Thursday, March 5, 2015

I Had It All Planned Out

I am such a Type-A person, who likes plans, and schedules, and lists.  I applied all of these principles to Owen's pregnancy and birth, and obviously a great deal of my plans didn't work out.

Lane's pregnancy was a complete surprise to us- we were NOT expecting to become pregnant, but it was a welcome blessing that we absolutely would not change.

Owen's pregnancy was very much planned; we knew we wanted to add another baby to our family, we knew when we wanted that to happen, and happen it did, right on schedule.

I had plans to pack our hospital bags, Lane's suitcase, and install the infant car seat soon after my baby shower, right around 36 weeks.  I even spent the evening before I went into labor discussing all of my plans with my mom!  Little did I know, I would go into labor that night, and would be rushing home the next day to throw stuff in a bag to take to Tacoma.

Although I had a great experience with my epidural with  Lane, I REALLY wanted to have a natural childbirth this time around.  So, like with everything I do, I began researching.  I read blogs, I read books, I watched YouTube videos, I talked to people, I practiced labor techniques, etc.  I really felt like I could do this.  And guess what?  I got an epidural.  And I don't regret it.  I think the stress of the situation and just how quickly everything was progressing made me feel out of control.  At home, I was able to use natural childbirth laboring techniques to manage the pain.  But after arriving at the hospital, everything was so rushed that I was never able to calm myself, remember what I had practiced, or put it into practice.  Because of Owen's prematurity, there was no laboring in a tub or shower, no bouncing on a birth ball, no trying different labor positions.  I arrived at the hospital so dilated (7cm and bulging water) that we had to move quickly to get antibiotics in me, get an IV started, get a team assembled to care for Owen, etc.  The epidural gave us a few minutes to calm down, realize the severity of the situation, and talk about what would likely happen once he was born.  I think that if we decide to have more babies, I would be able to handle a normal, term delivery naturally, and that is something I hope I get to experience.

With Lane's birth, he had to go to the Special Care Nursery a few minutes after birth due to difficulty with breathing.  I was able to hold him when he was born, but didn't get to breastfeed him for several hours.  I also missed him being weighed and measured and bathed.  I was so excited to have that experience this time around- and again it didn't go as planned.  I even told Josh one weepy night "I just want to give birth to a baby and be able to keep him with me for once!".

I had planned to have Lane at the hospital when Owen was born, so that Lane could be the first person from our family to meet him.  I wanted Lane to come into our room, climb on the bed with me, and meet his brother (and learn his name, since that was a secret).  I wanted Josh to walk into the waiting room filled with our family, and announce that Owen Ellis Davis was born (since none of them knew his name either).  Instead, Lane was at Josh's mom's house, and while my family was in the waiting room, they only got to see Owen through his incubator walls on his way to Tacoma General.  When Lane saw Owen for the first time, he was in his incubator, attached to tubes and machines, and I wasn't there.  I missed the first interaction between my boys, and it breaks my heart.

So, if this labor and birth experience has taught me nothing else, it has taught me to "go with the flow" more.  I am (slowly) learning to let go of things, and just embrace what comes.  It doesn't mean I won't still try to plan things, but at least I can accept when things don't go as planned!