Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Birth Plan Part 2

As I have spent the past couple of weeks trying to put together my birth plan I have read the birth plan's of several other parents who have been given a fatal prenatal diagnosis. It is only because I was able to read their birth plans that I am able to come up with one of my own. So I thought it might be helpful to someone if I posted mine. I can't promise that this is the final draft but here is what I have so far:

Birth Plan
Comfort Care Plan
For Ella Joy Roth
August 11, 2010
As Ella's parents, it is our greatest wish to be able to cherish every moment we have with our baby, in a loving and caring environment. We have compiled this list of requests and wishes regarding her care in order to make this experience as easy as possible for all involved. Our main goals are to give Ella the best chance at a live birth and to spend as much quality time with her as possible. Our wishes are as follows:
  • We DO wish to have a sign placed on our door that designates what type of situation Ella's birth is. We DO NOT wish to have extraneous staff entering our room without first speaking to our nurse (i.e. housekeeping, dietary).
  • We DO NOT wish to have continuous fetal monitoring during labor and delivery. Periodic monitoring of heart tones is preferred.
  • We DO NOT want to have my water broken at anytime. Keeping the membranes intact will protect Ella's head and might make a live birth more likely.
  • When Ella is born, we would like her wrapped in a blanket and a cap placed on her head and immediately handed to Courtney. If Courtney is unable to hold Ella, we would like her handed to Jacob. We wish to cherish all the time we have with her. Every second counts.
  • We DO wish to have routine care for any newborn such as having her nose and mouth suctioned with a bulb and drying her quickly. We request only temporary assistance to initiate Ella's breathing.
  • We DO NOT wish any life saving intervention on Ella's behalf. The focus should be on care and comfort.
  • We anticipate Ella will be born with a large opening to her occipital area and neural tissue will be exposed. If she is holding her own, we would like a dressing placed on any open area. We would prefer it to be dressed with saline or Vaseline gauze, and then an outer layer of gauze, whatever works best.
  • We DO NOT want Ella taken from the delivery room at any time, by any person, for any reason. We do not want our precious time with her to be limited.
  • We DO NOT wish to have any routine admission medications given, such as erythromycin ointment, or Vitamin K, nor do we want her blood sugar monitored.
  • We DO NOT wish to have a nasogastric tube inserted in order to feed Ella. Courtney will decide if she wants to nurse Ella after she is born, if she is able. If Ella lives long enough to require nutrition but cannot eat by mouth we will discuss it with the doctor at that time.
  • In the event that Ella does not die immediately, or soon after birth, we may wish to consider having an IV inserted and buff-capped for the administration of pain medication. We wish to make Ella's time on earth as pain-free and comfortable as possible.
  • In the event Ella is experiencing severe seizures and seems uncomfortable or in pain we may wish to consider the administration of anti-seizure medication.
  • We DO want the nursing staff to weigh and measure Ella when we request it. Should we forget to request it, please do it prior to her leaving the hospital.
  • We DO request that Dad be allowed to give Ella her first bath.
  • We DO request that Mom be allowed to dress Ella in her own clothes. We DO NOT want these clothes to be removed at any point or by any person other than her parents. Ella is to be wearing these clothes when she goes to the mortuary.
  • We realize that Ella will look different physically. We hope everyone can see her for who she is, our beautiful little baby. She will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
  • We DO wish to allow our family members and friends to visit as we deem appropriate. Please DO NOT allow anyone in our room without talking to us first. We DO wish to bring our three young children, ages 5, 4, and 2 to meet their sister and spend time with her. We ask your assistance in keeping them updated as we request it.
  • We have contacted Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a bereavement organization, and arranged for a photographer to come to the hospital and take professional photos of our baby. We ask that you accommodate them in any way that is helpful. Their contact information is:
  • We DO wish to be with Ella and holding her at the time of her death.
  • We DO NOT want Ella to go to the morgue at anytime. We DO request the hospital contact the funeral home directly when we are ready to say goodbye to Ella. We wish for her to be picked up directly from us or for her to be taken by our nurse from us. Our funeral home can be contacted at:
  • We DO wish to have as many keepsakes and memento's as possible. Please save the following items for us to take home: the bassinet card, hats, baby blanket, any photographs taken by the hospital, hospital bracelet and cord clamp, hand and footprints, molds of hands and feet (we have kits with us), lock of hair if possible, clothing Ella may have worn, anything else you think we may want to have.
  • If any caregiver has a suggestion or idea that you think may be helpful, please share it with us, as there are many things we haven't thought of.

Thank you for being a partner in our baby's birth. It is only in light of her condition that we have chosen to provide a birth plan. We know your are a competent, compassionate group of people. Please be patient with us and don't mind if we change our minds at any time. We don't know how to do this sad thing and are learning as we go. Thank you in advance for sharing in this experience with us and helping us to make as many memories as possible with our daughter while in your care.

Jacob and Courtney Roth


  1. It's perfect! Is Jacob going to cut her cord? I don't know if that's something you might want to put in there as well...

  2. courtney i didnt know u that well in school but as i follow your blog i truley think u are such a strong person i couldnt handle the things you are going through day to day I myself am a mother of 5 and couldnt even begin to imagine how to go through something like this I wish you and your family all the best and hope everything goes as well as it possibly can.
    wendy (beard) smith

  3. Oh Courntey, I can't fathom how hard that was to think about or write but I'm sure it will be put to great use. We are praying and thinking about you.
    Shannon W

  4. I just found this blog - I also am due with a baby in Dec who has anencephaly. I have a blog as well...
    We even picked the same blog template! If you check it out, please be discreet about the diagnosis if you comment, as we have chosen not to tell people what it is yet. I am so glad that you shared your birth plan - I have been trying to find examples that applied, this will be very helpful for me. thank you for sharing your story, it is encouraging to know I'm not alone. I will be praying for you and the time you have with your baby. love, Stacy