Skip to content

My Family-Centered Cesarean Birth Plan



This afternoon I’ll meet with Dr. Shannon to go over my new birth plan. I’m hoping she can help calm some of my fears about this surgery. I know that cesareans carry risks and I’m so scared I’ll fall into that small percentage. I’m preparing myself to be alert and aware of what is happening during the entire surgery. This is a big step for me, but something I feel quite strongly about. I was put under and then given a memory wiping drug after my D&C. Because of this I have no memory of my baby leaving and a year later it still haunts me. I need to remember Chicken being born and in order to do this, I need to come to terms with my fears of surgery.

Yesterday’s post drummed up a lot of inquiries for more information on family-centered cesareans so I wanted to share the video that started it all.

I watched this before I even knew Chicken was breech and it moved me to tears. Such simple changes made this once very cold clinical procedure much more memorable for the mother. I love that this doctor will drop the drape, too. Dr. Z will not due to fear of infection and I’m willing to let this wish go in return for having the rest of my requests met.

I’ve spoken with quite a few women lately about family-centered cesareans and have been pleasantly surprised that more hospitals are willing to try them. I cannot encourage women enough to talk to their doctors about their wishes should the need for a Plan B arise. Also, by planning in advance you can hopefully improve the experience should you find yourself facing an emergency cesarean. As far as I see it, the worst that can happen is your doctor gives you a flat out “no” and then you are left with the option to either find a new practitioner, or make peace with your situation.

I also wanted to share my birth plan with you all. I had at least one reader say she was going to print out my poorly worded post yesterday to bring to her doctor and it made the editor in me cringe. 🙂 Below is my Plan B birth plan. If you would like to print a copy and take it to your doctor to discuss options, please do and then let me know how it goes. I love hearing from readers, especially when they have been empowered to stand up for their beliefs!

Plan B

And finally, thank you all SO MUCH for your suggestions on what to pack for a cesarean hospital stay! Seriously, your suggestions are a huge help. I was all set to pack shorts and tanks, not even thinking that I’d have an incision on my belly and might not want shorts rubbing it! I also had packed my regular thin pads, thinking that surely the bleeding after a cesarean is nothing like after a vaginal birth. Wrong again! My list now includes MONDO PADS OF DOOM and… gulp…. a small package of Depends. Yeah, Depends. I’ve been advised that I will be much more comfortable with these post surgery and feel more at ease knowing that I’m well protected from leaks. The suggestions to bulk up on fiber and prepare for poops from hell post surgery were also priceless. My rump has quite a bit of long-term damage from a lifetime of food allergies. Anything I can do to lessen the trauma of the first post-cesarean poo will be greatly appreciated by it, I’m sure. As soon as my bag is packed I’ll take some photos and share what I’m bringing. Until then, any other suggestions would be very much appreciated because CLEARLY I’m a little clueless going into this!



Post a comment
  1. June 13, 2013

    I love that video! I watch it quite often. I would push for it myself if I hadn’t had my prior cesarean which was much more peaceful than I expected.

    We chose not to circumcise our son, which boggles my parents minds (mind you one of their other 2 grandsons is not circumcised either). It was one of the best decisions we made. This new boy will stay on tact as well. 😉

    I love your birth plan. You’re going to do great!

  2. June 13, 2013

    I really respect what you’re doing 🙂 Go Belle and Prof and Chicken!

  3. APE #
    June 13, 2013

    I can’t believe you only have a couple more weeks until the chicken arrives! Your pregnancyhas flown by fast for me. 🙂

    • APE #
      June 13, 2013

      And this video made me cry! Everytime I see a baby being birthed I cry!

  4. trish #
    June 13, 2013

    Belle, Thank you so so much for posting this video, I learned a lot. As a nurse and fellow IF’er this information was great and something you don’t hear of often. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your experiences. I am so happy for you and the professor. Can’t wait for the chicken to hatch!

  5. June 13, 2013

    What a beautiful video Belle, thank you very much for sharing.

  6. jak #
    June 13, 2013

    thanks for sharing the video! i had no idea about some of this – in particular the slow delivery to allow acclimation. that’s great!

    thanks also for sharing your birth plan. we are putting together a plan b as well in case something happens and we are transferred to the hospital from the birth center. there are DEFINITELY things on your plan b that we did not think about and will go back and add. have you made your decision about vit K shot yet? and PKU test? and there’s the hearing test. we are going to have that done after baby has been with us a few days (hearing test and PKU are actually required by law in MD, which is fine, since they arent that invasive and make sense). like you guys, we are also not getting eye antibiotics or hep b vaccine. still on the fence about circumcision, grrr. perhaps you can discuss your decision process or thoughts in a future post? that is like the one thing i am totally struggling with. my brother and sister in law said the same thing. it was their least sure decision.

    anyway, all sounds great! glad you’re moving forward. oh! and SO SO SO cool that you’re waiting until baby is ready (post-40 weeks) and that IT WILL BE YOUR OMA’S BADY:) that is sweet. really sweet!!

