Many women imagine delivery during their pregnancy. How they want it to go. But maybe you shouldn’t expect anything at all. Often things go very differently than you thought. Or had wanted. A friend of mine was almost due recently. Just before she was due, we had a cup of tea together, and she told me about her delivery plan.
That she wanted to give birth at home, in the bath, and that she would therefore not take an epidural. That she’d hired a Douala to help her through contractions. In short, that it would be a completely serene, natural delivery. It would be that way because she wanted it that way. So planned. And I wasn’t sure what to say. Because I didn’t want to be the morbid cynical bitch who pushed her off her pink cloud. But actually I also wanted to tell her that she might have to take into account that it wouldn’t be quite like that. Not to be silly or to scare her. But to save her from disappointment. Disappointment that I felt during my first delivery. Disappointment that many women feel when they suddenly have to find out very painfully (literally often) that the serene bath delivery is not there. And that disappointment is not even the worst. Because often there is also a shame, anger, and a sense of failure. And actually, I wish no mother had to feel that.
Horrified about how it had turned out
After three births, I know that you can never say in advance how it will go. That you may want a lot and even create the most ideal conditions for it, but that still does not mean that it will actually happen that way. With my first I also planned to give birth without aids. I was also convinced that I could embrace my feminine primal powers and let my son slide into the world in a few hours. Nothing was further from the truth. It turned out to be a hellish 50-hour marathon, with IVs, fever, a stuck baby with a lost heartbeat, eventually an epidural and a gynecologist who was already ready with the scalpel for a Cesarean section. Not at all like I had written it down in my carefully thought out birth plan. Although of course I was glad that it all turned out well in the end and that I could hold my child in my arms, I was still quite dismayed about how it had turned out. I wish someone had prepared me better for that.
You always give birth well
I’m not saying this because I want to scare pregnant women, because I want everyone to have an uncomplicated delivery from the booklet. And of course, there are plenty of them too. It’s just that it often doesn’t work that way. Simply because a delivery cannot be planned. It is not something that you set aside time for in your agenda and that you can rely on. Well, you can count on it that it will happen, but then the certainties will also stop. Because how it happens, you just have to wait and see and you can do little else than just let it come over you and make the best of it. Even if that is actually not the best way for you, because you would rather have it otherwise. That is often annoying enough without you also feeling guilty or doubting yourself. Or are disappointed. It’s actually simple: you don’t have to. You are disappointed when something did not work out. But childbirth can ‘not work out’. Because you always do it right. Whether that child comes out left or right.
Sometimes things don’t go as it should, but it should be done as it should
My girlfriend eventually gave birth in the hospital, with an emergency cesarean section. And that was a bitter pill for her. With a big bang she thundered from her pink cloud into motherhood and that is not a nice way to start. Of course, it would still have been a shitty delivery if her expectations hadn’t been so high, but I think the reality would have hurt a little less. In any case, I would have liked to know that unfortunately sometimes things do not go as it should, but should as it does. Also, because I might have made different choices during that delivery, choices that would have made the experience less painful for me, both physically and mentally. That would have given my child, and me as a mother, a better start for the complex road that you as a parent already have to travel. After all, giving birth is just the beginning. For what comes after you really need all your strength.
So, dear pregnant women, I hope you all have a wonderful, successful delivery. One that you can think of as a very special experience. Because that is what it is to have a child. It doesn’t get any more special. And doom and fear, you really don’t have to. You can just do that, in any way. But keep in mind that it can happen in many ways. Then you will in any case not be faced with surprises. A child like that is a surprise enough in itself. Because believe me, you just don’t know what you’re going through.