So, my birth plan has been pretty simple from the start: have an external baby as naturally as possible.
In my case, "possible" includes all things medically necessary, and things like my level of pain tolerance, endurance, and give-a-hoot. That being said, we had some... preferences? Ideas? I won't go so far as to call them plans, because they were pretty vague, but it went something like this:
*I want to go into labor by myself (unless it's too risky to our health).
*If I can do this without drugs, that'd be great. (This is the part that totally surprised me. Before getting pregnant, I never thought I'd even consider going without drugs. Some hormonal shift? Crazy glitter hippie idea? I don't know, but this idea stuck in my head & I haven't been able to shake it--even after watching 10 long hours of unmedicated labor.)
*Please don't cut anything unless you have to.
With those things in my head, I took a Lamaze class and watched some DVDs about tips for coping with the pain, natural child birth relaxation methods, some massage stuff, nothing too fancy. J & I have been practicing the breathing techniques and making sure we have a common language to communicate needs--though I have a feeling that when I'm in pain I might get irrationally inarticulate.
Basically, the only things that I really want to avoid are c-section and induction, not because I think those things are horrible and women who have them are losers. No, not at all. I just didn't want to do that, if I could avoid it. I knew that induction would be talked about if I went past my due date and I'm ok with that.
Then I had my 37 week appointment. (Spoiler alert: everything is fine. We're both still healthy and the original plan is still in place--to have an external baby. That's really the bottom line of the whole post in case you want to stop reading now.)
Giant disclaimer: I fully trust my doctor. She respects me, my wishes, and treats me like an informed human. I am completely comfortable in her care, with her care, and know that she has nothing but the best interests of my person and this baby in mind. She listens to my concerns and doesn't dismiss me, even when I'm being inarticulate and nervous. Ok. Glad we got that out of the way.
Anyway, there seems to be a minor snag in my plans of "as naturally as possible" including the first 2 things on my "it would be nice if" list. An induction *might* be necessary and an epidural is *very likely*. Ok, fine. I can adjust to that.
The only part I'm really having a hard time letting go of is the possibility of not getting to 40 weeks. I mean, I was always sort of prepared if I just went in to labor early, but not really, since everyone spends so much time telling you that first babies are usually late. I guess the best way to say it is that I was counting on getting the opportunity to get to 40 weeks. April at least (which, with a due date of the 3rd, is close enough). Not just because I have no niece/nephew birthdays in April, or because I think a diamond birthstone would be nice. Yes I think those things, but the bigger thing is that APRIL has been in my brain as when this baby is coming since I found out there was a baby coming, and if SHE decides to come in March, I'm ok with that, but I'm having a harder time wrapping my brain around MAKING her come early. If it does happen, it will be because it's what is best for both of us, and I know that (see disclaimer), but it's taken me a day or two to adjust my expectations. I've had such a blissfully normal pregnancy. This new information is taking time to percolate.
Still, I'm still pregnant. Happily and healthily so, and once I have pictures of a healthy external baby, I'll let you know. I promise.
For now, I'm going to continue to clean all the things (I'm washing curtains at the moment... curtains!!) and help my friends who have newborns and wait for it to be my turn. I'm ok waiting right now. Everybody think nice, safe, Aprilish thoughts in my direction, ok? *