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Labor Not What You Expected?


After regularly attending your birth classes and writing your Birth Plan, you are looking forward to your labor in anticipation. Maybe you decide you want a vaginal birth in a hospital setting with an epidural. You don’t want an episiotomy and you don’t want any additional medication. You can’t wait for the time you will be holding your just born baby in your arms and nursing for the first time.

Your due date comes and goes and your OB determines that you need to be induced. Your baby is getting larger every day, and your pelvis is relatively small. On the day you are induced, your labor is going relatively to plan. You get your epidural and the pitocin is started. You labor for over twelve hours, yet you only dilate to 2 cm, well short of the 10 cm needed to deliver.

The OB comes in and says the words you’re dreading to hear: “ C-section”. This was not in your birth plan! The C-section happens regardless and you go through the whole recovery process before you are able to see and hold your baby. You feel ashamed that you had given up on your plan.

You feel that you were robbed, because you always pictured your warm baby being pulled gently from your womb and placed on your belly where you could hold and love him. What you did not picture was that he would be cut out of your uterus with a scalpel and taken to a sterile room for a medical evaluation, while your are left to be stitched up. Your emotions are in turmoil and you feel like a failure as a mother already.

This scenario is not uncommon. Most births do NOT go “as planned”. While it is a good idea to have a Birth Plan, many times that plan is not followed in the end. There are complications that may come up and are a part of the birth process. These complications are not your fault. You’re no less of a mother than the woman in the next room that had her baby with no meds at all. You both love your babies tremendously. You both will go home with your babies and take great care of them. You are a mom, no matter how your baby came into this world. Be proud of yourself; be proud of your baby. Look on the bright side! C-section babies have rounder heads!

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