Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My "No Birth Plan" Plan

I don't know if it's just me, but I imagine that it happens to most women...
That moment, somewhere between 20-30 weeks of pregnancy, when it hits you:

"This baby has to come out of me. One way or another."
(insert the most freaked-out emoticon face in existence)

I think I had a minor panic attack. My palms got all sweaty and I could feel myself
slipping into that rhythmic, lamaze-like, breathing pattern - head spinning, clammy hands,
trying not to pass out. I'm pretty sure I even imagined a contraction.

My idea of being a "warrior momma" suddenly becomes absurd, delusional.

Recently a friend lent me a big stack of "natural" child birth books. A lot of Bradley Method
stuff. All beautifully graphic and shockingly terrifying at the same time. One night I rolled over
in bed and jokingly told my husband that I had some "great bedtime reading" for him...

"And when the woman's cervix is fully dilated to 10cm, the baby will slowly begin to descend
the birth canal, otherwise known as the vagina (miraculously formed with accordion-like style skin)."

My husband didn't think it was very funny. My thoughts exactly!
I don't want to know. Just tell me when it's over, mmmmkay!?

So I went in to my last pre-natal visit and told my doctor that I wanted to chat "birth plan."
He sat down in the chair next to the examining table and told me to "shoot."

"I don't want to plan anything... Hope you're cool with that."

He threw his hands up in the air and laughed. For a second I thought he was making fun of me,
but then he told me how relieved he was - and that 9 out of 10 women, in his 20+ years of
practice, that make birth plans end up in tears when page 3 of 5 was completely thrown out
the window due to complications, unforeseen events, the nature of childbirth, etc.

Yes. I've been there. 38 weeks pregnant with my first, I was all geared up, ready, trained to
embrace the "euphoric storm" of labor and delivery when they sat me down and informed me that there
was NO WAY with my deformed uterus and a footling breach baby that I was going to have a vaginal
delivery. I cried. A lot. Mostly because I was mourning the loss of my beautiful plan!

Two days later my son came via C-Section and I forgot all about it. It didn't matter.
He was here. We both were safe, healthy. Life was good.

My second son came via VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), and all along the doctors told me that
they would NOT, under any circumstances, induce or prompt my labor. Not only did they break my
water, they also hooked me up to Pitocin. That wasn't even THEIR plan...

I'm glad I didn't make a plan.

Now, I know there are dozens and dozens of women, even many friends of mine, who have achieved
their "dream birth" by way of a "birth plan" and all. I DO BELIEVE IT HAPPENS! I've seen it happen.
I guess I'm just ok with winging it.

Whatever goes down - great. I'm a solid 30 minute drive to the hospital.
And that's without rush hour. In Chicago. I could be delivering this baby on the interstate for all
I know. Ok, hopefully not! That might scar me for life. But I want to be "ok" for whatever happens -
and the only way that that makes sense for ME (with my personality, temperament, etc.)
is to go in with a "no birth plan" plan.

I like routines, but I like surprises more. I'm ok with the "ride."
So, surprise me, baby number 3!!! Let's make this a birth day to remember!!!
In a good way. No interstates, and a quick, clean labor... if possible!?

I'll keep y'all posted. Obviously. I'm a blogger. That's what I do.
I'm 26 weeks today. Good thing I've still got time.

How about you? Birth plan? No birth plan?
Was it everything you dreamed it would be?


