Birth plans seem like such a good idea when you first hear the concept. As a mum-to-be we have a vague idea that birth might involve a lot of pain and screaming so surely it is best to have a plan.
Before I experienced the reality of childbirth, I thought the pain was a rite of passage and that mums were exaggerating the level of pain involved. I dutifully went to antenatal classes and read books galore on what to expect.
I then went into labour. Did my waters break of their own accord? Nope! Did my contractions get progressively nearer together? Nope! Was I sent home from hospital due to lack of progress? Yup!
My husband sat all night long recording every contraction but they did not fit any of the patterns the pregnancy books told me about
My baby was lying with his back against mine. This is known as an ‘occiput posterior’ (OP) position. So much for birth planning as mine involved listening to tranquil music, seeing contractions come relatively quickly, a bit of screaming and maybe biting down on a spoon like in old films.
It didn’t get any better when I decided I really must go to hospital again. My husband put me in the car and after travelling for about half a mile, the car broke down. So as the contractions finally sped up I had to walk home in the dark and cursing my husband. Sepia image gone right there!
After hours waiting for a taxi, I screamed all the way to hospital with the encouragement of the driver who was superb and told me to scream away whilst he played the Beatles. Talk about “Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away ..”
It all worked out well in the end and that back to back baby is now a strapping 16 year old.
I am not saying making birth plans is silly because it does give you some level of control so long as you accept that life might take a different turn.
NHS Choices even gives you a draft birth plan so you can write it all down. They advise that you might want to discuss your birth plans with your midwife, the baby’s father and other key players in your life.
Think about pain relief options, birth partners and how you feel about intervention such as forceps or ventouse delivery.
You should also choose “I will survive”as your musical choice because us mums have a knack of coping with what life throws at us.
This post is brought to you by the ex-pert mum by no means an expert but definitely ex-pert.