Isaac arrived on the 13th August and the last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of getting to know him and getting to grips with this whole parenting/baby care thing. The one thing that has become clear is that nothing will ever go according to plan again, and as someone highly reliant on plans it has been a bit of a shock.
From the outset plans fell by the wayside, even 12 hours into labor when at only 2cm dilated I decided to have an epidural, which was way down on my birth plan preferences, or when 22 hours into labor and after pushing for 2 hours I let the doctor use forceps to make sure Isaac could come into the world a little quicker, even though I’d been quite adamant that no forceps or ventouse should come anywhere near me. Throughout my pregnancy I’d been quite relaxed about labor, I planned an active birth in my hospitals birth center and was looking forward to using all of the birth balls and pools and using minimal pain relief, but had been worried that when the time came I wouldn’t be able to manage my expectations should an emergency situation arise or should my pain threshold be much lower than I thought (on this point I wasn’t wrong to worry!) and I’m happy to say that although my labor was far from the one I’d hoped for, including having to mentally accept the need for a c-section during a eventually unnecessary rush to theater, when they lost Isaacs trace for 6 minutes, I don’t beat myself up for taking the epidural and for not being able to push him all the way out myself, it’s what needed to happen in order for his safe arrival and at the end of the day, that was all that mattered.
Next time one of my friends is expecting, the one piece of advice I would give them is not to fret too much about their birth plan as baby might have other ideas, and for them to certainly not beat themselves up about not being able to deliver exactly as they would like, what advice would you give to expectant mums based on your birth experience?