Best laid plans

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.

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12 thoughts on “Best laid plans

  1. You really have had a wide range of childbirth experiences! Thanks so much for sharing your personal insights, it’s so intriguing to hear from someone who truly knows what each of the extremes are like.
    It sounds like in Eve’s birth you made informed decisions every step of the way and I think in the face of the notorious unpredictability of childbirth that is as much as any of us can hope for. You’re an inspiration x 3

    Ohh and you are right- Eve is just perfect! Absolutely beautiful, from head to toe

    • I think that it’s worth sharing not because I have the answers but because I hear so many women who think they have somehow failed at childbirth. Like there’s a right way to do it, I want people to know there is no right way and have one less thing to feel guilty about.

  2. You definitely have had very different birth experiences! I totally agree that a lot of us do think back and get disappointed that things didn’t go as planned. It’s such an overwhelming emotional and personal experience and being well informed can make us stubborn so it’s important to allow some flexibility and have trust in our caregivers.

    Eve is so beautiful in that cradle!

    • You’re absolutely right about the stubbornness that comes with being well informed, I’m glad it didn’t get in the way of Eve’s birth.
      She’s not too sure about the cradle yet but I do love rocking her in it.

  3. congratulations! what a lovely last few posts. hope you enjoy your latest addition to your family……..i just LOVE hearing birth stories. so wide and varied. everyone single one should be told and shared!

    • Thank you, we are very much enjoying being a family of five, everyone’s besotted with Eve. I agree that it’s great for birth stories to be told I think we can draw from each others experiences.

  4. This is the cutest baby bed ever!

    Each birth is so different. Plans change all the time. I didn’t know that I was going to have my baby, on a birth stool, with a low effect epidural that allowed me to move my legs and feel all the contractions. It was not in my birth plan but it turned out to be pretty awesome. Life is full nice surprises 🙂

  5. Eve is beautiful – i love that she is surrounded by hearts both in the chain you knitted and on her toy. inspiring to read your experiences with child birth. gives me a lot of hope and inspiration to also reflect on my experiences (both past and future) with equal grace.

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