Friday, December 7, 2007

The Birth Plan

These three words make many people in the maternity ward cringe. It has been my experience that when you plan any event right down to minutia it will back fire. And I believe the birth plan to be one of the most excellent example of this. As you know Dear Reader, we cannot control anything in our lives least of all the birthing of a baby. I have never been a control freak so when I became pregnant with Oldest I just went along for the ride. I am a faithful sort so I would just pray that everything would be alright. I did what I could do to be a good host while my passenger rode with me for 9 months.

But that is really all I could do, isn't that really all any of us can do? So when my midwife asked me if I wanted a birth plan I laughed. Seriously, my body will tell me when the baby is ready to come out. My midwife will tell me what to do and when to do it. And we did attend the birthing classes. Although we were almost thrown out. We did a lot of inappropriate laughing. Particularly when they did the relaxation techniques. "You are a pebble on a beach. The surf is gently lapping over you." We were hysterical. Give me a marathon of Law and Order, now that is relaxing to me. And that is most of my unsolicited advice to a pregnant woman, "Whatever you do right now to relax, do that when you are in labor."

Being in labor is serious business. My labors were short, well not with Baby, but the third is often the wild card and ours sure was. But being in labor is a scary, vulnerable time and it seems to reason that you would do what is familiar to you. My first labor was really uneventful. But when you are new at it you aren't sure that you will recognize the signs. Which is why we called when I saw blood in the toilet, 10 days before the due date. We went in, only after King Daddy shaved my legs, and my examination showed nothing. "Call us when you can't talk through your contractions. This may be the beginning or you may do nothing for several days/weeks," we were told by our doctor. So with Bunny strapped into the infant car seat we were off to Wendy's. It really began at 5 a.m.. I tried to breathe through the contractions. I woke up King Daddy. Called the doctor and we were off. Being a novice, I would stiffen with each contraction. I would clutch his sweat shirt. It wasn't helping me or the contractions. So after my midwife broke my water, when the contractions were on top of each other and so intense, I started to hyperventilate and wanted to puke. My midwife grabbed my hand and sternly told me to breathe and relax. Two very important points. It made all the world of difference. After that I was able to, when my contractions were super intense, close my eyes and concentrate on the steadiness and constancy of my breaths. King Daddy would watch the monitor and would whisper to me "It's almost over."

I had asked for an epidural, but there was not time. I went from 3 to 10 cms in 45 minutes. I pushed for 20 minutes. I
was not good at listening when she told me not to push. She had one glove on to catch our baby girl.

But more to my point of birth plans and control. In my experience every person, it seems, that has a birth plan has had to have an emergency c-section or a vacuum assisted delivery or some other sort of serious medical intervention. Nothing is as it seems and the human body with all of its imperfections is a divine invention. Let the Inventor do His thing. And sit back and enjoy the ride of your life.

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