Posted in Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy

What We Actually Needed In Our Birthing Bags

I read through my old post and saw that I listed everything we packed in our bags for the birth center and said I would post an update about what we actually did use. I’m not going to go into Note’s complete birth story, but it was crazy and lasted only five hours, in which we never saw the midwife until she caught the baby. Anyway, we were never even able to bring our bags down from the car because we were rushed into one of the birthing houses, even thought we were told we could pick which one, and were waiting until we could go to the house we wanted to bring down the bags. So we really just used the bare minimum. I’ll strike out anything we didn’t use.

Carry Out: These are things daddy’s going to have to get and put in the vehicle if they’re not already in there.

  • Towel and Trashbag – apparently a lot of people throw up during the car ride. I want to protect my truck! (I did throw up during labor… A LOT. Only on the car ride over to the birthing center however.)
  • Mommy’s Bag
  • Daddy’s Bag
  • Baby’s Bag
  • Car Seat – our base is already installed, but we don’t keep the carseat in the car.
  • Nursing Pillow – I’m taking a mombo.
  • Cooler with Drinks and Meals – Since I still have morning sickness, Frank has a pre-approved list of foods that he can pack and eat that won’t make me throw up.

Mommy’s Bag: These are the things that are specifically packed in my bag.

  • Nursing Bra (This goes with the going home outfit.)
  • Sports Bra – for walking around during labor in case I feel too hot for other clothes.
  • Breast Pads
  • Night Gown/Robe (I was going to labor in this, but I labored naked because I kept going in and out of the shower.)
  • Slippers
  • Socks – some fuzzy ones in case my feet get cold!
  • Going Home Outfit – black pants, because there can be a lot of bleeding after delivery.
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush, gel
  • Maxi Pads – for the bleeding. I’m making “soothing” ones following these instructions. (I was given a diaper and it was so much better at containing mess.)
  • Hair Band – I’ll want my hair out of my face!
  • Contacts – I have really bad eyesight. If my glasses start to fog up, I will want to have an option that will still allow me to see.
  • Old Underwear – because I hear all the underwear in the beginning will probably get stained. (This goes with the going home outfit)
  • Birth Plan – there is one in my patient chart, but it always helps to have extra copies!

Baby’s Bag: We are using cloth diapers, so decided to take those with us so we can start right away with cloth. I don’t think the birth center provides as much as the hospital, so maybe I am overpacking if it actually does provide items for baby.

  • 2 Newborn Outfits – I think we only need one, but in case we stay overnight or have an accident in one. Hopefully Note can come home in the outfit that we picked for them to come home in! We are expecting an average-sized baby, so newborn size will be perfect. (Only one needed. Note didn’t get diapered and dress until we were about to leave.)
  • Mittens
  • 2 Swaddle Blankets
  • 1 Swaddle Wrap – in case we can’t get the swaddling down quickly enough.
  • 3 Newborn Diapers – we are using gDiapers. We will probably only experience one diaper while at the birth center, but I am taking more just in case. (Only one needed.)
  • 3 Small Diapers – just in case these fit better than the newborn diapers. They are also gDiapers.
  • 3 Extra Snap Liners – these are for the gDiapers specifically to make changes easier. They are only for the small diapers.
  • Disposable Inserts – we are using these until the meconium stage passes.
  • Baby Book – to record the birth details and get the tiny foot prints like they do on the birth certificate.
  • Hat
  • Socks
  • Nasal Aspirator
  • Comb/Brush – for that little hair.
  • Body Wash – we are still undecided if we will wait on the first bath and leave the vernix and all that stuff on until we take their first bath when the umbilical cord comes off. (We waited on the first bath.)
  • Nail Clippers – newborn nails are usually a little long and they can scratch their face.
  • Wipes – we are taking sample packs since I doubt we need much.
  • Wash Clothes
  • Towel
  • Burp Clothes
  • Wet Bag – These are to put dirty cloth diapers in. We wouldn’t need it if we were using disposables.

Daddy’s Bag: These are the things we packed in Frank’s bag. He is an extreme minimalist, so his list is extremely short.

