I Chose Not to Have a Birth Plan, Yet Planning Became Necessary


I resisted a birth plan because I didn’t want to be set on the way things would go when I really didn’t have much control over the process. If my plan went awry, I didn’t want to be disappointed.

I chose not to have a plan. Let’s just see what became of this journey that I was SO fortunate to be on. Having no plan was against the odds, but I did it!

A birth plan became necessary.

Well, the B word when you are pregnant became one of the unavoidable data points that ended up making a plan necessary. Yes, my daughter was breach for quite some time in the end. I did not approve of the turning option, so we moved forward anticipating a cesarean section because of her breachness.

The second to last day before maternity leave was a Thursday, and I was in off-site meetings. That day, I got a call from the hospital to complete the pre-operation registration paperwork for the scheduled c-section the following Tuesday—the day after Labor Day. Whew, there were a lot of questions! 

We made plans to have the grandparents in town starting on Friday. They would help with our four-legged babies and meet their grandchild as she entered the world. Again, I made a plan despite not wanting to.

That night, we indulged in dinner out as it was our last night as just the two of us without our parents and the baby. It was an exciting dinner because my daughter was acting like a circus clown and moving all around. I recall using the restroom at least once or twice. Who doesn’t at 38 weeks pregnant, right? It’s an odd detail, but it will be part of the story later when you think to yourself, “How didn’t she know?!”

We got home, got in our comfy clothes, and lounged on our respective couches to watch the LSU vs. Mississippi State game. Geaux Tigers! Well, I was not quite comfortable, so I flipped, scratch that, I flopped over to the other side and felt something totally weird! I mentioned this to my husband, and then I said, “I think my water just broke!” Remember those earlier bathroom visits? I believe I lost the plug then, but the toilets were black so who knows.

The newly required birth plan starts to go awry.

I got to standing position on the hardwood floors right in front of our leather couch and whoosh—a whoosh like I’ve never heard before. There was now a waterfall in our living room!

OMG! I was so worried about the hardwood floors that I made my husband get me to our Jacuzzi tub and then take towels to clean up the mess! He kept popping back in and checking on me. I was in my wet clothes in the Jacuzzi tub suggesting the things he needed to get packed. I hadn’t packed yet because it was not in the plan to have a baby that night but on Tuesday! This was NOT according to the birth plan that I didn’t even want. I kept checking on the floors because they are nice hardwood floors that just had a waterfall treatment!

I finally realized that it was time to call the doctor.

The doctor said, “I guess we are having a baby!” Thank you for that brilliant realization! And it was oh so pleasant because of all 5 doctors in the practice, he was the one I liked least. He had not been too happy when I would not let him try and turn my daughter so that we would not need to worry about her breachness.

So we headed to the hospital, anticipating a super quick registration as I did ALL the pre-op registration earlier that day, remember? Nope. “Ma’am, it must not be in the system yet.” And so we got to go through registration all over again. I was a process engineer at the time, and the horror of that re-work while trying to have a baby still makes me cringe.

They told me to walk back to triage. They were not sure it was really amniotic fluid, so they sent me walking back to the registration waiting area. I let them know that I believed it really was, and I got sent back again to ‘test’ the fluid. I passed the test and finally headed to a bed. 

The funny thing is, I got all hooked up and prepped while my husband watched the monitor. I guess he thought he’d let me know when a BIG one was coming, as in a big contraction. I advised him that it was not necessary as the pain was mighty!

A perfect example of why I didn’t want a birth plan.

As the night got later, the nurse shift change was upon us. The nice new nurse was just doing her thing and realized, like my husband, how active the contractions were coming on. She said, “Oh, you are in active labor! They didn’t tell me that.” I recall thinking, “Lucky me! Another breakdown in this process and plan of which I wanted not to have in the first place!”

The nurse kicked it into gear. The dreaded epidural prep began, and my husband was not allowed to be in there with me. Yikes! I don’t like needles—especially ones with such dire circumstances if something goes wrong.

The nurse that was in there on my side seemed to be new as the anesthesia nurse asked her to come in front of me so I could hold on to her. Again, I felt a little like everyone had already gone on vacation for Labor Day!

Thankfully, it all worked out. But we waited and waited for my favorite doctor in my practice to come and do the dang c-section! While waiting, the anesthesiologist discussed how the current rain was keeping him from his golf game, but that his lawn was going to be looking great! It was funny to hear their “office banter,” but I was also like, “Can we please stay in the game here, people?!” Finally, they decided to call the doctor again because we were close to the time where the epidural may start to fade. WHAT?!

I prayed SO hard because it was just too much for me. It was very evident that even a routine operation can go off plan!

Finally, we ended up with the procedure starting. They used a laser which was not a pleasant smell at all. Bigger than that, though, was that within minutes, the world and I had this amazing daughter. She was healthy, beyond some jaundice, and she has been just as comical as her birth story. And she always wants to know what the plan is!

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Kaira is a Richmond native who has ventured beyond the city and state quite a few times, coming back in between living elsewhere and this latest time settling in RVA with her husband, nine-year-old daughter, and two dogs. A big Someday Goal she has tackled is creating a business she loves that helps other business owners remove someday off their calendars and work towards those lofty goals today. When not working, Kaira enjoys creating mixed media that conveys our many layers that fit together so nicely. She also enjoys connecting with others via creative conversation over a tasty caramel or vanilla latte.