LIFE

Birth Plans Are Pointless

We are not in control

I remember driving to the drugstore to get the pregnancy test. I remember seeing the two lines and opening the instructions to double-check what the two lines meant — two lines mean positive. I remember pacing up and down waiting for my husband to get home to tell him the news and being annoyed at myself for not waiting until he got home to do the test in the first place so we could find out together. I remember my due date coming. I remember my due date passing. I remember being in the hospital connected to the CTG machine. I remember the doctors and the midwife looking worried. I remember the doctors explaining what an emergency C-section means. I remember crying while being wheeled into the operating room. I remember the doctor saying he was going to put me to sleep. I remember feeling shocked and panicked. I remember the last thing I saw was the doctor’s face upside down. I remember waking up and being wheeled through a room. I remember seeing my husband holding what looked like a bundled-up towel with the tiniest feet poking through to his bare chest. I remember asking him if it was a boy or a girl as they were wheeling me away. I don’t remember what he replied.

“What’s your birth plan?” I got so annoyed when people asked me that question. “My plan is to give birth, what more of a plan than that do I need?” then came the list of considerations; natural birth in a hospital? which hospital? home birth? water birth? epidural? with a doula? etc.

At some point, I decided to make a plan so that I didn’t seem clueless and unprepared when people asked. I wanted a drug-free, natural birth in a small hospital with a midwife. I did a two-month pregnancy yoga course, a birth preparation course and followed some pages online to master the art and wonder of giving birth. My husband and I practiced my breathing exercises, hand squeezes, and yoga poses. I took care to massage my perineum every evening to get the vag as elastic as possible. I was doing everything right. I had to do everything right, this little human was depending on me.

We toured two hospitals. Each time we had to meet with the anesthesiologist to sign paperwork consenting to have anesthesia — both an epidural and general. The doctor said,

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Danielle Watson
Human Parts

Host and producer @dfng.podcast - conversations with foreigners about life in Germany | Jamaican living in Germany nurturing my sense of self.