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Jenna Grace's birth plan


Jenna Grace is scheduled to enter the world on September 2,2005. She has been diagnosed with anencephaly. Knowing that our time with her will be short, it is important to us that as many of our needs be met as possible.

Dr. H. C. will be delivering us.

We have chosen to have a c-section in hopes of improving the chances of a live birth.

We would like to videotape the birth in the OR suite, since this may be the only chance to record her while alive. We have discussed this with Dr. C..

I have asked a fellow staff-nurse to be available for this.

I also want to make sure my husband, Pat, is with me at all times.

I would like to have the least amount of medications as possible. I do not wish to have any narcotics or sedatives prior to the birth. I absolutely do not want to be given any versed, at any time. I do not anticipate having anything in surgery, other than an epidural, but if nausea becomes a problem I would like Zofran given if necessary. Unless a life-threatening situation arises, I do not wish to be knocked out during the c-section.

When it is time for Dr. C. to take Jenna out, I would like the screen to be lowered so I can see her.

We do want the usual suctioning, drying off, etc. done, but would like to hold Jenna as soon as possible.

We want to be told right away if she is breathing or if she has a pulse.

We DO NOT want any chest compressions, intubation, or IV's done on Jenna.

If she is not breathing, we would like efforts made to help initiate her breathing only, including temporary ventilation with an ambu bag. We would also like her given supplemental oxygen if needed.

If she is doing poorly, we ask that she be given to us to hold.

If she is to die right away, we want it to be in a parent's arms.

We anticipate that Jenna 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 to any open area AFTER we have been allowed to see it. I would prefer it be dressed with Vaseline gauze, then an outer layer of gauze, whatever works best.

We do not want any ointment placed in her eyes.

We would like for staff to keep our family updated during this time so they will know if Jenna was born alive or not.

We have enrolled to participate in a study through Duke University on neural tube defects. We will bring with us the cord blood collection kit we have been provided with, as well as instructions for it. If possible, while drawing my blood pre-operatively, I also have a blood collection kit that needs drawn.

It is very important to us that Jenna be in the room with us at all times. While I am being moved out of the OR suite, I would like to carry Jenna with me on the stretcher back to my room.

If Jenna has died shortly after birth, my husband and I will probably wish to spend some time alone with her before having visitors, but would like staff to tell our families that she has passed.

We will, however, want our daughter (Kylie who is 3½ yrs old) with us right away. We will have someone with our family designated to bring her back to us.

We would like assistance from staff in bathing/dressing Jenna.

If Jenna has passed, we do not want our time with her to be limited. We may want to keep her with us for several hours, and will let staff know when we want the funeral home we have spoken with called.

If Jenna is still alive, we ask that when we are ready for visitors, they not be limited if possible. We want everyone to have the opportunity to see our daughter alive if the situation allows.

We do ask that any necessary procedures be done with Jenna in our arms.

If our time with her allows, we would like to bottle feed Jenna. If she lives long enough to require nutrition, but is unable to take a bottle, we do want a feeding tube inserted.

For however long we may have with her, we want her in the room with us. We do not want her taken to the nursery for any reason.

I also want my husband to stay with me during my hospital stay.

If the time for my discharge is nearing and Jenna is still with us, I want Dr. E. F. to come and assess her. I have already spoken with him directly and requested his services specifically.

We request assistance in involving hospice for Jenna and home oxygen if necessary.

We have known our time with Jenna, if any, would be short since her diagnosis in March. Please feel free to laugh and cry with us. We welcome the open expression of emotion from staff and family.

We would like our door marked so others will know of our loss/impending loss without surprise. We would also like to be in a post-partum room as far away from other newborns as possible, at the end of the hall?

As we have already been grieving for our daughter for several months, please do not place expectations on how we should handle this birth. As a fellow Baptist nurse, I know you are a competent, compassionate group of people. We thank you in advance for sharing in this experience with us and helping us to make as many memories as possible while in your care.


Jenna Grace's story



Last updated March 29, 2019