Here we are at 29 weeks and I get induced in 10 short weeks. Can you believe it?! After all we have been through we are a little more than two months away from meeting our sweet girl!!
I am a planner so I have started picking up things to pack in my hospital bag. I’ve included some Little Luna Company knotted nightgowns, coloring books to keep my mind busy during labor, list of medications I’m on/need, and a comfy hospital robe. But one thing I’m not bringing is a detailed birth plan.
I know, first-time moms everywhere are shocked.
Let me explain.
You Can’t Plan For The Unknown
Nothing about our pregnancy journey has gone as planned. If it did we wouldn’t have had five losses, I wouldn’t be on twice a day Lovenox shots, and so many other unexpected things wouldn’t have happened.
I learned a long time ago you can’t really “plan” for pregnancy so why would I think I could plan for birth?!
In every parenting book I read, they stress the importance of creating your perfect birth plan. Line out every last detail of how you want your big day to go. From how you want to labor, the medicines you’ll accept, to how you’ll deliver and after.
I think it’s total bullshit. You are just setting yourself up for disappointment.
Because even if you had a complicated free pregnancy, there are so many factors in labor you just can’t control. And that’s perfectly okay.
Stop trying to control it and let it happen the way it’s supposed too.
Do you think you are going to feel relaxed if the whole time you are stressing that the doctor isn’t following your exact plan? What about if something happens that takes you off the course of your plan, like an emergency C- section? How are you going to feel after? Depressed that your day wasn’t perfect and EXACTLY to plan?
We are going through enough mama, don’t add the extra stress.
Because in the end when the contractions are hitting and the doctor is telling you, you HAVE to do something to delivery safely- you’re going to do it.
In a perfect world, I would love to labor in water or standing up while having music playing and coloring in my relaxing coloring books. I was told there is a chance I can’t have an epidural so now I’m set on doing it naturally no matter what.
But what if I get cleared for an epidural and a contraction hits I can’t physically handle? Am I going to stress out that not taking one is part of my birth plan and I MUST stick to it? No, I am going to listen to my body and do exactly what feels right at that moment. If the pain is more than I have ever imagined then shoot me up doc.
If I can’t physically stand and all I want to do is lay down, then I ask that my support team stops reminding me of what I wanted and just listen to my body like I am.
If the baby or my safety is dependent on a C-section, then let’s get it going.
And if something happens where we can’t have skin to skin contact immediately after, then that’s okay as long as you’re doing all you can to keep my baby alive & healthy.
None of these things can we possibly know until the moment itself comes.
Tips For Writing A Healthy, Low Expectation Birth Plan
Birth plans don’t need to be a long, detailed, step-by-step plan. How can you predict your labor??? Throw away the Pinterest printable forms and look within. What is truly important to you?
More than likely, you and your baby’s safety.
So if you are going to write a birth plan, keep it short and sweet.
Here are a few examples from the book Ancient Map For Modern Birth.
“To everyone: thank you for wearing a shirt, shoes, and a smile, and for supporting us in our effort to have a positive birth.”
“I plan to bring myself to each and every moment of my labor and birth. I welcome encouragement and your experienced guidance to help me birth as normal as possible. I want my baby placed on skin to skin on me, wet, and wriggly (not swaddled in blankets). Let us do the breast crawl for the first nursing.”
“I am in labor and need my privacy. Co-workers who want to stop in to “visit” and medical students are not allowed in my room.”
These birth plans aren’t pages long detailing every last second of how they expect their labor to go. Instead, it highlights what is truly important to these mamas and leaves the rest up to God, doctors, and your body.
We try to gain control over childbirth by planning and making decisions ahead of time and holding onto whatever makes us feel safe or confident [Ancient Map for Modern Birth].
But as a mama going through the biggest rite of passage, birth. Your only task is to prepare to love that baby with everything you have. There is no script and there is no map.
What To Do Instead Of Writing A Birth Plan
Instead, I suggest spending the time preparing your hospital bag for things you’ll need. Here is where I spent most of my time planning. I know when I’m uncomfortable there are some silly things I want that make me feel better. So I wrote out my list of things my husband and I will need first. Heck, I even created a section on my Babylist Registry of things I wanted just for my hospital bag! You can check out the things I added here.
Then I scheduled a hospital tour and started my list of things the baby will need. One tip of advice- do a hospital tour before and see what your hospital will provide the day of. It’ll save A LOT of time & you won’t have to bring in luggage full of things you won’t even touch while in the hospital. I started my list prior, brought it with me to the tour, and then finalized it when I got home that night. Now I know what is necessary for baby and what is better left at home.
Mama, I am not judging you or shaming you if you have a birth plan. If that is truly what will make you feel the best then write away. Pinterest has some great templates and you can find so much advice on blogs or in baby books.
We all are apart of a different journey and have different coping mechanisms. I wanted to share why it wasn’t important to me to create a birth plan and caused more stress than relief for me. You do you, mama, I support you the entire way.
Thanks for reading.