or Pitocin injections, please).  We will be signing a medical release so we can take the placenta home. (Here’s why.)
  • Baby should be placed on Caitlin’s stomach or chest immediately for a minimum of two hours of skin-to-skin contact.


I imagine that, at this point, many of you are thinking, “Dude, if you don’t want them to do anything to you, why aren’t you delivering at home or in a birthing center?”  Good question!  Ultimately, I truly understand that although I can write a birth plan, I cannot plan birth, and scary things do happen.  For me, the best place to be in that scenario is in the hospital with doctors and nurses who can help.  If there is a true medical emergency, I will trust these people to make the appropriate choices for me – screw the birth plan.


Another remark that I commonly hear about birth plans is that the birth doesn’t really matter that much.  All that matters is that the baby comes out, healthy and safe.  While I do think the ‘bottom line’ is true, I do believe that the birth matters, not only in regards to the physical health of my baby, but also for my emotional health.  The birth process does matter to me.  It doesn’t have to be perfect; it doesn’t have to follow my exact birth plan.  But I know this will be a transformative moment in my life, and I want the space around that moment to be one of positivity.  Leaving the hospital with our little boy or girl will be the most amazing thing in the entire world.  But if I can walk out those doors feeling protected, respected, happy, and healthy… then that’s just icing on top of the cake.  


Did you write a birth plan?  How helpful was it for you and for your medical team?


You can read all my pregnancy updates here.



  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape April 4, 2012, 3:35 pm

    Wow, you’ve grown so much!! It’s crazy that you’ll have a little one in 10 weeks or so!

  • ash April 4, 2012, 3:36 pm

    “Baby should be placed on Caitlin’s stomach or chest immediately for a minimum of two hours of skin-to-skin contact.”

    Why two hours? I’m just curious. I don’t know much about what happens immediately after birth. Does the Bradley Method discuss this?

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 3:37 pm

      It’s the period of optimal bonding time. Everyone I have spoken to says that an hour is the ideal minimum but two is better (and then the baby prob gets removed to get weighed, bathed, and whatnot).

      • ash April 4, 2012, 3:43 pm

        oh, ok. Thanks! 🙂 I didn’t know if 2 hours was a generally known recommendation. No baby on the way for me, but thinking about it. There are so many mysteries!

      • Tracy April 4, 2012, 4:47 pm

        … trying to tread lightly here…

        but, if you’re delivering in a hospital, I highly doubt they will allow you the luxury of two hours after the birth of skin-to-skin contact before the baby is weighed, etc. There will be a *whole* *crew* of people in that delivery room when you start to push. People to handle the specifics in taking the APGAR score and footprinting babyHTP, nurses monitoring you, your OB waiting for you to deliver the placenta, then stitch you up if you tear. (And a nurse who will be pressing on your belly if placenta does not come out fully intact, and maybe even if it does). Those peeps have other patients to attend to, and it’s their job to make sure you and your baby are A-okay after the birth – not two hours later. It’s very important to let them do their job… if you want something different, you really should deliver at a birth center or at home.

        Also be aware that if you experience a shift-change, and get a new nurse while in labor, you’ll have to explain your list again. If you hand over your list, and no one asks questions, or has any dialog with you about it, they have no intention of following any of it. Likely your OB won’t be there in the beginning, so s/he’s not the person with whom to have the discussion.

        I’m sure you are aware, very few births go as planned, but generally the outcome trumps the process 🙂

        • Crystal April 4, 2012, 5:20 pm

          APGARs can be done on the chest (both of mine were) and why on earth could weighing, fingerprinting and length not wait? Those things aren’t going to change in two hours. Skin to skin contact also has the added benefit of stabilizing baby’s temperature so they don’t need to be swaddled and put under lights. I’d say that’s less work for nurses who have other patients. And where I delivered DD1 at there was a 1:1 ratio for nurses and new mom’s. Can you tell this is a rage spot for me?

          • Allison K April 4, 2012, 6:23 pm

            I am 36 weeks pregnant (holy crap where does the time go!) and have been told by the nurse (at the hospital that I am going to deliver at) that the baby will immediately be placed on my chest. He will be cleaned there, as well as given his vitamin K shot there. I was told by a lactation consultant, who is also an RN, that there is NO medical reason that baths, weighing, footprints, eye ointment, and other shots can’t wait until after the skin to skin period is over.
            There is lots of research on skin to skin, and it goes beyond just “bonding.” Caitlin, you should check out some videos/information on the seven steps of newborn breast feeding/ the breast crawl. It’s amazing. Also, as the PP said, the regulation of the babies body temperature is crucial, if their temperature drops, their blood sugar drops, and then you end up having to give the baby formula/sugar water (it would be medically necessary at this point) and that can impede breastfeeding.
            All of that being said, I’m not going in with a birth plan per se, but I am going to request that I can have at least an hour of skin to skin time with my baby (deliver of the placenta, and stitching can occur simultaneously) with the hopes of establishing breastfeed early on, assuming there isn’t a medical reason that the baby needs to be whisked away from me. Baby’s health comes first of course, but after that, I think my wishes should come first, aren’t I a customer at the hospital?

        • Christy April 4, 2012, 7:28 pm

          I delivered in a hospital with a midwife. I had a solid 2 hours with my little guy before any stuff got done. I think they weighed and measured him in the room, but it was very quick! After our bonding time, I walked him to the nursery for them to do their evaluation.

          • Crystal April 4, 2012, 8:11 pm

            Keep in mind though you might be too hungry to cuddle for two hours lol. My first fell asleep after cuddling/nursing for an hour and I was demanding food asap! Best mashed potatoes I have ever eaten.

  • Melissa April 4, 2012, 3:37 pm

    I LOVEEEEE the fact that you are having nurses and drs go to the hubs for any questions! That is such a great idea – no stressing out momma! Thanks for the tips and I can’t wait to see the rest of your birthing plan.

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 3:39 pm

      That’s a very Bradley Method thing to do! Husband is the coach.

    • TanyaS April 4, 2012, 4:45 pm

      It seems odd to me. Once in the throes of labour your opinion can change in a hurry and you may no longer feel that he knows what’s in your best interests. You might want to consider a “safe word” in case you want to take over and make decisions for yourself.

      I know I was ready to strangle my husband when I requested a painkiller and he suggested a warm blanket instead.

      • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:55 pm

        Hmm, this is an interesting thought about having a safe word. I can see how the ability to ‘regain the control’ would be important to women. But, obviously, at the end of the day, I DO have the control and can override K whenever I want. LOL But mainly, I want to be focusing on birth, and K can be focusing on decision-making. He knows what my goals are and will make decisions in line with these goals. If we were not so clear on our intentions, I would be more concerned, obviously.

  • Kayce April 4, 2012, 3:38 pm

    I wrote a birth plan and discussed it with my doctor (mine was based on the Bradley method as well). I actually never even go the plan out once I got to the hospital but I think it really helped my husband and I have a good grasp on what kind of birth we wanted. In the end it was very close to the plan!

  • Lindsay April 4, 2012, 3:41 pm

    I have been keeping up on your blog since the beginning of your pregnancy and can’t believe you are already 30 weeks!! That’s so exciting! I did use a birth plan and I am so glad I did. It helped me to think through the whole process and make decisions before I was in pain. It helped all involved to know what I wanted and really not even have to ask, they just followed the plan. Although, I tried to prepare myself to hold to this plan loosely, since, like you said, anything can happen. I was blessed to have the birth I wanted and plan on doing the same plan for the next time.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 4, 2012, 3:42 pm

    Wow, you sound very prepared Caitlin! This is coming from someone who has never had a baby though, so I guess it’s probably common to have a detailed plan. I really like yours! I can’t believe it’s been 30 weeks already!

  • Ashley April 4, 2012, 3:45 pm

    Our hospital actually provided sort of a ‘fill in the blank’ birth plan, which is all we ended up using. It was a do you want this or this? Would you like to be offered this? Yadda yadda. It covered all of the items I was concerned with so that was all I felt I needed.

    I’d say I’m in the middle of your two camps. I think it is definitely important to make a list of things that you would like/ wouldn’t like to happen. There is no harm in voicing your opinion.

    And at the same time just remember that like everyone says, you can’t plan a birth. I wanted to labor in a tub (not a water birth, just labor) with intermittent monitoring, and just a heplock, not hooked up to anything permanently.

    And then I got pre-eclampsia and all that went out the window. I was induced. Couldn’t really do any of the things I wanted. But in the end I was happy with my birth experience and my daughter was born healthy.

    I think it is wonderful that you have a plan, especially because you seem down to earth enough to know that things don’t always go according to plan. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared though!

    • Ashley April 4, 2012, 3:46 pm

      Sheesh. Sorry whenever I end up leaving a comment on your blog it is a novel! You are looking rather beautiful with that bump by the way :).

      • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:48 pm

        I like your novel comments 🙂

  • Katie of Cabbage Ranch April 4, 2012, 3:45 pm

    You’re doing excellent prep on your part, Caitlin, and you’ll do great! I didn’t write a formal birth plan but my husband and I were clear on our preferences at every step. We were also clear that we’d flex as needed with an evolving situation, which is exactly what happened. We were so happy with our experience, mainly because we’d talked about it all, agreed, and knew when to change course. There are things I wish had gone differently, but those things were totally out of our control and we have no regrets!

  • Beth @ 990 Square April 4, 2012, 3:46 pm

    You look fantastic! I don’t know where that 30 pounds is hiding, because to my eyes you look to be all baby!

    As I get closer to thinking about getting pregnant, I must admit that the idea of birth terrifies me, probably because I’ve been told my whole life (by multiple doctors) that I should expect a csection (thanks to the way I’m built. Apparently not only do I have SUPER narrow hips, I have a weird positioning of other stuff as weel). And there is so much negativity surrounding the csection now, it really stresses me out. It’s good to read you being so positive about it.

  • Erin D. April 4, 2012, 3:47 pm

    I’m so sorry, but I have to say this: sex ≠ gender. You will find out the sex of your child, not its gender, since gender has to do with his or her identity.

    • Tammy Root April 4, 2012, 4:17 pm

      You post made me smile Erin — my research focuses on genetics of eating disorders and you are absolutely right. I remember writing my first genetics paper and I was quickly corrected about the sex vs. gender distinction. 🙂

    • Marysa April 4, 2012, 6:07 pm


  • Maggie April 4, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Have you blogged about the crib you selected yet? Trying to remember, but can’t!

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:49 pm

      I did not but its the Graco Sarah crib. Haven’t unpacked but I will let you know what I think when I do!

  • Verna April 4, 2012, 3:50 pm

    I loved giving birth! It was so incredibly amazing both times. I was actually kind of sad that my 2nd baby came out so fast! Ha! I wanted it to take longer so I could enjoy it! It’s such an AMAZING experience! I’m looking forward to doing it again!

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:50 pm

      I love this comment, thank you!

  • Erin April 4, 2012, 3:53 pm

    You look great!
    And thanks for the tips on birth plans. I am 27 weeks and thought I would just ‘go with the flow’, but now I realize there are things I would like the hospital to know.

  • Emily April 4, 2012, 3:57 pm

    I like your birth plan so far. Those points are nice and simple. I like that you’re having Kristien as a kind of protector from stuff.. so the medical people can talk to him first about things outside of the plan and then you.

    I’m a believer in birth plans. Obviously things can move in ways you can’t control, but having a plan gives you a sense of direction, a guideline for when you have have to make decisions in the moment, and something to aim for! Its not something rigid. I think in life in general having a basic plan allows for more flexibility because you don’t get like a rabbit caught in headlights with things you hadn’t thought about.

    Also, I agree with you that the birth matters. Of course a healthy baby is the prime objective, and if circumstances demanded it this would be prioritised over everything else. But there are better and less good ways of getting there! And the birth has an impact down the line too, eg on recovery time.

  • Kristen April 4, 2012, 4:00 pm

    I’m not a doctor, I’m not a mother, I’m not pregnant. But if a birth plan helps avoid an episiotomy, I think that’s a good thing. Again, medical interventions can be necessary…but if they aren’t, they shouldn’t be done just to speed things along.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 4, 2012, 4:03 pm

    I think having a plan is a great idea, whether or not you end up being able to follow it. It’s a good way for you to feel more in control of what is happening!

  • Earthy Nicole April 4, 2012, 4:05 pm

    Luckily, you don’t need a lot in the beginning. And if you aren’t already best friends with Amazon Mom, I recommend it… that or Diapers.com (more than just diapers!). That way when you realize you need something you haven’t got, it’s just a click and two-day shipping away! Serious lifesaver for a new mama.

    Your birth plan sounds good so far! I didn’t have one but I would use one if there was a second time for me. I didn’t have the worst experience but there were several things I’d like to avoid if I were to do it over. For instance, having my placenta forced out — that wasn’t fun and even though my baby was placed on my chest immediately, I wasn’t ready to let her go when they finally took her for a bath. And when they did take her, I was lead to believe she wouldn’t leave the room but they took her (my husband went with, thankfully) but I was just sitting there all alone until they came back and I hated that.

    You look so beautiful and glowy! xx

  • Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete April 4, 2012, 4:07 pm

    I didn’t have a birth plan, and tend to be one of the types that turns my nose up at some of them since experiencing labor, but I think yours is actually pretty realistic. The only one I would add a qualifier too is the last one. Sometimes the baby is having trouble breathing or something like that so placing on the chest wouldn’t be possible. But I’m hoping the doctors would assume the silent “unless in case of emergency or in the baby’s best interest.” 🙂 Oh I also found that it is now the norm to NOT have an episotomy – at least at the hospital where I delivered. Apparently a lot has changed since that statistic eight years ago. Thank goodness! One of my biggest pieces of advice is to stay flexible. I would warn against getting a vision in your head about what the ‘perfect labor and delivery’ would look like because it rarely happens that way. But that doesn’t mean it won’t still be wonderful! Two of my friends had emergency c-sections because of some SCARY situations and I am so thankful they were at the hospital and the babies are okay. Neither of them envisioned their birth experience that way, of course. But the end result was still a beautiful one!

    • m April 4, 2012, 8:38 pm

      I’m actually in medical school currently and we are specifically taught NOT to perform episotomy, obviously there is always a lag but its definitely a trend that all doctors should be aware of by now to avoid.

      • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:51 pm

        Awesome, M. Good to know!

      • danielle April 5, 2012, 11:55 am

        I agree!! My doctor laughed at me when I told her I didn’t want one. She informed me that no one did that anymore :). I did end up tearing just a tiny bit (no stitches needed), but she did a LOT of work to help me avoid a big tear.

    • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker April 5, 2012, 10:14 pm

      i just wanted to say DITTO to everything Callie wrote. i think it’s wonderful to have a clear vision of your ideal labor. but in the moment, you will be surprised how you feel and how the sensations you so prepared yourself for take over in a strange, scary way. birth is a wonderful experience. but staying flexible was totally key for me. i didn’t have a birth plan written out, and i think it — for me — was best. instead, i had an ongoing discussion with my midwife so my intentions were clear. if i got to a point where i felt like things were going in a direction i didn’t like, i looked to her to be my advocate . . . several hours of laboring and more than 2 hours of pushing later, i delivered med-free.

  • colleen April 4, 2012, 4:09 pm

    You are looking good, momma-to-be! Can’t believe in 10 weeks or so you will be holding your little angel. I actually never thought of writing a birth plan for my three. The only thing that mattered to me was no epidural. I wanted to be able to walk to the bathroom and around the room when I wanted to. I did have pitocin and a small amount of localized pain medicine – a shot to the nether region. I will share also that getting stitched up after tearing was actually worse than tearing itself. I also wish I was able to hold my three right after birth for more than 5-10 minutes, but my first was born slightly blue (lack of O2) and missing some digits so he was off to get O2 and to get tests done right away. With the others they did precautionary tests to make sure nothing was wrong with them – which I was grateful for but the bonding/nursery took a little while to learn because of it (in my opinion. Like you said though, a healthy baby is all that matters and if needed a birth plan can be thrown aside if an emergency arises that impacts your and the baby’s health.

    • Crystal April 4, 2012, 4:45 pm

      I agree that getting stitched up was worse than the actual tearing. I actually had to pass DD1 off to DH b/c there was no way I was going to be able to safely hold her while someone was jamming needles in my crotch. Stupid stitches. Thankfully I didn’t tear at all with my second, woo for delivering standing up!

  • Amy April 4, 2012, 4:11 pm

    yay u look so cute!!

    im only 18 weeks pregnant so i havent written a birth plan yet or anything. one of my friends recommended the bradley method too so i think ill look into it more. congrats…sounds like things are going so well!!

  • AJB April 4, 2012, 4:12 pm

    I’d like to copy this birth plan and save it for when we start trying to have babies in a year or so 🙂 I love how informed and opinionated you are about your birth options and how you want both you and your husband to be active in the birthing process and making decisions instead of having them made for you. I hope to be the same way!! You look great btw too!

  • Sara April 4, 2012, 4:13 pm

    I had no idea what an episiotomy was until this post!

  • Bec April 4, 2012, 4:15 pm

    A friend of mine did the Bradley Method and ended up waiting so long to go to the hospital she didn’t even make it to a bed! She ended up giving birth standing up – they asked her if she wanted to catch the baby. Her first birth, the birth plan went out the window so I was glad to hear her second labor was a much more enjoyable one for her!

