With my first pregnancy, I never got around to drafting a birth plan. I definitely took the childbirth classes with my hubby, which we enjoyed going to because we viewed it as the last time we would do anything alone as a couple. But as far as a birth plan, I was not too keen on setting a plan in stone because:
1. I thought I knew what I was doing. I kept thinking to myself, “Women have been giving birth for thousands of years. I got this.”
2. I am a very go with the flow kind of person. I had everything I learned in class tucked in my brain and practiced breathing exercises 9 million times. I would instinctively know how to get through each contraction, breathe calmly, while gently rocking on a birthing ball until baby girl was ready to enter this glorious world.
Then I went into labor and all hell broke loose. I was induced with Pitocin which is often described as contractions on steroids and then the BACK LABOR hit. That hurts like a b*tch. I had every medical intervention known to womankind.
Here’s what you would have heard me say in the birthing room about an hour after I was induced:
Stadol? Yes, please!!!
Pitocin? If it will help move labor along, bring it!
Where is the anesthesiologist with my epidural?!?!
Thank you Mr. Anesthesiologist, I LOVE you! Please come back every couple of hours. Thanks.
In the end, my beautiful, healthy daughter was delivered via c-section. I do not have any regrets about how it all went down. But one thing I do recall feeling is a lack of empowerment. So this time, I am opting out of the scheduled c-section, not because I have any strong opposition against them, but because for some reason I like to torture myself and take the difficult road in life. Just kidding. I just want to have a different birth experience. There were so many factors that I didn’t know about three years ago that may have led to a different outcome. There are so many things I know now that could lead to a very different labor and delivery. With knowledge, comes empowerment. To do this successfully, I need some sort of plan of action.
Here are some things we are doing differently:
*I got a doula this time around. She’s pretty awesome. Hopefully her calm, soothing demeanor will keep me from losing my
*I’m taking another childbirth class with my husband. But this time I’m doing it from home via a skype-like computer app. It’s very convenient and we don’t have to worry about childcare for our daughter. However, without fail, she decides to jump into our laps to watch the birth video portion of the show, especially the part where baby is crowning. We try to shield her eyes, but we cannot hide the mother’s wailing. Then she always asks me why the mommy is screaming and I always tell her it’s not screaming, she’s just happy because of the new baby…or something to that effect.
* My husband is taking on a bigger role. Our classes are centered just as much on turning dads into strong coaches as they are about getting mamas ready to birth. I also promised my husband that this time he will be fed. I plan to have many chicken parm grinders from Franklin Giant on hand (for him and me for when I get hungry from all that walking, meditating , and maneuvering on the birth ball that I plan on doing). I didn’t realize how tough labor and delivery can be on a dad, until I looked back on our photos. My poor hubs looked haggard and banged up. Hopefully we can avoid that this time.
*I will not be wedded to the idea of one specific outcome. As much as I am planning and hoping for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), I will not be disappointed if it doesn’t work out that way. Healthy, living baby, and healthy, living mama are most important. But I do plan to ask a ton of questions of my hospital staff and I will not be afraid of the process – I will finally feel empowered – no matter what the outcome!
How different were your labor experiences? Did you follow your birth plan?