I recently wrote a blog about my birth story. I expressed my own experience through the unfolding and the way it made me feel. I chose to have a birth plan in place. If you're against a birth plan, good for you. Every mama has her own journey through pregnancy, labor, and birth.
Do what you have to do and feel comfortable with that.
People are going to have their views on what one should and should not do for any scenario. As Abraham Maslow states, "Be independent of the good opinion of other people." What other people think and say doesn't really matter. It's your experience. You get to choose who and what you wish to invite into this sacred event, the birth of your baby.
I share my thoughts as a way of letting mommies like me know that they are not alone. You don't have to have the worst experience or the most amazing experience to be seen, heard, and supported.
Thank you for inspiring me to state my top 5 reasons for having a birth plan in place.
1. I wanted to have an idea of what to expect: Ultimately, I knew that nothing involved with pregnancy, birth, or anything else for that matter is truly in my control. Having a birth plan allowed me to talk about the 101 or 1001 scenarios that could possibly occur. This was my first time going through labor and birth. I needed to see it all on paper and process it so that whatever happened, I knew I prepared myself the best I could. Laying the groundwork gave me the strength to surrender the entire experience to something bigger. My plan helped me stay out of the results.
2. Let's all be on the same page: Writing a birth plan allowed my to be in conversation with everyone involved. I was able to question my obstetrician and hear his thoughts, opinions, and suggestions on the process. I had a better understanding of my doula's experience. Most importantly, my husband and I were able to create a vision together. We heard each other's needs, desires, and concerns. Yes, I'm the one physically giving birth but it's a team effort and my husband was a big part of it.
3. I was able to practice mindfulness: Once we went into labor, a plan forced me to stay mindful and be present in the experience. I knew that anything I would want to voice was written down. I didn't have to worry about what anyone else was doing. I was able to freely go within, feel what I was feeling, and know confidently that I was being supported. I had to monitor myself in real time. I could trust that everyone else would handle the rest.
4. It's not about a storybook birth: What do I want and what do I need to be comfortable? Now having gone through the labor and birth. I'm so glad that even the seemingly irrelevant items were discussed as per of my birth plan. Should I bring extra pillows? Candles? Music? I am definitely glad I brought my own comfy clothes instead of wearing a hospital gown. Trusting my doula and husband to stay on top of comfort measures like body massage was a great idea too. Because these desires were put into place, my nurse joined in with whatever I needed to feel cared for.
5. I'm worth it: I've spent much of my adulthood learning to love myself. I am worthy of expressing my desires and my truth. I don't have to keep my likes and dislikes to myself. It's all right to share my fears. It's important to ask for help. Anything I needed as part of my plan was welcome and necessary for connecting deeper to the birth of my own child.
Whether you choose to have a birth plan or not, a home birth or not, an epidural or not, it's necessary to feel supported and not discouraged. No matter how big a deal or how small of a matter it might be, it's important to voice your desires. As a community of women, maybe we can consider agreeing to disagree on varying subjects. Let's practice helping each other blossom into whatever we are meant to be. In the long run, we all have something to give birth to anyway.