3 years ago, around this time, I remember sitting on my bed working through a birth plan with a big smile on my face.
I was going to have a natural birth, my darling daughter would enter this world with the soothing sound of music and laughter. Oh I knew about the pain – but I thought that was what the epidural was for. It was all planned. I had researched natural birth and knew what to expect. My baby was going to enter the world …. Naturally!
Boy was I wrong! I knew what I wanted but did I get what I wanted?
Being a first time mom, I expected everything for my labor and delivery to be perfect. Like almost every first time mom, I searched the internet learning about different techniques and options for natural and C-sections (which I glossed over) but we often forget we can’t actually control what happens in that room.
I knew exactly how I wanted my baby to be brought into the world but it was the total opposite. I’ve written about my birth experience and tips for a C-section but I never discussed my emotional roller coaster during that very last-minute before my dreams were shattered in the theatre.
I was prepared for a natural birth, but I was being pushed to the theater for a C-section. My mind went crazy with thoughts. I was scared and felt so naked in a room filled with strangers. I wasn’t in control anymore. Here I was laying on a table waiting to get operated on. I remember closing my eyes and praying: “Lord, give me strength.”
For the strangers in the room, it was a normal day at work but for me, it was an experience I did not prepare for. There was no music and my body was so numb… I couldn’t feel my legs but I remember feeling the tears running down my cheeks.
I freaked out about the idea of having a C-section after watching some horrific videos on YouTube (which I advise you not to do). But I knew this was the best for my baby and nothing I said would change the decision for my gynae. For a moment I felt like a failure. But then it hit me, delivering a healthy baby safely was more important than a birth plan I prepared for months.
So hence this is my advice to The Mom Who Has a Birth Plan:
Today, I want you to know that not every labor and delivery is like what you see in the movies. Prepare for the unexpected – if you get what you want, you’re lucky! And if you don’t…please don’t declare yourself as a failure and think about how you could have changed it, instead appreciate the moment in front of you and remember the good instead of the bad. Stop wondering what if and enjoy the right now. It’s not just about you.
C-sections moms get judged all the time but many fail to realize sometimes it’s not an option, it’s the only way. I want you to know whichever way you bring that little baby into the world, it still makes you a MOM. C-section is still giving birth, you just feel the pain afterward. AND I think it’s worse. It’s experiencing labor without realizing it. I respect moms who push out 3kgs babies via vaginal birth because I know that’s not easy either.
Step into the hospital with an open mind and leave with a smile. You walk in as a girl and walk out as a woman.
Remember every woman goes through a different experience and that’s what makes labor and delivery so beautiful. We all have stories to share and sometimes we may even laugh about the unexpected things that happen.
Use a birth plan as a guide but don’t follow it religiously. The journey you travel may be emotional but the result is bursting with happiness.
I know, I will never get to experience a vaginal birth and I’m finally okay with that. Every day I look at my C-section mark and think about my experience. Even though I still feel pain, I treasure it. It takes me back to the moment I met my daughter. Her big black eyes and tiny fingers which isa photographed in my memory forever. Even though my birth plan went flying out the window, I live with no regrets.
Life is about beauty, enjoyment, and surprises. It is more than just a destination – it’s a journey to be treasured, respected and enjoyed. Why live life thinking what if and regretting the past? Move on, say why not now, find out how and learn to roll with the punches. Our way may not be the perfect way but God knows best and that is all we need to know.
A baby arrives and that is all that matters….