Bye Bye Birth Plan

Well, my blood pressure spiked again, and I was back in the hospital for a complete work up. I was there 10 minutes and already arguing with the OB about unecessary interventions. [This was an OBGYN I had met before – he gave me an uneccesary intervention for an abnormal pap test years ago and asked me what it was like to be a lesbian]. He wanted to put me on a saline IV just to see what that would do, even though I told him I had been drinking water like a fish and was definitely not dehydrated. “We’ll just try it”. He said. “Might as well”. Luckily after he left my midwife agreed with me that it was uneccesary and didn’t do it. In the hospital my blood pressure was totally normal at every measure, baby’s heart rate was normal, blood and urine came back completely normal.

This is just a case of labile hypertension – blood pressure spikes will come and go, and aren’t harming me or the baby at this point. According to a large scale study I just read, this kind of hypertension only has a 15-20% chance of becoming the more serious pre-eclampsia, or full on hypertension. Yet, the midwife told me to make peace with a hospital birth and likely induction. She recommended we save our money by cancelling the birthing tub we had ordered for our home birth. She said that in her experience, hypertension only gets worse the further along the pregnancy gets. She wants us to aim to reach 37 weeks, which is in 5 days.

I somehow kept a calm face through the entire evening at the hospital, but when I got home I lost my cool. I have been laying awake for most of the night thinking about how I can manage a peaceful calm birth in a hospital room. How will I go within and enter deep relaxation when I feel the need to constantly defend myself and question an OB’s many recommendations? If I need to be induced, how long will they give me to progress on my own without pitocin, and just membrane sweeps and cervix ripening gel and walking around? Will I be able to walk around, or will they have me heavily monitored and strapped to machines? If I get pitocin, will I be able to labour without an epidural? Will I end up flat on my back with my feet in stirrups being told what to do by an outsider? Will I lose control of my body and lose any semblance of this birth being a natural event?

I was excited about labour and delivery the way I had pictured it. Now I am full of dread and anxiety. I know many women are able to have very satisfying birth experiences in hospitals, but I can’t help but get my back up in a hospital environment. It is NOT my safe place. It is not comfortable for me.

I clearly have a lot of processing still to do. I go back to the hospital for more monitoring and an ultrasound on Monday.

20 thoughts on “Bye Bye Birth Plan”

  1. I’m sorry things aren’t going the way you’d hoped. We just can’t predict these things.
    I had high BP as well and was induced at 38w. I had been hoping for a hospital water birth but that sent out of the window pretty fast. My birth was fine. I still got a lot of the things I wanted but it did take a while for me to get used to the new ideas.
    Sounds like you have a good midwife on your side to advocate for you too, so hopefully you can make this work.
    Whatever happens, you’ll rock it xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry. Hopefully you will not have to deal with the incredibly unhelpful OB during your birth, but yeah, having interventions pushed on you is a legit fear. Some hospitals are at least friendly towards helping you have the experience you want, so maybe even if you end up induced, you can avoid those god-awful stirrups.
    Fingers crossed. ❤

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  3. I’m so sorry to hear that; it must be especially hard when you’ve been so looking forward to a home birth on your own terms.

    If you are induced, can you remain under you midwife’s care? We had to have a transfer of care, but our midwife said that isn’t the case at all hospitals and that they are trained in induction. If you do have to transfer, are you allowed to request a particular OBGYN? I know an awesome female OB who works in your city…

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    1. We can remain under our midwife’s care and they will just consult with the OB on call. The OB calls the shots but the midwife takes care of me. Can’t request an OB. But there are a couple I know I like 🙂

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      1. Glad there are a couple you like. And nice that even if you get stuck with a less-ideal one, that your midwife will be there. Ours was, too, and even though she wasn’t the main care provider it was amazing having her there, and I feel like she was the one who really delivered the baby!

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  4. It totally sucks when you have to accept that the cards you’ve been dealt just don’t allow you the options you want. I’m so sorry. Our midwife talks about having a home birth in the hospital, basically meaning that the mindset of a home birth, with informed consent and support and trust from and with your care providers. I hope that you’re able to find that space. Good luck!

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  5. I’m so sorry sweetie. I see in the comments above that your midwife will still be taking care of you, that’s great news. Have you thought about having a doula? I had a natural hospital birth and my doula was so wonderful- she really made the hospital delivery room a calm environment- even the nurses coming in to check kept commenting how nice it was with the music and lights off. Another thing that helped me prepare was reading this book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005ZSIGEO/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the book recommendation! I wish now that I had hired a doula, but at this point it’s too late. They book up fast around here. I also can’t really afford one. Depending on which midwife I get on birthing day (I have 3 assigned to me), I may get one who is very much like a doula. Calm and peaceful and great at guiding women through natural births. Another one of the three did hypnobirthing for her own birth experiences, so that would be helpful to my experience too. I’m also doubling down on my hypnobirthing mediations so I can hopefully use that as a pain management technique. I heard that a dimly lit room and relaxation can help the natural creation on oxytocin which would help the body cope with artificially induced contractions, so I will definitely try to make the room into a spa!