  • Karen April 4, 2012, 4:17 pm

    We had a birth plan for the delivery of my first son and I plan to have another one this time around too. Everything on your plan was on our plan. Other things you might consider including (of course, you probably have these on your master plan but not here so feel free to disregard!) (and of course if these are things you are looking for in your birth…but I kind of think they are!!):

    No IV’s or continuous fetal monitoring unless necessary

    No loud pushing prompts or counting down during the pushing stage (I did find however that having the nurse direct my pushing to the right spot was very beneficial and also having her encourage me to push but not PUSH PUSH PUSH)

    No vit K or eye drops after delivery during skin to skin time

    As few vaginal exams as possible

    Do not ask to “rate her pain”; if needed, ask to assess comfort level

    If, for some reason, a cesarean section is required, we request that the baby (still covered in vernix) be placed skin-to-skin with (husband) after delivery. Again, please allow the cord to stop pulsing before cutting and treat the baby gently, assuming he is breathing

    In the end I was lucky enough to have a medication free birth with no tearing (I did hypnobirthing) and, like every birth regardless of how it goes down, it was amazing. I think the key is to go in hoping for the best and knowing your options. If you want a copy of my birth plan email me 🙂 I know I loved reading everyone else’s while I was writing mine.

    • Amykinz @ Foodie 4 Healing April 4, 2012, 9:01 pm

      I did hypnobirthing, too, with my second baby. It was the best decision I ever made! Here’s my story, if you’re interested: http://foodie4healing.blogspot.com/2011/07/meet-adelyn-anna-my-hypnobirthingwaterb.html

      • Karen April 6, 2012, 2:40 pm

        Great story! And the pictures are just so moving! (I may have teared up a little seeing them. Reminded me so much of the emotions surrounding the birth of my first son.) We had a great experience with hypnobirthing and plan to use it again for our next son due in July.

        • Amykinz @ Foodie 4 Healing April 6, 2012, 11:45 pm

          I’d highly recommend it paired with the waterbirth, if you have that option. Amazing experience! I wouldn’t want to birth any other way now. Congrats on #2!

  • Hilary April 4, 2012, 4:19 pm

    I wrote a Bradley-centered birth plan as well. I am fortunate to be able to deliver in a birth center that is located inside a hospital, so it wasn’t really necessary for us, but I was glad I did it. Like you said, it helps you prepare for the birth.

    The advice my Bradley teacher gave us regarding birth plans was try to word things in a positive way. You don’t want the nurses attending you to read it and then be on the defense if you come across condescending (not that you are, I just think maybe you could try and re-word things a little?) or that you know more than the nurses (even if you do!).

    And, I agree, I get tired of everyone saying, Oh just as long as the baby is healthy! How the birth happens does matter, just like you said. And it’s OK to say it!

    • Christy April 4, 2012, 8:22 pm

      So true! The way you birth can even effect the health of your baby. It DOES matter. My first was in the NICU with breathing problems b/c he never went through the birth canal. My VBAC baby was as healthy as can be. What a difference between the 2 births.

  • Krysty Thelen April 4, 2012, 4:21 pm

    I have to say, I do not agree with the people that say the actual birth does not matter…oh because it does. My boyfriend comes from a large family. He is the 2nd of 6. The oldest, Beth, was born in the hospital, as was Jeff (my BF)…however, his Mom almost died giving birth in the hospital and the nurses were not at all attentive and did not do their jobs. Because had they been doing their jobs they would have noticed her bleeding out. Jeff was the last one born in the hospital, the remaining 4 were home births because of her experience in the hospital. You should have a plan, and also be able to go with the flow. I think your plan so far is great. You look wonderful by the way! Positivly glowing!

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:51 pm

      So scary about your boyfriend’s mom!!!

  • Helena April 4, 2012, 4:24 pm

    You look great! 🙂 I think it’s really important that every woman has a say in how she would ideally like to give birth. Although interestingly, I’m pretty much the exact opposite of you, heh. I have a severe autoimmune disease that means I experience level 8 to 9 pain sometimes on a daily basis, and pain medication often has little to no impact. Therefore if there’s something I can do to alleviate at least the labour pain, I’ll take any and every drug they have. I’m confident in my hospital and the staff there, and will be putting myself completely in their hands. I admittedly have no interest whatsoever in experiencing a “natural” birth! (And I think a lot of women who had to give birth that way in the past or still do in less privileged circumstances would have been the first to put their hands up for an epidural!) But exactly as I would expect my right to a fully assisted birth to be respected, I can completely respect your right to a medication-free birth and I hope it goes as closely as possible to plan for you.

  • Rebecca April 4, 2012, 4:24 pm

    If my parents had a birth plan with me or my sister, they didn’t get to use it, really. Both of us were C-sections because of complications–I was really early (Mom had toxemia) and my sister almost came out breech. My mom didn’t even get to really see me until like two days later because she was so out of it from the whole thing. =\

    So exciting that you’re 30 weeks already!! Feels like just recently you were announcing the pregnancy!

  • Jen April 4, 2012, 4:26 pm

    Sounds like a great plan! I’m glad I had mine and I pretty much got what I wanted. One thing you might add…a little skin-to-skin action for the baby and Kristien. It’s good to have the daddy/baby bonding too.

  • Janelle April 4, 2012, 4:32 pm

    Caitlin, I have so much respect and admiration for you and your husband for standing up and saying “this is what we want.” Major props.

  • Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride April 4, 2012, 4:35 pm

    This is so fascinating to me and really opening me up to researching more deeply into all of the options.

  • Kelli April 4, 2012, 4:36 pm

    We are working with a midwife for a home birth,so we won’t have a written out birth plan, but by the time the birth comes our midwife will know us well enough to know what we want. Plus, most of what we want she does anyway, which is one of the reasons we decided on a home birth. I know things won’t always go as planned, so we are telling everyone that we are hoping for a home birth. The midwife will turn doula for us if we have to go to the hospital, which is a big comfort to me. I think your plan so far sounds really great. Writing things out for me usually helps them come true, or closer to plan anyway. I think that the birth experience is extremely important! Do they discuss things to do to help your perenium get ready pre-birth? My midwife told me that in week 30 to start rubbing vitamin E oil on my perenium ever day, & doing some gentle stretching that mimics the baby’s head pressing down. I’m not there yet but full plan to do these things, every little thing helps I think. And thanks to you I downloaded a kegel app & do mine 2-3X a day every day, which I’m sure will help us both on the big day!
    You look beautiful. I love that bracelet on your left wrist.

  • Brie April 4, 2012, 4:40 pm

    I am struggling with this. I just can’t fathom making a plan for something that a) I’ve never experienced before; b) I have no idea how I will react to; and c) is largely controlled by the baby, not me. I also worry about feeling like a failure if I set expectations for the birth that I’m unable to meet or are out of my control.

    My gut tells me that my “birth plan” will be, “go to hospital, ride the flow of labor and do what my body tells me to do (even if that’s asking for an epidural), come home with healthy baby.” Maybe that makes me a slacker.

    • Marci April 4, 2012, 4:59 pm

      That is not a slacker! I like your plan. I was the same way, but wanted drugs for sure. The pain was nothing I could have tried to imagine and the epidural was not as numbing as I expected in a good way.

    • krista April 4, 2012, 5:07 pm

      I was the same, and had 2 fast and wonderful births! And I’m no slacker. 🙂

      • Brie April 4, 2012, 7:16 pm

        Thank you ladies! I always feel a little bit bad because my plan is kind of to not make a plan. I will go in fully informed of all my options, sure, but I don’t feel qualified to make those decisions until I’m in the moment.

        • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:52 pm

          I don’t think you NEED a plan, Brie. I think it really depends on your personality, as well as your doctor. Just find a doctor in line with your general beliefs.

        • Jessica April 5, 2012, 9:40 am

          I felt the same way as you do, Brie. About 2 months before my due date my husband asked me how I was feeling about labor and delivery. I told him I was just trying not to over think it and not stress about something that I had no clue about. I didn’t go in with a plan and I did get an epidural and I am completely happy with how the birth turned out. I think everyone has to do things their own way. Do what you feel is right. And if you have a second you might have different feelings on a birth plan after having gone through the whole thing already.

    • danielle April 5, 2012, 12:02 pm

      This was my birth plan, and it was truly the best day of my life. Everything went so fluidly (pitocin and all!) and I cannot imagine having been able to plan it any better.

      And, I’m a pretty Type-A planner. But some things? Are just out of your control.

    • Claire Zulkey April 5, 2012, 1:52 pm

      This is pretty much my plan too, although I’m pretty much epidural all the way.

  • Lissa April 4, 2012, 4:41 pm

    I think it’s definitely a good idea to have a birth idea, vs a plan. I respect people who know what they want, but are also open to change. I knew I was having a C-section and I have to say, it was a wonderful experience. It was natural as could be … baby placed on me immediately after she got swaddled and she didn’t leave my side til 5 minutes before my surgery ended — and I met her and DH in the nursery. I think because it was planned (medical complications warranted it) it helped me be at peace with my birthing method ahead of time (vs an emergency C after a failed labor) — and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I guess my thinking is, all moms are superwomen no matter how their babies get here. If you can labor and deliver without drugs, more power to you! I know I’d be all about the drugs 😉 That said, each woman’s situation (and birth philosophy) is unique and I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything, even though it was a scheduled C-section, which many people shun.

