it's_our_family, I think you have decided on a good balance with the "I refuse" statements. I would also say that you could keep in the "I refuse" statements as you feel necessary and still soften your birthplan so that it is less likely to put care providers on the defensive.
I have been writing my current birth plan since I started planning to ttc (I am still ttc). I began the document with a quick-glance of vital info (My name, my allergies, and the name of my siginificant other). Then, even though my plan is bulleted, I started with a paragraph:Nice to meet you! I’m [name], and I would like to just tell you a little bit about myself...
I went on to share a little bit about myself and my hopes for my experience. Then I said:Here is some information that will help you.
I included in my birth plan information about things that I thought *would* be helpful to me. Things like, "when I am under stress, I usually like it when people lighten the mood with some jokes," or "in the past, I've found touch and massage to be really helpful." Not that everything that usually works will work every time, but I wanted to give some helping suggestions that set up my nurse for feeling good about our relationship and 'her' ability to do her job.
This sort of set the tone for what I was going to write. Of course, I am guilty of writing a three page plan (I did however write a one page summary that will be my main plan to give to my providers...the three pages is a more comprehensive list with some reasoning because of my special medical circumstances, one that I'll review in advance with my doctor, etc).
I like the idea of bringing the nurses cookies or something like that...something to set the tone of a positive relationship.
I'm a former public health professional. I have worked in the women's care department of a busy hospital. I have seen birth plans go both ways. I have indeed seen women who wrote birth plans that were mocked by their care providers up at the nurse's station. On the other hand, if you feel as if your nurse is running over your wishes and trying to make things hard, or even if you just don't click, you do have the right to ask to have another nurse assigned to you. I have seen some great nurses work really hard for the women they have cared for...nurses who have been totally respectful of womens' wishes. I've decided it is important to make clear my expectations. I'd rather have my doula and others deal with resulting problems than not even try to communicate.
Keysmama, I read your post and was glad for your insight, but I would make one point:
|I think that you have to birth where you feel safest, but that also means accepting your choice and all that comes with it ( like you don't ask for an epidural at home, or a natural experience in an unnatural hospital)
As someone who doesn't have a real choice about where I birth (I am a type I diabetic-- this is not the same as type II diabetes or gestational diabetes-- and in searching for a care provider I couldn't even get a midwife to talk to me, not even about co-managing my care for a hospital birth...the only available option is a hospital birth with an OB), I find that statement pretty dis-empowering. While I realize there is no place like home, I don't think it is fair to say women should just "accept" their choice and "all that comes with it." Just because I am being forced to birth in a hospital, doesn't mean I am ready to bend to hospital protocol just because it is protocol. I am sure that's not the way you meant it, but I think especially for those of us who work with mothers, it is really important to think what kind of statements we are making to mothers about their mothering experiences.