Planning Not to Plan for Labour
The big one; labour! It’s that terrifying ordeal looming at the end of pregnancy, the one giant hurdle you have to leap (or rather push) through in order to meet your most longed for and precious possession. I, like most other women couldn’t stop thinking about labour when I was pregnant and would repeatedly wonder; what does it really feel like? How painful is it really? I also have a phobia of hospitals derived from a bad experience having my appendix out a few years ago so I was hugely anxious. I don’t believe we should shroud labour in secrecy but the truth is; there is no universal truth about labour as every woman experiences it differently. Ultimately whatever happens, you get through it and do whatever you can to get your baby out safely.
I found the general message out there was to have a birth plan. No-one asked me to make a plan and I found the whole thing a bit arbitrary because there were too many variables and so I just didn’t bother. I’d heard too many stories about women who fixated on a birth plan and were then disappointed if they couldn’t have their perfect birth. Nope, not everyone can have a birthing pool I’m afraid, there just aren’t enough. My plan was therefore not to plan. Obviously I researched the options, I wasn’t going in without knowledge but knowledge is different to a plan. And I honestly think this was the best thing I could have done.
I did everything I could do to prepare myself; yep I did a hypnobirthing day course – why the hell not (oh apart from how RIDICULOUSLY overpriced it is) which I found useful despite how much the teacher yapped on about herself. Did I have a hypnobirthing birth? No. I did however find it helpful in the early stages of labour.
I may expand another time but in absolute brief; I was in early labour for 48 hours, I was induced after spending a night in hospital (we went in worried about Nella’s movement, the cord was wrapped around her neck so her heartrate dropped every time I had a contraction), I had an epidural that didn’t work, a spinal block that did (life changing at the time!), an episiotomy and a ventouse delivery. Yes it felt hellish at the time but I would do it again to have Nella delivered healthily and safely. I don’t feel guilty about having pain relief; what on earth is the point since no-one gives you a medal either way.
Truthfully you just don’t know how it’s going to go (unless you have a C-section planned) so my only advice to any pregnant women is; know your options and be prepared for all eventualities. And the biggest thing, if you’re worried about anything, particularly your baby’s movement – go and get your baby checked.