It was during one of the final visits to my pregnancy guru (gynaecologist) that she mentioned I should write a birth plan. Unaware that this facility was available, up to now I was under the impression that one was unable to control labour and delivery, let alone write a plan, but apparently things had moved on, or maybe it was Middle Eastern Healthcare. Being a novice in the writing of birth plans, she mentioned that perhaps I could speak to one of the resident midwives for guidance. There was a talk on every Thursday morning for expectant mothers and I could attend the talk which was hosted by a qualified midwife, ideal.
The midwife was of Egyptian origin and the accompanying nurse was Indian. They both spoke at length about childbirth, various methods and pitfalls involved. Enthusiastically I listened, showing concern, amazement and amusement in all the right places. There were six other pregnant women in the room each one looking as attentive at the other, except for one who looked as if she had to attend in order to get a grant or something, she later told us it was her fourth baby. The midwife talked and talked, I could feel myself drowning in her words, epidural, episiotomy, caesarean, I could see them coming out of her mouth but they were no longer forming sentences instead they randomly swirled around the room, floating about a foot over my head. Eventually she paused for breath and I took my chance to ask, “What would you recommend yourself?” She told me how she had two children, both she delivered naturally, without any pain relief. “Incredible”, I gushed, as I stared at the deep ridges in her forehead. She said that feeling the pain was important in order to experience childbirth fully and bond with your baby. She also said that there was no need for an overnight stay, but one night would be ok for a normal delivery and two nights for a c-section. Apparently if you wanted to be a real mother, it was necessary to bring your baby into the world with the maximum amount of pain and anguish possible.
After the speech we were then told to script our birth plans. Looking around the room at the concentration etched on the faces of the other women, I decided that to script a plan with every eventuality was tempting a self fulfilling prophesy. They seemed happy to schedule in some pain and complications for them, on the other hand, I didn’t need to be told twice, this was my chance to script the birth I wanted, it must work, otherwise, a birth plan is nothing but a placebo to pacify an anxious pregnant woman. So, being a natural optimist, or at least optimistic until faced with insurmountable circumstances, I wrote my birth plan, as follows:
Following a leisurely lunch with my friends I begin to feel some twinges. As the hospital is on the way home I swing by to get my doctors opinion. Incredibly she tells me that the baby is on the way and shows me to my delivery suite. I request the one with wifi and a stocked fridge. As the nurse takes my temperature and blood pressure reading, the doctor appears again and tells me that the baby is nearly here as I hope that my husband will make it on time with my hospital bag, I really want to have my Calvin Klein robe on the for the first photos. Yes –he’s here, my husband with the bag. Minutes later, just as I freshen up and the camera was ready, the baby pops out, I don’t feel a thing, just high on motherhood I suppose. While I re-touch my lip-gloss, the nurse dresses the baby in the sweet white Ralph Lauren outfit with matching mittens. Just then the door opens and it’s the kitchen staff with my Caprese Salad and a carafe of Pinot Grigio. The baby gurgles up from her crib and we bond immediately.