I have searched for them, read them, and even written them. Lists that promise preparation and peace of mind over, “What to expect during delivery,” or, “Navigating first week with new baby.” The truth? Nothing prepared me for the birth and now life of my baby Ariel.
As women, we strive to know the future, so that we can plan accordingly. We want to be prepared and we shy away from unknowns and surprises. During my pregnancy I would stay up all hours of the night (occasionally by choice, but mostly because I couldn’t get comfortable) reading and searching. What is it going to feel like? What is going to happen? Questions would pop into my head and I would immediately research the topic until I became an expert on it. But nothing truly prepared me for what the birthday of my daughter brought.
Looking back on my Pinterest Board, the Amazon registry, and all of the books and information compiled, nothing went as I thought it would. My birth plan? HA! I think only one thing on that plan actually happened- which was having Ariel. This is not to diminish the lists, or throw shade at birth plans, I still have plenty of these lists and plans that I cling to as Ariel grows and develops. I just want to offer some peace of mind to you, the new mommy, the expecting mommy, or anyone else: there is such beauty in the unexpected. There is excitement, joy, sadness, frustration and every emotion in between in the unknown and the, “That’s not what I thought would happen,” or the, “That’s not what I planned.” I am trying to remind myself daily of this truth.
Plan, educate and prepare, but do not hold so tight to those. My birth plan was thrown out the door the minute I got a phone call from my doctor telling me that they were going to induce me the next day. Everything changed when I was told that I had a fever 22 hours into labor and that Ariel was going to need Antibiotics for 48 hours after birth, only to later find out she would require almost 2 weeks of antibiotics. And my plans continued to crumble as they took her across the room for 3 hours after birth before I was able to hold her. Where is the beauty in this? It did not change our bond, or her health. I was able to receive the medical attention I was unaware that I would need, and we got to be 100% certain we were taking home a strong, healthy baby girl.
The journey of giving birth, and being a new parent, is one that goes all kinds of directions. Going for the ride and holding tight to the fact that we do not hold our future, and we cannot predict what will end up happening gives us the rollercoaster, hanging upside down, feeling in our stomachs. But let’s try to enjoy it. Stick our arms up, scream, laugh and cry like no one can hear us so that when the ride is over, we have great pictures to look back on.
May Your Coffee be as Strong as Your Desire to Sleep.