why i don’t have a birth plan

Today is my due date and while most women do not give birth on their actual due date, I thought today would be a good day to talk about my plan when the big day actually arrives. I know many women walk into their labor and delivery room with a list of things they want to happen. Dim lighting, no IV, drugs/no drugs, walk around during labor, etc. To be clear: I respect these women immensely. I am simply not one of them. I have never written out a formal birth plan and I have no plans to do so for this pregnancy.

27 years ago today my mother went into what she thought was labor with me. How is that for full circle? She went into the hospital after what she thought was her water breaking but something did not seem quite right. I am not going to speak for her or tell too many details of her story because it is her very personal story to tell but to say the image she describes is unsettling is an understatement. For some reason the hospital sent her home despite her symptoms.  Hours later, she returned to the hospital because she knew something was not right. She trusted her instict that something was wrong. Moments after arriving at the hospital for a second time, her doctor realized that I was in distress and she was rushed off into surgery for an emergency C-Section. I was a large baby—over 10 lbs and for the 1st couple moments seemingly healthy. They hurried me off to the nursery to be cleaned up while they finished my mother’s surgery. Soon after arriving in her recovery room a young nurse walks into my mothers room shaking and can barely utter the words that I stopped breathing several times and they needed to air lift me to Boston Children’s Hospital. Turns out, I had aspirated meconium. Moms out there know that it is a sticky, tar-like substance so imagine that in a newborn baby’s lungs. I was diagnosed with double pneumonia and was in the NICU in Boston for the first month of my life. All 10 lbs of me. I barely fit in the incubator. Nowadays when this happens, it is certainly not ideal but doctors are far more skilled at identifying the problem quickly and getting the baby into the NICU. This was not the case the day I was born. My mother’s voice still shakes when she tells the story. Scariest moment of her life she always says.

I am not saying this to scare anyone. Keep in mind my mother was over 2 weeks late which most doctors would never allow anymore mostly because situations like this are more to happen when the baby goes a long way past their due date. But my feeling for my personal situation is that I have no clue how my body is going to react to labor or if I will even go into labor on my own. My parents took a long 8 week childbirth class with every intention of having a beautiful natural childbirth. But things obviously did not work out like they wanted. My mom told me from the beginning to be open minded about how my son comes into the world. I may not listen to all of her advice but that is one area where we certainly agree. In the end all that matters is a healthy baby. Yes, it is cliche but I think we can all agree that it is true.

So I guess I do have a birth plan but it is simple: healthy baby. And the sooner I can get skin to skin contact and breastfeed, the better. That is it. I firmly believe in being educated on your options for child birth. I have read all the books. Reg and I took a childbirth class. My feeling is that I would like to avoid a C-Section because it is major surgery. But I am 100% aware that I may have no say in that matter and that is okay too. I just want to meet my son.


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