    • June 13, 2013

      I’m still super on the fence about the vitamin K shot. On one hand, there is also no way to know how much vitamin K a baby needs. I also realize baby is growing just perfectly, my placenta is doing a rock-star job despite being shaped weird and I am in good health. This leads me to believe baby won’t have any deficiencies, you know? I eat a good balanced diet and do not sustain life on McDonald’s so any additional vitamin shot would really be unnecessary. BUT THEN I do worry about the cesarean birth and if Chicken is nicked or poked or something goes wrong. I’m going to talk to Dr. Shannon and ask, since she will be handling all pediatrics, if she is comfortable making the call based on how the birth goes. If she feels reason for concern, I will trust her judgement. Otherwise, just skip it. PKU and hearing test I’m ok with once bonding and breast feeding is established. A small stick to rule out a potential weird problem is fine in my book. A massive dose of a vaccine for something Chicken can’t catch from being held, coughed on, etc. is not cool. Chicken won’t be shaking up with other babies in the nursery during our stay so I’d rather we wait a while for this one!

      The circumcision was actually the easiest decision for us out of all of these. I feel the little guy will have been through enough during his first few days of life. There is no need to put him through that too. I also really don’t think it is my place to make this judgement call. If when Chicken is older he would like this done, we will make arrangements. Otherwise, man parts work just as well trimmed or au’natural!

      • June 13, 2013

        In Finland, circumcision is not commonly practice. in fact, I believe it is illegal to do it unless medically necessary. I’m not sure how it would be for religious reasons. I am sure it can be done, it just might be hard to find a doctor willing to do it.

      • June 15, 2013

        We planned on skipping Vitamin K (also skipped eye ointment and Hep B), but Stella was stuck on my pelvis for a long time coming up and ended up with a huge hematoma on her head, so we made the call in the moment to go ahead and give her the shot, and I don’t regret it. I think it’s a great idea to ask the doc for her rec based on Chicken’s specific delivery!

  7. Kaiti #
    June 13, 2013

    I’m curious about having dissolvable stitches vs. staples. Is this personal preference, or something else? I had staples after a c-section, and I honestly did not think about the possibility of other options.

    • June 13, 2013

      It’s a personal preference more than anything. My foot surgery had regular stitches that had to be removed and I’ve gotta say, the EWWWW factor of having strings pulled out of you is like WAY high! I dry heaved the entire time and they had to stop halfway through to give me some juice and fan me! I have heard from several women that staples can pull more than stitches and make it more uncomfortable to move around. With the move shortly after our birth, moving around is a necessity so whatever I can do to make the process a tiny bit more comfortable is good in my book! (Not to mention – staples in the belly… ugh, also has a high gag factor for me!)

      • Shinara #
        June 13, 2013

        Yes, to dissolvable stitches! The only ewww factor with that was one that didn’t get dissolved, it got absorbed and suddenly appeared about a year later. It stuck out of my abdomen. I looked at it, and thought, “What in the Hell is THAT?” Then I realized it was in the scar from my laparotomy…a stitch! Ewwww.

        • June 13, 2013

          AHHHH! Get out of town??? That is SO grody! 🙂

      • Romy #
        June 13, 2013

        Hi Belle,

        I missed commenting on your past couple of posts – I often only have one hand free these days whih makes commenting hard.

        I didn’t have a bag packed because Sawyer was born 6 weeks early but my husband ran home right away and one of the things I had read about and asked him for was definitely stool softeners so I’d second all the comments mentioning that. The hospital didn’t give me any until 12 hours or so later and the first days you can’t exert any pressure 😉
        I don’t know if you wear contacts? I do and I was worried they might not let me wear them during the surgery but they did. Just something to check if you do wear them.
        I don’t know about the US but the hospitals here in Calgary don’t have wifi. I can’t go without an Internet connection, especially since my family is in the Netherlands and I wanted to Skype with them (I actually asked for and got permission to Skype in the NICU so that they could see Sawyer). So the only way to use the Internet was by setting up a hotspot on my iPhone which took a LOT of data and I hadn’t had time to look into changing my cell phone plan temporarily.
        The bleeding – it’s great that you’ll e prepared. I was shocked. I didn’t expect much bleeding but there was tonnes and also huge clots. A nurse told me anything up to egg size is normal… And right after the csection I was in too much pain to do anything so a nurse actually had to change the pads 😦
        Wrt stitches, yes totally get the dissolvable ones. It’s what I got but only because the surgeon who was on call prefers them. The standard is staples and every nurse commented on how beautiful my incision looked and how this was due to the stitches. I asked why they don’t do them all the time then and they said staples are much faster.
        I hope you’ll get awesome breast feeding support like I did. They advised me to rent a hospital grade pump which I have done and it’s great – a Medella double electric pump.

