As we’ve now hit the third and final trimester, I thought it would be a good time to talk about birth plans. Originally I thought they were for women (with overactive imaginations) who want to give birth in a lake with a pod of albino dolphins.
I’ve since learned that birth plans can be more pedestrian. One website describes it as: a document that lets your medical team know your preferences for things like how to manage labour pain. Other sites went on to describe the plan as “extremely important” and of “tremendous significance” and I thought, dang, better get myself a plan that’s more descriptive than: get it out fast.
When I mentioned a birth plan to Mother, she looked at me with total incomprehension.
Back in her day, there was no plan – women gave birth on dirt floors with apples in their mouths to stop them screaming (a little like the movie Robin Hood Prince of Thieves when ruddy-cheeked Fanny gave birth with Morgan Freeman as chief midwife).
I also brought up the birth plan topic with my usually-sunny obstetrician. As soon as I said birth plan, storm clouds gathered over Flemington Road, a clap of thunder sounded and her response made me realise that she may have witnessed one too many elaborate plan.
Still, just in case anyone asks, please see below.
My Birth Plan.
Where: In order of preference, I would like to give birth in the following locations:
- In the hospital – I don’t want to miss a second of this luxurious stay which, given the cost, I imagine will be akin to a 7 star hotel experience.
- In the office – there’s nurses, unlimited WiFi and teabags.
- At home, but only on the tiled surfaces.
Getting there: Given my close proximity to the hospital (a mere 700 metres door-to-door), I will row there in my computer chair using chopsticks as ski poles.
With who: A wise man once said (Robbie Williams), “watching your wife give birth is like seeing your favourite pub burn down”. With this in mind, if my partner, obstetrician and Morgan Freeman could kindly cheer me on at head level, I’ll do the rest at the business end.
Drugs: Yes please, all of them. And some for him too. Given he’s about to witness something that will make The Exorcist look mild, it’s only fair that he has something stronger than Gatorade and a ham sandwich.
Lighting: Dim (I look better in the dark).
Music: I’d like to request Salt N Pepa ‘Push it’ (P-push it real good) and Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ (And it burns, burns burrrrns!). Please note I’ve only selected two songs as I imagine the whole ordeal will be over in four minutes.
Catering: Bring me your finest, listeria-covered unpasteurised foods, from the funkiest blue vein cheese that’s been festering for centuries to beef tartare so fresh it’s still mooing and capering about the fields.
Witness protection clause: I have heard that during labour it’s not uncommon to defecate. *Sigh* Should this occur, please allow me to enter into a witness protection scheme.
Labour props: Lip balm. For the love of God do not let me give birth with dry lips.
Dennis Wongbert, my imaginary dog, is now on mat leave. For Dennis, this involves lying on his mat for the remaining months.