The birth plan that never worked out…

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.

The birth plan that never worked out

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.

cesarean section

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.

You, Baby and I Blog

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….


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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. Taryn Botha
    2015-04-15 / 17:10

    I love this! The anti natal classes that I went to were wonderful but very pronatural. Although we were informed about c-sections I didn’t take much note as this wasn’t the route I was going. So when it came time for the unplanned c-section due to all these unforeseen complications, I was so unprepared! I was too scared to tell my midwife in case she thought I was a failure. Looking back, I wish I had considered both options and not been so set on way. Life always has a funny way of throwing these curve balls. At the end of the day, isn’t the most important thing just for both mom and baby to be safe and healthy.

    • 2015-04-16 / 12:48

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Me too, I actually wish I read more about C-sections.

  2. 2015-04-16 / 10:49

    Interesting post that I learned something new today! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Fi Ní Neachtáin
    2015-04-16 / 16:06

    Oh birth plans never work out do they, I think I heard on midwife say that I should bother writing out one as a baby doesn’t fit with anyone’s plans! I am terrified at the idea of a c-section but I know if I needed it it would have to be done to benefit both baby and I.

  4. 2015-04-16 / 19:04

    Oh my gosh, I cannot even imagine what must’ve been going through your mind on that operating table. Such a scary feeling! I’m glad you wrote the post though, it prepares other women to definitely be prepared for the unexpected.

  5. Heather
    2015-04-16 / 19:39

    this is such a moving post and I think you really hit the nail on the head => the baby is the most important now how they came…

  6. 2015-04-16 / 22:55

    I think it’s important to be able to adapt in those situations. There are tons of situations where C-sections are the best option. It’s all about safety and health!

  7. 2015-04-17 / 00:45

    I can’t imagine what must have been going through your mind! Thanks for opening up and sharing your experiences with soon-to-be moms that feel like they have the perfect birth plan.

  8. Michelle Hwee
    2015-04-17 / 01:09

    Wow what an experience indeed. I am not yet a mom but this is definitely giving me insight to what to expect and “plan wise”. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. growingupmomma
    2015-04-17 / 02:45

    I can totally relate to your feelings. I had a C-section as well, and had absolutely no idea what to expect. I guess I just assumed I would always have a natural birth, so I didn’t even think to really learn about the process at all. You’re absolutely right, though- the birth plan mishaps barely matter once you walk out of that hospital with the new love of your life!

  10. 2015-04-17 / 03:36

    There are so many things to learn to prepare to become a mom but first on the list is about child birth. Everyone has a different birth experience worth telling and sharing to the world. I’m sure you had a mix of emotions.

  11. 2015-04-17 / 03:37

    you are so correct when you say its not a destination, but a journey and plans are made to be broken. I too thought I had a plan -but God and my daughter had different thoughts after 24 hours of non-progression onto the OR table I went for my c-section-it happens!

  12. 2015-04-17 / 06:37

    It drives me crazy I couldn’t so many factors of my kids births and what went on. I have several friends that had c-sections and they were all uprepared for what was going to happen.

  13. 2015-04-17 / 06:45

    Good read! There is no need to feel bad about having to have a c-section. The goal should be to deliver the baby — rather it is natural or a c-section.

  14. 2015-04-17 / 08:35

    This is an awesome post indeed and important message for soon to be mothers along with the critics. My sister had a birth plan in place but my little nephew was to large. He looked like a football player when he was born because she had to have a C-section. Thanks for sharing.

  15. 2015-04-17 / 08:57

    this is such a great post!!! and there really is no perfect plan – you do what is good for you and baby!!

    Sandy a la Mode

  16. 2015-04-17 / 13:08

    I don’t think anybody gets it perfect with their birth plans! I would be very surprised!
    I also landed up with two C-sections, although I would have loved going the natural birth route!

  17. 2015-04-17 / 16:34

    Great post! You are right, I think all first time moms think that everything is going to go as they expect. 🙂

  18. 2015-04-18 / 05:00

    Interesting post.. I will never forget the day I gave birth to my girls. Thankfully both were not c-sections, but I’ve had other surgeries and know that pain..

  19. 2015-04-18 / 05:45

    Its so important to be prepared for the possible complications before going into labor and what your options are. I totally can empathize. Thank you for sharing your experience for those who may need it.

  20. 2015-04-19 / 19:32

    We may have plans in life even in giving birth but sometimes things just happen the other way around. Normal or c-section, good thing your baby was delivered safely into this world. Congratulations on that!

  21. Scared mom
    2015-07-07 / 14:27

    I had the most awful experience with my first one so much so I am too scared to have another one. I don’t want to put myself or baby in that situation again. We don’t have medical aid so I had to go to a state hospital, I was sent home 2 days in a row being told come back if your water breaks, and that I only dilated 1 cm for those 2 days, they pains were bad and like 1 min apart, after being in labor for 2 days already my mom insisted that they do an induction on me. They tried to break my water twice the, the nurse told me I must not get a fright as I am going to feel this wooch but nothing happened, she came back after about 10 min and told me she is going to try again once again nothing happened. After about an hour they pushed me into the “kraam kamer” I lay there for most of the day, no Dr coming around only nurses. They then mixed 2 stuff and injected it into the drip, straight away I was naar, my eyes started rolling backwards and I could not open my eyes, I told the nurse I was naar, she just told me that I must close my eyes it is the meds working, the next minute I was bring up all over everything. We where now moving to 72 hours in labor, with every contraction I could hear my little ones heart stop beating and then pick up again, eventually the Dr came around for her rounds and asked then still nothing, the nurses said no, they checked again and then I only had dilated 7 cm, they said I am going to have to push at 7 cm if nothing happens. After about 2 hours the Dr was back and rushed me for an emergency c-section, I was put under full anesthetic, at about (4h30) that afternoon. I only saw my boy at about 10pm, when I asked where he was everyone was covering up and telling me he is fine he is in the incubator, when I saw him they just dropped him off next me and left the room. After about a year I heard my mom saying to someone when she was with him at about 8 he was still blue. I stole my file from they hospital for I was going back to PE, I read the the cord was around his neck and he was a big baby 4.2kg. Today he is 4 and a half, and autistic. But will never wish him to be otherwise. I was not married then, his father I split after a long story. I am now married to the most amazing man, and he wants a child of his own, I would so love to give it to me, but this fear is in me about the birthing. I have spoken to the hospital because we back here, and they say even if I have had a c-section I am going to have to push for the next one but promise they will not put mom or baby in any danger. But that is not the experience I had with the first one. So at this stage I am so scared to have a second one. If I see my friends on FB having there babies, I get this fear over me and get nerves even if I know it is not mine. I really hope that my mind set will change that I find the courage to have a second child.

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