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By Brittany Rowan

Why not to have a birth plan!

Growing a baby is hard work. There are all types of things you have to remember to eat and not eat and then your body changes… But you know that at the end of it all there will be a sweet human being filled with your and your partner's DNA.

It truly is an indescribable feeling, but you have to get there first. You have to have the baby to be able to hold him, love him, touch him, smell him, see him smile and so on. This is where I tell you: Do not even think about creating a birth plan-at least not one that is long or deep.

Some women turn in birth-plan documents and expect each nursing shift to be able to accommodate things like playing music, allowing makeup to be applied right before pushing and creating an environment that is as stress-free as possible. While these are all nice in our heads, it is unrealistic to think your birth plan is going to be seen through to the very last period on the page.

Sure, if you'd like a water birth, that is a much different situation. If you would like to not allow anyone in the room that isn't family, that's ok, too. These are not the types of things I am thinking of. I just want you to know to be prepared for unexpected things to happen. Life happens the way it is going to happen whether we have that birth plan or not.

And it is usually far from rainbows and unicorns.

My experience during labor:

  • I was induced at 39 weeks 3 days
  • I spent 37 hours in labor
  • My doctors were not available for my delivery
  • My water was broken for 15 hours…thus I got an infection and had fever
  • My pelvis would not open and the baby would not come on his own
  • My baby had to be delivered by forceps…almost a C-section (doctor literally asked me as I was pushing what I wanted to do)
  • Baby had skull fracture due to forceps delivery and had to be sent to a hospital two hours away to make sure there was no bleeding (there wasn't, thank goodness)
  • I was discharged 11 hours after giving birth to be with my little man and had no time to heal
  • Last but not least, I did not shower or brush my teeth for almost three full days!

While all of that was awful, I did not have a birth plan and I am so glad I did not get my hopes up. While I would have loved to have had a beautiful labor, it just wasn't what happened. My pregnancy was perfect and my baby is the happiest, smiley baby ever that has slept through the night since 10 weeks old. (Now 6 months old=one happy mama.)

Many people have to spend weeks and months in the NICU and see their babies struggle. Mine was a strong boy all the way through. It kills me to think that my baby's first car ride was in an ambulance without me and that I wasn't the first one to touch his skin after the doctor… but he is healthy and happy and alive.

If you choose to have a birth plan, keep in mind that things do happen and it is not anyone's fault. Doctors and nurses make the decisions they do to keep you and your baby safe and healthy and at the end of that day that is the ultimate goal-to get that baby here with as few problems as possible.

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