Pregnancy and birth

Ease the pressure – Congratulations on the birth…

I’ve been having a lot of conversations recently with mothers who have had their children a few years ago and we’ve been exchanging birthing stories like war heroes…

Who had a normal delivery with no drugs, who had all the drugs on offer, who had interventions and who had the dreaded c-section! Everyone has their story to tell and thankfully most of us had a happy ending. A lot of the conversation also involves regrets from mothers who weren’t able to follow a birth plan or they felt that their choice was taken away from them.

Fortunately, for me, I never had an elaborate birth plan, actually I don’t think I had a plan at all. All I knew, (especially with my first) was that if I felt pain then I went to the hospital – and that I did numerous times and near the end of my first pregnancy I was there a hell of a lot.  Luckily, I was looked at sympathetically by the midwives when they clarified it was my first pregnancy….obviously I didn’t know any better. However by the third pregnancy, that look became annoyance, as I was expected to know better….and not just turn up with any old pain…but every pregnancy is different and I strongly believe a mother knows her body and when something doesn’t feel quite right and expert medically advice needs to be sort. And I say who cares about the looks…

 

I was also never that “mum to be” who would think too far ahead in terms of what would happen during the birth. I was prepared in terms of packed bags for me and baby by the front door (from 7 months pregnant) and my maternity notes with me at all times, but I didn’t think, worry or ponder on anything beyond that- why would I? Baby had to come out somehow, so don’t stress it!….who knows if this was a good or bad approach…and I may have had some anxiety, but my method of dealing with it was not to focus on it.

 

Well, my personal journey were generally 3 good pregnancies, with a few hiccups along the way (I was diagnosed with a small heart condition during pregnancy No. 1, which was completely treatable after pregnancy), ending in 3 emergency c-sections (less traumatic than it sounds). Was I disappointed, upset, down on myself because I had medical intervention? No I knew in my heart of hearts…it was the right choice for me and baby. The thing I’ve learnt to accept as a parent, which I believe started when I became pregnant the first time, is that I cannot control everything in my life (especially my body – no matter how much I may want to) and during pregnancy and birth, Mother Nature takes over. Your body hopefully goes into a pre-programmed auto pilot mode (unfortunately mine did not) and the best thing you can do is go with the flow. I am not saying be like me and have no plan, have a plan, but be flexible with it, because guaranteed things will more than likely, not go according to your plan. And when it doesn’t please don’t beat yourself up about it…you have worked hard enough growing a baby and giving birth (whatever the method). You have done an amazing job! That only half the population can do! Be proud of You!

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