When I was pregnant with the gremlin I remember printing off a recommended birth proforma and writing out my so-called birth plan. There were tonnes of questions. Who did I want there? Did I want pain relief? Did I want hubby to pass the baby to me? Pretty big decisions but in my mind, some, very hard to control. All my NCT friends were filling one out. The major parenting websites recommended making your decisions. You needed to give a copy to the midwife…really? In the throes of labour…really???
Whilst sitting, answering all the questions, l remember thinking why am I doing this?! I knew how I wanted my birth to be; probably like the majority of all first time mums. Natural, no pain relief, no intervention, candles (I jest), back massage, my iTunes playlist, snacks, cool new pjs and my hubby and Mum present.
Turns out first time I was lucky…very lucky. I got my natural birth. I stayed at home until I was 8cm dilated, jumped into the birth pool and the gremlin was born not long later. However, there was no sign of the candles and music and if anyone dared to rub my back they were getting murdered! However, I actually did follow the majority of ‘plan’, despite my initial doubts.
But so many friends I knew didn’t get this. Intervention, induction and C Sections; words that are probably never even suggested on a birth plan happened instead. For some planning birth is like trying to plan a day with your toddler. Chaotic, unpredictable and under no circumstances, your fault if it all goes tits up (toddlers eh?).
I just don’t think you can plan a birth. I’m very much a believer in if you are destined to have a natural birth; you can do it and fingers crossed it will happen. There is nothing you can do if there are complications on the horizon (this is what I was telling myself if Piglet was breech). Birth plans can have some aspects that are important, like who you would like present and who will be cutting the cord and would you like to deliver the placenta naturally? But a lot is in the lap of the Gods. This is when I feel a rigid plan can cause more damage than good, especially if it goes wrong. How many spontaneous night’s out have you had that have just been plain awesome but the big ones you have planned have just been a bit meh? I think we can learn a lot about this for labour! When a rigid birth plan that you have set your heart on goes wrong, it can be devastating.
So don’t do it. I’m controlling. I like things to be perfect. I like to succeed but labour isn’t a competition to be the strongest, the fastest, the best. It’s about birthing a healthy little thing you have carried for 9 months. I have been told not to worry second time around by so many but I am worrying a little. There are no guarantees all will be smooth second time around. I’m hoping for my second birth to be at my local midwife-led unit, to be quicker and as natural as possible but there will be no birth-plan as such. I’m happy to try and relinquish some control and let nature take its course. I can’t fully remember the pain; mother nature is crafty. All I can remember is my reaction to it and the birth itself so I am hoping to be in the same mindset and state when Piglet is on her way. But you just never know!!
How about you? Did you have a birth plan and if so, did you stick to it?