It’s a great feeling when you sit down with your spouse and go over the details of your birth plan. You have spent time watching documentaries, reading blogs, and empowering yourself to create a birth plan tailored made just for you and your family’s special day. You talked over the details with your OB or your doula, and at every appointment, you go over the details, whether it’s a strong “NO” to drugs, or a hard “YES” to them, you want to make sure that the whole world knows your birth plan and what you will and won’t do…
That is until the day actually comes, and everything you WANTED for your special day is thrown onto the ground, spit on by every doctor and nurse (Not literally), and thrown into the fiery “birth plan” flame to die with all the other birth plans that have come through. This was my story. Everything that I didn’t want, I got, and vice versa. I cried, I was terrified, and beyond worried for myself and my girls. But I made it, they made it, and all of you will too.
Here are 5 tips if your birth plan doesn't go as planned.
1. Don’t Panic…the whole time.
When the doctor told me that I had to have an emergency c-section, I went into panic mode. I was hearing the words she was using, but
I wasn’t listening to her because I couldn’t get past the fact that I now had to be cut open and my children pulled from me. I couldn’t get past the fact that they were putting seizure pads on my bed because they were afraid I would have a seizure because of my high blood pressure. But when I took a moment to process what was going to happen, my experience was SO much better. I was able to laugh, sing a song with my husband, ask questions, and appreciate the moment when I heard my babies’ cry for the first time.
It’s okay to panic for a moment, but make sure you take some time to center yourself, accept what is about to change, and move forward.
2. Try to contact someone you know that has had the experience you’re about to have.
When I found out I was having a c-section, I immediately told my husband to call my sister-in-love. She had a c-section with her children, and I needed to know what was about to happen. I had looked into c-sections briefly before the big day, but I wouldn’t look long because I just KNEW I was going to deliver my twins naturally… SIKE!
I told her to talk me through the process of what I would experience before going into the delivery room, during, and after it was all over. I needed to know what I was getting into. After talking me through it, she prayed with me, which helped tremendously. I took a deep breath, a sigh of some relief, and felt a lot better about my emergency c-section.
If you have to look up a YouTube Video or a blog to help you, that’s good too. You are NOT the only one who has had to endure this experience.
3. Cry, sob, and let the frustration out.
As I was being hooked up to medications, given a catheter, and told of my emergency c-section, I thought I needed to stay strong. For some reason, I tried to hold back my tears of fear and frustration to be strong for everyone else in the room. Don’t Do That. Don’t Be Like Me.
Let it out. Cry about it. You don’t have to be strong for anyone else in that room, except you. You’ve been carrying those babies for a long time, thought out this perfect day, for it to only be ruined. You are allowed to, and deserve to cry. Cry because you’re pissed off at the world for ruining your day. If you’re like me, cry because you’re pissed off at the stupid placenta for running up your blood pressure. Cry because you’re afraid and don’t know what will happen. Just let it all out.
4. Don’t feel bad about the change of plans.
I tried to find all the reasons why this was my fault. I started making myself feel bad because I would be considered a bad mom to all those natural birthers out in the world who have their babies in ponds in nature and never scream or cry. I blamed my weight for my high blood pressure. I blamed myself for not getting enough rest. It almost worked too.
There are things that happen that we have no control over. Our bodies just act up sometimes. Things shift around and mess up in as little as 3 days. None of this is your fault. Don’t label yourself as a bad mom when you haven’t even had the babies yet!
5. Trust your OB/doula/midwife/anesthesiologist/nurse
They have dealt with hiccups before. They have dealt with best case and worst case scenarios. It’s always good to research the entire OB group of doctors just in case something happens and yours isn’t available, but another OB is. It’s good to research the hospital or birthing center in connection with your OB. Your OB could be amazing, but the hospital they word with has nurses who are rude and aren’t as gentle as you’d like.
Regardless of where you are, you have to trust that they ALL know what they’re doing. Even though your situation is new to you, it isn’t new to them.
You got this mom and dad! Yes, it absolutely sucks that everything you planned has gone down the brith plan drain, but remember that once this moment is over, you will have two (or more) beautiful babies in your arms! When I heard my twins cry, all of the fuss and frustration over a birth plan disappeared… and the new panic of having to raise children became a reality! Birth plan? Try sleep training twins!
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Allyson Robinson had no idea she had twins in her genes, until Kayla and Kamilah showed up and changed her life for the better. She and her husband, Quincy, are expat teachers in the UAE. She is the author of “Where Are My Panties? The Truth About the Morning After”, a book on sexual purity. You can follow her adventures on allysonarobinson.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.