32 Weeks Pregnant: A Cunning Plan

14/01/2014 14:05 | Updated 22 May 2015

I don't know why, but for some reason I've been putting off writing my birth plan. It's not that I don't want to write one – I've even been making mental notes about things I do and don't want as part of my experience when they come up in conversation and books. Perhaps it's because once I do sit down to write, the concept of labour will seem all the more real. And close.

For weeks now I've been picturing and dreaming about my labour and delivery – trying to use positive visualizations to help me focus on being as relaxed as possible while it happens, therefore (theoretically) helping the process to be faster and more comfortable. I've been practicing Hypnobirthing visualizations and relaxation techniques off and on for a while now, but I know in my heart I'm still not committed to one sure and definite way, despite the fact that I agree wholeheartedly with the Hypnobirthing philosophy.

The midwife in our antenatal classes has said all along that it's important to not be disappointed or get hung up on whether or not your birth plan is realized when reality strikes. The important thing is that you and your baby are safe. In this way, we are encouraged to not think about it as a rigid birth 'plan', rather, it's a set of birth 'preferences'. Also not to be hard on ourselves if we do decide to have an epidural (or any other form of pain relief) if it feels right at the time – after all, no one is handing out medals at the end of the experience to those who were able to grit their teeth and bear the pain without drugs. I guess there is also a part of me that thinks medical science has advanced in order for me to have a pain free birth – forget about being a martyr – bring on that spinal tap!

I do know one thing though – the mere thought of an episiotomy makes my eyes water and my nose run, so perhaps I'll start with that as my opening gambit and go on from there.

Did or will you write a birth plan? Did it help to focus your ideas on what you wanted in your labour and delivery experience?

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