This post is inspired by a Facebook status I read in a parenting group where a lady is extremely upset that a relative of hers has ‘no birth plan’ and is ‘not involved in the birth of her child’. Basically, she is appalled that her relative is taking a ‘we’d see how it goes’ stance.
When I read it, I was a little puzzled. I did not have a birth plan as well. Does that make me a terrible person/mother?
To prepare for Elliott’s arrival, I attended pre-natal classes at the hospital with the husband where we practised our diaper-wearing skills on a plastic baby. I also faithfully attended pre-natal yoga classes where I learnt how to ‘be at one’ with the ‘life growing inside of you’ (all said in breathless, zen-like tones). I also read up fervently on what to expect when one is pregnant, about breastfeeding and the birth process. I stopped short of watching youtube videos on birthing though. The closest I got to discussing a birth plan with my obgyn was when she asked us about epidural and then shared with us about its pros and cons.
That’s about it, really. Well, my big birth plan was to head to the hospital and deliver a live baby naturally. You can read all about how that turned out here. In fact, I have always said that I am Murphy’s BFF. If something can go wrong, it WILL go wrong. To me, it was more important that our hard fought baby would arrive healthy and well. Of course, I wasn’t counting on an emergency C-section but honestly, if that is what it takes for my baby to enter this world safely, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Perhaps this attitude to not plan is something I picked up during our trying-to-conceive journey. I learnt that often, the best laid plans do not turn out the way you want them to be. I have lost count on the number of times where things were planned to a T and still, we failed. Miserably. When we finally got pregnant, I did not dare to plan ahead and simply took each day as a blessing. Suffice to say, the first three months were filled with anxiety and fear.
So yes, I did not have a birth plan and I believe our nothing-went-as-planned parenthood journey had something to do with it. You know, I do admire soon-to-be mothers who have a birth plan. The ones who know exactly what they want when birthing their child, right down to the type of music played and gown worn. I just wished that I had the guts to develop a birth plan because I feared that if I planned too much and for whatever reason things go horribly wrong during the birthing process, I would always be wondering if my so-called plan was to blame.
Having said all that, let’s get back to the Facebook status.
I personally do not think that it is such a terrible thing to have a ‘let’s see how it goes’ stance. Perhaps like me, the relative has her own reasons and hence do not want to plan too much. I don’t see why or how anyone else has the right to judge – especially if you do not have the story in its entirety – and get all huffed up over someone else’s lack of a birth plan.
Like I’ve always believed: Parenting is hard enough. Let’s not make it harder for other parents.