When I became pregnant with my first, in the beginning the birth was always on my mind. Until one day I told myself women have done this since time began, it surely must not be as bad as it looks on TV. So that was it, I didn’t think about it again, until my midwife told me I needed to start thinking about ‘Birth Plans’. Here’s my story, and my lesson to expect the unexpected.
After hearing from my midwife, that I needed to start preparing my birth plan, like a good girl, I did my homework. Attended all the NCT classes, visited the hospital and all the birthing suites, taking a full tour with the midwife so I knew what to expect, and were to go. Attended a session on hypnobirthing, and read several books, skipping the part on caesarean, because that wasn’t in my birth plan at all. Lucy Atkins “First – Time Parent” is a great read. Atkins talk’s frankly about pregnancy and gives some really useful tips on postnatal experiences that you probably wouldn’t want to discuss openly with your mummy friends.
My plan was to stay at home for as long as possible when contractions started. Advise given by my fabulous midwife. Take a bath and try to relax. Have some pain killers when it got it bit too much and try to stay calm. When I would get to the hospital I would go into the birthing pool, and deliver my beautiful baby, with just the use of gas and air and the gentle support of my partner and mum.
I felt prepared, and I felt ready for when the time came.
Unfortunately, the time came a week before due date, and it didn’t help that I’d been shopping all day and felt pooped. But nonetheless I stuck to my plan … for at least thirty minutes. I rang the hospital, spoke with the midwife on duty, and took a bath. The bath quickly turned to a shower, because I was restless and needed to move, not to mention I felt like a beached whale filling every inch of the bath, Shamu had nothing on me! The contractions felt strong and were every three minutes, it was show time!
I rang my Mum, she wasn’t in – working would you believe, at my most crucial time. Spoke with my Dad, who I guess at that point could sense my urgency when I perhaps a little aggressively asked “where’s me mum?!” Couple of calls later, Mum was on her way in a taxi, she can’t drive and Dad wisely bailed on this day out.
After roughly four hours at home, probably less but I couldn’t stand it anymore, and my mum’s mantra of “you’re doing really well” was starting to sound believable. I was washed, dressed and hoisted into the car. Off to the hospital we went. I was ready to have my baby, aka I’d had enough! Problem was, I was captain slow in the dilating aspect, and put into a side room.
From the side room, I went to the pool. From the pool I went to another side room. From the side room I was then in another room, feet in stirrups ready to go. Two tanks of gas and air, with an eventual plug into a wall, because I didn’t take my face out of the mask, we were on!
And…… Nothing …
Water’s broke … Nothing.
Well, not exactly nothing, because shortly after I was in active labour for over an hour. Will spare you the drama, believe me when I say it wasn’t good. 19 hours had passed, and my second tour of the delivery suite accompanied by half the pharmacy, finished with an emergency caesarean. Well of course it would, that was the part I didn’t read. My birth plan was out the window.
What I failed to understand, when discussing my birth plan with my midwife was, a birth plan isn’t just about planning for what you hope, its planning for what may. So, from one mum to an expecting mum, when it comes to birthing plans, plan for EVERY eventuality. Knowledge and understanding is what the birthing plan stage is all about, and probably something that’s not made really clear, to the likes of myself.
My beautiful boy was born Sunday on a hot summers day, and all that drama was forgotten.
Good Luck. Pips x