    • Lissa April 4, 2012, 4:41 pm

      I mean, met them in recovery. Damn mommy brain!

    • Jess B. April 4, 2012, 5:19 pm

      Thank you for this. I’m not there yet, but I know because of my medical condition I will be having a c-section. I love your comment about all moms are superwomen 🙂 and you are right, some people have an attitude about the scheduled C, but they don’t understand that sometimes there is no way around it. Thanks!

      • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:53 pm

        All mommas are superwomen 🙂

  • Crystal April 4, 2012, 4:42 pm

    That sounds pretty close to my birth plan with my first. My advice is to go over with your midwife, have her sign two copies, take one home and put it in your hospital bag and have the other sent over in your chart. My nurses were kind of “well we can’t really do that” until I said “It’s in my chart, my doctor okay-ed it”. Once I proved that it was all sparkles and sunshine and people pretty much left me alone.

  • Sarah@WilliamsburgBaby April 4, 2012, 4:43 pm

    Sounds like a great plan to me. I know some friends have said an epidural was the best thing they did, but if I can help it I’d really rather not. Part of it is that I would just love to fully experience labour.

  • Katie April 4, 2012, 4:46 pm

    We just finished our Bradley classes and our birth plan looks much like yours. I totally agree that the birth experience is important emotionally and (as I’m sure you’re learning through the classes as well) can effect the baby after delivery. We watched this one video that showed a birth when the mom was completed sedated (not an epidural but actually knocked out- which I’m pretty sure isn’t really done any more. The video was from the 50s or 60s) and it took the baby a full minute to actually breathe after it came out. Whew.

    Looking good at 30 weeks! 🙂

  • Kath April 4, 2012, 4:50 pm

    You are one gorgeous mama!!

    I would love a copy of your birth plan – I imagine ours will look very similar 🙂 Love how you deferred to Kristien too. I also cannot WAIT to hear about your birth! Wish I could be there with you 🙂

  • Marci April 4, 2012, 4:50 pm

    No written birth plan for me three weeks ago. I had ideas of what I wanted, and ended up being induced and in the hospital from before labor even started. I do have to say that the pain once my water broke was like nothing I had ever felt and nothing I could explain. But I cried through it and the epidural was the best thing in the world. And we didn’t find out the sex either. Our doctor held up the baby for us both to see at
    The same time. That was very special.

  • Mari April 4, 2012, 5:05 pm

    Don’t know how you feel about circumcision, but I thought it’s worth mentioning that you might want to specifically note in your plan whether or not you want a circumcision (if it’s a boy, of course). Our doula pointed out that many hospitals may take the child away and assume the parents want a boy circumcized, so if you DON’T want him to be, you should make that big and bold on your plan (and tell your caregivers).

    This is pertinent to my husband and me since we’re Jewish and will be holding a bris on his 8th day of life, but it hadn’t occurred to me, before our doula mentioned it, that we might need to be incredibly explicit about our desires. (Because, I mean, shouldn’t they HAVE to get permission before doing any sort of elective procedure?!)

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:55 pm

      It is definitely noted in our plan that we will NOT be circumcisizing. Good reminder, though.

      • Debbie April 5, 2012, 12:25 pm

        I don’t think that has to be part of your birth plan. They do not do that right away. It is usually done the next day and they come to your room and have you sign off on it. Not something they just take and do themselves without warning you.

    • Claire Zulkey April 5, 2012, 1:53 pm

      Weird. I have to denote as early as 6 months if we want to circumcise, since (surprise!) it gets tacked onto our bill if we do.

  • Mari April 4, 2012, 5:06 pm

    P.S. You look fantastic! I’d love to see your final birth plan and maybe steal some details from it. Will you be sharing it publicly when you’re done?

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:56 pm

      You can shoot me an email if you want the copy! This may be the only post I do it on though.

  • Christina April 4, 2012, 5:08 pm

    FYI, I had a completely natural birth following my birth plan exactly but I ended up needing Pitocin due to excessive bleeding. I trusted my midwife enough to know she never would have given me something unless absolutely necessary.

  • Cori April 4, 2012, 5:11 pm

    I had great plans to put together a birth plan. Then…halfway through the pregnancy…discovered that it was twins and all bets were off. Suddenly I was high risk and freaked out. Our first thought was that we wanted to push for a natural birth – I really didn’t relish the thought of being cut open. But then my high-risk OB told me that they would be putting an epidural in – JUST IN CASE – and it ended up being a good thing they did. My water broke suddenly at 34 weeks and I was quickly in full labour. I tried to deliver naturally for hours. Baby A got “stuck” on the way out and her heart rate dropped. The decisions came fast and furious and I was cut open within minutes. In the end, – I was happier to have not had a structured birth plan because I didn’t have time to get scared – the doctors just did what was best for my babies and I’m glad I trusted them to do so.

  • Sarah April 4, 2012, 5:17 pm

    When I was living in Brooklyn I had an OB/GYN who wasn’t amazing. At 30 weeks I gave him a copy of my birth plan (which wasn’t very strict, as I recall) and he freaked out and FIRED ME. Seriously. The NY state website for health even says to make a birth plan. Luckily, he referred me to a doctor who was AMAZING and it all went fine. Also, in labor, I didn’t give a crap about my birth plan, but it made me feel good to feel prepared 😀

  • Jen April 4, 2012, 5:18 pm

    I love that your husband is announcing the gender–so sweet!

  • VTMama April 4, 2012, 5:25 pm

    The best thing my midwife said to me was, “Giving birth wasn’t what I expected.” She had three children with one natural childbirth, one caesarean, and one induced labor.

    I think a birth plan is a great idea, so the medical people taking care of you know what your preferences are.

    My two birthing experiences weren’t what I expected either. But they were amazing and difficult and shocking and beautiful. And I have two fantastic children.

    Embrace your childbirth experience, no matter how much the journey differs from your plan. Know that you and your partner have done your best and the rest will be what it is. Maybe running a marathon is like this?

    Best of luck to you, and I can’t wait to hear your birth story. Congratulations on your new home.

  • JennieMc April 4, 2012, 5:26 pm

    I think your plan sounds lovely, and you’ve gotten some excellent advice here. The only thing I would add, and I have no clue if it goes “against” the Bradley Method, is to try to prepare yourself for what you’ll do if things don’t go according to plan. Obviously, your birth plan is your ideal situation, but I know so many people that didn’t have things go according to their plans, and really struggled with feelings of failure because they needed the pain medication, or an emergency c-section, or weren’t able to hold the baby immediately after delivery, and still, years and YEARS later, think that they’ve “failed” their bodies or their babies by things not going according to plan.

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:57 pm

      Good advice. Bradley is really big on educating you about what decisions you may have to make so you can make well-informed choices. One of the things that I like about it is that you don’t just blindly follow protocol.

  • Rachel April 4, 2012, 5:32 pm

    I totally support all your decisions! I may not be aligned with all your choices (heck I don’t want a baby!) but I agree that it is up to the mother 100% what happens, and as long as no one gets hurt it shouldn’t matter how it happens. I think the birth plan is a great tool to make sure you know what you want (visualization) and to make sure you don’t let yourself be pressured into something you regret later.

  • Jen April 4, 2012, 5:51 pm

    Love it! I’d love to see your completed birth plan, it’s definitely in line with how my husband and I feel. Such an exciting time coming for you, and I’m following just 12 weeks behind you.

  • Lauren April 4, 2012, 6:10 pm

    I absolutely love your birth plan and if I ever have a child some day, I hope that it will look similar. I am very much looking forward to hearing how the process goes! I have loved reading all of your pregnancy updates, thank you so much for all you share with your readers. 🙂

  • Sarah April 4, 2012, 6:22 pm

    Not pregnant or married, but I have pretty much become obsessed with reading your posts (kath’s and fitnessista’s as well) about pregnancy and birth. I feel like there are so many things I didn’t know about.

  • Jen April 4, 2012, 6:29 pm

    Excuse me, what?! 30 weeks? Seven months? Where has time gone? You look beautiful – you have that true pregnancy glow – and you’re managing so much, you really are superwoman, you know that? You’re a great person, Caitlin… don’t ever change.

  • Allison K April 4, 2012, 6:32 pm

    I don’t have a written out birth plan. My husband knows what I want, my midwife knows what I want, and I know the contstraints of my hospital, beyond that I think how things go down really depends on the nurse that you end up with. I live in a small town, and already know that some of the nursing staff can’t believe their are women who want to go “natural” so they act kind of skeptical about it. BUT, I know that it’s possible. The nurse who taught my hospital birth class (I took it, only for the tour, and to get to a feel of the place, I moved here at 30 weeks) is very epidural oriented. In fact, my hospital was recently on an episode of 16 and Pregnant (Katie from Rock Springs Wyoming). Katie wanted to go natural, and had selected the only Nurse Mid-Wife in town (As have I, it was pretty cool to see my midwife and hopsital on the MTV), and the nurse that was assigned to here was the very epidural friendly nurse who taught my class. At the very beginning of labor she asked the girl if she wanted an epidural and she said “no.” The nurse sort of did a double take, and asked “are you sure? Just in case.” The girl told her no again, and ended up having a nonmedicated, interventionless birth. I know this sounds so cheesy, especially sicne I am talking about 16 and Pregnant, but seeing MY midwife from MY hosptial with one of MY potential nurses, assist a girl in a natural, intervention-less birth made me feel a lot more confident in our birth.