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  6. Your hospital birth will be magical, too. I swear. I ended up having so many interventions. I was hooked up to more cords and monitors than I thought possible, but that’s not what I took away from that day. Everything will be okay. You’re going to be a rock star. And when that baby is born, you’re going to be so amazed by what your body just did that you won’t even care where you were when it happened.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the reassuring words! That’s probably true – the birth of my baby will overshadow my surroundings.

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  7. It really, really sucks to have your birth plan changed on you. I’m sorry.

    I went in for my induction and hospital birth without a plan, which wasn’t a good idea. I would suggest looking at every element of your birth plan and writing out the parts of it that are preservable in an induction and/or hospital scenario. Lights, people in the room, positions, skin-to-skin, everything. Having it written out will hopefully help both you and those advocating for you during the birth.

    I hope everything goes as calmly as possible from here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Good tips… I will rework my birth plan now. It was pretty loose before, with just a list of pain management techniques I wanted to try, and to be left alone / not checked as much as possible. Even if I have to be hooked up to a monitor, my birth plan might help to keep the hustle and bustle of people and beeping machines at bay.

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  8. I had ALL these same concerns and YOU CAN have a peaceful birth in the hospital. Make it clear to your L&D nurse that you want to be left ALONE as much as possible. They will help you achieve that, and if they don’t, ask if there is a nurse on shift who has experience with natural births. They come in to monitor you occasionally, but for the most part, you and your partner will have peace and you can move, walk, sway, etc. You will enter another state of mind that seriously erases everything going on around you, so it won’t matter whether you’r in a hospital, a birth center, or the moon. You can do this, and it can still be the birth you want!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, that’s a good point that I probably won’t be aware of my surroundings if I am birthing from within, as they say. The anxiety I get when I am just in for standard procedures will probably be totally overshadowed by labour! And I will definitely as for a nurse who gets natural birth.

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      1. I was devastated after our hospital tour because of the sterile feel and cafeteria food smell. During labor, I had no idea of any of that and I absolutely loved my nurse and the ob/gyn who helped me. Stay positive – you’re still in control of your body!

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  9. Hey – I think I feel possibly the same as you do about the hospital – we’re not going for a home birth, but want to go to a birthing centre rather than a hospital; I’m scared of all the clinical stuff and being pushed and pulled and losing control. But we are making mental provisions for a hospital birth, in case it’s recommended – we will definitely go hospital if the medics think it’s best, because who am I to argue?

    If you end up in hospital, find yourself an advocate – make sure you explain to them exactly how you envisage your birth, that you want peace and quiet and time to feel that you are the leader in the process, that you and your body are in charge, even if you and your body need help, it has to be on your terms. Ask that person to advocate that on your behalf. We have decided to state on our birth plan that any questions and decisions will go through my wife – she will make decisions for me unless she thinks it’s something I will want to be consulted on, which will allow me to go off in to my mental place with full trust that I will be represented without being stressed about making decisions.

    Our birth plan (when it’s written!) will have our ideal scenario, followed by lots of “if X is necessary then we want it to happen like this” “if Y happens, then our order of preference for action is A, B, C” … we are trying to remain as open as possible while also accepting that even if it doesn’t go the way we dream, if there are complications, then baby’s health comes first, with our preferences noted. This has made me feel a lot more secure – that even if I start to lose control of the situation, at least I can lose control in a controlled manner! 😉

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  10. Friend, no matter how you have your baby, they will be so so loved, and at the end of the day, that’s really all that matter. That mom and baby are healthy and well. It was so so hard to surrender to to The Universe and what IT’S birth plan was for me. But at the end of the day, I just wanted my baby to be safe, especailly coming 10+weeks early. I’m sorry you have to go through this, and hope that you get the birth that you have always dreamed of!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s easy to get caught up in a dream birth plan, but you’re right, at the end of the day all that matters is getting the baby here safe and sound. I have changed my birth plan a bit to be more flexible, like here is what I want in this situation, but if we are in this other situation here is what I want to prioritize. As long as I feel that my care providers know what my HOPES are for the birth, I feel a lot more trust in them to help me deliver the baby in the best way possible for both baby and I.

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