Who needs a birth plan anyway?

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Birth plans, or preferences as they’re now being called, are in my view.. pointless!

After being pregnant for what seemed like 9 years, rather than 9 months, I was ready for my “birth plan” to be put into practice. I knew exactly what I wanted, had run through it numerous times with my other half and I had even played it out in my head about exactly what would be happening.  It was going to be the most beautiful water birth, using only gas and air, pushing my baby out the natural way.

I was hell bent on having as few drugs as possible, no instrumental intervention and definitely no c-section.

How stupid was I? In hindsight, I can’t think of anybody I know who recently had a baby without any kind of massively invasive intervention, so what made me think my birth would go by without a hitch? Optimism? Naivety? A little bit of both?

I was already 2 days overdue when my waters broke (although that was after much debate between the midwives) and I actually went into labour. The drugs, unsurprisingly, got stronger as I went along; paracetamol, gas and air at the hospital, sent home with codeine then back to the hospital for more gas and air. How about a TENS machine? Oh go on then. Moving swiftly on to pethidine, and then eventually an epidural, or four. Unfortunately, you can already see the plan isn’t going well. After lots of people in and out checking my progress, the decision was made that, as I was fully dilated but completely exhausted, a caesarean would be the best way to deliver our baby as he was stuck with an unstable heart rate. Fortunately, he was able to be delivered safe and sound with forceps.

Looking back, and even now, I get so bitter that my birth didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to. It has, unfortunately, affected me in other ways which now means any further pregnancies will have to end in a caesarean. I can’t watch any programs involving birth without feeling really upset. Why do these women deserve to get the natural water births that they wanted? Could I have done something more, or less even?

If I’m fortunate enough to be blessed with another baby or two, then I will definitely be going in with my eyes wide open. I’m absolutely devastated that I won’t be able to try and do everything exactly how I wanted it, and even that I won’t really get the chance to do labour again – although some of you are probably thinking I’m mad.

My advice is, if you do have a birth plan/preference, the only way to be fully prepared is to accept that literally anything can happen, go with the flow and accept all the drugs they offer you!

What was your birth plan? How did your actual birth differ from what you expected?



3 thoughts on “Who needs a birth plan anyway?

    Emma said:
    February 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I never had a birth plan for either of my two children .. If life teaches you anything it’s to be prepared for the unexpected , and boy is labour the unexpected .. First child was a breeze ..18 hours in labour with back to back labour .. Second child (oh your second child just flys out so they told me) was 13 days late. After 15 pineapples 2 weeks bouncing on a ball and copious amounts of raspberry tea I was finally induced ,which I may add is awful. My labour pains where full on for 7 hours , eventually I had to be cut so I could give birth ..then after the birth my womb stopped contacting , let’s just say 2.5 liters of blood loss later and a 5 night stay in hospital my ordeal was finally over . So girls next time someone says have you got a birthing plan do what I did put it in big CAPITAL letters in your notes that you want every drug going because believe me you will bloody need it x x

    Em xX said:
    February 2, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    My birth didn’t go the way I thought it would. I didn’t have a specific birth plan I wanted to follow neither did I rule out pain relief.

    I arrived at hospital and started on gas and air which I found to work well surprisingly, and I really found it helped to start with, time went on I asked for something stronger, they gave me pethadine which made me completely out of it, god knows what I was talking about..did it help with the pain? Well I guess it did as I didn’t have a clue what was going on only that contractions would come and go.

    More time passed.. to this point the pethadine had completely wore off and the pain was getting unbearable, I asked for an epidural to which I was told I had passed the opportune time to have it and now at 9cm it was too late (would have been a help to have been told this before I passed it!) the pain was so bad I had now been pushing for 2 hours with no sign of baby although his heart rate was steady the entire time, I begged for a doctor to be called to get baby out (at this point I was in complete agony and loosing control ) the doctor arrived and baby was delivered safely with forceps.

    My birth was definitely not what I had imagined, I have come to the decision that if I am blessed with another baby I will be demanding an epidural as soon as I can have one whether this will make the birth easier who knows!

    Em xX

    Samala said:
    February 19, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Oh my, your experience echoes my own! Baby was 12 days late and I wasn’t interested in any intervention, happy to go 3 weeks before even entertaining a conversation of a ‘sweep’ (yuck). I was in active labour, at home, for 2 days before my waters finally broke! I was 6cms wen we got to the hospital, I got 8 hours in a pool in which time she had turned the wrong way and my contractions slowed… This led to intervention of hormone drip following a epidural due to the docs saying I was exhausted after already 3 days in full on labour – up until that point I hadn’t even had gas n air so as you can imagine I was devastated. Baby was fine tho so we slipped down the priority list as the night got busy with woman actually having their babies and I waited 15 hours after the epidural was administered to get the drip up – by which time they hadn’t let me eat because so much time had passed they didn’t think I would have it in me to push! LITERALLY MY WORST NIGHTMARE and at this point my braver than brave partner broke down too. Well, they gave me 1 hr to push and heck I pushed that back to back baba out in 1hr 20 mins helped along at the end by ventouse (ouch). No blood loss or tearing would you believe it. What an ordeal. I still can’t tolerate the way birth has become a ‘medical condition’ rather than a natural process that our amazing bodies are capable of. Can’t wait to do it again tho 🙂

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