The Birth Plan

So a (big) while back, I mentioned that I had started working on my birth plan.  With my approximate due date about 5 weeks away now, I figured I’d come back to it and blog about it.

I had linked to a great blog post that really did an awesome job at explaining how to make the best birth plan.  I read through it all and all of the links and had lots of fun building my own.

In a nutshell, a birth plan should be:

  1. Personalized: Definitely look at samples, but don’t just use a checklist type plan.  You want to know your birth plan inside out.  There are so many different formats that can be used, use one that reflects you the best.
  2. Realistic: Two thoughts on this point.  a)  For instance, if you know that your hospital doesn’t do water births (like mine), don’t ask for one even if it is something that you would enjoy trying.  b)  Keep in mind that even though no one wants anything to go wrong things can go wrong.  Keep an open mind to the options that will or won’t be available to you if such is the case.
  3. Researched: Know what your options are and how each choice you make may effect you and your baby.
  4. Short: Let’s face it, nurses and doctors just don’t have the time to read pages and pages of text or check marked statements.  Keep it down to a page or two at the most.

When I was pregnant with Charles, I had thought of doing a birth plan.  Actually, I had filled out a couple of blank ones with statements that you just checked.  After printing them out, though, I remember deciding to trash them because I had felt that I didn’t know enough about birth to be deciding upon things I knew nothing (or next to nothing) about.  I figured I’d go with the flow and see what happened.

Now that I’ve gone through one birth, I have a better idea of the things that can go down.  I have a better idea of what I liked, what I didn’t like and what I don’t really care about one way or another.  I also did quite a bit of research since giving birth to Charles.  I therefore felt more comfortable with writing a birth plan.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that birth is unpredictable and I’m very much aware that just because it is planned and written, doesn’t mean it’s going to all go my way, but at least I know that if I do have control over some aspects, I will know exactly what I want.

Now, enough blabbing, how ’bout I share the plan I wrote up with you guys.  (P.s. The actual birth plan is in table form and fits on one page.  I’ll be adding a pdf link at the end in case anyone wants to see the actual version that I will be bringing with me to the hospital).

———————–

Will be present: (baby’s father)

Students and residents: I am open to their presence during labour and delivery

*The preferences expressed in this birth plan are the result of much research and thought. They reflect my wish to have a natural, med-free birth with minimal interventions. However, I do understand that labour and birth are unpredictable and want above all else the safety of both myself and the baby if an emergency situation arises. In the case of a non-emergency situation, please discuss any procedures (benefits and risks) with my partner and I so that I can give my informed consent after discussing them with my partner.*

We thank you in advance for your support in helping us achieve the natural birth we are aiming for.

1. Labour preferences

  • Hydration: through water/ice chips/popsicles rather than through an IV
  • Vaginal exam: upon arrival and subsequent checks no more than every two hours afterwards
  • Foetal monitoring: 20 minutes of external monitoring upon arrival and no more than 5 minutes every hour afterwards
  • Pain management: massage, mobility, birth ball, shower/tub, breathing techniques. Please do not offer any medicated options. If I change my mind, I will ask which options are available to me in relation to the progression of my labour.
  • Pitocin: use to be discussed only after 8 hours of natural labour
  • Amniotic sac: please allow my waters to break naturally

2. Delivery preferences

  • Pushing: please allow me to push when I feel the urge to and in the way I feel I need to. If I need guidance, I will ask for it.
  • Positions: I plan to alternate between a squatting, all-fours and kneeling up position during the pushing stage. If under the effect of an epidural, I will privilege a side-lying or semi-sitting position.
  • Preservation of the perennial area: I prefer tearing to an episiotomy.
  • Cutting of the cord: to be performed by the father after the cord has stopped pulsating.
  • Announcement of the sex: by the father.
  • Immediately following birth: I would like to have skin-to-skin contact with my baby and attempt breastfeeding on both sides.

3. Postpartum preferences

  • Delay of regular procedures (eye drops, vitamin K shot, weighing…): until we have attempted nursing from both sides or up to 60 minutes after birth.
  • Nutrition: I plan on breastfeeding, please do not offer formula or pacifiers.
  • Bathing: we would like to give our baby his/her first bath.
  • Visitors: only my toddler who will be accompanied by his father.

