My birth experience was nothing like what I expected, but it was what needed to happen.
I had several hopes when it came to giving birth. I say hopes because I knew from the beginning that making plans was setting myself up for disappointment. My hopes included:
- Starting labor on my own. I did not want to be induced. I wanted to avoid things that would lead to needing more interventions. In the hope of avoiding being put on pitocin before my body was ready, I did agree to a membrane sweep at 39 weeks.
- I wanted to labor at home. I knew that once my water broke that I would need to go to the hospital, but I hoped that I would be able to labor in the comfort of my own home. Despite being told to go to the hospital when contractions were 5 minutes apart, I intended to stay at home as long as possible. Especially considering the hospital is less than 5 minutes away.
- Trying for a natural birth. Every one has their own ideals when it comes to pain medication during labor. My goal was to labor naturally, and to deal with the pain by moving, using heat (showers/heating pads) and breathing.
- Go with the flow. All of the above goals were based on my need to control things. Birth is stressful enough, so I wanted to try and cut out any additional stressors. I wanted to avoid the hospital for as long as possible, and to feel like I was in control of things. Unfortunately – Ginny had other plans. Being able to pause and remember that every one in that hospital room had the same goal made it easier for me to let go of my own fears, and accept changes as they came made it easier to relax.