  • Kate April 4, 2012, 6:38 pm

    Just gonna say…my daughter’s birth was NOTHING like my plan. It involved severe itching from cholestasis, cervadil, pitocin, pain medication, an epidural, and a third degree tear…and guess what–it was still perfect. 🙂 They put her on my chest and all I could say was “Oh my gosh, you are real!” In the end, nothing else mattered but having my girl safely out.

  • Gwen O April 4, 2012, 7:19 pm

    I personally think that birth plans take away from the experience of delivering a child. Instead of moving through the process and listening to your body, you become preoccupied with checking boxes off or crossing things off of a list, i e., it’s about the mom’s ego, not about the baby.

    Maybe you get this a lot because you write a public blog, but birthing isn’t a performance. Your baby may need to have an emergency c-section for reasons outside of your control, or maybe you will want some help with the pain. I get the sense from other mothers who believe in natural births that they have accomplished something, whereas other women who had c-sections, were induced, etc., have not. And I think that’s so unfortunate.

    • Alison April 4, 2012, 9:41 pm

      awesome comment. thanks!

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:46 pm

      I know you followed up this comment with another comment, and it’s okay – I know what you meant. 🙂 I do want to say that I definitely don’t think birth is a performance or about “my ego.” If anything, I think having a public blog forces me to think more clearly about what we (as in me, my husband, and the baby) want/need and WHY we want/need these things. I think it is a good thing because it forces me to look at my decisions more closely, not just about birth but about many things. I’m so thankful for the comments section because it gives me a lot to think about.

      • Gwen O April 5, 2012, 12:04 am

        Great. No hard feelings?? Seriously, I love your blog. I think being open-minded is one of the things you do very well as a blogger.

    • Megan @ MegGoesNomNom April 5, 2012, 11:57 pm

      I disagree. I don’t think having a birth plan is about “the mom’s ego” by any means. As Caitlin said, preparing a birthing plan prepares women for the decisions they make have to make during the birthing process, allowing for well-informed decisions to be made.

  • Laura Ann April 4, 2012, 7:20 pm

    LOVE THIS! Thank you for being brave enough to share. I hope to use this post as a resource one day…

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out April 4, 2012, 7:21 pm

    You have the CUTEST baby bump.

    Kudos to you for taking charge of your delivery experience. I wish all women had the courage to do the same. I wish our culture supported women questioning standard medical practices.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) April 4, 2012, 7:23 pm

    I think your birth plan is perfect! I was 23 when I had my first son and while I’m extremely happy with my choice to have children when I was younger, I regret not being older for this very reason. I feel like I know so much more about me and that I would have made completely different choices. My plan was pretty much what I was told by the doctor and I had no idea I had any other choices. This is a beautiful plan and I’m so glad that you two are doing this together this way. I do think they speed up the process to move you through. I had a HORRIFIC experience the second time around that I will regret forever. Luckily, I had a healthy baby boy, but sadly, my birthing experience was a nightmare from start to finish. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I know your birth plan is personal and precious to you. I know tons of people will have negative thoughts on it too. I think it’s perfect for the three of you! I hope you get to do it all as planned.

  • Gwen O April 4, 2012, 7:26 pm

    I just re-read over my comment. I didn’t mean to sound so snarky! I do hope that the birth occurs exactly as you hope but maybe prepare emotionally to for what happens if it doesn’t. I guess I am just sensitive because that is what happened to me.

  • Christy April 4, 2012, 7:32 pm

    I just wanted to share my birth video. 🙂 I had a hospital VBAC with a midwife. I ended up getting an epidural, but everything about his birth was amazing! The midwives naturally did many of the things you have in your birth plan. They were phenomenal. I can’t want to get pregnant with my 3rd so I can do it all over again, hopefully with no epi. 🙂

    Good Luck! I can’t wait to read your birth story.

  • Leatitia @ The Sweetest Year April 4, 2012, 7:33 pm

    I had a pretty traumatic birth experience and I really hope you’ll get the birth you wish for. I had an emergency c-section, was crying, in complete despair, totally disconnected from the fact that the baby was going to be there with us in a few minutes. Thank God I composed myself on the operating table, stopped crying and thought; “OMG, he’s coming! He’s gonna be here! It’s over!” As soon as I saw my little baby, I couldn’t stop smiling… to everyone in the operating room. 😉

    The ‘labor’ part/emergency c-section was traumatic for me, but the birth in itself, meeting my baby, was amazing.

    I really hope you’ll get the amazing birth you hope for. xox

  • Christy April 4, 2012, 7:33 pm
  • stevie April 4, 2012, 7:36 pm

    I love your birth plan, its a perfect mix of natural/modern practices and is keeping in mind emergencies, and i love that your husband is the messenger during labor!

  • Kelsey April 4, 2012, 7:47 pm

    YOU GO, CAITLIN! I think it is awesome that you are so empowered and you are not letting norms or judgment stand in the way of the health and needs of YOUR family. 🙂

  • Kate April 4, 2012, 8:00 pm

    If for some reason your plan doesn’t go as “planned,” everything will be fine. After I delivered our third baby she was whisked away quickly, taken by a Pediatric NICU ambulance to a NICU forty five minutes away from our hometown. She swallowed amniotic fluid on her way out that went right to her lungs and she was having a tough time breathing on her own. I didn’t hold my baby until she was a week old, I pumped colostrum & milk for her to be given through her feeding tube. Our first hold was just as wonderful as holding our first two daughters when they were born. Our third child thrives, she will never know she wasn’t held right away. We bonded perfectly at a week old, she latched on and nursed like a champ. I nursed her until she was 23 months old! We had plenty of bonding time to make up for that one week. She’ll be turning two this month & she’s right on track socially and developmentally.
    No matter what happens, you may even end up saying screw the birth plan, just know that having a healthy baby is the ultimate goal. First time moms are great! We’ve all been there, my best advice, stop reading so much. You have maternal instincts for a reason, trust them. Not all babies are the same, find what works for you and your family. You will drive yourself crazy trying to be up on everything.

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 9:58 pm

      Aww, go momma!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie April 4, 2012, 8:11 pm

    I love your birth plan. Mine was almost identical and even though they never mentioned anything, or asked anything of me, the hospital we delivered at (with our midwife, we don’t have a birthing center here) followed our plan to.the.T. It was perfect. I had a 19 hour labor naturally, gave birth med free with no complications. Then had skin to skin nursing time for the next few hours. I do love that I had a plan because things were uncomplicated and since there were no complications no questions were needed to be asked, they knew what I wanted and just did it.

    I will say, you may want to look into post birth stuff too like if you want the Hep B vaccination for your baby (they won’t ask, they’ll just do it if you don’t specify otherwise) and also circumcision preferences if it’s a boy (and the vitamin k shot that comes with that).

  • Jenny April 4, 2012, 8:15 pm

    Just wanted to point out to Mari – I work as a nurse on a postpartum/nursery unit. We would NEVER “assume” parents want a circumsion and do it without their consent. The physician has to have written consent from the parents before performing that. These days, we never even “assume” that parents want a pacifier, and have to have express consent from them if they want their baby to have one. Just some food for thought.

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runnee April 4, 2012, 8:18 pm

    I agree that the birth is important, although I do wish I would’ve focused more on learning about parenting than the birthing process. I wrote out a birth plan that my OB was 100% behind, however, my birth experience was completely everything I didn’t want. I had to be induced at 41 weeks, I was given pitocin, and ended up with an epidural (by choice). But, I’m happy I ended up with an epidural (I planned on doing the Bradley Method and having a drug-free birth) because I ended up having an unplanned c-section because my daughter was trying to come out FACE first instead of head first. (She would’ve probably broken my pelvis had she come out that way. I’ll take the c-section!) While I’m happy my baby was perfectly healthy, I still wish I could’ve had my ideal birth, or at least something close to it. Hopefully I’ll have another chance in the future.

