Can you plan for your birth?
Beth got a recommendation from a friend for an OB-GYN. This doctor was a part of her HMO network and she felt great about finding a really nice and attentive doctor so easily. Beth was following all his advice from limiting her caffeine intake to the frequency of appointments to what hospital to use for her delivery. The process felt great and easy to Beth. She appreciated the time her doctor took to answer her questions directly and thoroughly.
As she moved into her third trimester, Beth found herself feeling worried about the birth process. She talked to other mothers about what to expect and spent some time on online discussion boards to see what other expectant moms were doing to prepare. She found a birth plan outline online and felt like this was a tool she needed so she’d be clear about her preferences and how to prepare.
At her next appointment, Beth brought out her birth plan to address some questions she had. To her surprise, her doctor laughed it off and said that no one got to plan their birth process, it just happened however it happened. This reaction disappointed Beth. She walked away from the appointment feeling dismayed, more scared about the unknown-filled birth process, and wondering whether she was working with the wrong doctor. All of a sudden nothing felt good and she questioned the path she was on. In her words, she was “freaking out!”
Eventually, she reminded herself of everything that had been good with her doctor up until this point and realized she wasn’t prepared to give up on the relationship yet.
At her next appointment, she pulled out her draft birth plan again and explained more thoroughly why it was important for her to review the questions with him, even though birth is an unpredictable process. In the end, he agreed that creating the birth plan would help both of them fully understand each others’ approaches and preferences. Beth walked out of that appointment proud of herself for pushing back and making her wishes known. Her anxieties about the birth process were by no means gone, however, she felt great about the care provider who would be there supporting her throughout the process.
I acknowledge Beth for understanding and not ignoring or repressing or talking herself out of what she wanted to do to best prepare herself for birth.
What do you think? Can you prepare for birth? What, if anything, are you doing (or did you do) to prepare for birth?