Tulip’s Birth Plan
One thing I really liked about having a birth plan when we were getting ready to birth Henry was that I felt very empowered and in control. For me, I didn’t care if the plan went out the window (which it did after 20 hours in!) but having the plan done before hand let me think through my choices and wishes before labour started. It also made choices decided during labour that bit easier and less stressful in the moment. Even though I know a birth plan rarely goes to plan, I can speak from experience when I say having a basic plan helps majorly (personally). A plan doesn’t need to be detailed, but for us it’s virtually a wish list of things I want to experience or do this time around and some back up contingency plans if things are to go belly up again.
Firstly, I want to disclaim my emergency caesar with Henry wasn’t traumatic for me. Don’t get me wrong – it was urgent, it was a high intensity moment between finding out he wasn’t okay or coping to having him birthed, and I had to rely on a lot of inner strength to make it through, but I wasn’t disappointed in my birth or traumatized by it. I had excellent care, my emergency surgery went swimmingly, and I had choice right up until it was literally life or death. I was one of the lucky ones. My birth was still beautiful, special and meaningful because it gave us our boy.
When I think about what birth may look like for our Tulip, I am hoping to have a vaginal birth (known as a VBAC). This is Plan A, and I would also love to birth in water (I laboured many hours in water with Henry and it was awesome!). This will depend on risk factors closer to my due date but that is the basic plan at the moment which I am discussing with my midwife. I am also lucky to have the same midwife again who cared for me during my pregnancy and birth of Henry and extra lucky her passion mainly lies with second time mothers and VBACs. I have a list of strategies to help this outcome which has also been provided to me from my midwife. Some of these include antenatal expressing, raspberry leaf capsules, and acupuncture. Nothing is a guarantee of course but I’m willing to give things a go.
I don’t feel I’ll be upset if I end up having another caesarean. A caesarean will be Plan B and that’s okay, I am totally at peace with that if that is Tulip’s path to making their journey earth side. I feel so lucky that I live in a time where birth can happen in a variety of ways, and I view that as a privilege. Being pregnant after a miscarriage also highlights for me the importance and milestone of bringing Tulip home safely and birthing a baby who is happy and healthy. For me, that will always be my number 1 priority. Of course I’ll feel super accomplished if we have a successful VBAC, but I felt pretty damn accomplished after my epic labour and delivery of Henry too, and I think birth is birth and it all holds unique beauty.
I don’t expect everyone to agree. I know that birth type holds a lot of importance and meaning for many women, and I don’t mean to sound flippant or dismissive of birth disappointment (interview for this exact topic coming soon!) but it’s not something I have experienced. I have however witnessed the utter sadness of not bringing a baby home, and I have felt personally the deep sting of loss. No matter how Tulip gets here, I just pray they arrive safely (and hopefully quicker than Henry!).