My Dog Ate My Birth Plan

Whatever happens, please, try to do whatever you can to avoid a c-section.” Those were my wishes to my doctor. I had envisioned my first birthing journey in my mind and I was sure it was the right one for my husband and me. I did non-stop research on different delivery tips and signed us up for birthing classes to learn what to expect at our hospital and how to fulfill my plan.

After one class, my husband and I (well, mainly I) wrote out my desired birth plan. I wanted to proceed naturally. I wanted to hold the baby as soon as he was born. I wanted an epidural…a strong epidural. I wanted an exercise ball to bounce on and I wanted to be able to walk around when the baby wasn’t being monitored. I knew how long and how frequent the contractions needed to be before heading to the hospital. I knew I wanted to labor at home for as long as I could.

One day not long after I put my plan on paper, my sweet dog, who must have sensed that his world was about to be rocked, tore the plan up into shreds. Not the first time he’s done this but this time was perhaps the most prophetic.

Despite not having it on paper anymore, I thought about that birth plan for months and got to the point where I was actually looking forward to the experience of labor, my water breaking, calling my husband and saying “This is it, daddy! We’re going to have a baby!” I was excited about the thought of my husband holding my hand and saying “push…you’re doing great” and my doctor saying, “I see the head!” You know, like every birthing scene in the movies. So needless to say, four days past my due date, I was a little deflated. Mostly by the increasingly unbearable weight of this gigantic baby pressing on my insides, but also that it didn’t look like I was going to have the natural progression I had envisioned. Eventually, I was jumping at the chance to induce and get the party started. It was still exciting. Waddling through the maternity hallway during the times where baby didn’t need to be monitored. Making the decision to get the epidural when my contractions started picking up, thanks to the pitocin. Eating popsicles. Visiting with our soon-to-be-grandmas who were on cloud nine. The only not-so-fun part were the constant checks from the nurses to see if I was progressing. No. Not yet. It’s still early. I miiiiiggght feel it getting wider but I really can’t tell.

And then finally, 24 hours after induction, my doc had to deliver the news. The news that the baby was doing great, but there was no progression and they needed to take him out. “I’m so sorry.” She said genuinely.  I’ll admit, there was a microsecond of disappointment but also an almost instantaneous submission. My plan didn’t matter anymore. This baby boy needed to come out and meet his family.

Maybe my dog was trying to tell me something that day. Maybe he was telling me that my plan was so silly because it didn’t really matter what I wanted. This baby was coming out on his terms and there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about that, except trust him, my body and my doctors. I’m still learning that lesson now that my baby is here. I can plan, plan, plan but there’s no telling what will actually happen on this crazy ride! And I love that 🙂


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One Response to My Dog Ate My Birth Plan

  1. Amber manney February 2, 2017 at 8:42 pm #

    As a mother who has had four children and four different types of deliveries, not being able to follow a plan is normal. While sometimes disappointing, at the end of the day the most important thing is the delivery of a wonderful child. Well said Elizabeth.