Birth Plan / Intention

Written by admin on January 20, 2011. Posted in Delivery

To Safely Deliver your Baby Letting Go of All Expectations
One website describes a “Birth Plan” as “…a way of communicating with the midwives and doctors who care for you in labour. It tells them about the kind of labour you would like to have, what you want to happen and what you definitely want to avoid. It’s not written in tablets of stone because the best birth plans acknowledge that things may not go according to plan. Sometimes people prefer to call the birth plan a set of ‘birth wishes’ or ‘intentions’.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this approach. Make a very loose idea of a ‘birth plan’ as it’s an oxymoron. Everything can rapidly change before and during the birth despite the best of ‘plans’. I prepared a birth plan but was told at my last scan around 35 weeks that one of our twins was breech and they strongly advised I have a cesarean wrapped up neatly with a warning scenario of only taking one baby home if I attempted a natural birth. I was in tears in the doctor’s office because I so wanted a natural birth.

Letting go of all plans is best as an alternative ending can leave you feeling like you’ve failed or been robbed which brings with it a world of emotional upheaval at a time when your hormones are fluctuating wildly. Make your ‘intention’ to “Safely Deliver your Baby Letting Go of All Expectations”. Focus on steeling your mind and your body ready for anything. Keep physically strong with yoga and low impact exercise and mentally strong with practiced meditation or prayer (whatever your thing is). The more time and energy you invest in strengthening yourself the better the big day will be.

Unless you have a severe medical condition that necessitates a pre-booked cesarean, focus on what is within your control and decide on everything else as it happens. They have drugs on hand if you change your mind, you don’t have to put them on backorder! The emergency cesarean staff are on call if things get difficult. So take care of what you can control: your body and your mind, and let the rest fall into place as it happens. We’re women, we’re built for this task. The medical profession have instilled a silent but deadly mistrust in ourselves to be able to confidently see this natural task through from start to finish under our own steam. Why? Because there’s no money in a woman laying in their birthing ward for 12 hours or more not consuming anything from the drug industry or validating the anesthetist’s salary. Nor is it very convenient playing the waiting game for her to complete the task herself. But with a cesarean – wow! “I’ll be finished up here in about 20 minutes and home in time for dinner honey”. It’s a very convenient route for doctors make no mistake.

If I hadn’t had twins and it wasn’t suggested to me that there was a chance if things went wrong only taking one home I would have rejected a cesarean until during birth I was told it was necessary for the babies’ and my safety. I don’t judge women who doubt they are capable of birthing naturally because the industry is so good at manipulating the belief she needs them to do the job safely. Unless you have a medical condition that necessitates a cesarean, research all the help out there for a natural labour before jumping on the “Too Posh to Push” limo.  I’m not implying ‘drug free’ labour here. (It’s not criminal to ask for pain relief. You don’t go to the dentist for a root canal and go a la naturale!) I’m talking about researching various birth assistance like Doula’s, acupuncture, massage, water birth, spinal taps, epidurals, meditation, visualisation etc before you consider going under the knife as the only option because it’s too scary to go it alone (Fear, neatly delivered in a box with a bow by the medical industry).

Between you, me and the ether I’m skeptical my scheduled cesarean was at all necessary. Their advice at that last ultrasound was that Twin 1 was breech and Twin 2 was head down in the birth canal. Problem was that meant they were now saying that Twin 1/2 were the opposite to what they had been my whole pregnancy. So I countered saying no Twin 2 is breech and Twin 1 is head down ready to go. They’re doing the right thing. They’re ready! Twin 2 is up under my ribs out of the way. But the doctor said, perhaps, but are you willing to take that chance they don’t both try to birth at the same time? And I was presented with a previous scenario of twins chins interlocking and dying before getting into surgery. Which is what the compulsion came down to in the end. Fear. So they booked me in for a c-section at 38 weeks 5 days expecting they would probably come earlier, but they didn’t. They were very comfortable in there, in what I believe was the perfect position for birth. But because I hadn’t availed myself to a mother’s group or spoken to a Doula I had no one else to listen to but the doctor…and my own fear.

My Grandmother birthed my father and his twin brother safely back in the day, which back then was probably safer than major abdominal surgery! But I’ve only recently found that many mothers of multiples give birth naturally and even birth breech babies safely but I was lead to imagine practically all multiple births now went the road of cesarean because of the perceived and sometimes inherent dangers of birthing more than one baby. I wish I had questioned the need for a ‘scheduled’ cesarean more heavily and requested an attempted natural birth with cesarean if it were clear it was necessary. I could have then at least given my girls and myself, the chance to experience the natural journey, the intended conclusion of pregnancy.

I really enjoyed this video on YouTube sharing some pregnant mothers’ day of joy birthing their multiples naturally. Even if you have a single pregnancy (which I hope to get next time!) you can appreciate the enormity of trusting your body and your medical support to birth naturally at home or in the hospital. It opened my eyes to follow my instincts more closely even when it comes to a daunting scenario I’ve never before encountered. Like any new mum 1,2,3,4 or more, it’s a big brave new world and there’s SO much to learn.

Unfortunately for me, the painless ‘easy’ cesarean birth so many mothers opt for was nothing of the kind for me. My story “Cesarean: The “PainlessPain“  details my dreadful ‘birth’ experience on the operating table. If I felt that birthing via c-section was somehow less of a ‘right of passage’ to motherhood, I certainly didn’t afterwards. I endured some pain!

But it is what it is and I accept the end of my pregnancy journey as it stands because at the end of the day To Safely Deliver your Baby Letting Go of All Expectations is the beginning of the next beautiful journey. Motherhood. 

JK

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