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  1. I had no plan. My plan was "wait and see" with no intervention until I wanted it... so :) Ended up with a C-section due to unforseen events, and although it was the only thing I didn't prepare myself for, and I was a wee bit scared, at 2 AM after 12+ hours of labor, you're pretty much game for whatever makes it done :)

    1. Wow. Yea - I know a couple women who labored for many hours only to end up in a csec. That had to be so rough. But I totally get the "whatever makes it DONE" attitude! Glad you both are safe and sound :)

  2. 100% with u. My only plan is to come home with a baby! I didn't have a plan with baby #1 either

    1. You're getting so close, my friend!!! Hoping and praying that your "plan" goes as smoothly and peacefully as possible!!! XO

  3. My plan was to live...Jack was 6 days of 3 separate active labor counts...over 52 hours total. Natural until 9.5cm. I was the frequent visitor of labor and delivery. Got my water broken, pitocin, and happy meds for all three. Howevee Lizzy was my fave. after convulsing mulitple times and having a catscan, they broke my water and started my epidural/pitocin and 2 hours and a nap later...we had little girl :) No plan is the best! Lots of prayers for number 3!

    1. HAHA! I love it, Becky! "My plan was to live" :-) Thank you for the prayers and support!

  4. My plan was essentially: "This will be one of, if not THE most, painful thing you will ever experience. At the end, there will be a baby. Keep your head in the game and do what it takes to get there. No interference unless absolutely necessary." I have to say, I totally support the no plan plan- I've seen so many women try to do something in only one specific way and it seems they inevitably get disappointed somehow. Trust yourself, trust your doctor (assuming you've got a good one!), and trust God.

    1. I like your plan, Mel! "THE most, painful thing you will ever experience" - you are funny! But so true, right?! No, for real though - I think my "plan" is the same as yours. I mean I'm not like, "Do whatever." - but I guess I am just more surrendered this time around and because well, like you said, "TRUST GOD!" He's given me big curve balls with my babies - sooooo I'm trying to be game for anything! I DO love my docs as well! They are both super Catholic (which means a lot to me for many reasons) and I'm pretty close to them - they get me and I get them - which I haven't had in the past! SO I AM STOKED!

  5. I could write a lot here. My husband and i are avid Bradley Method fans and we were blessed with two "dream births". And our birth plans were two pages long! I believe its a combination of ultimate surrender and trust in the Lord, along with a practitioner you trust and educating yourself about healthy birth and some of the alarming trends in American obstetrics.

    1. SO awesome, Renee!! I love hearing all the stories - and you are definitely one of the ones I was thinking of in regards to "planned dream births" that WORKED!!! I know and believe it all! One of my good friends is a Bradley instructor and I absolutely love listening to her stories and wisdom!

      In my case it is just so hard. I haven't found a midwife that is willing to work with me - since I have a bicornuate uterus/C-section on my record. I've even had to be careful in choosing a functional OBGYN and hospital to deliver in - as not all docs and hospitals are VBAC friendly :( So yea - like you're saying here, education is a really good idea! I've tried to equip myself with everything I need to know - but also taking into account the fact that God allowed complications that have set a pattern for my child-birthing experiences. My heart here is SURRENDER - to just let go and let God and the docs He has given to me this round do their best (with all my questioning/cautioning/requests in between) <3

    2. Haha!! How funny that you were thinking of me! Until jUst now I'd forgotten how intense your prior experience were (to say the least!)! In your circumstance an openness to any plan that keeps you all healthy is the key.

  6. And "I don't want to know.Just tell me when it's over, mmmkay?"
    It surprises me to hear you say that. I know you to be a woman who sees God's glorious, sovereign creativity in a woman's monthly rhythm. How much more so the event of bringing life into daylight! We shouldn't hunker down and ignore the details of the birth process. I believe we should learn them and see God's wisdom. He made our bodies to do amazing things!

    1. Yea, that comment was misunderstood by another reader as well. That's my mistake. It has nothing to do with being "grossed out" by God's design or anything - not at all - it was to emphasize my own ANXIETY when it comes to ANYTHING medically related. Very honestly, every time they check my URINE at my pre-natal visit I can feel my blood pressure rise just because I get NERVOUS! - I've really had a lot of crazy ups and downs in regards to child-bearing and fertility in general - so I'm just thankful when I'm "out of the woods" (baby too! in this case)... and the only way my anxious heart can take it is with surrender, surrender, surrender... trusting my my Jesus and the awesome docs He has blessed me with this time around <3

  7. Totally understand! Yep, surrender is what it's all about. Its so good to know that there is no right way or wrong way to approach labor! Every family and personality is different. So glad you and baby are feeling good!

