Research Before Committing to a “Birth Plan”

If there is one thing I would re-do as far as my pregnancy it would be more research before committing to a hospital birth. Before finding out I was pregnant I was so freaked out by the thought of popping a baby out of my body that I was more in the “just don’t want to know” frame of mind, so when I found out I was pregnant I automatically went to my OBGYN and started on the path for a hospital birth with the assumption that I would give birth in the hospital and get an epidural.

As I got further along in the pregnancy, and especially while working out, there were things that I found out that made me not so excited for a hospital birth. With my doctors I often felt like a puppy in a puppy mill. While some of them were nice, it was very impersonal. Some of the doctors were not so nice, but I was still forced to see them. I did not like that they told me I gained too much weight and assumed it was due to inactivity, or that my baby was going to be very big, or that they always asked my husband if they had met yet (even though he came to every appointment).

I kept hearing from my friends who went the birthing center route that the experience was much more personal. They understood YOUR needs and focused on YOUR pregnancy. I think this is important because all women are different and I do not like that I was constantly compared to everyone else with my OBGYN. They helped you develop a birthing plan that you were comfortable with. There was a lot more freedom to try different things (ie; sitting on a fitness ball or taking a shower). My preconceived notion of a birthing center was that it was for hippies who wanted to a water birth, but by the end of my pregnancy I wish I would have more seriously considered that route.

When I went into labor, my contractions were very confusing. I called the doctor when I thought they were about 5 minutes apart for three hours, but I found it hard to time them so I wasn’t even sure if they were real contractions. Turns out I had “double contractions”, which I had never heard of. Due to the double contractions I believe I went to the hospital too early, which resulted in me requesting the epidural so I could sleep. The process of getting the epidural was one of the worst experiences of my life and as soon as I got it, Aiden’s heart rate dropped and once they stabilized us it continued to drop every time I had a contraction. Apparently, this is a somewhat common side effect that I did not know about because I did not do research!

In the end I ended up with an elective C-section because Aiden’s heart rate was dropping so low every time I tried to push and the contractions was space back out (rather than staying 2 minutes apart they would go to 5). I feel that if I didn’t get that epidural things would have gone differently.

I think that if I had gone to a birthing center I would have had a much more personal experience and possibly would have avoided the C-section. If I have another baby, I will definitely look into the birthing center.


2 thoughts on “Research Before Committing to a “Birth Plan”

  1. Hey Melissa!

    So I just realized that I’ve been reading your blog and I hadn’t yet learned your name. (Dan has been posting your entries on facebook so I found you there.) Nice to meet you Melissa! I’m Debbie. I went to highschool with Dan and we took theatre together.

    I LOVE that you’re writing this blog. I’m terrible at writing so I very much appreciate you sharing your birth story and how you truly felt about it. I’m currently 33 weeks pregnant and because of misfiled insurance paperwork I have turned to a natural birthing center. I cannot express how much of a blessing this has become.

    When I was on the hospital birthing route I was afraid of all the normal procedures for a “natural” birth. Ie: Getting an epidural, the high chance of increased heartbeat and even more high chance of a cesarian.

    The first time I walked into NOVA Natural Birth Center in Chantilly I nearly cried I was so happy. The space is beautiful, there are real beds, tubs, bathrooms and luxurious couches for family to sit or sleep. They also offer Bradley’s Birthing Method classes (which we’re starting this weekend) so that the father can be involved in labor and birth.

    We’re not expecting our baby boy until May, but I’ll be sure to post my experience and let you know about it. I 100% think that you enjoy a drug free natural birth even with a VBAC.

    I will now go back to reading your blog. ^_^



    1. Hi Debbie, Thank you for reading and sharing! It is funny you should mention Nova Natural Birth Center. I have a contributor post coming soon from a woman who went that route at that birthing center and LOVED it. I am sure you will have a great experience too! Congratulations Mama!


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