I had it all figured out.
Veteran moms warned that birth plans were unrealistic and shouldn’t be too intricate. I listened. My midwives and nurses shared how they barely followed extensive birthing plans. I listened.
I kept my birth plan foolproof and simple:
Low lights, music and absolutely no needles or medication! A natural-vaginal birth was my non-negotiable plan. In preparation for my natural birth I did almost everything to prep my body:
- Birthing Ball
I trained myself mentally for the pain through meditation and breathing exercises and with the daily exercises I was just waiting for the big day.
It came and passed. No contractions, no nothing.
I expected that my water would break (a pop and gush of fluids) then consistent intense contractions. Not the way it went down for me.
Exactly a week from my due date I got my first contractions. I had a bloody scare(not show) and spent 6 hours at the hospital. I was sent home and toughed it out for 2 more days. My contractions were consistent but my water hadn’t broken yet. So, I kept waiting. When my water finally did break, I barely even noticed. No pop, no gush. The slow trickle did not convince me it was time. I writhed in pain all night from contractions and decided that in the morning I would check in.
Having been ruptured for more than 12 hours, by the time I got to the hospital I was working on a shorter time schedule for “fear of infection.” I spent the next 8 hours having my birth plan shredded to pieces. First the IV which took 6 attempts by 5 different people. Then the “pitocin.” A failure to progress, followed by an epidural then finally a cesarean (c-section).
I was destroyed emotionally, physically and mentally. I felt defeated, like my body worked completely against me. No matter how many times my midwife and family assured me that I had done everything I could do, I still took it personally. I believed it was my fault.
It wasn’t until a conversation with my nurse, who’s expecting her first baby in June, that I saw things differently. I asked her if she has a birthing preference, here’s what she said:
“They can cut me open and do whatever they have to to get her to me safely and keep me alive.” She then explained to me the number of women and children she sees that never make it out of the hospital. -Perspective is everything. Something I know and preach, but sometimes find it harder to put into practice.
After being home and adjusting to motherhood I realized how precious and short my labor and delivery time was, I desperately wanted to go back to those moments.
So if your birth plan fails…
Enjoy every moment of it. Commit it to memory and try your hardest to embrace the changes. Don’t resist. Lastly, be grateful.
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