The Mythical Birth Plan
Pretty much the only thing that went according to my birth plan was that I had my baby:) Haha! I found my beautiful birth plan when I was going through some of my daughter's things and I chuckled to myself. It was quite impressive if I do say so myself. Not only did I have everything well laid out, but it was aesthetically pleasing, too.
I dabble in graphic design so I put some flair to it and even followed some great advice I had researched: bullet points, clear, and concise. Make it easy for busy doctors and nurses to scan quickly to understand what kind of birth experience you want.
But as I have learned during my tenure as a mother, even the most well thought out plans are chucked out the window when it comes to kids. What I didn't know is that it starts right at birth!
Some mommas may have a different experience and everything goes according to plan, and to them I say, "Well done!" That was not my experience, however.
I thought that once I got to the hospital, that I'd labor for a really long time so I had requested there be a birthing tub, that lights be dimmed, and my favorite playlist would be on in the background. That it would be an unmedicated birth (no epidural), no forceps or vacuum extractors, and no episiotomy.
Sooooo, as you can imagine where this is going...I barely made it to the hospital in time and things moved quickly once I got there. My birth plan became totally irrelevant as there was no time or reason to fill a birth tub - my baby was coming. We didn't even have time to get anything out of the car much less hand out our birth plan to those in Labor and Delivery.
My doctor wasn't available (seems like a given on a birth plan to have your own doctor, but nope). Turns out I needed assistance with the vacuum extractor and I also ended up getting an episiotomy. Pretty much everything on my birth plan was not part of my story (except for an unmedicated delivery...even if I wanted an epidural, there was no time for one).
But the most important thing DID happen. I had a beautiful, healthy baby and I was healthy and safe, too. That right there is what I call a successful story.
What I learned was flexibility and to let go when things were out of my control. To make a plan and my desires be known, but understand that it's more of a guideline. My husband was there as my advocate, took care of a lot of things, took care of me, and helped me remember the real goal: to get our baby here safely.
I didn't have birth plan for my second (or at least a beautifully documented plan to hand out to everyone assisting with the labor), but I had an idea of what I wanted. Again, it didn't go according to plan, but the two of us were healthy and safe. As I've learned along the way, sometimes I have to let go and let God!
By no means am I suggesting you don't need to consider creating a birth plan. It's wonderfully comforting to you and it's helpful for your medical support to understand your wishes.
Perhaps view it in the lens of the bigger picture: home birth vs hospital, medicated vs unmedicated, who is in the room with you, when will you take visitors...and don't forget to have some logistical things planned out such as who will take care of pets (or other kids if this isn't your first rode). Just be open to the fact that things may change and settle in to the main goal of safe, happy, healthy momma and baby:)