4. In case of emergency caesarean section

  • Consciousness: I prefer to remain conscious during the procedure.
  • Presence of the father: at all times during the procedure.
  • Announcement of the sex: by the father.
  • Skin-to-skin contact with the baby immediately after birth to initiate the bonding period and begin breastfeeding.
  • Suturing: please use double layer sutures to allow me to attempt a VBAC if desired for a subsequent birth.

Please sign to acknowledge that you have read and understood our wishes: ____________________________________

(My) sample birth plan (pdf version)

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So there you go…

Have you ever written up a birth plan?  How did it go?  Do you plan on using one?

 

 

 

Ten Thought Tuesday: The Countdown

TTT

  1. Wow, I can’t believe I’m only (about) 8 weeks away from meeting Peanut!
  2. I’ve been having some pains in my lower back, hips and lower pelvic area.  I had them during my first pregnancy, but only near the end.  This time ’round, I’ve been dealing with them from about 20 weeks onwards.
  3. I finally ended up seeing an osteopath and getting a massage.  Both have really helped and I’ll probably be going back before the end of my pregnancy.
  4. Tonight will be Charles’ second night in his big boy room.  Last night I heard him get up and out of his room a few times, but he went back to bed on his own each time.  He was up at 5:30 this morning though (oh boy – mommy and daddy were quite tired today!).
  5. Putting him down for bedtime was a bit easier tonight than it was last night.  Let’s hope the wind of progress keeps blowing through!
  6. Last week, I went strawberry picking with my mom and Charles.  My mom and I got down and picked the berries and my son did the picking (and sampling) directly from the baskets we had.  Needless to say, he had a blast!
  7. My partner and I have recently come back from a three-day escape to Quebec city.  We stayed in a lovely B&B and had a wonderful time exploring Old Quebec on foot.  It was a lovely weekend.
  8. Next week, my sister, Charles and I are going to go join my mom for some fancy camping (in an RV).  We’ll be staying one night and will be trying out some canoeing (among other activities).  I can’t wait to see how the little guy will react to it all!
  9. I’m still completely transfixed by The Mentalist series and have been plowing through episode after episode whenever I can.
  10. I’ve been really enjoying being off work for the summer (and subsequent maternity leave) and have been taking the time to relax and get the inside of the house somewhat back on track.

Do you have any random thoughts you’d like to share?

 

The Big Boy Room

Well, I’m back!  Albeit it’s a little later than initially planned, but better late than never, right?

I thought I’d let you in on one of the projects that has kept me occupied after finishing with all my school stuff:  Little Dude’s new room.

You see, with #2 due in something like 8 weeks (give or take, y’know, s/he just come out when s/he’s ready), I figured it was high time to get the little guy settled in his big boy room.  Since Peanut is going to occupy the nursery that Charles has called home for the past 19 months, I wanted to get my son settled in his new room early enough for him to get used to it and not feel as though he is being chased from it by a crying-eating-pooping machine that is just waaaay too close to the mama all the time.

We got the paint job done a couple of weeks ago.  A couple of days ago, we added the decals (much to my son’s pleasure, I might add).  We really hit the nail on the head when we picked the theme to his room as he has spent a lot of time in it since the roads, cars and trucks have been put up.  He also fell in love with his new bed and has been “napping” and having me and his stuffed animals “nap” on it for the past couple of days.  Then, today, my father-in-law came in to secure the bookcase/diaper storage unit/dresser/home for his million stuffed animals and put up the roll-up curtain thingy.

Anyways, here’s what it looks like.

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As you can see, we went ahead and transitioned from a crib directly to a twin bed.  We opted for a floor bed as we wanted Charles to be able to get down from it (and back up) by himself.

Much to my surprise, his first sleep in his new room went well.  I put him down for his afternoon nap, he fell asleep without a fuss, slept for 1.5h and walked out of his room when he was done.  For the first time in 2 weeks, he didn’t wake up from his nap whining my name as he waited for me to come and get him.  I think he was both happy and surprised when he realized that he could get out of his bed and room on his own.

Putting him down for bedtime was a bit harder.  He was definitely a bit frightened and he cried a bit.  But that is totally normal, right?  I mean, he’s sleeping in a new room and a new bed with a tweaked routine.  Both his father and I went in to rub his back and calm him down.  He eventually fell asleep, with his head in the corner of the wall (he typically slept with his head in one of the corners of his crib) and his blanky clutched between his arms.  Now all that’s left to see is how the rest of the night (and the morning) goes.  I’m crossing my fingers for things to go smoothly.

