That's What She Said: My Baby Birth Plan
- Dawn Dumont | March 24, 2015
The baby blogs say that a “well-prepared parent” arrives at the hospital with a birth plan. A birth plan is a detailed list of how you and your partner want the labour to go and covers things from epidurals (hell, yes) to saving the placenta (an option for only the most extreme hoarders among us.) The birth plan even asks how you would like to give birth and offers the following options: reclining in bed, on your side, on all fours or squatting. I want to meet the woman who chooses squatting over reclining – she’s got to have some powerful quads and apparently no self-consciousness whatsoever. Also, there needs to be a fifth option which is “so high that I think that Willie Nelson is my nurse.”
This detailed baby-plan advice contradicts other baby advice about how you’re supposed to be laissez-faire about the whole birthing process as in “let go of expectations and let the pain wash over and cleanse you.” Like an acidic body-wash, I guess.
Generally all advice on babies contradicts all the other advice. There will be peace in the Middle East before mommies agree on the best way to get a baby to sleep through the night. The only thing that there’s consensus on is that you shouldn’t feed babies steak and I’m sure right now Alicia Silverstone is pre-chewing some to spit into her kid’s mouth – true story.
I decided to put together a birth plan because “winging it” it is how I got pregnant in the first place. Here’s what my plan looks like:
We arrive at the hospital at eight p.m. It’s the perfect time because it’s after rush hour so we don’t have to deal with all of Saskatoon’s aggressive drivers and plethora of “Learner” drivers. And it’s not too late that we’re stuck in a waiting room full of teenagers with alcohol poisoning.
Check in at the front desk is quick and we barely have enough time to update our Facebook status to, “Baby Arriving Soon!” before being taken to a hospital room. We share a room with a lovely couple, a lawyer and a women’s studies professor, who keep us in stitches with their pregnancy mishaps and we, in turn, regale them with ours. We make plans to go to Cuba together after all this is over.
My doctor checks in with me. He’s the best in “the pulling babies out of the hoo-ha field” (sorry forgot to look up what that area of medicine is actually called) and he looks like George Clooney in his E.R. days. He can tell just from looking at me, that I am exactly 31 minutes from giving birth. There’s only enough time for me to finish my latte and watch one episode of the Mindy Project before I’m whisked off to a pristine labour room where AC DC’s Thunderstruck gently plays in the background.
Once labour starts, I don’t even have to push, the baby sort of swims through the birth canal and then uses his tiny hands to pry himself out, like a smart monkey. (I don’t know why more babies don’t figure this out.) Everyone in the room breaks into spontaneous applause at the beauty of the birth. I say something witty like, “I don’t know why they call that Labour that was more like Play-bour.” Everyone laughs and smiles, even the baby.
Once the baby has been bathed in mountain spring water infused with the scent of Tiger Lilies, my partner is about to cut the cord when an eagle flies in through the window and cuts it with his beak. Later the eagle helpfully eats the placenta because it’s gross and no one wants to look at it.
My baby and I take a selfie and post it directly to Instagram where two hundred thousand people like it – including Rihanna! Despite just having gone the birthing process, my baby and I both look calm, refreshed and thin.
Then we go back to the maternity ward room where we eat chocolate chip cookie dough blizzards (the baby just has a smoothie.) From beginning to end the entire process has taken less than one hour.
Other parents rush up to us, asking us for the secret to our success and I say kindly, “It’s really important to have a great birthing plan.”
So that’s my birth plan, and in less than two months, we’ll see how close we get to that.