Birth Plan

So, apparently, one of the major decisions leading up to delivery is whether or not one will be taking pain medication during labor. Usually, the question is framed in a round-the-bush sort of way like, ‘Have you thought about your birth plan?’ In the beginning, clueless as I was, I used to be all like Well, duh…my plan is to push this baby out, preferably at a hospital and in the presence of medical personnel. Realizing that this was my first time at the rodeo, question-askers would opt for the more direct route and ask ‘Are you going to go all natural?’ At this point, the conversation would deteriorate into a confused monologue (by yours truly) that would inevitably leave me exasperated and the question-asker sorry that they asked in the first place.

News flash: I’ve never done this before. I have absolutely no idea how it’s going to go, whether or not I will demand pain medication. I’ve listened to many experienced moms from both sides of the aisle and I find myself unable to lean one way or the other. Yesterday for example, I was talking to a lady at church who gave birth about a month ago and somehow she worked the fact that she’d gone all natural into the conversation. The naturalistas (let’s call them that, shall we?) ALWAYS find a way to work their accomplishment into a conversation. Any conversation. In this case, I asked her how she liked the hospital (since I’ll be delivering at the same one) and she responded by saying, ‘Well, you know, I WENT ALL NATURAL and I labored at home for 8 hours before I got there.’ Did she answer my question? No. But she was determined to get this little fact across before the conversation was over and I guess this opportunity was as good as any. I don’t blame her – it IS a great accomplishment. But  “I went all natural” bragging rights are not enough to persuade me at this point UNLESS I get a plaque made in my honor and can successfully mention it in every conversation I have till death or menopause, whichever comes first.

And now I’ve noticed that with this question hanging over my head, every pain I have has become a test of whether or not I’ll get meds during labor. So when a backache yesterday rendered me light-headed, on the verge of tears and ready to call 9-1-1, I concluded that my fate in this matter may already be sealed. The backache by the way, lasted 20 minutes tops.

At the end of the day (and any monologue that might ensue following the big question), I must conclude that I’m just one of those annoying people who refuses to commit one way or the other. I’ll make my decision on D-day (where D stands for delivery not doom unless labor is worse than the backache I had yesterday, in which case D would definitely stand for doom).

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11 Comments

  1. farmgal said,

    October 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Shiko, have an epidural in your birth plan. It’s easier to cancel it than it is to demand one on short notice. (UK)

    • Roberta said,

      October 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      Sounds like a good safety net.

  2. Roberta said,

    October 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Take your time with your decision love. I think no pain at all is the best option and it happens for those who consider it their right. I heard this just on Friday & for the first time ever I was not afraid to be pregnant, I decided from then that it will be painless for me when that time comes. I’m just saying there is another option out there and I sure hope it will be painless for you.

  3. wambui said,

    October 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Shiko there is nothing honorable about enduring more pain than you should, who cares! not even little princess would want to know that, ati you did it naturally. Well if these people want to be ALL NATURAL then they should have had the baby at home!!! Gal, get the pain safety nets you can get in the plan and if you need them good, if not good but at least you would have options.

  4. 3CB said,

    October 18, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Get an epidural. The only reason I didn’t have one is because I couldn’t afford it at the time. I was lucky that my labour was short [4 hours] and I’m still teased about ‘sneezing’ my baby out. It’s true you forget the pain as soon as you hold your baby, but I’m not a fan of needless agony, not under any circumstances. Thanks to epidurals, labour pain is COMPLETELY needless.

    Also, like FG said, it’s easier to cancel than to demand a shot when the baby’s head is out. The anaesthetists need advance notice so you want them to be prepared. Plus bragging rights are totally overrated.

    Epidural makes things easier for both you and your baby by conserving your energy during labour. After all, when you’re yelling, cursing, and screaming, your baby feels it too.

  5. Buggz79 said,

    October 19, 2010 at 12:38 am

    I’ll stick my neck here being male and all…

    Right off the bat, I’m all for the no pain call. So my 2 cents is; if the epidural does not get in the way of you connecting with the little one right after birth, then by all means, go ahead.

    Find out how epidurals affect the whole oxytocin hormone thingy release. If your doc advices its good, then have a painfree blissful delivery.

  6. Enelesi said,

    October 19, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Well the good thing is you have the choice. The bad thing is its not easy given all the horror story you read on the net . I would love to give birth pain free and just worry about pushing. Sadly out here, the BEST hospital (atleast the one where all the other hospitals send patients when all else fails) does not offer that if anything they try by all means not to mention anything about pain killers,…ever. So Im trying to wrap my head around not having any pain relief. Ofcourse thats a battle coz Im a panicky scaredy cat who is trying to over come her issues. Coz over the past week 2 people have warned me that getting scared during pregnancy can coz your BP go up and coz you to have a c-section which is something I would try by all means to avoid.

    Whatever you do, I think telling the hospital you will need all the pain killers you can ever needed on stand by is a better than wishing you had them later.
    Im not looking forward to the back pain you mentioned. My doc said soon I should be having that. A friend of mine said she would end up screaming when she had back pain. Oh boy….

    • Amanda said,

      October 21, 2010 at 2:19 am

      Enelsi Nyirenda?
      Are you pregnant???

  7. October 19, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I have SO enjoyed reading these comments! Rest assured, my hospital assumes that every woman will receive an epidural and so they offer it as standard procedure during every labor – no matter what you went in saying. Doc says that whatever I decide, there will be several anaesthesiologists on hand round the clock so there will definitely be meds available if and when I need them! Also, you have to be in full active labor and at least 3cm dilated before they give you any meds, and by that point, all neccessary hormones have been released. The best part is, regardless of what route you go, the baby never leaves the room (they do even the bathing in the room) and is in your arms immediately after birth, so yay!

  8. IzJules said,

    October 23, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Yeah, whats this whole ‘plan’ thing about? si its just to push until bub is out in the world! Haha. As for ALL NATURAL…the world has ADVANCED for a reason and lots of research has been done and new technologies put in place to ease the hellish (so they say) labour pains! So why on earth would anyone want to go all natural?? Bragging rights natin! Bring on the DRUGS!!!!

    • October 24, 2010 at 9:56 pm

      I’m nominating you for Chairperson of the ‘Say Yes to Drugs’ campaign. Your campaign speech (above) is very persuasive.


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