Disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with being “that lady.” In fact, I think in all of the situations where I think about “that lady,” “she” is the standard and I’m the odd duck. And feeling like an odd duck, I thought I would take to the blogging world to hopefully find other odd ducks with me. I’m not trying to bash “that lady,” I think the world wants me to be “that lady” and I’m just not good at it. If you are that lady, rock out and go you! Read the first in this series: Counting in Weeks
I’m over 75% complete with baking this bun in my oven, and the more I start to waddle, the more I’m asked about “my birth plan” (which is really just a gateway for other mamas to tell me what they think I should do… but I go with it because most of the time, I like hearing other people’s experiences and stories). Honestly, I’m so lackluster about “my plan,” I think I’m a disappointment to most people.
If you’ve never had to write a birth plan, let me quickly explain it to you (as I didn’t quite understand it before I had to do it). A birth plan is basically a one or two page written list of what you want from your labor experience. My hospital gave me the plan as a form I had to fill out. Here are examples of the questions:
- Are you planning on an epidural or natural childbirth?
- What would you like for pain management techniques? (This was followed by an entire list: hypnobirthing, jacuzzi, massage, focal point, breathing, change in position, etc, etc, etc – I checked everything except hypnobirthing because that requires a fee-based class. Otherwise, I’m willing to try anything!)
- Would the father/partner like to cut the umbilical cord?
- Would you like to keep the placenta?
- As this is a teaching hospital, would you allow students/residents at your delivery?
- And this continues on for 2 pages…
When people are questioning me about my birth plan, the typical questions I receive are:
- Are you planning to deliver au natural or a planned c-section?
- Do you want an epidural?
- Are you going to breast-feed or bottle-feed?
- Are you going to deliver in a hospital or at home? (while I appreciate the home birth choice – both T and I each have a younger brother who were born at home – I like the idea of a medical team ready for my first one. It’s the only one I really care about)
(Often-times these actually come as a statement: You should do [this].)
Here’s the thing, I’m not really passionate about any of these things and here’s why:
- I had a friend who was super passionate about childbirth without an epidural and her son decided he wanted out 5 weeks early. He was still breech and was born by c-section.
- Another friend was super passionate about breastfeeding. Three days after her daughter was born, she felt as though she was only producing blood and no breast milk. She felt like she was starving her daughter and switched to formula. Everyone was happier.
- Another friend also had a c-section but felt like it was forced on her without a medical reason and she regrets not standing up for herself.
All of these friends went through some level of guilt for not following their plan. And I think that’s so sad! I wish they didn’t have the guilt, because they all have great kids!
So here is the birth plan that I am passionate about: give birth to a healthy baby! Period.
Everything else is gravy (and sooooo out of my control!). Would I like to avoid a c-section and an epidural? Absolutely. (Mainly because I’ve already had an epidural with a spinal surgery I had 14 years ago and I don’t really want any association with this experience to that one).
Would I like to avoid an episiotomy? Heck yes! But if I need one, so be it.
Will T be cutting the umbilical cord? No. We’ll be psyched if he manages not to pass out. 🙂
To everyone who is “that lady” and is passionate about a birth plan: I wish you luck! I genuinely hope you get everything you want!
As for me… well, I just feel like this is one event in life where I have zero control, so why bother pin hopes and dreams on it? As long as everyone is breathing and healthy at the end, I’ll be psyched!
I’d love to hear your birth plan vs reality stories!