Birthing Plans and Other Best-Laid Mice and Men

My second child came into the world the wrong way.

He wasn’t unplanned. He didn’t attempt to escape bum-first. He did ruin all my lovely plans to have a natural birth at a healthy point in the pregnancy with the aid of a midwife.

After being checked into the hospital for monitoring around week 30, I told the nurse I couldn’t possibly be facing a necessary C-Section. “I had a birthing plan!” I protested.

The (bad-news) nurse laughed and said, “It’s always the ones with birthing plans that end up in emergency surgery.”

Rude!

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But, what if she was right? What if Fate, Karma, or a teasing God wants to remind pregnant women just who’s in control of the miracle of life? Does that mean we ought not to try?

Of course not.

What I will suggest, to any woman expecting, is to be flexible. I went through the worst weeks ever with that second pregnancy, because every week presented a new set of bad news. First, I passed a blood clot and thought I’d killed my unborn baby. Next, I learned I had a placenta previa and would have to have a C-Section; I said, “Goodbye” to my midwife and our natural birthing class. Then, I had bleed after bleed after ambulance ride after bleed after hospital check-in after bleed after emergency delivery by a vertical C-Section.

No natural birth. And, no future vaginal births.

At the time, I was quite upset. But, as I tell one of my children frequently, it doesn’t do any good to fall down a hole and sit at the bottom of it yelling. It certainly doesn’t do any good to muddy yourself up even more in order to look more pitiful.

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I’m disappointed that I couldn’t have my birthing plan. But, I’ve since given birth to three more children. And, I got to schedule every one of them. Surgery’s not ideal, but it sure is convenient for a birthing plan to arrange for babysitting.

So there, bad-news nurse.

©2020 Chel Owens