The other day I was cleaning.
*Insert: Oh, help us! She was cleaning.*
Of course, whenever this anomaly occurs, I discover some horrifying piece of memorabilia that I wish would have stayed hidden until after my death. On this day, what I came across was my birth plan.
I cringed at my long list of requests: a natural birth, a quiet room, dim lighting, and on, and on, and on. I mean really, did I have to write two full pages of requests and instructions?
As I read through the plan, I daydreamed about birth plans, and here’s what I wish I had written in my birth plan:
Oh my goodness! I’m having a baby!
Yay! I’m in labor, but you probably already knew this. I’ve carefully considered my wishes for this birth, and lucky for you, I’ve typed my requests to share with you today!
1. Let’s cut to the chase and make one thing clear: I don’t know how to poop. Seriously. I’m perpetually constipated. So please don’t tell me to push like I’m taking a poop, because when I poop, there’s no work involved. When I’m ready to go, I’m ready to go. Feces literally explode out of me.
2. Speaking of feces, if I poop on the table, can you all make sure I don’t know about it — and maybe distract my husband so he doesn’t see it either? I would like to keep my dignity and some mystery in my marriage.
3. I’m a screamer. I’ve provided several packages of ear plugs for the nurses who attend to me during my birth. Please make sure they get them. If needed, I’ll gladly distribute headache medication too.
4. Don’t offer me a mirror unless there’s lettuce in my teeth or I need a new coat of lipstick. I don’t want to see my lady bits and pieces all out of shape. I’ll leave the beauty of childbirth to my imagination.
5. I do not like needles in my spine. I do not like them; they are not fine. I do not like them here nor there; I do not like them anywhere. I do not like needles in my spine…but hook me up with the laughing gas, okay?
6. I’m indecisive at the best of times. I apologize in advance for waffling over the choice between ice chips or water, walking or squatting, and lying down or sitting on an exercise ball.
7. I want to breastfeed my baby. I’ve read all about how to do so, but I may need some coaching and encouragement. I have pom-poms in my labor bag, but I’ll let you get creative with the cheers.
8. Please don’t give my baby a soother. This has nothing to do with potential nipple confusion. (I still don’t fully understand that idea. It’s not as if a breast nipple and a soother nipple are even remotely similar!) The reason for my request is I’m seeing the endgame here — I mean, who wants to wean their kid off a soother? It ain’t easy folks!
9. I would like to place an immediate order for five cases of mesh panties. I heard they’re in style (and a must-have in every postpartum wardrobe).
10. I would like to partake in the “give birth and get a vasectomy” deal. Please reserve my husband’s vasectomy for two to three hours after I’m settled into my room with the baby. In honor of my commitment to a natural childbirth, he is also forgoing all pain medication. Just kidding — he can have the laughing gas.
Congratulations! You made it to the last point of my birth plan and you’re still reading. That tells me you’re quite the trooper!
Now, here are the most essential instructions. This section is especially important, so pay close attention.
You probably read hundreds of these birth plans per year. You see a lot in your days, from the joy of birth to the deafening silence of a delivery gone wrong. What you do is important. What you say is important. How you treat us and every other family on this unit is important. I can’t thank you enough. You smile, you listen, you coach, you encourage, and you console.
The work you do is essential, and I want to thank you for being with me and my family on this special day. I want to thank you for aiding my husband in his role as he supports me through childbirth. I want to thank you for being here with us as we welcome the newest member of our family into the world. Your presence here means the world to us, and we truly appreciate you.
So here’s a coffee card to share with all the other nurses and attendants on the unit. Today’s caffeine is on me.