I’d love to say that it’s a question that’s been around for centuries, but writing a birth plan has only become a part of pregnancy during the last couple of years. I guess that is also the reason why there are so many different opinions on them and why many pregnant women ask themselves: to write or not to write?
When my midwife told me that I should think about writing my birth plan at some point in my last trimester, I didn’t even think of questioning her. To me it made perfect sense to do a bit of research on the different options of pain relief or to write down what I want and don’t want in case of an emergency or to be positive, if everything goes according to plan. But that’s where friends with babies burst my bubble: If I believe them nothing ever goes to plan and no one will even be interested enough to look at my birth plan, let alone follow it. Well, to be honest I don’t care: I will still write it. Not because I am sure everything will go to plan (you never know and I think it is important to keep an open mind) but because I believe it is a good way of getting used to the thought of labour. In my eyes it can’t ever be wrong to know all the options you have and furthermore, who says that it’s not going to be me who has a fairy tale birth? I like being informed about things. I like knowing what side effects different methods of pain relief can have and I like to make sure that my partner knows what I want in case I am in too much pain to speak. I personally think that having a birth plan even helpes me to stay relaxed about labour. Well, so far it does. Whenever people ask me if I am scared of labour I shake my head or answer with a clear “No”. I don’t know if that’s going to change when I am having my first contractions, but having done my research and having it written down somehow makes me feel that little bit more prepared and in control. I feel like I know my voice will be heard even though I might not be able to communicate properly and it makes me feel safe, because I know that I’ve done my homework. Do you know that feeling from school? It was always that little bit more relaxed when you knew you didn’t have to hide from being caught out by your teacher, wasn’t it?
Well, I know that in case of emergency I will do everything possible to help the medical staff to make sure my baby is born safely. However, I do also want to ensure that if everything goes to plan I have the chance to experience labour and birth in a for me perfect way. I know there is no such thing as perfect labour, well at least if I believe my friends, but what’s wrong with hoping for it?