At least in both of my birthing experiences, creating and thinking about my birth plan… sucked. Here’s why the first one did not go as planned:
I was a first time pregnant woman at the, yes I know, very young age of 21, full of joy, excitement and also complete horrified TERROR. But then, one very rainy day, a nice lady pulled me into her office and asked me about my birth plan. “What?! I get to plan it? YES! I’m going to make sure it will be so wonderful. I’ll listen to my favorite Taylor Swift songs, the poofy-est pillow, a warm blanket, my favorite PJ’s, some chapstick, a headband (because it’s on the list of suggested stuff to bring but I hate these things on my head) and a plathora of snacks”, I thought.
So, this woman and I wrote down my excellent plan. I knew the things I would bring. And this is how it would all go down: Soft music would be playing, I’d have a mirror available just in case I wanted to see the birth, there would be a bath tub with warm water I could hop into for dealing with the pain (because under no circumstances was I going to take any pain medication), some sort of bar I could hold onto to be in a sitting position which would allow the baby to come out easier – because gravity (not sure what this would look like but I agreed), apparently no snacks because they are not aloud during labor :(, Emma would be born, dad would cut the chord, she would be quickly transferred to my chest for skin to skin time, then she would nurse and we would live happily ever after. The birth was going to be absolutely perfect, OK, now I was excited.
March 31st rolled around and I was 34 weeks pregnant. All I can remember is that I was very exhausted that week and it was the first time I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoe, so I cried. I was in bed reading, “Brain Rules for Baby”, it was around 11pm. I stood up to use the restroom and noticed blood on my sheets. Seeing blood, while pregnant, probably the most horrifying thing ever. I went to the restroom and still more blood. I called my oldest sister, who had already had 3 babies so she would know what to do. “I’m seeing a lot of blood, what do I do?”, “Go to the hospital now!”, “Are you sure? There’s no pain?”, I said trying to not freak out. “GO!”
We rushed to the hospital and I kept bleeding. I noticed it was more gooey so I thought, “OK this must be the mucus plug! I just read about this on “What to Expect When You’re Expecting””. Being a young mother, the nurses and Dr. Yang sort of chuckled and said, “You still have 6 weeks left, everything looks fine, go home.” At this moment I started to feel extremely painful cramps. “But, I’m in pain now, it hurts, ” I whined as I held onto my belly. “Ok, so what’s your pain on a scale of one through ten”, asked the blonde ponytailed nurse. I observed the little pain chart they had on display. One had a green happy face and ten had a red face that looked like death. It wasn’t one because I definitely wasn’t smiling, it wasn’t ten because I could still function and handle the pain… “It’s a 7”, “A 7?”, asked the nurse skeptically.
So we drove back home and the pain continued. I tried to sleep, but the pain would not. Anytime I tried falling asleep, a sharp excruciating pain would wake me back up. “This pain is not normal pain.” I worried. Around 5am I got up and paced around the living room and tried very hard not to cry. I grabbed a paper and pen to write down the times I would get the pain, which by now I knew they were the dreaded contractions. I was getting contractions every 12 minutes. My mom and dad came to my rescue by this time. Mom asked me about my visit to the hospital, complained about the doctors, called my aunt who is a nurse and Dad quietly made me some chamomile tea with honey and said, “Drink this, the contractions will either stop or continue”. I drank the tea while I continued to pace, mom took over keeping track of the time, “Ok they are 6 minutes apart now, call the nurse”.
I called and the nurse who told me to call and make an appointment, I wasn’t supposed to have my baby in another 6 weeks. I was just being a young nervous pregnant lady. Mom then took the whole matter in her hands, woke up my now ex-husband, and sent us off to the hospital and also she came with us to make sure the nurses were doing their job, oh and she was also on the phone with my aunt who’s a midwife, the WHOLE TIME, giving her details about me, how I looked and felt.
We arrived to the hospital and this time, I was dramatically wheel-chaired into the hospital. The nurses started the process all over again, asking me a lot of questions, for some reason these nurses weren’t allowed to check my cervix because I have to clue why. They explained but I did not need a half hour explanation on this.
“Ok the doctor will be in at 9:30am, so for now we will wait, she will see what’s going on.” I looked at the clock and it was around 8:00 am. I could see my mom pacing in front of my hospital bed on the phone with my aunt, then pausing and looking at me, “Why aren’t they doing anything?” she asked me a couple of times waving her free arm up in the air.
At around 8:45am, the nurses informed me that the doctor had arrived. “Finally the doctor is here!” my mother informed my aunt in Spanish. By this time I became a mad woman and could not take the pain, “MOM SHUT UP, GO TALK OUTSIDE!”, (I apologized about this weeks after). At 9am, Dr. Andrews gracefully waltzed in. She was there to finally check my cervix. This process was not even awkward anymore, my legs were up in the air and I could see Dr. Andrews’ eyes widen as she felt my cervix, “You are 8 cm dilated, you are going to be a mom!”, “Wait, today?”, “Yes your baby is coming, it might be another couple of hours!”. She again waltzed around the room ordering the nurses around. I couldn’t hear anything but my thoughts, the contractions were just getting more painful, “Can I get the epidural?” I managed to say, “You’re too dilated now and you’ve done a good job dealing with the pain all this time, you can handle it.”, I heard a voice explain. BECAUSE NO ONE BELIEVED I WAS IN LABOR my mind yelled. Everything became a blur and I began to yell. ” I feel like I have to poop”, I lifted my bottom off the bed, the pain was too much. I began to yell over and over again, “I have to poop!”. Dr. Andrews walked in once again, since I wouldn’t shut up, and again, proceeded to check my vagina.
“Give me a big push.” I pushed with all my might, the pain was too much, I set my head back and thought, I can’t do this. Dr. Andrews must’ve hear me because as soon as I lifted my head back up she looked right into my eyes and said, “OK one more push you can do this, you are doing such a great job.” Emma was born at 9:36am. When I saw her I laugh-cried and was completely overjoyed. The nurses took her right away and handed her to me rolled up in a white blanket. They then took her again to get her on oxygen and off they left to another room who knows how far and where. This was not part of my birth plan. She wasn’t even allowed to stay in the room with me.
A few hours later, not sure how much time it seemed like hours, they took me to see Emma in what they call a NICU. I rolled in on my wheelchair and Emma was the only baby there in an incubator. As I got closer I saw a huge yellow tube taped to her little face. Her chest was moving up and down forcefully, and I could hear her making a little sound as the tube allowed her to exhale. There were wires all over her chest and band-aides on both feet and an IV on her hand taped with a foam taped to her hand and arm to keep it in place. I began to sob uncontrollably. “Is she going to live”, I asked. “Yes she is ok, she was just born a little early we need to make sure she can breathe on her own and eat on her own.”, still I couldn’t stop crying, what was going on?
This is why, birthing plans SUCK. But my baby was still perfect. ❤
Emma was in the NICU for 10 days before we brought her home. Today, April 10th, marks the 6 year anniversary of her coming home <3. This is Emma on her first day home. She was 4lbs 12oz her birth weight was 4lbs 11oz. I had her coming home outfit picked out since the day I found out she was a girl. New Born size was too big.