    1. Thank you! We are doing well and my docs have high hopes for me that THIS labor and delivery will require less intervention than the first two (CSEC and then VBAC). Here's hoping!!! It's true - personality definitely plays into this! I recently told my doctor too that I think I may have some family come in - because I'm an extrovert who thrives on "the party!" HA! He laughed at that too. All cases - so different! I'm just glad to hear "happy" stories of healthy babies and mommas!!!! God is good :-)

  8. I also didn't have a plan with my deliveries. All I wanted was to not feel pain. Stupid, I know. I got an epidural with my first and it DID. NOT. WORK. So nope, my plan didn't pan out the first time. Thanks be to God, my second delivery was a piece of cake compared to the first and the epidural DID work! Yay! I believe no plan is a good plan.

    Funny you mention delivering on the interstate. I live in Chicagoland too! (Where do you live? Do we live close by? Should we get coffee sometime? Our kids should be friends! ;)....

    Anyways..I saw on the news today that a woman had to deliver her baby on I-90! Her husband was driving her to the hospital and she didn't make it. She delivered her baby boy on the side of the busy interstate. Crazy!! :)

    1. NO NO NO on the interstate?!?!? AHHHH that would be SO scary! Great story, but scary! Hope she and the baby are ok! I'm sure they are. Wow though!

      The desire to NOT feel pain - is not stupid! I think that's natural and if that's what works for you - GREAT! Go for it. A failed epidural?! EEK! Did they bill you for it anyway?! I would have called and complained. Lol.

      I just messaged you on FB too btw!!! XO

    2. YES they did bill me.. and I think we thought about calling! But we ended up just letting it go. They gave me a lot of drugs too. They usually only give the standard dose to people and they gave me like 3 extra doses! Something wasn't right..I should've been numb for days!

      Thanks for messaging me!! :)

  9. You'd think that doing a home birth and all that I'd have a birth plan. But no. Especially with baby number 3, my plan was simply "no expectations." I think if I were having a hospital birth the only "birth plan" I'd have would have more to do with what I do and don't want for the baby once he/she is born. We deny all the vaccines, ointments, heel prick test, blah blah blah and I'm a nazi about those things. But as far as actual labor goes, I've learned it's best to just trust your body and the God who designed it to do it's job. Oh and lots and lots of prayer!

    1. Love this advice and wisdom, Jessi!!! I think I will make that my motto: "no expectations" :) LOVED reading through your birth story about Stella Rae!!! SO beautiful!!! LIFE is good! Glad you all are healthy and happy!!! Not going to lie though- I'm kinda jealous that I won't be able to sleep in my own bed right after I have my baby! LUXURY!!!

  10. I like to have a loose plan, but it has been different for each baby. This third time, I developed preeclampsia, which required a new plan at the last minute - an induced preterm delivery. I went to bed the night before thinking how nice it would be to not have to worry about dealing with labor on my 40 minute ride to the hospital. Wouldn't you know it, I spontaneously started a fast and hard labor in the middle of the night which threw the induction plans out the window! It actually ended in an emergency csection due to scary long heart decels. But he's here and healthy and keeping me on my toes every day now! An aside - didn't realize you were in Chicago! I'm just a bit north of you over the WI border!

    1. Well. hello neighbor!!! Wow, Heidi - labor and delivery can be SO crazy!!! I'm happy to hear that you and baby are both home and healthy now. Thank the Lord for great medical practices and doctors here in America. Such a gift.

  11. I love this! You are so right that so many woman go into childbirth thinking they have control. YOU DON'T! It is like the ONLY time in life that you literally have ZERO control. Thanks for sharing!


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