Birth plans and BBC iPlayer

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - an­ge­la­gar­wood

OUR baby is due in five weeks. We are, I would think, as pre­pared as a young cou­ple can be for the birth of a baby.

He’s got his “First time Dad” book and I’ve got life ex­pe­ri­ence (mean­ing vague mem­o­ries), a hag­gard look­ing Birth Skills book and some Youtube videos. And a birthing ball.

Ev­ery­thing will be just fine now I have a ball to bounce on. It came with a pam­phlet list­ing nu­mer­ous dif­fer­ent po­si­tions you can prac­tice on the ball. I’ve stuck to just the one.

Though Maia has loved cruis­ing up and down the bed­room on it.

Whilst we were look­ing for­ward to a more con­ven­tional face to face NCT an­te­na­tal class, the Zoom ver­sion was still en­joy­able, and we both took a lot from it. (All five hours of it).

As well as be­ing highly in­for­ma­tive, it was lovely to meet some other cou­ples (around eight in to­tal) also go­ing through preg­nancy dur­ing lock­down. Nowwe have a What­sApp group.

One of the Mums gave birth the other day which made my own up­com­ing labour and birth feel very real.

My part­ner set up one for the Dads, which now con­sists of him and two other Dads. No one has said any­thing yet.

My hos­pi­tal bag has made some progress and is pret­ty­much ready, though I keep us­ing items of cloth­ing from it then for­get­ting to re­turn them. I also keep de­plet­ing its ed­i­ble stock.

By this I mean I filled it with snacks (by “snacks” I re­fer to a va­ri­ety of choco­late bis­cuits, spe­cial ones, the brands I’d never nor­mally buy) but later that evening re­alised we had no suit­able post-din­ner nib­bles, so delved into the bag and de­voured the afore­men­tioned choco­late bis­cuits, leav­ing only the granola bars. I will be re­turn­ing to Waitrose this week to re-stock my hos­pi­tal bag.

As well as the bed­time read­ing, we’ve also been in­dulging in some ed­u­ca­tional TV to help pre­pare us for what’s to come. We’ve now sat through all six episodes of Life and Birth on BBC iPlayer.

My part­ner wasn’t keen to watch it at first but I man­aged to per­suade himwith the very prac­ti­cal: “It’ll be good for us to knowwhat to ex­pect”. Well, it soon be­came clear, he didn’t.

He wasn’t aware ba­bies come into the world a rather dis­turb­ing pur­ply-blue colour, of­ten cov­ered in blood and some white stuff and not the cute dreamy pink tone we see when par­ents send us their new­born snaps.

We’ve de­cided we’ve had our fill of baby pro­grammes for now. While ev­ery story is dif­fer­ent and beau­ti­ful in its own way, there are only so many times you can watch a woman give birth be­fore it be­gins to dawn on you the enor­mity of what you’re about to go through.

Upon my mid­wife’s ad­vice I hes­i­tantly wrote out a birth plan, which I amwell aware will most likely be far from what hap­pens on the day. It felt al­most as though hav­ing a hard writ­ten copy of my wishes and in­ten­tions was some­how jinx­ing the main event.

That I’d in­evitably get the ex­act op­po­site of ev­ery one of my pref­er­ences. But at least now the mid­wives will knowwhat they are, so hope­fully the Uni­verse will take some of it on board too and I’ll get my drug-free-tear-free wa­ter birth.

What­ever hap­pens, we’ve done all we can now. I will try and re­mem­ber to do my pelvic floors, per­haps try a few­more birthing med­i­ta­tions on YouTube and he will con­tinue to lis­ten to me bang on about vi­su­al­i­sa­tion and breath­ing ex­er­cises.

I’ve writ­ten out cue cards with pos­i­tive af­fir­ma­tions and key­words for him to say when I’m in labour. My favourite so far has been when he goes “USE YOUR VOICE”.

I like this a lot. It comes nat­u­rally.

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