Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Planning for Labor

Planning for labor almost sounds like a crazy person, right?  How can you really "plan" for labor?  There are so many things that one will not be able to prepare for.  And as a new mom, who has yet to experience labor there is so much I will not be expecting, but heck, I need to plan anyway.  If you know me at all, then you know I have a plan, despite my serious learning curve.  I have read the books, taken the childbirth class, toured the hospital, asked questions, and made a game plan so that to the best of my (inexperienced) ability I can help plan for labor.

And not even one plan, but multiple plans to help account for the many routes my labor may take.  There is the If my water breaks plan, If I go into labor at work plan, If I go into labor while Chet is at work plan, If I am alone and in labor plan, and of course the regular old If everything goes perfect and I am in labor plan (that one is my favorite, it involves releasing butterflies and what not).  I accept these plans may go right out the window when I am in the middle of it but I feel better knowing I have thought it through. 

And as the mother, the person who has grown and carried this life for the last 37 weeks (and counting), who now is responsible for pushing out this little baby, I feel there are lots of things that get to be MY CALL on the day I am in labor.  I am not talking about unreasonableness, but what I am referring to is the normal things that can be controlled.  I am not demanding God provide certain weather, or that Reagan arrives on a specific day, or even for a perfect painless experience.  I am talking about making decisions like who is with me during labor, who comes to the hospital, and who stays at my home.  I have asked that only my husband and one other person be with me at the hospital during labor.  My Mama flies to Oklahoma on the 31st so if she is here in time it will be Chet and her in the delivery room and if Reagan comes before that date then my friend Julie has graciously agreed to come hold my hand instead.  After all, labor is a very personal thing.  It will be a time when  I will literally be very exposed and hence makes me feel vulnerable and open.  I don't want to share that deeply personal and painful experience with many people, only a couple of people I feel close to that I know can handle the situation and respect my wishes.  So with ONLY Chet and Julie or Mom with me, I like this situation and I am comfortable with "the plan".  So I asked that no one else be present at the hospital while I am in labor.  Why would it be helpful for someone to just sit and wait for me to push out a baby?  I wanted to avoid the stress of knowing someone was just waiting around for me.  Especially considering that labor could be a long time, hours and hours! 
And of course if people are waiting in the lobby, I know my husband will leave MY bedside to visit with them and give up details.  Just thinking about that makes me want to cry.  He would leave me, the person trying to have his daughter, to update others?!?!  That is not OK, but would undoubtedly happen if people were sitting close by waiting to hear what was happening, especially if they have been waiting a long time.

I gave the OK for all sorts of visitors after baby was born, despite the fact that I am likely to be out of my comfort zone after the birth.  But I agreed to let family and friends visit us and meet the baby after she was born.  Key word; AFTER.  This isn't too much to ask, right?  I should be able to set boundaries that make me feel the most at ease and least likely to cause undue stress on that very important day.  

And here is the real point I guess I am trying to make: It is my decision to make.  I shouldn't let my husband decide or even let family or friends push me around based on what they want on my labor day.  Who is the one going through a very personal and private experience? Who will be in pain?  Who will be doing all the work? Oh right, that would be me.  So that makes it my call.  That makes it completely my decision.  And frankly, I don't care how others feel about it, this is what I want and if you really cared about me you would put my needs first on that day and not push your own agenda.  Of course I want to share my joy and love of meeting baby with others but that can be easily done in a way that makes things easier on me. 

So do I want others be a part of the big day - yes!  Absolutely!  But if you really can't respect the wishes of the mother to give her space until after the birth then your making things harder on her instead of participating in the joyful occasion. 


  1. PREACH!! This is your and Reagan's day, and no one else's. Good for you for not letting people push you around!

  2. you can't plan for labor... it will take a path of its own so try to roll with it and enjoy it (if that's possible!!) hehehe i took all the classes and read the books. and then my water broke at home and colin came out 8 hours later. 3 weeks early. who knew?!? that wasn't in my plan. nor was it in my plan to have him get pneumonia and be in the hospital for a week. so go with the flow and it will all be fine! :)