  • Change of Clothes
  • Pajamas – he only wants these because he gets extremely cold at night.
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks – he gets to carry any snacks we want that don’t go in the cooler in his bag.
  • Massage Oil – This is for me, but I’m putting it in his bag.
  • Props – he has a special scene he wants to set up for a right after birth picture.
  • Kindle + Charger – he can be pretty restless when he is just sitting down, so he needs something to distract himself.
  • Phone Chargers – These are really important! We have one back up in the car already in case we forget. This is probably an item we might forget to pack since we use them every day.

So, as you can see, I was completely overpacked. We stayed for about five hours of labor and then another two to three hours after the birth before we were discharged. I felt strangely dirty and just wanted to go home as quickly as possible! I hope this will help other parents see what they really need, especially when using cloth diapers and giving birth at a birth center.

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Posted in Pregnancy

Birth Plan

I’m going to talk a little about our birth plan. It is fairly straightforward in my opinion, and the midwife said most of the things we want are done at the birth center anyway, such as delayed cord clamping. I’m going to put the birth plan that I made using this tool.

 

My delivery is planned as: Vaginal
I’d like…:

My partner Frank and my best friend Maribel

 

…present before AND/OR during labor.
During labor, I’d like:

  • Music played (I will provide)
  • The lights dimmed
  • The room as quiet as possible
  • As few interruptions as possible
  • As few vaginal exams as possible
  • To wear my own clothes
  • To wear my contact lens the entire time
  • My partner to film AND/OR take pictures
  • My partner to be present the entire time
  • To stay hydrated with clear liquids and ice chips
  • To eat and drink as approved by my doctor

I’d like to spend the first stage of labor:

  • Standing up
  • Walking around

I’m not interested in: 

  • An enema
  • Shaving of my pubic area

I’d like fetal monitoring to be:

  • Performed only by Doppler
  • Performed only if the baby is in distress

I’d like labor augmentation:

  • Performed only if baby is in distress
  • First attempted by natural methods such as nipple stimulation

For pain relief, I’d like to use:

  • Acupressure
  • Breathing techniques
  • Cold therapy
  • Distraction
  • Hot therapy
  • Massage
  • Meditation

During delivery, I would like to:

  • Squat
  • Lean on my partner

 

As the baby is delivered, I would like to:

  • Push spontaneously
  • Avoid forceps usage
  • Avoid vacuum extraction
  • Let my partner catch the baby
  • Let our voices be the first baby hears

Immediately after delivery, I would like:

  • My partner to cut the umbilical cord
  • The umbilical cord to be cut only after it stops pulsating
  • To deliver the placenta spontaneously and without assistance
  • To keep the placenta
  • Not to be given Pitocin/oxytocin

I would like to hold baby:

  • Immediately after delivery
  • Before eye drops/ointment are given

I would like to breastfeed: As soon as possible after delivery

I’d like baby’s medical exam and procedures:

  • Given in my presence
  • Given only after we’ve bonded
  • Given in my partner’s presence
  • To include a heel stick for screening tests beyond the PKU
  • To include a hearing screening test

Please don’t give baby:

  • Sugar water
  • Formula
  • A pacifier

I’d like baby’s first bath given: By me and my partner

I’d like to feed baby:

  • Only with breastmilk
  • On demand

If we have a boy, circumcision should: Not be performed

As needed post-delivery, please give me:

  • Extra-strength acetaminophen
  • Stool softener

If baby is not well, I’d like:

  • My partner and I to accompany it to the NICU or another facility
  • To breastfeed or provide pumped breastmilk
  • To hold him or her whenever possible

 

Basically, we want to be as natural as possible. We want very little medical interventions done, unless we absolutely need them. We do recognize the need for some procedures to ensure that baby and I are safe, but mostly we would like to be left on our own to birth and labor as we need and see fit. Frank and I are strong believers that the body of the person in labor will naturally know what to do. We were designed for this. There are times when things go wrong, but most of the time if a birthing person is left alone, the outcome will be wonderful.

So, this is more or less our birth plan. We have filled one out and put it in our chart. Only 25 days left!