Parenthood: Birth plan, smirth plan

Has anyone made a birth plan? The birth plan I had for my first child was quite cute, I was convinced that I would have a natural birth, without an epidural and that my partner would be stoically mopping my brow and I’d been eating popsicles whilst listening to Bach… what an idiot. It did not turn out the way I thought at all. Being an uptight control freak did not help the situation, I have since learned that flexibility is key, as with most things in life, being able to adapt to changing circumstances.

The research I had done was limited to be fair. I had read Expecting Better by Emily Oster, What to Expect when You’re Expecting and chatted to friends, who I now realize were trying to tell me to be flexible about how the event would go, but I was too silly to listen. I didn’t think to read up on what was involved in Caesarian sections or stopped to think about how we would handle surgery if it came to that. I had candles, a birth ball, ice packs and heating packs and worried things like about ice pops vs. ice chips.

After a most wonderful evening of drinks with friends on a Saturday night, we went home and decided that we’d have a lazy Sunday morning of reading newspapers and making waffles. I had a new eyeshadow palette from Sephora(!) that I really wanted to try out and had set it out on the table in anticipation.

At about 4am my waters broke. In my panic, I stupidly ate a banana thinking that I wouldn’t be able to eat for a while. We grabbed our hospital things and headed off. No contractions, no pain, nothing. I was kind of terrified and excited at the same time.

At the hospital after what felt like hours of waiting around, a doctor examined me and sympathetically shook his head, waving his mini Dr. Beverly Krusher-ultrasound machine at me and my husband, he said “I’m so sorry, your baby is breech, you’ll be having a Caesarian.”

So cliché, but I really couldn’t hear, my ears started ringing and I think both of us went into shock. This can’t be happening, we don’t want this, this can’t be happening, we were supposed to have a normal birth, we have candles, we have a fucking birth ball and popsicles ok?

After some flailing around, crying and denial, my wonderful OB/GYN found us and talked to us calmly but firmly and promised that I could maybe try for a VBAC next time, if there was a next time. Because I had eaten the banana, I had to wait SIX hours for the surgery. It was a long, boring wait, especially uncomfortable with amniotic fluid leaking out.

The rest of the experience was pretty standard as far as I can tell. I was eventually whisked away to theatre, full of people – as the Lamaze class teacher had promised when she went through what happens during a Caesarian. Everyone was professional and kind, and someone talked my husband and I through each move the surgeon was making which was great.

This time around, I have to decide whether to try VBAC or just skip straight to Go and have a Caesarian section, as if there is much control!