        I can’t think of anything else at the moment but if I do I’ll let you know.
        You’re doing great preparing for your cesarean birth like this. I’ve read studies indicating that when women were prepared, they didn’t have nearly as many emotional problems with their changed birth plan.

        • June 13, 2013

          I guess I’m some kind of hormonal nut job right now b/c all these comments are making me cry 🙂 So glad to hear other people vouch for the disolvable stitches. After the ECV fiasco and being in the hospital for 8 hours, the husband and I learned that they do have free wi-fi for all which will be really nice for skyping with family and friends. However, I need to remember my computer! It actually was not on the list. Can you believe that? What kind of infertility blogger forgets her computer when she goes to have her miracle baby? Sheesh! 🙂

          And, um, egg sized? Good God I’m glad you warned me. I would have FREAKED out had I seen something like that exit me!

  8. Arbrefleur #
    June 13, 2013

    Beautiful video, thank you for sharing. Thank you for the full text of the birth plan, I think it’s fantastic. (And don’t worry, I wasn’t actually planning to print it out and hand it to someone, I just thought it was so great that I wanted to use it as a guide for writing my own plan. It was so thoughtful and thorough, I really loved the vibe of it. I am an editor, too, so I understand 🙂 )

  9. June 13, 2013

    Oh, wow… what a beautiful birth video. I love learning about all the ways women find to get the experiences they want and deserve. I mean, if that isn’t a real birth, I dunno what is. You know? Only a couple of weeks till you get to have your own real birth, Belle!

  10. faith #
    June 13, 2013

    Proud of you for leading the way with information and by sharing your story. It was recently brought to my attention while meditating on the Bible this Chapter in Scripture pertaining to circumcision: Acts 15. Why would God give it to us only to have it removed at birth?? Doesn’t make sense to me 🙂

  11. June 13, 2013

    Beautiful video – If only every Caesarian could be like that – indeed the dr said its possible it’s just the mindset of the doctors. It’s great to see it’s happening in the UK but I would like to know which hospital it is as I’m not sure they would be doing it on the NHS!

  12. June 13, 2013

    I just finally watched the video. Literally tearing up. In so many ways it was like my own birth (which was not a cesarean) and all so emotional and perfect. I am so glad you found a dr to do this (or most of it) for you. I can’t wait for you to see that baby!!!

  13. Shinara #
    June 13, 2013

    I am going out right now to buy Depends! AGGHHH!

  14. Amy #
    June 13, 2013

    FYI: Typically they like you nice & awake before, during & after-it’s safer that way-you will remember it in that blurry/happy wedding day way. Sharon was my favorite lactation consultant at UK, but they are all generally fabulous. They may try to take baby for a bit to check them out, but if you are *firm*, they will perform all evaluations in the room. Our second baby delivered there literally never left us, but my husband was mildly aggressive. It will be awhile before you can eat & walk after-maybe12- 24 hours. Nurses will help clean your lady parts-be prepared. You will suffer some moments of being undignified. They do have a decent selection of fresh fruit-just request what you want. If you ask nicely, they may even put you in a room with an extra bed for professor. It’s always nice to have the new daddy close. They will take good care of you. You will smell & snuggle that baby-it will be intoxicating! Be prepared 😉 I am so excited for you!!!

    • Amy #
      June 13, 2013

      Oh! & just because your birth is scheduled doesn’t mean it will go as scheduled. You may have to wait later than your scheduled time. Just plan to fall in love & all will go according to plan. Promise.

      • Amy #
        June 13, 2013

        Agh! Finally…yes, the big pads. Lots of them & even for a week or so. It stops…& then it comes back! But you won’t care because you will be passed out with a baby sleeping on your chest. I’m done, for real.

  15. June 14, 2013

    I loved the video! It was absolutely lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  16. nonsequiturchica #
    June 19, 2013

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting that video. I have already sent it along to CP and will hopefully talk to my dr about it tomorrow. THANK YOU!!!!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. random ramblings | the mcmuffin house

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: