People are alllllllways talking about a birth plan. Natural birth. Meditation. Home birth. Hospitals. Midwives. Doulas. Epidurals. Breastfeeding. C-section. Blah. Blah. Blah. I think it’s funny when people ask me what my birth plan is because a) I haven’t considered it much because that is about 5 months away and I am a procrastinator and b) to me, it’s totally ridiculous to try to plan your child’s birth.
I haven’t taken a lot of time to consider my ‘birth plan’ because what the hell is a birth plan? How in the world can you possibly make a plan for something you have absolutely no control over? So when people ask me ‘what is your birth plan?’ my response is to birth a child. The end.
I know a lot of people who were dead set on not getting an epidural. Most of those people did not get an epidural with their first child. But most of those people DID get an epidural with their second child. Why? Because not getting an epidural and being in labor for more than three minutes is a really painful combination. I don’t need to be a martyr. I want a healthy baby. I don’t get a medal at the end, so why not be as comfortable as possible? Anyway, you can power through your birth if you want, and you will be my personal hero. Don’t get me wrong, if it’s smooth sailing, I won’t be getting an epidural just for the hell of it. I just don’t have any aversion to the idea of a less painful birth experience. My goal is to let my doctor, a medical professional who spent years in school studying women’s bodies and babies, tell me what course of action is best. That’s why she makes the big bucks. She does. I have seen her car.
I know women used to give birth in a field or in a tent. They also didn’t shop at Motherhood Maternity or get maternity leave. But that was a long ass time ago, and I am not those women. What kind of woman am I? The kind that pays good money (through co-pays) to visit my doctor every four weeks to check on this fetus. If I believe in going to a doctor every four weeks to check on this fetus, then I sure as hell believe a medical facility is a good place to birth a child. I think it’s amazing that some women go natural and give birth in a pool of water or without any drugs. But I am a nervous person. A nervous person who believes in the power of medicine. And I have no problem whatsoever trying to do everything in my power medically to have a healthy baby at the end. I like my doctor. I have trusted her thus far. So when August rolls around, I will be meeting her at the hospital to do this thing.
The thing about being pregnant is nothing goes according to plan. You can’t exactly predict when you will get pregnant. You can’t assume everything will be fine. You can’t even really assume your pregnancies will be alike, should you decide to have more than one child. You might have morning sickness or you may not. You might gain 15 lbs. or you might gain 70 lbs. Of course, when it comes to birthing the child, it’s great to have a goal or a plan. But to me, that is just a reallllllly loose idea of what you want to happen. Because you might plan to have an epidural-free birth at 40 weeks and end up being in labor for a hundred hours and get an epidural. Or you might have a complication at home and need to be in the hospital to have a safe birth. Or you might think you would never have a c-section and end up having one anyway because the kid won’t cooperate. None of this is in your control. This kid is going to do what it wants to do and your body is going to respond however it wants. In fact, the moment you get pregnant is the last moment you have control over anything again. Haha. But it really is. You have to learn patience, strength, flexibility all at once to be a parent. And the pregnancy part is the test. It teaches you a lot about patience. And worry. And other emotions parents feel. And there’s no reason to feel like less of a woman if your birth plan falls through. Because, in the end, you grew and birthed a freakin’ kid. And that’s a good enough reward for me.