If you've done any research about birth online, then you've probably run across this topic. How to write a birth plan. What goes into a birth plan? The visual birth plan. Blah blah blah.
Some couples swear by birth plans. They have to have them. They stress over every detail. Writing, rewriting, and revising them over and over again. But what is the purpose of birth plans? To control the way your birth goes?
To make sure that it plays out like a play so everyone knows their lines?
Not in the slightest.
So why do people insist on writing them? Are they actually necessary? Are you DOOMED if you don't have one??
Don't worry! If you don't have one it's OK!!
The real purpose of a birth plan is to simply allow you to think about different options and scenarios. When you write out a birth plan, it allows you to visualize all the things you may not have thought of. By doing this, there is no decision making on the spot. Think of it like the rehearsal to your wedding. Do weddings always go 100% as planned? No, but the rehearsal gives everyone an idea of your wishes, non-negotiables, and allows you to play out different ways things might go or issues that might arise.
It also gives couples an opportunity to discuss things that they may have thought they were on the same page about. While mom may have assumed that dad would cut the cord, dad may not feel super comfortable with it. Dad may have assumed that mom would want her mom there and/or other family members, but mom just wants it to be them. Every family is different. One birth plan is not going to work for everyone, which is why it's important to go over the options.
Mama Natural has a great free visual birth plan template HERE.
A birth plan can help you make informed decisions, but one of the best ways to know what those options are is to take a childbirth education class like Birth Boot Camp. Birth Boot Camp is a 10 week class that covers the process and stages of labor, care provider options, building your birth team, common tests and procedures during pregnancy, labor, and for newborns, fitness and nutrition for a healthy pregnancy, breastfeeding, life with a newborn, and so much more. Find a Birth Boot Camp class near you HERE. You can also take online classes HERE.
Looking back now, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. I'm a woman of many passions and hobbies. Clearly, from the title of this blog you can see that I love country music. Well, I really just love good music, but for me that just happens to be country music. I still have some hefty goals in that area and skills I want to work on and sharpen, as well as new things I'd like to learn.
But in this season of life there's something else I'll be learning.
When I was little I was always that kid who would work in the nursery, babysit, etc. I loved kids. And I guess the obvious assumption was that I'd be a teacher. So that's what I went to school for. It didn't take me long to realize that teaching was NOT my calling! But I still didn't know what was. So I prayed and asked God to open doors, and He did. Just not how I would expect.
One Cross Cultural Studies degree and a marriage license later, I found myself pursuing a different dream. One that is still very much a part of my heart. I worked for a radio promotions company and LOVED it. Sure, I was the lowest man on the totem pole in that industry, but I didn't care. I had a very small part in getting new artists in the spotlight and getting them their time on the radio waves and that was worth every call or email of mine that went ignored.
But the passion for babies still remained. Of course I wanted my own (which I have now), but it goes beyond that. I remember in college my roommates always saying, "you just want to have babies!" But that did not sit well with me. That wasn't it at all! I mean, I did and I certainly want more, but my dream was never to be June Cleaver. I wanted more than that. So, when I started teaching Birth Boot Camp classes, I figured that was it. I LOVE teaching these classes! I love that it's consistent and that I can still stay home with my son during the day. I love seeing moms and dads as those lightbulbs turn on. But it didn't take long for something else to come up.
About four or five years ago I was hanging out with my husband's cousin's family. His wife and I were chatting (she had just had a baby) and she introduced me to The Business of Being Born. That movie is just one big can of worms.
I told her she should become a doula, but with a husband that worked sometimes odd hours and the fact that she had just recently given birth to her third child, the possibility just didn't seem to be there. At that point, she was the only person I knew who used a midwife or was naturally minded, so it really never crossed my mind to be a part of that industry. I honestly didn't know there were many others out there.
But here we are. Looking back now, I laugh at that. I should've seen then--I wish I had seen then. All the babysitting, nursery working, and childcare wasn't leading me to teaching. It was leading me to the birth world. The birth of my own son was what gave me the final push. There was and is a need. I see it every day all over Facebook. A need for couples to know their options, a need for couples to be empowered, and a need for laboring moms to be supported. There's a mile long list of reasons why I'm passionate about birth, but I say all this to tell you...I'm officially training to be a doula. This November I'll be training with Birth Boot Camp to become a certified doula. It's been on my mind and heart for a few years, but I was always scared...scared of the on-call lifestyle, scared of leaving my son too much (especially when he was still nursing), scared of getting pregnant or having a newborn at training (clearly that's not happening now!), but I just got tired of being scared. I'm tired of fears holding me back.
So here we go...
P.S. If you or anyone you know is looking for a doula after the new year, let me know! ;)
P.P.S. Please enjoy this PHENOMENAL song and video by John Baumann. Freaking amazing. Better yet, go see him live.
I love birth. And I love country music. No rhyme or reason. I'm not here to apologize for the seemingly opposite passions. All I know is I'm inspired by both and I've got some big dreams.