Birth Plans

Here I sit, preparing for birth which feels remotely like preparing for death: I’m terrified, there’s lots of paperwork and I’m not 100% sure what will happen afterwards. The past two days I have been lamenting over a birth plan. Initially, I thought birth plans were just for hippies who will scream at nurses if they so much as recommend a Band-Aid because that’s not “natural birth.” But then I found this handy-dandy online birth plan creator. Basically, it gives you all the possible options for your baby’s birthday that you would want hospital staff know about.

This sent me into a turmoil. Not only did I not know there were this many options for me to put in a birth plan, but I didn’t know if I agreed or disagreed with half of the available options. Something as simple as “I would like music in my room” sent my mind spinning. While it would be nice to sit and relax to some Norah Jones, what if I hook up my iPod and the minute the baby is born it shuffles to ICP? I don’t need a baby Juggalo.

I brought up the option to my husband of who is going to catch the baby when he’s born. While I always thought the doctor did it and there wasn’t a grey area, there is an option available for him or I to do it. This put him in a tailspin. His face contorted like I gave him the Meaning of Life and he just couldn’t compute. We sat contemplating sliminess, grip, awkwardness, risk, fear… and I still don’t know the answer.

This is too much for us. I like to know my options in every scenario. But give me 100 options on the most important day in my life and I need a Xanax. I think I just might skip the whole birth plan creator and go for something much more simple. Maybe I will hand them a slip that says, “Birth plan: You have the PhD. We, unfortunately, do not. Please treat us like the sheep that we are and with the most care and respect, just get this baby out quickly, painlessly and healthily. The end.”

But I know myself, I will sit and fret over these options for the next five months. There will be 100 drafts of the same document. I will go through dozens of White-Out tubes because I will watch something on a Baby Story or hear someone’s Little Shop of Birthing Horrors that changes my mind. Then I will probably be in such an all out frenzy on the actual day that I forget it at home…

Here’s to hoping.

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