So for those of you not in the know, a birth plan is basically what it sounds like--an outline of how your ideal delivery will go. Now, what I didn't realize until, like, today, was that, apparently, your birth plan is actually something you have written out and take with you to the hospital. I thought it was just something you talk about with your partner and doctor. At first I was all "That is so lame!" but upon hearing Josh's reaction of "That actually sounds useful and makes a lot of sense," I realized that, yes, that was true, and that I was being reactionary (if you can believe such a thing).
So one's birth plan is basically just a list of "I statements" ("I would like to be offered an epidural" "During delivery I would like to squat/stand/lie down/be on my hands and knees" etc.) and wishes for your baby ("Please do not clamp the baby's cord until it has stopped pulsating" [SIDENOTE: ... ew] "I would like to give the baby his first bath" ).
So okay. Despite the fact that I still find the phrase utterly obnoxious, I've softened on the whole business, though I'm not going to be particularly picky about my birth plan. There are a few things I would like to happen, a few things I would not like to happen, but other than that it's like "Can we do it this way? No? In your medical opinion this would be better? Okay. Let's do that." Ultimate birth plan? "This little bastard has been living inside of me at huge expense, rent-free, for forty weeks. Get him the hell out."
But I had a thought: wouldn't it be kind of great to have birth plan that had nothing to do with the birth or the baby, but just a list of things you want while you're in the hospital?
My Birth Plan
- I would like to be offered a Luigi's Italian Ice (lemon) every hour on the hour
- I would like a purple blanket. Not mauve. Not periwinkle. Purple.
- I would like a room with a window overlooking a tree with a nest of baby squirrels in it. If it's an oak tree, great, if not, I can deal with it.
- Please make sure there is a copy of The Histories by Herodotus on my bedside table. I won't read it, but, you know, just in case I need it.
- I will bring a full-sized copy of The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David. Please hang it on the wall behind me.
- I would appreciate if all nurses would speak to me as though they were Muppets on Sesame Street (please note: if you're going to do it in the style of the Muppets on The Muppet Show, don't even bother).
- I would really appreciate actual Muppet nurses.
- Today's secret word is "Please." Any time you hear it, scream real loud!
- My husband will be playing "Danny Boy" on the jaw harp for me for the duration of my stay.
- Call me Ishmael.
Birth plan: Like or dislike
Verdict: Grudgingly like. Now where are my Muppet nurses?