Monday, August 12, 2013

A reformed planner?

My friends and family know I'm a planner. I'm such a planner that for our wedding I had spreadsheets organized and tabbed according to the day of the wedding week and the person responsible for the tasks. It still amuses my Mom to tell tales of that spreadsheet.

There's not much more satisfying to me than checking items off a to do list. I enjoy researching and planning. I do best when completely informed.

That's why it is so strange that when it comes to thinking about a birth plan I couldn't be less interested. I have no desire to read the labor part of the baby books. I don't have a vision for how the birth will go other than that I want my daughter to arrive safely, I would like pain medication and I want to do skin-to-skin as immediately as possible. That's it. That's my birth plan. We are going to attend a childbirth class so I'll soak up some info I suppose. But the bottom line is I know she will come out somehow and ultimately how that happens is more in my physician's control than mine. And I am perfectly happy with that.

The lack of interest in researching birth plan options of course sent me into a tizzy of concern that not researching would be a problem. My OB, who knows I always have a list of questions at the ready on my phone and my tendency to try to over-plan, seemed slightly amused at my confessed lack of interest at my last appointment. After all, I was the patient who at my first OB appointment was asking when we needed to sign up for classes. Thankfully she confirmed my thoughts that the pros will walk me through every step of the process and all will be fine. My complete and total faith in my OB probably helped me enter this oddly relaxed state.

My husband has been similarly surprised, but also seems somewhat relieved, that I don't have a plan in mind that could be wrecked. And maybe that is at the heart of my lack of planning. This whole pregnancy has defied planning despite years of hoping. Perhaps it's just been a true lesson in what could be the number one rule of parenting - ultimately you have to go with the flow.

Who knows. But at this point I'm enjoying the ignorance is bliss ride and focusing on other third trimester planning such as finally doing our wills and the like.

I am curious though how others handled it. Did you try to plan out the whole birth experience or just go with the flow?

Jennifer Erickson is a Sr. Communications Specialist for Texas Health Resources who is 31 weeks pregnant with her first child.

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