Sleeping like a baby...for now.

Sleeping like a baby…for now.

I expect that sleep time for the next few days will be a bit rocky, but I’m hoping that by the end of the week, we’ll be all set.  Here’s to hoping that I’m not being overly optimistic.

When did you transition your little ones to a new bed / room?  How did it go?

Going AWOL

Well, the school year is officially coming to an end.  That means that despite the fact that I’m no longer working on evenings and weekends (*happy dance*), things have gotten pretty crazy.

Bottom line: I won’t be around for a couple of weeks (or, more precisely, until after June 23rd).

Don’t despair though!  I’ve got a whole bunch of post ideas (some in my draft section, others in my head, others yet to be formed) for my return.  Among other subjects, look out for:

  • A review of an awesome app
  • A post on the birth plan with a sample plan (mine!)
  • A post on the Baby Safe Project
  • A guest posting invitation on childbirth
  • A post on the professionalization of teaching
  • A post on language development

Until then, take care and Happy upcoming Father’s Day!

Imitation

Well, it’s seasonal allergy time ’round here.  That means that I’m hard at work blowing my nose and generally emptying boxes of kleenex these days.

If you need any proof, here’s Charles doing a particularly well-played imitation of yours truly.

Oh how I adore that kid!

The Mama Bear Effect aka My Standoff With A Bird

When we got home today, Little Dude got straight to the point of requesting he be allowed to partake in one of his most favouritest activities: playing on the balcony.  Rain or shine, hot or cold, this is the one activity he looks forward to the most when we get home.  It’s win-win ’cause he’s outside and I can get some things done (like supper and preparing his daycare bag for the next day) while keeping an eye on him.

Today, though, the little guy hesitated before opening the screen door once I opened the heavy glassed door for him.  As soon as he was ready to head out, we heard a bird screaming.  Loudly.  A few seconds later, said bird started swooping right in front of our screen door screaming at us.  The little guy figured he’d lay low and observe this interesting phenomenon from inside the house.  Eventually though, the bird must have decided that we humans weren’t *that* threatening and flew off into our backyard maple tree.

Charles immediately decided that it was a good time to head out onto the balcony, but as soon as he was out, he started pointing excitedly at something.

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A blue jay chick

Yup.  We had a blue jay chick just chillin’ about five feet away from us.  The crazy birdie that had been swooping and screaming at us initially was most definitely the mama.

And so started the stare-off.  Blue jay chick was observing human chick intently.  Human chick was observing blue jay chick intently.  Mama jay was observing blue jay chick and human chick intently.  Mama human was observing human chick, mama chick and blue jay chick intently.  Mama jay stayed perched atop a branch – probably deciding that the human chick (who had moved on to other things on the balcony) wasn’t a threat and mama human (who had read or heard that blue jays were known to be aggressive) decided to stay just inside the threshold of the home to intervene if needed.

Mama jay making sure her birdie is ok.

Mama jay making sure her birdie is ok.

Blue jay chick started feeling more confident.  Of course, that probably has something to do with the fact that his mama wasn’t swooping ’round constantly and the fact that my son had become completely uninterested in it (because a squirt bottle is much more interesting that a baby bird) and began exploring the balcony.

Sitting on the edge of our kitchen window.

Sitting on the edge of our kitchen window.

And then, it happened.

Blue jay chick explored some more and got stuck in a part of our clothesline.  Blue jay chick started screaming wildly.  Mama jay started screaming wildly.  Human chick looked at human mama.  Human mama grabbed human chick and put him inside the house.  Blue jay chick kept screaming wildly.  Blue jay mama started swooping around her chick screaming and not knowing what to do to get him unstuck.

Human intervention became necessary.  I grabbed a hand towel from the kitchen and went out on the balcony.  I planned on using it to swish above my head to avoid being attacked by a panicked mama bird while I worked on freeing her baby.  It worked.  Mama blue jay screamed at me and swooped near me, but couldn’t get close because of the hand towel that I was waving around and I managed to separate the line from the metal bar enough for the little birdie to get free.  I then promptly returned inside the safety of my home as the mama bird screamed at me for getting near her baby and my son sat on my lap wondering what in the world was going on.

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This is where the little chick got caught. Wedged right between the green clothesline wire and the vertical metal bar.

After that, blue jay mama stayed close to her chick and while the chick continued to explore our balcony, it remained very far from our clothesline.

