I stumbled across some reading material recently, a piece of fiction in fact that I’d written myself, back in 2008 that was full to the brim with suspense, melodrama, dramatic quotes and ironic humour.
It was my birth plan.
Reading through it, I didn’t know whether to squirm with naive embarrassment or laugh at the irony of how it turned out as opposed to how whimsical and spiritual I’d envisaged the whole process to be.
Which is why, when asked at a recent midwife appointment if I had my birth plan in order, I had to stifle a snide giggle.
Certainly there is as much debate that rages about this (somewhat sensitive!) topic as there is time spent pacing the floor trying to soothe a newborn to sleep, and like anything, opinions can wildly differ. So, without wanting to offend anyone, I thought I’d share just why I wont be bothering to put pen to paper with a birth plan again.
Looking back, I am sure some of the issues I had adjusting to life as a mum stemmed from the deep disappointment I felt at my labour straying so very far from what I’d aimed for. And there is no way I want to set myself up for that sort of distress again. I can’t even let myself buy too much into the fact I am set down for a scheduled c- section, such is my distrust in things going to plan when it comes to pregnancy. Mother Nature, I’ve learned the hard way, tends to have other ideas and try as I might fight this truth, I know the only thing I can do is surrender to that fact and understand that what will be will be.
Quite simply the only semblance of a plan I have – other than that the Doctor please delivery my baby safely into my arms – is: THERE IS NO PLAN. And control freak that I might be, I am more than happy for this to be my mantra as I stare down the barrel at baby number two coming into this world. No expectations, no demands, no pressure on myself to meet any clearly specified goals, replacing all with trust in the medical team and hope in those watching down from on high: that the beautiful baby I have have been nurturing from within for the last 9 months comes to meet its very excited parents and big brother, healthily, safely and sound.
Wise words – I could kick myself – I had plans twice – both completely stupid.
I am a fan of birth plans – despite my birth being completely different than I had hoped for.
I think people approach birth plans the wrong way. If you think of it as a plan that you are going to follow – well, you’re pretty much going to be doomed to failure.
If you look at it as a list of options and information handily contained in a one page document, then you’re in the right place!
My labour started one day early, which threw us off as we were booked in the following Monday for an induction.
I had a posterior baby who weighed 10lb and was 58cm long. I had SPD. I had allergic reactions to drugs. I had full labour within 30 minutes. I went from slightly achy period type cramps to full contractions with less than 30 second between them in under half an hour. I threw up incessantly. I wound up having an emergency caesar.
I think we can all agree that it’s definitely not what I would have planned for my labour, but having read up all the options, it made us a lot less scared and a lot more informed when things started happening fast and terms started getting thrown around.
It was also extremely helpful for my husband, when I literally lost the ability to speak, and he had to be my voice.
I’m a huge fan of birth plans! x
Catherine Rodie Blagg (Cup of Tea and a Blog) says
I didn’t write down my birth plan after advice from friends who suggested it would be better to approach labour with an open mind and be prepared to try different approaches as needed. I was really lucky to have two very straight forward births.
I think that the danger is for women to have an expectation that labour will go a particular way and then feel disappointed if bub has other ideas. Having said that, I know that writing a birth plan can help some women feel better prepared xx
Great approach, Donna!
I had a scheduled C-section and even then, things didn’t go according to plan.
I look back at all those pregnancy books I read and giggle at the part where they all say, “Don’t forget to have a birth plan” Yeah, okay…
I planned to have an epidural and the evil mid wives wouldn’t give me one – god damn it.