My first child birth was nothing like I expected. I thought it was going to be a day where I would be empowered, strong and proud. I had expectations, I had a birth plan and I knew exactly what I wanted. But, I wasn’t well educated and certainly not prepared for an emergency caesarean when all I wanted was a calm, drug free water birth. I felt ripped off. I felt like a failure. And I felt like less of a woman because I didn’t get to go through the motions of labour or have a ‘natural’, vaginal delivery.
Then came the baby blues, that massive hormonal change you go through when your milk comes in. I started to feel very depressed about how he came into the world. I was naive to have not considered or prepared for all the scenarios, having concentrated so much on what I wanted instead of having an open mind. I set myself up for disappointment by having expectations.
My husband is a well-educated, smart man. But, I remember with my first pregnancy, he was clueless as to what to expect when I went into labour. I made him sit and watch One Born Every Minute just to get an insight into what it was like. He thought there would be a dramatic breaking of water, followed by a speedy drive to the hospital and hours of agony before a baby arrives. Because that’s what Hollywood had taught him and the three hour hospital course for first-time parents was certainly not enough to prepare him, or me, for the event. This is why at 33 weeks pregnant with number 2, I have decided to share my experience on my Facebook blog, The Real Mumma so that other women and men can have a real insight into child birth from start to finish. Hopefully, it will bring some awareness to all the different stages of labour and the unpredictability of what can happen. Particularly, because this time there is no birth plan, no expectations and I have an open mind. The best plan, is no plan.
Today, I feel there is a lot of emphasis on whether the mother took pain medication, whether it was a vaginal or caesarean birth, how quick the labour was etc etc, when really, all that matters is that the baby arrived safely and the mother did what was right for her and her wellbeing. Because ultimately, that’s all that matters. The end result is far more important than the process. There are no heroes, no medals, no first place prizes and no failures. All childbirth scenarios take a tremendous amount of courage! I know that this time it doesn’t matter how they come into the world.