Making a birth plan
As Randi Derden prepared to give birth to her first child at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, she drew up a birthing plan. It's something many pregnant women prepare before heading to the hospital in labor, so they can easily communicate to their doctors how they would like their birthing experience to go.
"I really wanted to have a natural childbirth," Randi says. "I really wanted to try and do it without medication."
In the weeks leading up to her due date, Randi attended the birthing classes provided by the hospital and read up on natural labors.
On Jan. 16, 2016, one day before her due date, she started having contractions. Two days later, she was still in labor. She decided to rethink her birthing plan.
After talking with her doctors and her husband, Randi opted to take Pitocin to help speed up her labor, and she got an epidural to help with the pain. Hours later, her baby boy, Elliott, was born healthy and happy. That's when Randi said she realized that was all that mattered. "It didn't matter if I got every medication on the list," she says.
"It didn't matter if I had no medication and birthed in a forest. What mattered was getting him here safely and healthy and me being safe and healthy, and I had that. I had a totally different plan from what my plan was, but it was the perfect plan."