Birth Plan by Hannah Storm

Creative Nonfiction

This plan records your hopes for your labour and the birth of your child/ren. You can change your mind about these wishes at any time.

Your name: You will answer to your given name until you give birth. From then on, you will be Mum or a variant of, or any other title in accordance with the loss of your identity.

Due date: Relatively random date chosen by medical person which becomes watershed moment between old and new life and is only correct four per cent of time, and may be wrong by two weeks leading to frenzied attempts to induce labour, including but not limited to curry, pineapple, extra sex (which is a last resort given how totally impractical it is to hump a hippo).

Where to give birth: You may imagine giving birth in a pool, with relaxing music, fragrant oils. In truth, you will not give a shit where you give birth after 40 hours of labour. Correction: you will give a shit (of the faeces variety), which prior to this moment would have freaked you out, but you won’t metaphorically give a shit about anything other than pushing the equivalent of a pineapple out of your nostril.

Your birth partner or companion is: Husband. Later to be known as bastard, why the fuck did you do this? I hate you, hold my hand, don’t hold my hand, go away, oh shit, oh shit, and finally, Daddy.

Monitoring during labour: Your midwife will have discussed with you how you would like your baby’s heart to be monitored if everything is straightforward.

Your comments on monitoring your baby during labour: The moment when the doctor shoves his fingers up your vagina to attach a monitor to the baby’s head and the machine shows his heart rate falling is the moment you know this is no longer straightforward.

Skin-to-skin contact with your baby: After the birth your baby can be placed onto you before the cord is cut. You may prefer to ask the midwife to wipe and wrap your baby in a blanket first.

 

Biography
Hannah Storm is a journalist and media consultant, specialising in gender and safety. Although she’s been writing since she was a young girl, she’s recently discovered a passion for short stories and flash fiction, thanks to an Arvon course with Vanessa Gebbie and Cynan Jones. Her Twitter handle is @hannahstorm6.

Image: supplied by the author

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