Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I can't find my birth plan!

Those of you in my twins group may remember the one I'm talking about. The one I wrote up mostly out of frustration and irritation while I was pregnant with Bree. I was still hacked off about some hospital policies -mostly things that occur after the birth- from Sydney. So I wrote up my wants and want nots and gave them to my midwife who passed it around to the rest of the hospital. Note to self- next time send a copy to labor and delivery. The midwife and her staff aren't really the problem- the labor and delivery staff is.
I loved that birth plan and am sad that its lost. For the most part, I had gotten almost every single thing I wanted. Least anyone question- I will be the first to say that NONE of what I wanted was unreasonable, dangerous, foolish or unresearched. Most of my requests were really basic rights- for example the right to birth wearing what I wanted, the right not to have the bottom half of my bed pulled out from underneath me just as it was time to push. Seriously- who the heck wants to push out a baby with your butt hanging off the bed? Who thinks that's a good idea? The right to be notified, and consent to anything put into my IV (which I did not decline). The right to eat and drink. C'mon. What pregnant person wants to go for a several hour stretch dehydrated and starved? Not me!
Other points of contention included the right to walk around whilst in labor- this is apparently a problem for the hospital staff because of the all important fetal monitoring. Now, I am all in favor of fetal monitoring. If I'm lying in bed, I'm more than happy to wear the monitors. Truthfully, I enjoy the sound of the baby's heart. I'm not opposed! But goodness, sometimes I might want to take a stroll down the hallway! I might want to walk around to speed things up. When I get back, I'll put the monitors back on. Fortunately, no one argued. I didn't ask permission I just did it and they didn't say anything. Turns out, I liked sitting in bed better than walking anyhow, so I guess it was a win/win for all of us. I also wanted to push without stirrups. Seriously, I am not a frog in science lab about to be dissected. I wasn't asking for anything particularly unusual- just to deliver on a bed. A full bed. Not half a bed.
Let's see. What else. Oh, I asked that the staff not remind me that an epidural was available. I wrote that if/when I became interested, I would bring it up to them. And bring it up I did. They were pretty compliant on that one. I knew ahead of time that the midwife really wanted one on board but that she was open to what I wanted.
The biggest bone of contention occurred with the stuff that unfortunately was the most important to me. The stuff that occurs after the baby is born. I asked that I be able to hold my baby (note the words "MY BABY" not "THE HOSPITAL'S BABY) for more than the ceremonial three minute usually allotted to new parents at delivery. I wrote that whatever needed to be done with the baby could be done with her in my arms. I researched and decided to proceed with the vit K shot and the HEP vaccine and was happy with those choices. Cord was clamped immediately due to our cord blood collection kit for Brandon. I was really only asking that my baby be left in my arms. Well, you would have thought I'd requested something that was really pushing the envelope. One nurse "cautioned" me that if "Baby isn't doing well, we'll have to take it to the warming table." Seriously? I assured her that obviously, if the baby were not doing well, I would have no objection to them giving her the help she needed, even if that meant I had to let her out of my arms for a minute. Said nurse then breathed a sigh of relief and said "Oh, well, I'm glad you aren't one of those crazy moms! I guess you DO have some common sense!" Who, exactly, are "those crazy moms?" You mean the ones who don't think a little bit of oxygen is cause to rip a newly born baby out of its mothers' arms and thrust it under big bright lights, naked and alone? Those who think baby could receive oxygen just as well in its mom's arms as it can on a warming table? Now, I am NOT at all saying that there aren't times when a baby really does need to go to the warming table to be checked out better and get some extra help. Just suggesting that those occasions are not as often as they are made out to be. Just suggesting that for most babies, they could safely stay in bed with mom. Without fear that their temp will plummet to sub-arctic levels, necessitating a protracted NICU stay. Or that their breathing will be somehow compromised. Ahhhh, I digress however. I requested that the baby's bath be given in the room, rather than in the nursery, and in fact, stated that I didn't even want her to go to the nursery just as a matter of routine. I noted that I was perfectly willing to bathe her myself if it were an inconvenience or staffing issue for the nursery nurses. I did get my wish, although the nursery nurse was quick to tell me "You're lucky we aren't busy tonight!" Oh GEE! Thanks a million for letting me handle MY BABY'S care as I see fit.
There was ONE issue where I did not get my way. One issue I had to cave on. Photography. Our hospital does not allow photography during the pushing stage, nor any photography of the birth. Now, least anyone holler "oh gross!" I wasn't looking to have pictures of her head crowing or of the unsightly mess (though I maintain that if I wanted those pictures, they would have been my right to take) I simply wanted pictures of her freshly born. The hospital instead, "lets you know" when you have "permission" to start taking pictures. Really. PERMISSION TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR CHILD. This doesn't sit well with me, probably more on principle than on actual logistical desires. I told them that I would not follow their policy and the nurse had a cow. She insisted that the policy is in place because "most babies are born bluish and it can be upsetting to family members and friends to see pictures of this." Really. Who the heck are they kidding? Everyone in that room knew the real reason is L.I.A.B.I.L.I.T.Y and the fact that this is what their lawyers and insurance companies have advised them to put into rule. If they screw up and something is wrong with you or your baby- they certainly don't want it captured on film. I started to argue against it but feared that they'd only call security on my husband and have him escorted out and it didn't seem worth all that. Later another nurse told me, "next time just do it and don't bring it up for discussion."
Then comes the lovely two day stay in which the nursery staff wags their finger disapprovingly if you let your baby sleep more than four hours and didn't wake her to feed! Golly gee, you'd think I didn't have 8 other kids at home. To date, I haven't starved a baby yet! I understand hospitals have their policies but I also have mine. I don't wake sleeping babies. Period. Not unless they are jaundiced or a preemie, or otherwise sick. My 8 pound baby girl, was going to sleep all she could. And so was I.
Sadly, I have lost my oh so fun birth plan. I guess I'll get to enjoy the fun of writing up another one. I'll post it when its done. It will probably not contain all the humor and sarcasm of my first one. This one will be shorter and to the point.
Item number one - a better anesthesiologist. A real one. Who can make an epidural actually work.
Item number two- Nurse "picture police" is not allowed to approach my door. I tell you, I am SOOOOOO tempted to actually take a "head crowning" picture this time, autograph it and mail it directly to her. How gross would that be! I am sitting her laughing just thinking about it.


Anonymous said...

The reason they don't want you to eat or drink is if something going wrong and you have to have a c-section. Not good having major surgery on a full stomach.
Know that you're always in my thoughts and prayers!
Psalm 4:8: I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Prayer Bears
My email address

Terri said...

You crack me up! I do remember your birth plan. Didn't you post it on the board? Try doing a search for it.

Jane said...

Girl, vent away!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

II Corinthians 1:3-4: Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
Prayer Bears
My email address

Sharlene said...

I bet one of us still has your birth plan in our email. I will look for it. You crack me up Ang!

Anonymous said...


I also thought you posted your birth plan on here and sure enough, after searching, I found it. If you go to the blog archive, there are excerpts in the June 2008 one. About half way down. :-)

~Jeni P.

albert & angela fontenot said...

Thanks Jeni!!!!

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