preparing for birth

Planning for Birth, and Preparing for the Unknown 

December 13, 2016

I love to plan. Not because I’m type A (more like B+), but because I love to know where I am going so that little anxious part inside of me can take comfort. At least I made a plan, I’ll think. Even if it goes awry. At least I wasn’t caught unawares. At least I had some chance to brace myself for it, whatever it it may be. Babies and birthing are one of those mysterious areas of life where preparing and planning, while crucial for informing our reactions, are somewhat negligible. I firmly believe in taking a childbirth education class, unless you were raised around midwives and picked up on birth stuff. Most of us never have had any exposure to anything remotely birthy beyond a “rush to the hospital, scream, and push” scene in a movie. I’m a big believer in doulas, a hired labor support person above and beyond your partner. I’m a big believer in writing out a birth plan, reading as much as you can, watching documentaries, and asking women about their births. Yet. And yet. All that planning and preparing and honing your instincts and setting your expectations to a much lower dial doesn’t mean things will go as you ever imagined them. So while I sit here, 39 weeks pregnant, in deep anticipation of this coming labor, I still have to tell myself that ultimately, I’m not in control. I’m just not. My capable midwife, the nursing staff, the surgeons if I need…

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