Newborn Baby being swaddled by their mother

My Birth Didn’t Go as Planned and I Wouldn’t Change it for Anything

My sister called me the other day, she is expecting her first child and wanted to ask how she should prepare for the actual birth. As her older sister, who has al-ready given birth to three children, I knew I had to say something that would be both helpful and comforting. It took me back to when I was in her shoes, eight years ago.

From Pregnancy Through Birth

Before the birth of my oldest, I was determined to be as prepared as possible. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I spent every night reading pregnancy and parenting books. Weekends were spent at birthing classes, breastfeeding classes, and CPR classes. I sought out the ad-vice from friends and family who were already parents. I wanted to have an encyclopedia of every single stage of parenting, from pregnancy through the birth, and beyond so I could be the best mom for my little one.

While the thought of becoming a parent made me both excited and nervous, it was giving birth that really kept me up at night. I’d ask my doctor so many questions during eve-ry visit. “How will I know when I am in labor?” “Is it possible for me to go into labor early?” “At what point do I go to the hospital?” “How painful are contractions?” The list went on and on. Thankfully, he answered all of my questions with kindness, and told me to trust both myself and him during labor and delivery.

The last trimester of my pregnancy, I felt as prepared as I possibly could. I’d read all of the books and had taken all of the classes. My husband and I talked about our birth plan with one another and with our doctor; I knew I wanted my family in the room with me, have the doctors manage my pain with the appropriate medication, and we’d take our time through the actual birthing process to allow for a smooth delivery. With these plans in order, we were ready to welcome our baby girl!

Giving Birth

And then, four weeks before my due date, I went into labor in the middle of the night.

I remember waking up at 1am to go to the bathroom and not feeling right. My gut told me something was off. I immediately woke my husband and called our doctor who told me to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Despite being prepared with all the knowledge I could have possibly wanted, I wasn’t mentally prepared to give birth that day.

We arrived at the hospital and were rushed into a delivery room. Nurses and doctors seemed concerned at some of my symptoms and immediately started to run some tests. After ex-amination, I was already quite far into my labor.

Within a few hours of arriving at the hospital, our daughter was born. With the intensity and swiftness of my labor, our birth plan went out the window. We’d spent the last eight months preparing a birth plan based on what we thought could happen. It never occurred to us that we should expect the unexpected. In the hospital room that morning, there was no time for a birth plan. It wasn’t that we didn’t try, but rather than focusing on our well thought out plan, we lived in the moment. Just as my doctor told me a few weeks before my delivery, I trusted both myself and him. And it worked. Despite being four weeks early, I delivered a healthy baby girl.

Be Fully Present and In the Moment

All this reminiscing brought me back to the question my sister had asked me. I knew exactly how I needed to answer her. The truth is, there is nothing I can say to her to help her pre-pare for the birth of her child. Just like our children, our labors and deliveries are all unique. Rather than going into it with an elaborate plan of exactly how she’d like her labor and deliv-ery to go, I told her to be fully present and in the moment.

For some, labor and delivery may seem to take forever. While others may go by in an in-stant. Giving birth is a small moment in time that you have the chance to be completely in-tune with your body and yourself. Take advantage of that. Listen to your body and trust that it can take you through this beautiful and life changing moment. Because what a beautiful moment it is. I had a delivery that was far different from the one I’d imagined in my head and even the one I’d prepared for, but I’m so thankful for it and wouldn’t change any part of it for anything.

About Lauren Jimeson

Mom of three Harlan (8), Avery (5) and Macks (3), experienced Freelance Writer, Publicist, and Social Media Consultant. Her work has been featured nationally in online, print, and tele-vision media. Lauren is passionate about sharing her experiences as a mom and everything in between.

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