Ashley Charter

When No Birth Plan Is The Right Plan

Ashley, pictured here a week ago, says she went into false labor on July 1.

Ashley, pictured here a week ago, says she went into false labor on July 1. Courtesy of Ashley Charter hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Ashley Charter

The Baby Project recently asked moms to write about their birth plan, including how they plan to deliver, where, and who they will have accompanying them.

My birth plan is actually more of a "no plan." I will be delivering at Womack Army Medical Center, the hospital on post at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. That's really the only thing that is certain. Like any hospital, I have heard mixed reviews, so I suppose we will just have to see how it goes for me.

On July 1, I was having regular contractions at two minutes apart, so I went to labor and delivery at the hospital in the middle of the night. Everyone was very nice and accommodating during my short 45-minute stay when they determined that I was in "false labor" (contracting, but no cervical changes), and they sent me home.

About Ashley

Ashley Charter, 21, is a college student who lives in Lillington, N.C. Her husband, Jesse, is in the Army and is currently deployed to Iraq. They welcomed Abel Weston Charter on July 23.

I hope to be able to have a med-free natural birth, and I want to labor and hopefully deliver in a squatting position. However, at a very petite 4'11", I have been warned that my small pelvis could mean another outcome: C-section.

I have not made any more plans beyond that, because everything else is a game of chance. Who delivers for me depends on who is working when I go into labor. With the OB and midwife clinic on post, I don't see the same person all the time. It's so busy that I see the person with an available appointment when I need one.

And who is in the delivery room with me is also dependent on different things. My husband has his leave from Iraq scheduled near my due date or a few days after. If he is able to be here for the birth, it will be just the two of us in the room. If I end up going into labor before he is home, then I really have no idea who will be in the room with me. My mother will definitely be there, and also my husband Jesse's best friend/battle buddy/brother, who Jesse picked to cut the cord in his absence. The hospital is very open with their policy on who is allowed in the delivery room — so for me it will probably be a full house.

After being burned when I was a child and hospitalized at a teaching hospital, I got used to being a demonstration tool. And after volunteering with EMS for four years, I got used to seeing anything and everything. So I am not uncomfortable with the fact that there will be people in the room with me that most would find weird.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to have a room full of people seeing everything I have — whoever is in the room with me will be staying at the head of the bed. The doctor will be the only one seeing what is going on "down there." So yeah ... I don't really have much of a "plan."



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