09 May, 2007

And Furthermore

I'm looking for opinions (Whoa! Really!? Bren! YOU are looking for opinions!?!?) about two things (for now). Please leave your opinion(s) on the following baby-related topics (hey, we're coming down to the wire here, it's time!) in the comments section.

1) Co-Sleeping. Did you try it? Like it? Love it? Hate it? Would you do it again? How long did you co-sleep? What did/does your husband think?

2) Birth Plans. Did you have one? Was it helpful? Was it followed? Laughed at? Burned? What would you change next time?

Also, if you read my blog and have one of your own, would you mind very much putting in a plug so I can borrow some of your readers for more opinions? I'd like to get as broad a spectrum of responses as possible. THANKS!


Ruth Dynamite said...

I nursed. I co-slept for way too long. My husband wasn't thrilled about it, but it just felt right to me. My kids (6&8) are long out of my bed and doing just fine.

The second I went into labor I forgot everything I read in all 300 baby books I'd been studying. So much for a birth plan, but maybe that's just me?

I'm excited for you!

Beck said...

Co-sleeping. Great at first. Gradually becomes the most annoying thing in the world. If you breastfeed, baby will end up bunking in at least occasionally.
Birth plans. Hahaha. We did those in our prenatal workshop and I circled every kind of pain relief available. They did NOT give it all to me! But it's nice to let the staff know that you'd like to try relaxing in the shower during labour or whatever or that you'd like a painkiller free labour for some reason or what have you.

erin k said...

Well, perhaps you've heard all you care to hear from me on the baby advice front, but you asked for it...

1. Co-sleeping: We have found that we get next to no sleep with Baby in the room, so he has been in his crib in his room from day one (which is only a few steps from our bed). He joins us in bed only on occasion (like when he seems to be boycotting sleep). I find that I prefer sitting in the rocking chair to nurse anyway.

2. Birth plan: I very carefully prepared a birth plan with my doula but it stayed in the car until after Baby was born (he came so fast and via c-section that we didn't even have time to bring our bags in). I am fairly sure though, that if he hadn't been breech and I had laboured through, I would have been glad that every one caring for me knew what I wanted from the whole experience.

Karen said...

co-sleeping: pros: I never paced the floor with a healthy baby, they nursed to sleep in the bed unless unwell, got lots of "baby type" sleep, frequent interruptions but minimized by not needing to get out of bed, turn on light, etc. We slept this way contentedly for 6-9 months with each baby.
cons: baby grew accustomed to socializing at night, so began to wake extra times, beyond usual feedings. At this age we moved to nearby bassinet, followed by crib in own room pretty swiftly. Happily this coincided with no more nightfeeding as my babies were on the larger size. They night-weaned gradually with little fussing as I wasn't right next to them to demand nursing from. Once they swapped to their own room, Matt would go at each waking to soothe them back to sleep, if he was unsuccessful I was willing to nurse, but it never headed that way but a few times.

Birth plan/ this is my perspective as a doula and a laboring mom: a birth plan is a helpful tool for you and your husband and anyone else who will be helping you birth. It may be useful to chat about it with your care provider. However, if you are birthing in a hospital, I find many L/D RNs do not respond well to some of the typical birth plans presented to them. They feel insulted by "no shaving" when the facility they work in hasn't done that for two decades. It is wise to find out what the routines are and they find statements that express your desires rather than rejecting what they offer. eg. "looking for as much freedom of movement as possible" vs. " I don't want to be stuck in bed with wires."
"Hoping to use relaxation techniques for pain" vs "no drugs."
In other words, work the system, vamp them a little, hold your cards close to your chest so they don't pre-judge you based on what's on a piece of paper. Lots of moms wanting to have a natural birth are treated pretty badly because the RNs just assume they don't really know what they're in for and have a "oh, you'll see how it really is" attitude. Consider creating a birth "wish list." What are your optimal choices? (eg: getting to sit in jacuzzi after 4cm if fetal heart tones sound good) What are choices you will make in a specific situation? (eg epideural for prolonged active phase after 6cm or for bad back labor that persists more than an hour). That's way more than my two cents, but my email address is on my blog profile so I'll stop here and assume you'll ask for more if you want it...also, to access way more mom's in a short time, try Maya's Mom.

Beth said...

Hello! We have a 9 week old and are dealing with all these issues too. If you read my blog I posted about co-sleeping (sometime in March), and lots of experienced moms wrote helpful advice. She slept in our bed for the first 4 weeks. Now she sleeps in the cradle for the first stretch (4-5 hours) so I can roll over and stretch out, etc, then I bring her in bed with us, feed her laying down and I usually fall back asleep, and she spends the rest of the night with us. It's so easy to nurse her this way, and I don't feel sleep deprived at all. However, I don't know what I'm going to do when she outgrows the cradle but she's still eating at night. Probably put her in her crib and then let her sleep with us after that. (Or maybe she'll sleep through the night sometime soon?!)

We did have a birth plan. I can email it to you if you'd like. We took Bradley method classes and I tried to go natural, but after 15 hours I got an epidural and had her less than 3 hours later. I also posted this story on the blog, also in March. I got to labor in the whirlpool until they broke my water, and that really helped.

Hope this helps. It's the best experience ever :)

Brenda said...

Hi Bren, I'm a Brenda too. And you must be my long lost twin who loves U2!! Anyway, I "know" some of the other ladies who have posted on this subject as I frequent their blogs to see what they are doing with their kids in an effort to not mess them up. My birth plan was taken seriously to the extent that I had the help of our doula in phrasing it in a way that would not offend. a lot of what karen says in her comment is what i was told. i also had an amazing OB who was very much like a midwife and went over it with me. the hospital nurses did ask if i had one but if they don't, tell them politely when you check in "I have a birth plan that has been signed by my doctor and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about it". then they know you intend to follow. and the nurses "followed" mine. they never offered me drugs and understood i wanted to labor in the shower. i think this has a lot to do with your doctor and hospital though. as for co-sleeping, we are doing it. we have tried a million variations of it with a twin bed next to our "measly" queen and using a cradle and so on. But it has ended up with my husband in that twin bed in another room mostly b/c he snores so loudly and obnoxiously that he was waking the baby. if you are breastfeeding, co sleeping works to your benefit more than anything b/c you will be SOOO tired. You feed and then let dad change and burp. If you would like to see my birth plan, I can e mail it to you. But tell your doctor how important your "plan" (and that's all it is, a plan. i ended up with a c section anyway) is to you and would they please sign it. signing it only means they have looked at it and discussed it with you and they are willing to be open to the choices you would like to use. good luck. we are all here for you. it's going to be hard, but great! I had to listen to a lot of U2 to get through it:)

bubandpie said...

I co-slept as little as possible, which meant almost every night for the first 7-8 weeks, and then not after that. I personally did not sleep well when the baby was in the bed with me, but it was way better than the alternatives: (a) getting up multiple times to settle the baby; (b) lying awake stressed out about whether I would have to get up multiple times to settle the baby.