My birth plan consisted of one sentence: I want every single intervention that I need and zero interventions that I do not need.
"Need" was to be determined by me on the advice of my midwives. And to me, intervention meant every time someone had to touch me, whether it be administering drugs, the insertion of an IV, vacuum or forceps assistance, an episiotomy, or the ultimate in interventions- a cesarean section.
So did I accomplish that? Yes. Did I have the birth I thought I wanted? Not exactly.
I prepared myself for a completely medication-free labor and delivery, and I'm ridiculously proud of myself for achieving that (sorry for the self back-patting), given that it was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I also prepared myself for an intervention-free delivery, and read up on all the reasons why interventions, when done unnecessarily, are terrible for both mom and baby. Unfortunately, during my delivery, I needed interventions. I needed interventions to make sure that my son entered the world quickly and safely. I needed smaller interventions to avoid major interventions. I came very close to needing a cesarean section, but smaller interventions (and an amazing obstetrician) allowed me to deliver my son vaginally.
My attitude has changed a bit now, and I'll admit that I had some stubborn opinions about things being pushed on laboring women, and on doctors who didn't have those women's best interests in mind. I was blessed that the obstetrician who was backing up my midwife team was a woman who cared about what I wanted and how important it was to me to have as close to a natural birth as I could. She truly cared about the health of my son and me.
I feel only a little bit sad that things didn't go exactly as I had planned. I'm a planner, I'm a control freak, and I don't like to feel like things are happening to me without my approval. But if I had to do it over, I wouldn't do a single thing differently. I'd still choose a team of midwives as my primary providers. I'd still choose to give birth with those midwives in the hospital setting, rather than in the free-standing birth center, which was a decision that I went back and forth on many times. And I'd still feel proud of the choices I made, the pain I endured, and the help that I accepted.
Sorry for the heavy post. I'm in the process of writing out the story of Finn's birth, and I'm trying to figure out just how I feel about how it all went down. It was a pretty overwhelming and empowering day. And it came with one hell of a prize.
Mommas- how well did the picture you had in your head of your birth match up with your experience? How did you feel about it? Moms to be- how much will you try to plan out your birth?