I have attended a few birth choices classes this time round rather than antenatal classes, which I felt just built up fear in me by bringing out instruments and needles to 'prepare me'. These birth choices and preparation classes really helped me to focus on a few issues that I didn't realise I had a choice about such as when to cut the cord, when to have the baby cleaned and weighed, vitamin K injections or drops and the fact that I can dictate how intensively monitored I am. They also covered the hormonal journey that your body takes you on during the birth and how best to nurture these useful and necessary hormones in order to provide the right environment for birth.
It seems to be that the environment we conceive a baby in is very similar to the environment most conducive to bring a baby into the world such as soft lighting, privacy and relaxed atmosphere. I used hypnobirthing in my first birth and attribute my positive birth experience to the calmness that hypnobirthing provided me with.
Birth is different for everyone but for the vast majority of people it doesn't have to be a fearful and negative experience. Although there were many negative aspects of my first birth, I believe that birth can be pleasurable and enjoyable when the conditions and mindsets are right. I am looking forward to bringing this next baby into the world.
In true primary teacher style, I have created a symbolised birth plan as I was very aware during my first birth that midwives do not always have time to read through lots of script about the perfect birth you have planned in your head! Here is my plan, although I like to think of it as preferences rather than a plan as I know from experience that everything in the plan is subject to change . . .
I've based my preferences on my own experience of what worked for me last time but also by thinking through the content of the birth preparation classes and the advice from my hypnobirthing course to come up with a best case scenario of choices. I had planned a homebirth last time round which resulted in a non emergency hospital transfer. I ended up having unnecessary interventions such as a syntocinon drip which made my labour much more intense. However, despite the negatives in my external environment I was able to control my internal environment enabling me to have a relatively pain free birth experience. I firmly believe that for me it was the control I had over my mind that enabled a successful birth. As of today, I have 3 weeks to my due date and I am enjoying the calm before the storm a newborn brings. I am loving the precious time I am getting to spend with my three year old and I am looking forward to the future.