The saying that god laughs at the plans we make has never really resonated with me.
I’m the kind of person who will make plan A, B & C and then hope for the best.
This was definitely true of planning for Eve’s birth.
As you may have read in the story of her birth there were several things I had planned not to have and gave in to during the process.
To be honest at the stage between pethidene wearing off and getting in the bath I was internally begging for an epidural during every contraction. I’m so glad I couldn’t externalise that thought.
My point is that after having run the gamut of birth experiences, I truly believe there is no best choice in birth. My first was a c-section due to breech positioning, I was bitter for a long time after. This was more about being put under general anesthetic and being the last member of my family to meet my daughter than about feeling like I had failed in birthing.
With my second I was determined to VBAC as I wanted to be present for my sons’ arrival and to be the first to hold him. I had an intense, long, intervention heavy labour and birth, but I got my VBAC and with it my wish of being present. Yet I still hadn’t felt the physical process of pushing my baby out. This bothered me more over time than the section as I felt that had I done some things differently I could have achieved a natural birth.
With Eve I wrote plan A, drug and intervention free birth. Plan B the circumstances under which I would consent to intervention and plan C what I needed if a section became necessary.
In the end Eve’s birth was a mixed bag, I happily chose drugs in order to keep labour progressing, I internally desired an epidural knowing that it would mean never feeling pushing a baby out and losing a waterbirth. I even mentally prepared for a section when my scar ached. In the end things went the way I wanted an almost natural waterbirth, they went that way because I allowed myself to be flexible, and accepted the support and wisdom of my midwives and husband as they coached me beyond the point where I thought I would literally split apart from the pain. Because while there is no mistake that you are the one doing the work, there is no way I could have done it without that coaching through the darkest part and the flexibility to allow myself to get to the end on an unplanned path.