Every pregnant woman spends time planning and prepping. We immediately start daydreaming of what our new life, as mommy, will look like. As our bodies begin to change, we think about our postpartum activities and how to fit back into our old jeans. We spend restless and uncomfortable nights cuddled up against a body pillow trying to find solace that one day, months (okay years) from now, we will sleep again. As we grow further into pregnancy, we begin imagining what our little bundles will look like and how they will act. We research doctors and hospitals. We read every birthing book ever published. We take breastfeeding classes. We read registry must-have lists. We pack suitcases. We make our own specific plan that no one can alter.
No one except our baby.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I made all the plans. I knew who was going to deliver my son. I knew where he would be delivered. I knew I wanted all the drugs. I knew how the whole day would go down. We enrolled in “Baby Bootcamp” class and anxiously awaited becoming parents.
Until I woke up one morning, 35 weeks pregnant and my water had broken in my sleep. My suitcases were in the closet. My shower gifts were in light-blue sacks on the nursery floor. My husband was asleep. My house was DIRTY. And Baby Bootcamp was a week away. I threw some white pants (bad choice) and makeup (not needed) in a bag and we ran out the door. Upon arrival at the hospital, we learned that my doctor was in the hospital for a broken ankle and would not be seeing us that day.
But what about MY birth plan?
At this point I had to accept: it was not my birth plan. It was my son’s.
All my mental prepping had been for nothing. My son showed us he would be in charge of his arrival.
And you know what?
Nothing has changed.
Four years later-I make the plans and he will change them.
When I got pregnant for the second time, I promised myself I would “get it right”. I would be packed and ready. The day would be smooth and without rush. Once again, my child showed me I am not in charge. My daughter was born three weeks early and even faster than the first time. A large part of the days following were spent with me trying desperately to grip my new reality with two children.
I wish someone told me to throw out the birth plan.
Hospital delivery is just one instance where our children show us they are strong enough to take the lead. My children are strong-willed little people. I am constantly humbled by their awareness of their own needs. When I try to do things MY way, they remind me of a varying path. They have their own desires in life, who am I to get in the way?
At times, I find myself frustrated when things don’t go how I’ve planned it out in my head. Then I just remind myself-this is nothing new.
Get used to it.