During the first part of my pregnancy, I was really nervous about losing the baby and focused on taking everything day by day. I felt like we got ahead of ourselves in several ways with the first pregnancy and I didn't want to do that again. It was not until I was about 25 or 26 weeks, really close to viability that it dawned on me that I should probably think about what I needed to know to be prepared to birth this baby.
From there I started reading. I also thought a lot about what was important to me and what scared me. I can say that going into this journey, my biggest fear is to have a C-section and honestly that fear still holds today. As I started reading, I realized that there are a lot of things, most of which I was unaware of, that can increase the likelihood you will have a C-section. Some only increase your chances slightly, while others have a rather dramatic impact.
After processing all the information I decided that the natural childbirth route was going to be the best option for me. From there, we started looking at various methods. I looked into both Hypnobirthing and The Bradley Method and while I am not fulling doing either, I plan on incorporating key learnings from both. We also took the natural childbirth class at our hospital and learned some good coping techniques there as well. Additionally, we have hired a Doula to help us through the process. Neither one of us has been through this before, so we felt that having someone with recent experience would be key.
Additionally, I sat down and wrote out a birth plan that outlines our preferences. Since we have little control over the birth, I know they may not all be met, but I felt it was important to document them while I was thinking clearly, or at least as clearly as a pregnant woman can think.
Even with a plan at the end of the day, it is about keeping both baby and myself safe and healthy. I like to think that the plan is written in pencil to allow for rewrites and changes as needed.
Did you have a birth plan? Was it helpful while in labor? How close was your birth experience to what you planned?