Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Birth plan is an oxymoron

One of the most often asked questions of my late pregnancy has been, "What is your birth plan?" Some people have said that because I'm organized I must have a really specific list of requirements.

Here's the plan: get that baby out as quickly and painlessly as possible (for me and her).

I say this in seriousness with just the slightest hint of humor because I have reached my Zen state regarding the lack of control that comes with trying to conceive, with pregnancy and now with childbirth.

In an ideal world I would get an epidural that works, avoid a C-section and avoid the use of forceps. [If you don't know me in real life (and even if you do) you probably don't know about my literally scarring experience in my own birth with the use of forceps. Basically, although my birth went rather quickly, I was in distress at the very end and the doctor used forceps to get me out. In the process, he squeezed my head too hard and I started exhibiting early warning signs of Bell's palsy. In an effort to save my face and my vision (something else doctors were worried about) my mom diligently massaged my temples for the first two years of my life, especially while breastfeeding me when I was an infant. Now my permanent wound only shows up when I'm laughing, yawning or imbibing some alcohol and therefore less attempting to control my wonky left eye.]

I learned at my childbirth class the rather scary statistic that epidurals only work on 85 percent of the population. What about those poor 15 remaining percent of women? I could be one of them, so I need to be OK with that.

No one wants a C-section....or rather, no one preparing for a vaginal delivery wants a C-section (seeing as lots of people apparently want elective C-sections).

And I don't think anyone wants the Medieval torture device forceps anywhere near their nether regions.

Yet all these things happen to some people, and I suppose some people experience all of them.

When I brought up these three simple wishes of mine with my doctor and asked if it was even worth putting in writing, she said it wouldn't really help because my three requests are standard protocol anyway. And I'm reasonable and understand that anything can change at any moment.

No matter how it happens, getting this baby out of my body will likely be the greatest accomplishment of my life thus far. I know some women are disappointed when they wind up getting a C-section, and while it's not my first choice, I know that growing another human life and bringing it into the world are pretty freakin' impressive feats however they come about.

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