  • Kelly April 4, 2012, 8:44 pm

    Hi Caitlin
    As a new mom (Bennett is almost 9 months old) I remember about three months before my due date creating a birth plan with my husband and then discussing it with my OB/GYN. We were all on board with the plan which contained many of the same ideas that you outlined above – no drugs unless a TRUE emergency, cord clamping time, gender announcement, no episiotimy, etc. Then we waited. My due date came and went and we waited, and waited. My OB/GYN and I had an appointment about eight days overdue and she said if I didn’t have the baby over the weekend that they would induce – but we would wait as long as safely possible – as per my wishes. Later that day I had an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid levels and the ultrasound revealed Bennett wasn’t able to come out because he was breech with one leg up and one leg down. Out the window went my birth plan – he couldn’t be turned -and I had to have a caesarian. I was devastated for a moment and then realized that I was going to meet my baby the next day! My husband and I promised we would do everything possible to stick to our “new & revised” plan that included as much skin to skin as possible after birth (this was more possible in the first thirty minutes for my husband because I was still in surgery) and nursing as soon as possible. Everything went exceptionally well and Bennett is a wonderful, busy, adventurous and happy little guy. Good luck to you and Kristien and I guess all I’m trying to say is a little of camp #1 and camp #2 is ok because life is unpredictable no matter how much you plan (but I am a planner and having an idea of what I wanted made me feel better about the event of birthing)! Take care of yourself and be sure to rest as much as you can in these next few weeks! 🙂

  • Amykinz @ Foodie 4 Healing April 4, 2012, 8:50 pm

    Hey Caitlin!
    I am really proud of you for writing a birth plan and I think you did a great job on this post. And on the start of your birth plan. Where you deliver is so critical to your birth plan being followed. I have 2 kids and we did a birth plan with each. The first time around, we labored at a hospital, and the plan wasn’t followed at all. The second time around, I was much more intentionally about where and who were going to be with me. I was specific with my birth plan and I even hired a Doula. My birth plan went (almost) exactly according to plan the second time! We used Hypnobirthing and waterbirth together. Here’s my birth story, if you’re interested in hearing more: http://foodie4healing.blogspot.com/2011/07/meet-adelyn-anna-my-hypnobirthingwaterb.html

  • Laura Ann April 4, 2012, 9:03 pm

    LOVE THIS! Thank you for being brave enough to share. I hope to use this post as a resource one day.

  • Kortney April 4, 2012, 9:04 pm

    For me it means a lot emotionally to deliver how you want. I had Colton four months ago. My water broke and per my dr recommendations I went to the hospital not to long after. Well since I spike a fever and had told them I would rather do anything than have a c-section if possible they gave me pitocin to speed up the labor. Well Colton was laying on a nerve and the pitocin was awful and with those combine I ended up getting an epidural. I knew if I didn’t I was not going to make it to delivery. Now four months later I still have had time coming to terms with all of it. I know in the back of my head it was necessary but it’s not what I had wanted. Regardless I do have an amazing little boy 🙂
    I saw your post on babble about breast feeding and saw that you mentioned it here- Colton and I did amazing breast feeding immediately after birth but he had a fever when he was born so they took him to do antibiotics and they kept him for six hours. I was a nervous wreck. They had also given him sugar water to help him cope with the antibiotics. The time away and the sugar water did nothing to help breast feeding. It was awful no matter what I or any lc did he would not even take my breast. Breast feeding is stressful but rewarding. He neer did latch and I pumped for a month but the pump would not suction as well as baby so my milk never came in.
    Good for you for doing a birth plan! I am so excited for y’all!

  • Katie April 4, 2012, 9:21 pm

    I think it sounds awesome! I hope your birth goes well!

  • Andrea April 4, 2012, 10:08 pm

    I really don’t know any other way to say this except…Caitlin, you are so COOL! I love the way you write and the way you explore “touchy” issues with such tact and grace! Even when I don’t agree with what you’re saying I find that you express your opinions in such a beautiful way that I love reading about your thoughts and ideas! Keep up the excellent writing and I am sending positive thoughts your way to have your birth go according to your plan 🙂

  • Amanda April 4, 2012, 10:10 pm

    I had intentions of writing a birth plan, but when I found out I would have to have a c section, my only requirement for the birth was; no one visits me before the birth (except husband), and no one comes in to see us after the birth until we go get them. Basically we just got our nurses to be the guard dogs for us 🙂

  • Jess April 4, 2012, 10:20 pm

    When my little brother was born, my parents birth plan looked just like this!

    They had a wonderful experience, but my dad was also sure to tell the nurses of the plan when they checked in just as a reminder.

    Another part was my step-mom was not told how far dilated she was at any point, and she was checked as seldom as possible. She labored at home for hours, then when she went to the hospital, she figured she would be pretty far along. Later she found out that she was only 3cm. She said if they’d told her that’s all she was then she would have gotten medication. She was very happy with the choice to not know her measurements!

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery April 4, 2012, 10:23 pm

    I’m only 23 and not in a relationship so having kids is a long way away for me, but I do find childbirth so interesting. I think having a birth plan is a good idea and I think it’s so cool that you want the husband to announce the gender. It is your body, your baby, and your experience (and the husband’s) so I think you COMPLETELY have the right to write a birth plan and I think it should be adhered to (as long as it is medically advisable of course, which is something you seem to agree with) by those who are taking care of you. Have you considered a water birth? I know that my cousin had an amazing experience with her firstborn and might do the same with her second child (they don’t know the gender and she’s due a week before you are actually). I’m genuinely happy for you and excited for you, Caitlin!

  • Rebecca April 4, 2012, 10:39 pm

    Do you watch up all night? there’s a hilarious episode about their birth plan that this reminded me of. You should Hulu it.:) good luck!

  • Lindy Katherine April 4, 2012, 10:46 pm

    Here’s my birth plan for baby #3:
    – no talk of induction until after 41 weeks (this is already in line with my midwives’ policy
    – when I call the midwives to tell them I am in labor, they call the hospital and pre-order my epidural. (I get tears in my eyes every time I talk about my epidurals…like so many others wax poetically about med-free I could go on and on about how much better they let me be mentally present during labor)
    – let my hubs announce the sex
    – nothing to interfere with breastfeeding after birth
    – if it’s a boy, no knife will come near his perfect genitals!

    My birth plan was much like yours the first go-around, but my hat is off to you for thinking this through and making your wishes known. I have no idea why some women take it upon themselves to belittle another’s wishes or dismiss this process as an important one to you and your family. You go, girl.

  • allpointswhole April 4, 2012, 10:52 pm

    I love it!! Great, great plan. I did skin to skin so much I got some real crazy looks…oh well!

  • Marissa C April 4, 2012, 10:54 pm

    I had a birth plan…very similar to yours. I gave birth in an awesome hospital with a CNM. No episiotomies…I did have an epidural at 9cm, but it was my choice and was never mentioned…and my midwife helped me get that far without one.

    Sure…things wont go as planned, but I still think the birth plan is important. I requested that the cord clamping be delayed…this didn’t happen because there was heavy meconium when my water broke. And that was okay–because I had written that in my plan, the midwife and nurse explained the cord would have to be cut immediately so she could be suctioned. I knew what was going to happen in advance and why.

    I also requested the eye ointment be delayed. I got an hour of bonding and breastfeeding with my baby before they put it on her. No big deal.

    The nurses were awesome and read my plan closely. I hope yours are just as good.

    Now…I did bring homemade cookies to the hospital 😉

  • Katherine April 4, 2012, 11:02 pm

    I had a birth plan and gave birth naturally after over 24 hours of labor, but after 2.5 hours of pushing ended up with an episiotomy performed by my midwife. Turns out my little one had her arm up over her head (coming out elbow first) and the cord was around her neck. She was blue when she first came out, but quickly became nice and pink. I also tore and ended up with a lot of stitches. (4th degree). Nine months later and I am still coming to peace with it. I have no doubt it was my girl’s time to come out and that’s the way our story went. It was hard that my sweet baby only spent 10 minutes on my chest because I had to get stitched up by the OB surgeon, but my husband held her tight until they were done with me. I also will say my doula was the most amazing support during that post birth time. I don’t know if you have one, but they are the most amazing women and I will forever recommend everyone to hire one. The crazy thing is that I teach Pilates & Yoga and workshops on the pelvic floor – I thought of all things I would avoid an episiotomy. It was the thing I feared the most. I have to say I am now a better teacher helping women through similar situations. I one day want to have another and will go into it with the same plan – natural vaginal delivery. Our hospital was very respectful to our wishes. Some of the best advice we got though was at any time if you feel uncomfortable or unsupported by your nurse, you can ask for a different nurse and they will provide you a new person.

  • jill April 4, 2012, 11:48 pm

    Caitlin – you definitely have the pregnancy glow – you look great! Thank you so much for sharing the details of your birth plan. It sounds like you have really done a lot of research to determine a plan the works best for you. Hoping babyHTP is on board with your birth plan and all goes well! 🙂

  • Crystal April 5, 2012, 12:03 am

    Are you having anyone in the delivery room with you besides your husband?

  • Laura @ She Eats Well April 5, 2012, 12:44 am

    I am nowhere near having a child but I think it’s great that you have a plan and an open mind! For me, I imagine having a plan written down and all that is good, if not just for peace of mind. You are totally right – who knows what will happen, but you are trying to be prepared and ease your mind, and that is what is important!

  • Heather April 5, 2012, 2:16 am

    I had to have an emergency c-section, but I’m at peace with it. After having two miscarriages and a stillbirth, I really didn’t care how my baby got here. He’s here safe and thats all that really matters. I like the idea of birth plans but life is unpredictable. I hope you get the birth you envision!

