Preparing for Labor Didn't Prepare Me for THIS Labor
All the preparing for labor I had done and the birth plans I had made were thrown out the window my 38th week when my OB informed me that I would be going in that night to have my baby due to medical concerns. This meant what I absolutely didn't want to happen—the dreaded enemy of natural labor: The labor inducing drug pitocin was going to be involved with my labor.
The midwife expected me to be in labor for about 20 hours, so they planned to take me off the pitocin at 6 AM and let me take a shower and eat breakfast. Then they would crank up my dose of pitocin and really let my body go to town on bringing this baby into the world. They also informed me that because of the condition that necessitated the induction in the first place, I was not able to go off the monitor—ever. Well, crap, there went all the preparing for labor I had done. Just about every method and technique I had for pain relief in my birth plan was irrelevant now.
At this point, I decided to tough it out and see how far I could go without pain meds. Well, like always, my body decided not to follow anyone's plan. I went into active labor only a couple of hours into the induction. After having a contraction that essentially was an hour and a half long (I never got any rest periods between contractions), I caved and asked for the epidural. I thought I had eight more hours of labor similar to what I was already going through and no way was I going to be able to survive that without any relief. I was so disappointed in myself; this wasn't the labor I had prepared for at all. I felt like a total failure and cried the whole time I was waiting to get the epidural. I had failed at every part of my birth plan.
However, 10 minutes after getting my epidural, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Yeah, I am still bitter that no one checked me out before I made the decision to have an epidural, but that is another story.
I think my birth "plan" and all the preparing for labor I did actually hindered my labor and delivery. I spent part of my time beating myself up for not living up to my expectations when I should have been ecstatic about my daughter.
So here is my suggestion to first-timers: Throw your birth plans out the window. Realize that in labor and delivery, sometimes you don't get to choose your options. Just be happy you are bringing a new life into the world.