This time last year, I told my OB-GYN my birth plan.
There was no way I was going to be induced. From thirty-seven to forty weeks, the ridges on the brains get deeps. Plus, I just wanted Jensen to come out when he wanted to. He was supposed to be safe inside my belly. I didn’t want an epidural, I felt like I need to be this strong woman and give birth naturally. His cord was not to be cut right away. In my birth research, I read when you delayed cord cutting the blood in the placenta would make its way back to the baby. They really needed that blood and I’m sure I could have given you the scientific reasonings while I was still pregnant. He was to be placed on me right after he was born. I wanted that skin to skin contact and him to know I was his mama. Those are crucial bonding moments I did not want to miss you on. Plus I wanted the first thing he heard to be me whispering, ‘you are so loved,’ in his ear. His eyes were not to be wiped with that goop stuff. There was nothing going to damage them and I didn’t want his eyesight to be even more blurry than it would have been. There was only to be a certain amount of people in the room when he was born and afterwards. I didn’t want to be bombarded and wanted Jensen to spend his first days of life relaxed. There was a few more on the list, but these were the really important ones.
He actually hadn’t been prepared for me to tell him all of this, but I needed to make sure he knew what I expected. I can remember the first thing I told him was the only thing I was scared of was bleeding out and dying… because then I wouldn’t see Jensen grow up. There was never even a little part of me that thought anything would go wrong with Jensen, just that I would mess up.
After I told him all of this, he laughed at me and said these things sometimes don’t go as planned…
Well, my birth plan didn’t go as I planned.
I’ve talked about flashbacks before, a lot actually. Mostly about the time between I found out he didn’t have a heartbeat until I went home from the hospital. In all, that time frame is about twenty-nine hours. Oh my gosh, that’s horrible. In just a little over a day, I had found out my child died, gave birth, was released from the hospital, and back home. Like it was just a routine day at the hospital.
To say my birth plan didn’t go as planned is an understatement. There’s only two things that went ‘as planned.’ One, I asked for the epidural too late. I only got the little test tube of it. Before she could put the whole dose in me, I was already pushing. So, I still felt everything and it didn’t even hurt. Maybe it did? But the pain of knowing my child was dead hurt a lot worse. The other thing? There were only three other people (besides me, the nurses, and my doctor) in the room with me for when he was born. Two of them left for chunks of time. Then I only had three other visitors. Three of those people I’ll never talk to again. One of them didn’t even speak to me at my son’s funeral.
Heck and here’s another kicker, the one thing I was so scared of didn’t happen. Man oh man, am I glad I didn’t hemorrhage and die so I couldn’t see Jensen grow up. How was that the only thing I was afraid of? Was I really that selfish of a person to only worry about myself dying?
The birth plan doesn’t matter. Worrying about all those little things mean nothing. How mad would I have been if he would have lived and not one of those things was done just as I wanted? And for what? Temporary blindness? Extra blood? Instant bonding? Feeling like a ‘strong’ woman?
Looking at it that way makes me want to cry, laugh, and scream at myself. God, my birth plan should have just been get him here alive. That’s it. It doesn’t seem like such a difficult plan. Women give birth to living, healthy babies every second of the day. They have their birth plans and they get followed perfectly and their baby is fine. Why I couldn’t have I been her? Can someone please just wake me up from this horrible nightmare and put Jensen in my arms.
I don’t want to be brave or strong anymore. I want to be the girl who had her screaming baby placed on her chest. I want to have made sure everyone followed what I needed to be done. I want to live the life I should have had. I don’t want to know this world that I have been so forcefully shoved in.
But these things don’t go as planned.
As I tried to calm myself down after writing this post, I came across this picture. During Jensen’s baby shower I had my guests write ‘Advice for Mom’ and ‘Wishes for Baby.’ I took a picture of this one and the last line made me stop.
You are so loved.
Although, I didn’t get that part of my birth plan, I know Jensen knew how loved he was. He was surrounded by love for everyday in his thirty-eight weeks and two days. His life was beautiful and happy. It’s the one gift I was able to give him.