    • VTMama April 5, 2012, 10:44 am

      I’m so sorry about your losses and so happy for you that you have become a mother. I admire your courage.

  • Tess April 5, 2012, 7:20 am

    In terms of having things ready for the baby, you really just need some diapers and a carseat. If it’s cold, you might need a blanket or some clothes. But really, babies can sleep anywhere (or co-sleep with parents), food (usually) comes with the package, and then they just need parents.

    Everything else is fun but optional, and if you DON’T go get it all before the birth, you might find some of it is totally unnecessary and save yourself the money 🙂

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to discourage you from the fun — just pointing out that that’s what it it is.

  • Jess April 5, 2012, 7:28 am

    I never actually wrote out a birth plan, I just discussed my hopes with my midwife. Luckily, it went EXACTLY how I planned. Woohoo! We delaye cord clamping/cutting, but it did not take 3 minutes for it to stop pulsating. Also, are you practicing pain coping techniques outside of the Bradley Method? If not, I really recommend it. I read the Bradley books but skipped the classes because they never worked with our schedule. I have a very successful birth and I found that I didn’t really use Bradley as much as things I practiced in prenatal yoga (strange I know).

    I would say, be sure to have an open mind because if something doesn’t go how you planned, you’re more likely to not beat yourself up about it. I know some women who were so deadset on having a NUCB and didn’t for one reason or another and were depressed following the birth.

  • Lee April 5, 2012, 8:34 am

    The comments on this post are so interesting. I’m not pregnant (although we’re talking about getting on that train sometime soon, if it goes that way) and don’t really know much about birth plans in general, but it’s just really interesting to me to hear everyone’s opinions and experiences.

  • Angela April 5, 2012, 9:31 am

    You look amazing!

  • MomHTP April 5, 2012, 10:25 am

    Caitlin, you look beautiful with your sweet baby bump – brought happy tears to my eyes. I can’t wait to see and hold your little bundle of “joy”. Your shared birth plan may enrich someone else’s special birthing experience now that they might imagine a personal preference they didn’t realized might be possible. Having your baby on your chest for an extending time is going to be amazing! Wish I had thought to ask for even 30 mins.

  • Kim @ Life in the Twin Lane April 5, 2012, 11:07 am

    I believe birth matters tremendously. I wanted a homebirth with my first pregnancy, but it turned out to be be twins, and I ended up with an emergency C-section and a very traumatic delivery/post-partum experience.

    Knowledge is power, and it’s great to see more women educating themselves on their options, and making decisions that are best for them and their baby(ies).

  • Angie All The Way April 5, 2012, 11:31 am

    You have every right to make your own informed wishes for the birth of your child! You have what appears like a really healthy perspective on this, in my opinion. Right now for you, and right “then” in that moment when it happens, it truly is important! Later on in retrospect, it loses its rawness and your baby becomes the single most important “plan” forever 🙂

  • Debbie April 5, 2012, 12:38 pm

    It is a good choice that you are having your baby in a hospital setting. You plan for the best, but sometimes the unexpected can happen.
    I had a midwife who was wonderful and a very easy pregnancy…I only pushed for 5 minutes but when my son started coming out too fast, his shoulder got stuck..they call it Shoulder Dysplasia…apparantly, some babies can get sucked back in and suffocate have nerve damage. I had never even heard of this. I was very lucky that my midwife was experienced in this and she saw what was happening and literally ripped my son from me before he was in danger. I am very thankful to her for that…I did not care at all that I needed a couple stitches at that point. But also the second he was born the whole NICU team was in my room attending to my son. I was very thankful to be in an experienced trauma hospital. They calmed me down and had the situation under control in minutes. I am not trying to scare you, I am sure everything will go smoothly but it is nice to know that there are people there for you if they don’t. If I were ever at home when that happened, things would not have turned out so well.

  • Mrs. Span April 5, 2012, 12:44 pm

    Why are all of the big/important/emergency questions to be brought up to only Kristien? (breaking water, medication, etc.)

  • Lindsay J April 5, 2012, 1:18 pm

    It’s a good plan to be in the hospital “just in case.” I did have a birth plan and I was glad I did. I needed it mentally. The birth plan was a guideline. Things came up that changed, but overall, I got the environment I was looking for… all because I had the birth plan.

  • Claire Zulkey April 5, 2012, 1:56 pm

    I got this email from a friend of mine who recently had birth and I’m saving it for when I’m due in September. It makes me so sad that anybody made her feel compelled to write this. This is for all the ladies, not just Caitlin:

    “One more thing that I wanted to tell you, only because I wish someone had told me. And this may not apply to you at all, in which case, please ignore my probably incoherent thoughts, but…

    You may be finding at this point in the pregnancy that a lot of people in our weird age have come to view childbirth as something to be achieved rather than experienced. By that I mean planned in a particular way, according to some set of beliefs about how it’s “supposed” to go down. (I think this has to do with women in our set–educated, self-determined, etc.–viewing it the way they viewed graduate school or work, as a goal they can make a plan for achieving.) This may appeal to you and if it does, great! For me it felt like a whole lot of pressure to control something I knew in my gut I could not control. Reading a whole bunch of books and everything online only made me more anxious. I didn’t want to make a birth plan because I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to implement it correctly and then would feel like a failure. I thought there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t get on board.

    In the end, any birth plan I had would have been upset by the fact that my baby was breech. Even then, though, I felt pressure to do something to fix it: all the crazy yoga poses, the acupuncture, etc., as if just accepting that the c-section was necessary was lazy on my part. Many people view a c-section as a disappointment (I even saw online somewhere a piece about how you can’t really say you “gave birth” because a c-section is passive). There is a correlation between postpartum depression and c-section, I think because of that message that the surgery only happens when the mom fails to plan enough or exert her will on the situation. The people in the hospital play into this too: the day after the baby was born, a social worker came in to talk to me. Instead of asking in a neutral way about how I felt about my baby’s birth, the first thing she said was, “I’m so sorry you had to have a c-section. What went wrong?” Nothing, batshit lady! My baby is gorgeous and healthy and I didn’t die. I am psyched!

    I am probably telling you all this as much for myself as for you! The point is, don’t let anyone make you feel shitty about anything. Trust yourself as you move closer to the birth and feel how you want to feel about it. Let everything else roll off your back.”

  • Amber K April 5, 2012, 2:37 pm

    I have been reading through the comments and I’m surprised that I am so out of the loop on this. I don’t know anyone who has written a birth plan so I didn’t even know that this was something people could do.

    And I agree that in the end your and the baby’s health is all that matters. Plans may fly out the window, but it’s good that your doctors and nurses at least know what you would prefer.

  • Liza April 5, 2012, 3:21 pm

    Caitlin, I’m a first time commenter, and wanted to tell you that I really loved this post. I do not have kids and do not plan to for a few more years – childbirth terrifies me, to be honest – but I think your birth plan (as well as the way you choose to present it, very tactfully in a public forum) is so inspirational. Surprisingly, I feel a little less scared about the whole process after reading your post! I think it’s the perfect balance of knowing what you want, knowing how to communicate it, including your husband in the process, and also acknowledging that things just might not go as planned (but that that is OK!) I really respect you. I look forward to reading the birth story when the baby arrives! All the best!

  • Mica April 5, 2012, 3:53 pm

    I have to admit, I’m pretty squeamish about birth, so reading this was a little scary for me.

    What is the logic behind the two hours of skin-to-skin contact? As an adoptee, I have pretty much no information about my birth, and my birthmom has only been able to tell me that she wasn’t allowed to see me at all. Has there been evidence that two hours of contact has marked benefits in development?

    I’m not trying to sound accusatory; I’m really curious! For example, I’ve always heard that breast feeding is important for helping the baby’s immune system to develop. However, I was a month premature and never breast-fed (to my knowledge), so I always wonder about these broad statements….

  • Andrea of Care to Breed April 5, 2012, 6:11 pm

    “The birth doesn’t matter?” Only an insensitive a-hole with a penis would say that.
    I had a true emergency c-section and my baby and I were hospitalized for 5 days afterwards (but left the hospital 100% healthy). It took me months to process and come to terms with a birth that was so far from anyone’s ideal. So yeah, it kind of matters.

  • Stephanie April 5, 2012, 6:38 pm

    You already have 145 comments so who knows if you will even get to mine… although, I love how intensely important peoples birth stories are to them. My water broke spontaneously at 34 weeks and I had to be enduced 24 hours later. LOTS of pitocin made a un-medicated birth (ie: no epidural impossible). 17 hours of labor later I accepted the epidural and gave birth to my son 30 minutes later. I felt TERRIBLE that I had not achieved the natural birth of my dreams and I had a premie who had difficulty nursing. I wish that I had accepted that this might happen ahead of time so that it wasnt such a devistating event. 2 years later I gave birth 100% naturally to my second son on his due date and with zero complications. At the time it felt like a huge achievement. It felt like the most glorious day of my life. Like i proved myself!!! Now, another two years later, I have two beautiful sons that I love and adore and it no longer matters. I have them and they have me and it all worked out. Just my two cents.

