Dear Staff of ____________ (I left it blank on here because this is a public blog),
Our unborn baby Emma, has been diagnosed by our medical providers with a condition known as anencephaly. With this diagnosis come many concerns for us as parents. We know that even though her body is not expected to be perfect, she is still our precious child and we love her. We desire your patience and understanding to help us make the time we have with our baby as comfortable and sweet as possible.
In order to aid you in your care for our family, we have designed the following Birthing Plan to help you understand what our desires are for this experience. We appreciate your kindness and exactness in following this plan.
1. Please call our baby by her name: Emma
2. We understand that in most situations, we can choose to have the fetal heart-tones monitored or un-monitored. We prefer to have them monitored.
3. In the event of an emergency, we would prefer to continue with a normal vaginal delivery if possible.
4. We feel strongly against breaking the water artificially. Please discuss our options with us.
5. We would like to have family members free to enter and leave the labor room while Tiffany is in labor. However, we only want Emma’s mother and father in the room for her actual birth.
6. We will ask a member of our family to record parts of this experience on video, etc. for our family records.
7. We would not like Tim, Emma’s father to cut the umbilical cord. The doctor or a nurse may do this.
8. We are participating in a Duke University study. If Emma is born alive, her cord blood is to go to Duke University. We have a cord blood collection kit for this. If Emma is not born alive, we will want someone to get a skin graft from her. Please contact Heidi Cope to receive instructions (several of the family members have a phone numbers list and Heidi’s phone number is on there).
9. For the Duke University study, we would like a nurse to take a few pictures of the opening in Emma’s head right after delivery. We will provide a camera for this.
10. We would like to have all vital signs, weighing, labs, or medications withheld until after we have held our baby.
11. As far as holding of the baby, we would like Emma to be immediately placed on her mother’s belly and then wiped off gently, suctioned, wrapped in a warm blanket, and head covered with a hat.
12. We would like Emma to be first held by her mother, Tiffany.
13. We would prefer that if our baby is not breathing well at birth, we be given options of medical interventions at this time to further discuss.
14. We would prefer that no eye goop be put on Emma’s eyes.
15. For the bath, we would like to be offered the opportunity to bathe Emma ourselves in a warm basin in the labor room.
16. We request that a special ceremony be performed in accordance with our religious beliefs. Accordingly, this blessing will require the attendance of the male members of our family and possibly our bishop.
17. We would like to have prints and molds of our baby’s hands and feet be done.
18. We plan on taking many photos and we will be having a photographer from the foundation Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep come to take additional photos.
19. If our baby lives, we would not like to try to nurse our baby in the Labor Room. We would, however, like to try to give her a bottle. If this is not possible, we would like our options discussed with us.
20. Please help us gather as many keepsakes as possible (bassinet cards, hats, blankets, ID bracelets, etc.) to take home with us.
21. After delivery, we would like to spend as much time as possible in the Labor and Delivery Room with our baby. However, if it is needed and as long as we can continue to hold our baby, we are fine with being moved to a room on the Maternity Floor.
22. Please put a sign on our door that lets others know of our loss/impending loss.
23. Upon discharge, please give us information about milk suppression and physical comfort measures.