if you're having an epidural doesn't that limit what position you can be in for giving birth?
admittedly maybe i've been watching too much one born, but all the epidurals i've seen (and those of friends in RL) meant giving birth on your back on the bed strapped up to monitors with your legs apart. (not really sure you can do it without having your legs apart TBH.)
You don't have to have your legs very wide apart to birth even if you have an epidural. The tendency to pull legs up and apart with pushing is the idea it aids pushing effort and epidural tends to impede pushing so makes it more likely these techniques will be used. However you can ask them not to do it and they won't. You or your birth partner need to speak up and be assertive in a polite way. You only have a few things on your plan - much better to verbalise them than expect them to be read in my opinion.
pootles i think birth plans are very important. alot of women aren't fully aware of what's happening during labour and childbirth and decisions can be made very quickly and without you even realising what's happening. e.g i dont know if i tore/was stitched up when ds2 was born. i was in and out of consciousness, added to the fact that ds2 crashed immediately after birth and it was pure panic on mine and EXp's part that i just dont know what happened in the moment after his birth. i dont care enough to go and find out but if it had have been something important that i didn't want to happen i wouldn't have been able to object/refuse at that moment. i'm not sure EXP would have been together enough either to realise what was happening.
I don't think there's anything wrong with just putting 'I would like gas and air during internals' 'I would like to be consulted about changing position' etc. I hate the fluffy ' thanks for reading' ' thanks for helping me give birth' bollocks. They should be taking your preferences into account, you don't have to butter them up. A short, simple birth plan makes it clear. You can thank them afterwards!
Pootles a birth plan can be really helpful in some circumstances. I didn't have one for my first, and didn't anticipate ending up with a general anaesthetic immediately after delivery. It might sound trivial to some people but I had really wanted to see the placenta and just assumed that I would. After all I would deliver it after the baby, right? Due to a really fast post-partum haemorrhage and being wheeled off right away, I never did get to see it. If I had written it in the birth plan they would have saved it for me to see.
I wrote it in my birth plan for number 2 and got to see it, I'm over it now
I think the main problem with birth plans is the name - people are critical of them because you can't expect to plan how it will go. But what it really is is a list of things you want and don't want, written up in advance because at the time you may forget/not be able to express yourself/get sick of repeating it to every new person who may come in. My birth plan for number 2 included a list of things I would like to happen if I had to have a general anaesthetic again (ie father of baby to do skin to skin, doula to come with me to the operating theatre, that sort of thing). Thankfully it wasn't necessary but it was good to have the plan in place.
I wrote birth plans for my second and third because as it turned out I lose the ability to speak in labour and dp didn't have a clue so lots of stuff happened with dd which I wasn't happy about.
As for the legs apart thing, I only gave birth on my back once, I was lying flat on the bed with my feet braced on the footboard no more than a foot or so apart. Ds1 found his way out just fine with no need for me to spread them any further.