In This Excerpt From The Book, SheKnows.Com Presents: The Mommy Files: Secrets Every New Mom Should Know (That No One Else Will Tell You!), Author Jen Klein Shares Why It Is Important You Are Open To Changing Your Birth Plan – Even While Giving Bir
Beyond the Plan
While birth plans are a great way to think consciously about how you want the birth to go, you will not be able to control everything. Planning for birth as best as you can is one thing; getting so attached
to the plan that you can’t see beyond it is quite another.
Contingency plans, alternate plans, being open to change—whatever you want to call it—also needs to be part of your birth plan.
It’s Okay to Change Your Plan Midbirth
You can change your plans in the middle of the birth, and it’s okay. Whether you come to the realization that you really do want some help from medication or don’t want that epidural after all or the extra support person that you thought you’d want there is pissing you off instead, feel free to announce your new feelings. Even when you’re grunting and pushing with all your might, you can bark at the nurse, “Don’t say, ‘Good girl!’ I’m not a dog!” You can! You are the one doing all the hard work in that room.
“One of my most compelling memories was my fear of using drugs. When my first son was being born I refused any drugs, and after seven hours my mother turned to me and said, ‘Honey, I’m not sure why you’re afraid to utilize the resources available to you that can make you feel better, but you can either choose to enjoy the end of this experience or not.’ I immediately got an epidural.” —Angie T.
If the Plan Doesn’t Go as Planned
Sometimes, in spite of your best effort—your research and thought and planning—a birth doesn’t go as planned. When you wanted a birth without medication but ended up with an emergency cesarean section or if you really wanted the epidural but didn’t get to the hospital in time or whatever situation was not what you envisioned, you may have some serious emotions to process along with regular birth hormone fluctuations. You can feel frustrated, traumatized even, and all the while grateful for the birth of your child. Processing these complex emotions can feel like grief; some around you may not understand why you are upset when you and your baby are “fine.” Even if you believe it on some level, sometimes it’s not so simple and easy to say, “We’re healthy, so it’s all okay.”
Take Time to Process What Happened
Becoming a mother is, obviously, life changing, and birth is a complex emotional and physical time. A birth that doesn’t go as planned can impact the first days of bonding with your baby, your longer-term recovery, and possibly a future pregnancy. You may need more time and emotional space than you expected to process all the emotions around your birth, whether it went exactly according to plan or totally haywire. You need to find some validation for your very real feelings. With luck, your partner and your care team can give that to you. Ask for it if you need to.
Thinking about Next Time
At the absolute minimum, a not-quite-as-planned birth can be a learning experience you can apply to future pregnancies and births. Maybe that’s all you need. But maybe you can take that experience and turn it into a jumping-off point for a new phase of your life; how can you make absolutely sure that doesn’t happen again and how can you help others? Where will that lead you? It can even lead to a new career (really!).
Every birth experience is truly different, and each is equally valid. We each must process it in our own way.
Whether you had the perfect or far-from-perfect birth experience, you do have a
beautiful baby and life with that baby to look forward to.
The Mommy Files will hit bookstore shelves nationwide in spring 2010. Don't miss out! Reserve yours by pre-ordering today or contact SheKnows for more information.
You might also like:
SheKnows.com Presents The Best Sex of Your Life >>