The human chick playing with a squirt bottle.

The human chick playing with a squirt bottle.

The Stupid Glucose Tolerance Test

Yes, you read me right.  I hate that stupid test.  You know, the one where you have to arrive at the clinic fasting, pee in a cup, drink an insanely sugary drink in 5 minutes (which, for the record, isn’t all that bad), wait for an hour then get your blood drawn before you can eat!

Urgh.  Painful!

The worst part is when you fail the test.  Or, in my case, when you just fail the test (I’m talking being 0.3 points over the accepted limit) not once, but twice (yup, I failed it when I was pregnant with Charles too, by the same margin no less…).

You see, now I have to redo the test.  Except this time, I get to wait for two hours before I can leave and go on an eating rampage (some people need their coffee in the morning, I need my breakfast – especially when I’m pregnant).  But that’s not the worst part.  The worst part is the stupid diet that I have to follow for three days before redoing the test.

Do you know how much food I have to eat to get ready for take 2?  It’s insane.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinsane!

Here, I’ll show you what I have to try to manage and gobble down for three whole days:

Breakfast

  • 1 fruit or fruit juice
  • 1 serving of cereal
  • 1 egg or 1 oz of cheese
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Butter as desired
  • 1 serving of jelly or jam
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Sugar as desired

Lunch and Supper

  • 4oz meat, fish, eggs or cheese
  • 1 serving of potatoes, rice or pasta
  • 1 serving of veggies or salad with dressing
  • 1 slice of bread
  • Butter as desired
  • 1 cup milk
  • Sugar as desired
  • 1 serving of fresh or canned fruit
  • 1 serving of ice cream

Mid-morning & Mid-afternoon snack

  • 1 fruit or fruit juice
  • 1 serving of yogurt or ice cream

Bedtime Snack

  • 1 slice of bread or 4 crackers
  • 1 oz of cheese
  • 1 cup of milk

Seriously, who eats that much?

Anyway, I’ll be starting this Friday and will be using my day off Monday morning to redo the glucose tolerance test.

That is, if my stomach doesn’t explode…

 

 

 

Ten Thought Tuesday: Almost June

TTT

  1. A little late in the day for a TTT, but hey, better late than never, right?
  2. By next Monday, we’ll be in June.  Can you believe it !?!  The school year has zipped by.
  3. We’ve been looking at paint colors for Little Dude’s big boy room.  The bottom half of the room is going to be green and the top half blue.  The colors are going to be separated by a road decal and we’ll be adding some car and truck decals on the road.  We’ve already decided on the green that we’d use, but are now hesitating between three blues: Rushing Stream, Yucatan and Perfect Sky.
  4. The little guy has been getting his game on and has been experimenting with yelling, crying and pouting when he doesn’t get what he wants.  It never lasts very long though.  I’m hoping it’s because he understands that yelling, crying and pouting won’t get him any closer to what he wants.
  5. I don’t know if I have bad memory, but I can’t remember Charles ever moving as much as Peanut when I was pregnant with him.  Seriously, I am rudely awoken nightly with well-placed kicks to my bladder and then kept awake by a seemingly hyperactive baby.
  6. Since I’m aiming for a med-free birth this time ’round, I have started to work on a birth plan.  I found an awesome resource here and am happy with what I’ve got down on paper so far.  I like how the author of the post, a L&D nurse points out that a birth plan needs to be flexible because, well, labour and delivery is unpredictable and we shouldn’t feel as though we’ve failed at birth because things don’t go as planned.  Valerie put a great post on the subject earlier this week.
  7. While working in the garden last weekend, my partner found a couple of grub worms.  I fed one to each of my geckos.  They were very happy for the treat!
  8. In a contrast to the nice weather we’ve been having for a couple of weeks, it was really chilly outside today.  Brrr… But I won’t complain, the sun and heat is supposed to come back by Thursday.
  9. I just realized that I’m off next Monday.  I think I will try to get an appointment for a massage.
  10. Tomorrow morning, I’m heading to Charles’ 18 month checkup.  I’m curious to see how much he weighs now!

How to Make Your Toddler Happy and Sleepy

You know it’s going to be a good day when the dada gets up with the kiddo so that the mama can sleep in a little bit.

You know it’s going to be an even better day when you wake up (after sleeping in) to the dada making a big breakfast for all of the occupants in the house.

