Let me just get this out there; this is not a midwife or health visitor bashing blog post, they do a fantastic job but it is a post about some of the things I don’t think they truly prepare you for when pregnant.
When I was pregnant with my first I loved writing my birth plan. At my NCT classes the midwives had raved about water births and the fantastic new suites they had just put in our local hospital. They raved about hypno births, tens machines, gas and air, bouncing on birth balls and breathing though all the pain. To be honest after all my classes I thought, what is the big deal?! I’ll just pop this baby out with no pain relief, in the water with a big fat smile on my face, cut the cord and do some beautiful skin to skin after a massive breast feed which obviously will all come very naturally to me as after all that’s what my body is built for.
How wrong was I! Yes I did have a spell in the birthing pool but that was short-lived, I screamed for pain relief and took everything I could get my hands on, there was no popping that baby out, it was an emergency c for me. Skin to skin?! Ha, I didn’t even meet Louie until hours after he was born and that I can’t even remember.
I’m not trying to scare you if you are pregnant or thinking of trying. Far from, I went on to have my second in much more a straight forward manner so it can happen all nicey nicey. What I am trying to tell you in a very round about way is that yes go to the NCT classes, yes write your birth plan but be completely open to change. Circumstances change, each birth is different, each person is different, things happen that you won’t have put in your birth plan but that’s ok. Don’t do what I did and feel like a complete failure for not doing the whole natural route. For not having my baby the way I planned, for having pain relief, for not doing skin to skin, for being a complete and utter useless mother at not being a ‘natural’ at breast-feeding.
I say this all because I have a happy and healthy 21 month old, he came into this world aided by drugs and several doctors, with little to no breast milk or skin to skin, he was separated from me for the first few hours of his life but has he suffered from this? No! Have I? Well yes! Why? Because no one prepared me for things to not go to plan, no one prepared me for not being able to breast feed. It made me feel a hideous mother for quite some time! Which is actually bloody ridiculous because I know I’m a good mother and I know my boy is perfect.
So ladies, go into labour strong, go in realising that its ok to change your mind about your birthing route at any point. Listen to your body and if you want drugs, ask for them. If you don’t want to be in the birthing pool anymore get out!! If you want to be monitored, ask! And lastly if things don’t go to plan, that’s ok! It will not make you any less of a mother!