Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Creating a Birth Folder

As the third trimester begins and we gear up for final trips and preparations in anticipation of birth, there are fun things to do and not-so-fun things to do.

You might think compiling all the necessary paperwork for a hospital stay would fall into the not-so-fun category, and you might be right. But my system-loving, organizational self started dreaming up various systems with which to alleviate the tedium.

Behold, my (fun and colorful) end product:

Let's dive right in, shall we?

In my quest for what I originally thought would be a binder, I hit up my favorite store, Target. After browsing through their school supply section (currently in full swing), I spotted these flexible folders with places for three-hole-punched papers. I realized that a full binder might be a bit bulky (especially when we're trying to fly across the country with it), but this folder could curve and twist to fit in most any bag. I scooped one up in this teal color.

In the very front pocket is a copy of my health records and three copies of my Birth Plan. The birth plan will be discussed in more detail later on, but as you can see, I managed to get it down to about 3/4 of a page. I'm pretty proud of that.

The health records are necessary while traveling and in case of an emergency. They obviously have all my records at my chosen hospital, but having these with me will be of enormous help in case I need to make an unplanned visit to a hospital somewhere else.

For this next part, well, I honestly couldn't help myself. I love putting things into correct color order, and using colorful paper helps emphasize the difference between the four sections I've chosen to put in the folder.

In case you wanted more explanation, my four sections:

Emergency Contact Numbers

This section is pretty self-explanatory. Levi has all of these numbers programmed into his phone, but in case any other person needs to know who to call, this list includes health practitioners, local hospitals, local contacts, and family. Our relationship to each person/place is described, as is a mailing address.

Labor Information

This is mostly for Levi's benefit. The process of labor and birth is not something that most men have meticulously researched and memorized. And while we will be going to a childbirthing class together, I'm anticipating that some of the specifics will get lost in the excitement and intensity of the actual experience of labor. These sheets provide him with a few tools to help understand the terms the staff will throw around and the timing of everything they're going to do.

HypnoBirthing Techniques

This might come in handy for me at the beginning of labor, but this is almost entirely for Levi. He'll be my coach and my support person come the big day, and this section condenses the many breathing, relaxation, and visualization techniques we'll be using. All he'll need to do is read off of the page when coaching me through something. And after a few repetitions, he should have it down.

After Birth

Some things that hospitals do to a newborn can fly right out of your mind after the huge experience of giving birth. This section will serve as a handy reminder and outline for us when all the staff start doing various things to our baby.

And in the back pocket?

There are so many sheets to have ready when you go to the hospital. I can't have them all filled out right now because a lot of the questions are dependent on how a person's health is at the time of admittance. So I'm keeping everything stored in this folder in preparation for that day.


It feels so great to have this done and to have it looking fun. Feeling super prepared!

Keep it real, y'all,

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