You know it’s going to be an awesome day when you can eat said breakfast on the balcony ’cause at 7:30 am it’s cool enough yet warm enough to eat outside without freezing your butt off in just shorts and a T-shirt.

Sure enough, we had a wonderful day.

By 9am the dada, the kiddo and myself were out the door and in the car heading to the mall.  We both had some clothes to buy – well, actually, my partner actually needed some pants, whereas I decided I needed that cute dress I saw after finding a pair of leggings I actually did need (but it’s all good ’cause I’m pregnant, so I’m allowed to decide that I spontaneously need something, right?).  We also went to take a look in the LEGO store and bought a summer hat for Charles ’cause the hats he has left are either too small or too big (my MIL seems to think that Little Dude is bigger than he is – oh well, they’ll fit him fine in a year…or two ;) ) Before heading home, we went to Home Depot to grab some paint samples for the little guy’s big boy room and some mulch and dirt for the vegetable garden.  We then stopped for some lunch and went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for supper.

Let me tell you, the little guy went down like a rock for his nap when we got home.  In fact, two hours later, he was still sleeping like a baby and I commissioned my little brother to wake him up so that we’d be able to put him down for bed later during the day.

Of course, when he woke up, the little guy just had to go outside, which was a good thing as the dada and I were working outside anyways.  So I got Charles in a bathing suit, slathered some sunscreen on him, put his hat on his head and sent him out on the balcony.  Since it was quite hot outside, I made a small “pool” for him with a large plastic box which I set down at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the balcony.

Oh boy, he was so happy!

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I  mean, besides being outside, with toys he was also in some water and was able to observe his father working on the vegetable garden.  He stayed in for over an hour before wanting out.  I suspect it had something to do with the very heavy diaper he was sporting (yeah, I forgot that he had a disposable diaper on when I let him get in his “pool” – not my best moment lol).

After getting changed again, he was ready to help out with the gardening.

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You can just see him push with all his might to get the wheelbarrow moving, but it would not budge.  Of course, after all that hard work, he needed a break and came back towards the house asking for some juice.

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Soon enough, it was time for supper and the whole bedtime routine and for the first time in many weeks, the little guy did not chatter for an hour before falling asleep.  He was out like a light in no time!

I hope you all had a great weekend and happy Memorial Day weekend to my American friends!

It’s the simple things that count

Yesterday, Little Dude had a big day. After coming back from his food allergy tests, we stopped to have lunch and I put him down for his nap once we got home. We were almost an hour late on his regular nap time and I’m pretty sure he was asleep before I was even out of his room. Like clockwork, he was awake two hours later.

 

The morning hospital visit wasn’t the end of he day’s medical visits, though. Only about a quarter hour after waking from his nap, we were back in the car and on our way to get his 18 month vaccinations. It’s crazy how many times they get pricked for routine vaccinations in their first two years of life, isn’t it? We arrived at the clinic and the little guy busied himself with charming the sock off any adult that passed through.

 

Then, it was time. I sat the little guy on me. And I explained to him what the nurse was going to do. Then, I held him as the nurse pricked his right arm. By the time he realized what had happened, it was already over and he was looking at the small round band-aid with fascination. Then, it was time for the second vaccine. This time, he knew what to expect and he looked at the nurse with a look filled with loathing, but he didn’t try to pull away. The second shot was visibly more “pinchy”, but the little bugger didn’t even cry.

 

It’s a good thing that there wasn’t a third shot though because as soon as the second band-aid was on, Little Dude decided he was done for the day. He slipped off my knees waved to the nurse saying “bye bye” and went straight for the door.

 

After the traditional 15 minute wait, I decided to bring the little guy with me to the pet shop to take a look at all of the critters and animals. He was super happy. But the summom of his day happened when I went to pay for the replacement lightbulb for one of my terrariums; the lady at the cash offered him a sticker.

 

Oh. My. Goodness.

 

Once he had the sticker on his hand, he could not take his eyes off it (nor could he stop pulling it off then putting it back on, for that matter) and he kept showing it to everyone he saw. Seriously, I’m pretty sure that an Olympic gold-medalist who broke a record isn’t as proud of his medal as Charles was of his sticker.

 

It just goes to show how it’s the little things that count. As adults, I think we can learn a lot from kids. They sure know that happiness doesn’t have to come from something complicated.

 

What have been your kids’ most treasured possession?