  • Lauren April 5, 2012, 8:22 pm

    I just had a baby 5 weeks ago. My husband and I attended Bradley classes as well. It truly was the most raw, euphoric, and amazing experience of my life. Many doubted my plan, told me not to be a hero, and that I wouldn’t be getting a trophy. Let me tell you that the birth of my daughter was everything I hoped it to be and so much more. Best of luck, I hope everything goes beautifully for you.

  • TRNO April 5, 2012, 11:45 pm

    Hi Caitlin
    I am an obstetrical RN with years and years of experience delivering babies. There is nothing wrong with going into the hospital having a birth plan but it seems like you’ve taken some advice from a midwife or a doula and are going into this thinking that the nurses and obstetricians automatically want to strap you to the bed, continuously monitor the baby’s heart rate and shove an epidural into you. That is definitely not the case! There seems to be quite a few HLB’s pregnant right now and they all seem to feel that nurses and doctors want to intervene as much as possible and they want to do it without the consent of the parents. NOTHING WILL BE DONE WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION!! If it is a TRUE emergency (Mom or baby’s life is threatened) then they will act quickly – very, very quickly. This does not mean that they will stop speaking to you while they are working quickly. Everything will be explained to you, no matter how much of an emergency it is.
    I just don’t understand the attitude of “Nurse and Doctors are against a positive birthing experience”. Believe it or not, we’d like your baby to come out healthy too. Unfortunately, people who are not in the health care field just cannot understand that unforeseen (by the parents, not by the medical team) circumstances arise and the staff is just looking out for the best interest of the Mom and baby.
    Your nurses is your support person, doula, advocate, etc. throughout your labour. Believe me, I’ve seen it all and 9 times out of 10 if you go into the hospital with a seven page birth plan thinking your baby is going to crawl out of your ‘birth canal’ into the world on its own, you are in for 3 hours of pushing, a failed trial of forceps with a fourth degree tear and a c-section.
    I wish you good luck in the rest of your pregnancy and especially your labour. I hope it is everything that you want it to be but please know that the hospital staff is on your side.

    • JenRD April 6, 2012, 9:38 am

      I couldn’t agree more! This was my experience (see my post below). I delivered at North Shore/LIJ hospital in New York, and the staff was sooooo supportive of my requests for skin-to-skin contact and early breast feeding. In fact, minutes after delivery, after the baby was checked out, she was given right back to me, and lactation consultant was there to help me get started. We had such a great experience with our L & D nurse that we ended up sending her a gift as a thank you for all of her support during my 12 hours of labor.


  • JenRD April 6, 2012, 5:42 am

    Yes, I had those middle of the night hunger pains too! I still get them occasionally, since I am still breastfeeding.
    I was personally terrified of needing an episiotomy, and tried my best to avoid one. However, after 2 hours of pushing, my baby was in distress, and wasn’t progressing. The doc told me her heartbeat kept dropping with each contraction, and it reached the point where I had to choose either an emergency c-section, or use an episiotomy and forcepts to get her it ASAP–I chose the latter. In the end, she was perfectly healthy, and I actually healed up rather quickly. Sure, I was sore for a few days, but it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Hopefully it won’t come to that for you, but if it does, I’m sure you will be fine as well!


  • Jen April 6, 2012, 6:04 am

    I should add that the reason why she was in distress and wasn’t progressong was because the cord was wrapped around her neck–which is why she needed to get out ASAP.

  • Emily April 6, 2012, 9:44 am

    My mum had all caesarians for her births. Her pelvis wasn’t wide enough. It wasn’t what she wanted especially after paying for birthing classes but at the end of the day she got 3 very healthy babies out of it. The worst thing she said was that with a natural birth the pain ceases afterwards, with Caesaers no pain killers can be administered for the mother if she intends to breastfeed which Mum did. The other sucky thing is that Mum can’t share her experiences of a natural birth with me. However something really awesome came out of it:Mum – not on purpose – chose my birthday for the 9/9 and I was delivered at 0900. Caesars aren’t all bad:-)

    • TRNO April 6, 2012, 11:25 am

      Hey Emily …. Mom’s who have c-sections can take analgesia afterwards even if they are breastfeeding. I’m not sure why you think they can’t have anything. What about a Mom who has a vaginal delivery and a second, third or fourth degree tear? She can still take analgesia even if she is breastfeeding. It is no different with a c-section. In fact, the need for analgesia is usually decreased because Mom usually gets epimorph in her spinal/epidural that keeps her comfortable for 18-24 hours post-section.

      And to clarify my earlier comment … I definitely think the birth of your baby and people’s birth plans are important, special, etc. but what it comes down to is having a healthy baby. I’d rather have a c-section or what some HLB’s would consider “not the birth of my dreams” and a healthy child, than have a vaginal, natural, unmedicated birth and be pushing my child around in a wheelchair for the next forty years. I know they are not exclusive of each other but I’ve had clients who refuse a c-section, even with the baby’s heart rate bottoming out because they “want to be a whole woman and pass the baby through my birth canal”. Guess what? We have a judge on standby who says you WILL have a c-section!

  • Jessica April 6, 2012, 2:36 pm

    Have you considered Hypnobirthing? I’ve done both classes ( 36 weeks tomorrow – how did that happen?!)and found Hypno much more calming and positive than just what i feel is the “dealing with it” method of Bradley. Not to say that one is better over the other, just my opinion!

  • Linda @ Lemons April 7, 2012, 1:57 pm

    I love that you have a birthing plan – it is just right for you, but may not be right for anyone else. And just because it may not happen that way doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. My first birth didn’t go the way I thought it would and I had a c-section, then I opted for a scheduled c-section with my second one. This was 20 years ago. My first child weighed 9 pounds 5 ounces – a big boy, which is probably why the birth didn’t go the way I had anticipated!

  • Noelle April 10, 2012, 12:29 pm

    Please also add…

    If Caitlin is to poop on the table please clear it immediately.

    my husband is still struggling.

  • Amy April 13, 2012, 8:14 pm

    I’m so excited for you caitlin! I think you are going to have a fantastic and rewarding birth. Between your research and how you take care of your body, it’s all going to pay off! The experience IS important and I hate when people try and make us feel guilty for wanting an uncomplicated natural birth. My first was an unmedicated hospital birth. The feeling of joy and pride was worth every bit of preparation. I’m 38 weeks with #3 and I’m so excited to go through the birth journey again. 🙂

  • Sally April 17, 2012, 12:30 am

    I just found you through GOTR.
    I had both my boys at home with a homebirth midwife and would never have it any other way. What I’ve come to learn is that for each woman, the only thing that really matters is feeling safe. In order to feel safe, you have to feel in control of what happens to you and you have to trust the people who will make some of those decisions on your behalf. If you have a good team of support people, you’ll do great!
    Writing a birth plan is a really valuable exercise in discussing your goals and aspirations for the birth – talking through what details matter to you and what details don’t.
    After my second birth (9 lbs, 12oz and shoulder dystocia and NO TEARING), I hemorrhaged. It was scary to see my husband see all the blood and be so worried. And then I looked at the serious face on my midwife and knew I was safe. I was able to trust her to do all sorts of things that she and I had discussed during my prenatals.
    The process of birth matters so very, very much to who we are as women and mothers. Especially for women athletes, who are used to our bodies responding in predictable ways. Birth can be so wonderful and a birth plan can be one of many ways to honor the anticipation of it being a fantastic experience. May you have the birth of your desire! xo

  • Angela April 17, 2012, 3:12 pm

    I was Strep B positive, refused antibiotics, refused Vit K, hep B, eye goop, and had a 100% natural birth in a hospital. It was AWESOME! That baby was never out of my sight for a second. You can do it! My birth plan was helpful for everyone involved. My medical team (midwife, nurses, doula) were very respectful. I labored in the tub and used a sheet/bar to birth sort of sitting up in bed. I was too shaky to stand or squat.

    Best wishes! Feel free to email me with questions.

  • Kate April 18, 2012, 6:55 pm

    Found your blog through Fit-Bottomed Mamas and just catching up on some of your pregnancy posts. I know its the nature and anticipation of every first time mom out there to plan, plan, plan, and prepare all you want. It’s so easy to tell yourself, “this is how it should/will be” and then got too tied to the ‘rules’ that it is very easy to miss out on the most perfect opportunity of all—just being your baby’s mom and using your instincts.
    I see you having all these ideas about birth, diapering, etc. but I wonder if being a widely read blogger will affect you. Don’t let this image you’ve created get in the way of doing something that is RIGHT for you & baby, but instead doing something that you want others to see you doing because you’ll feel bad if things go differently than you’d planned (and they most certainly WILL).
    That being said, good for you on having a birth plan, just don’t get so focused on checking every item off the plan that you feel like a failure if you end up getting induced/epidural/c-section, etc.

  • charmaine April 21, 2012, 8:48 pm

    I wrote my birth

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