Birth Plans Can Be Changed

So think back to before you were a mom…perhaps you are pregnant with your first child as you read this.  Did you have a birth plan?  If you are an organized, control freak then this may have been true for you.  Haha!  Don’t get too offended, I qualified as one, for at least one of my deliveries.  


Pregnancy is tough.  I don’t know why but the women in my family have rough pregnancies.  We are sick constantly, we don’t look or feel too glowy and we certainly wouldn’t say that we enjoy most of the 9 months carrying a baby in the womb.  Each of us, aunts, mom, sister, cousins we were all so grateful to be able to birth our own children but it wasn’t always enjoyable.  I have friends, however, that say they are their best self while pregnant.  This is beyond my level of understanding because it is the exact opposite of how I felt.  I looked and felt my most terrible while pregnant…but these friends of mine, rocked pregnant life.  


These women were taking cute belly bump pictures like they were going out of style.  They had so much energy and stamina, plus they would tell me how great they were feeling.  So crazy.  Ok so I am always so happy for and yet so baffled by these kind of people.  How can two women go through a similar situation and have such opposing experiences?


No matter how pregnancy begins we all kind of know where it leads…labor and delivery.  That too is so different for mommas.  Even from one delivery to the next each of the 4 of mine were so different.  All of mine went past my due date.  Once my water broke, once I had a scheduled induction, I also did one natural delivery and finally I was induced after being admitted to the hospital.  


I know women that really feel robbed when it comes to the reality of their delivery in comparison to their birth plan.  Some are angry or sad and some want a do-over.  Even though at the end of the 40 long weeks mom just wants the baby out, there are still so many variables.  Will you need medication, can you do it naturally, c-section, vaginal, epidural, local anesthetic, in a hospital, in a home…so many options.  That’s the thing though…when you are in labor, you don’t always have options.  


One friend that I have is a rockstar!  She had her kids at home…by choice?! What?? I can just imagine her being all serene and whispering while listening to peaceful music.  I’m gonna have to double check with her to see if my vision of her at home experience lines up with her reality.  Another friend of mine knew that she would have to have a c-section.  I can only imagine how stressful that was for her but she ended up coming up with her own birth plan that day. She spoke with doctors before hand, heard options and chose which ones would give her the best experience during labor.  She didn’t want to have the oxygen mask on her face because it seemed so surgical. She didn’t want the bulk of the pain meds pumped through her system until her babies were born.  Her husband also got to be involved and she made the best out of the situation by being kind, yet firm in her discussions with her doctors before the procedure.  


I find it so interesting that we have so many ideas on how things will work out especially in instances where we have little control.  The last minute you could change your mind and want something completely different than you had been planning for all along.  After my first two children came along I found myself happily-yet-miserably-pregnant again.  A few months into the pregnancy I decided I was going to have this third and final baby naturally.  No meds for me!  My husband thought I was nuts, probably because he watched the first two deliveries and he knew I would suffer for hours.  But I continued to want natural, why you ask?  Well because this was going to be my last baby, of course, and I wanted to feel all the feels and experience the delivery in all its horrible splendor because I would never have to go through it again.  Well, I did it.  I turned down nurses and doctors at least 20 times that day when they asked if I wanted to change my mind.  I was in it to win it.  For the most part the day went pretty well.  I got to sit on a giant ball and walk to the bathroom unhindered by an IV. Our precious boy was born and I felt so proud that I was able to make it through this last delivery with no meds…except, he wasn’t my last baby.  A few years later I was pregnant again and guess what, this time I knew I was gonna demand medication as soon as we got to the hospital in a few months.


Plans are amazing.  They help us to set goals and challenge ourselves.  It’s amazing to figure out what direction we will take and make plans for when we arrive.  For those mommas that have created beautiful birth plans only to have them dashed I would say to you, “welcome to motherhood.”  I don’t say this to be a brat, I’m being completely honest.  Motherhood will throw you for many, many loops.  You can plan and breathe and pack…but in the end stuff happens that you can’t control.  It will be the best possible advice I could give any mom to say to you- learn to be flexible.  Accommodate for the unexpected.  Plan, but be ready to re-route at every turn.  Whether you have the baby according to your plan or he or she arrives a different way, enjoy it.  Savor the experience, your wounds will eventually heal and you will have an incredible new family member to celebrate…and believe me, you won’t care much how they got “out” you will just be so glad they are safely in your arms.