Can You Really ‘Plan’ A Birth?

As my due date starts rapidly approaching (6 weeks to go), I have started to think in more detail about the birth.

I decided a couple of months ago to have a home birth and I have been reading a birth preparation book as well as listening to the Natal Hypnotherapy CD that goes with it.

All of these things have eased my anxiety and made me feel a lot more relaxed, something which I didn’t think would be possible after my experience last time. If you aren’t sure how it went then here is probably the best place to start – Episiotomy Done, Now For A Painkiller Up The Bumhole – luckily the problems I was having did all go away again and my private parts are now what I would class as healed, well for the next few weeks they are anyway.

I think my main concern is the fact that I don’t feel like I have actually given birth before because the epi-dural I had last time stopped me feeling anything from about 5cm’s dilation onwards. This means that I have no idea what it feels like to experience the worst of the contractions nor what it feels like when the baby is actually coming out.

The thought doesn’t scare me anymore and I do feel almost excited about the fact that I might be able to have the birth experience I would like. Notice me using the word ‘might’. The thing is that a lot of the natal hypnotherapy work is based on imagining the birth you want and focusing on the positive in the hope it will happen. I am more than happy to give it a go but it does go against how I work normally. I have found in the past that if ever I get too confident about something going right then it will in actual fact go wrong.

This is what concerns me slightly about having a precise birth plan.

But I am going to have one this time and just be prepared for the fact that if it all goes the opposite way then I will still be able to cope and if the worst comes to the worst then although last time was somewhat horrendous, after a few months I was able to tell the story without crying. And of course it was all TOTALLY worth it.

So my plan….

My main concern this time is Iyla so of course I am hoping that I go into labour in the middle of the night and have had the baby by the morning meaning that she can come downstairs, meet her little brother and we can all eat breakfast together. Because of course I won’t have made much noise and she will have slept through everything only waking up when the birthing pool has been cleaned and packed away.

I know this is slightly optimistic so I do have other, less perfect scenarios in my mind.

We have decided that if it comes to it then Dad2BabyInsomniac will either take Iyla round the corner to the park (if it’s day) or sit upstairs and watch movies with her (if it’s night) leaving me with the midwife. I am absolutely fine with this and it turns out that he is too, I am hoping that I can have his support for as much of the labour as possible as I have a list of things he needs to do to help me but at the end of the day Dad2BabyInsomniac’s mum is the only person who we have ever left Iyla with and if she wasn’t available for any reason then I would only feel happy if he was with her. Plus as long as he knew I was okay with it, I know that he would rather entertain Iyla than be responsible for fishing bits of my poo out of the birthing pool!

Should I need to be transferred to hospital then the same applies really, I would rather her just come and wait with Dad2BabyInsomniac in the waiting room. She basically spends all her time with us and she understands such a lot that I would rather her come and have people explain to her that the baby is coming out than see us leave and her be worried. I also feel that if she is involved as much as possible then she won’t be as confused when a baby suddenly appears. I know it’s not for everyone but I just feel like it is the right thing for us, and it would make me feel a lot relaxed.

So with my concerns about Iyla sorted it just leaves all the smaller details like how I am going to cope!

So far my plan includes listening to my CD, using my birthing ball, having baths, aromatherapy oils, homeopathic remedies, making sure I drink fluids, stay calm, have hot water bottles, don’t lie on my back and hopefully birth in the pool.

I know that I want a natural third stage and ideally no drugs but if I am making noise at the end (with Iyla in bed) or struggling then I will give the gas and air a go, although I didn’t like it last time.

I am not focusing on the negatives which is quite unusual for me!

So there we have it, oh and my labour will be nice and short this time.

So can you really plan a birth?

I just don’t know if you can but check back in a few weeks and you might find the answer!


  1. says

    I have high hopes for my birth this time too but luckily last time it went to plan as well so I am hopefully for a second nice labour. I think positive thinking is the most important thing and sounds like you have that sorted! Hope to be reading a lovely home birth story very soon! x

  2. Sasha @ The Happy Baby Project says

    Great post! Have you read Ina May Gaskin’s book? Lots of positive birth stories in there, all home births at The Farm, all different but inspiring in their own ways. I think it’s fantastic you are having a home birth – my good friend had all her 3 at home, I’m just too scared as its my number 1!

    I’m just hoping to think positively, ‘let go’, relax and allow my body to do its thing :)

    All the best missus! Look forward to reading all about it! Xx

    • says

      Thank you, and to you! I haven’t read it actually, I’ve heard of it, might have to track down a copy. I am trying to read as many positive stories as possible, think that’s where I went wrong last time. All I did was read a standard pregnancy book and watch One Born! xx

  3. says

    Something to consider then is to pack a hospital bag for Iyla to take … with drinks, snacks, books, games, paper and pencils etc so that she has something to do and you don’t need to worry about finding her something to eat when you’re in labour. xx

  4. says

    That plan sounds really well thought out and sounds really logical to me. It’s so different second time isn’t it? Because you have lyla and she’s as much a part of it all as you are. With z I didn’t even have a rough birth plan, I never bothered writing anything down and didn’t even have a rough idea of what I wanted. I think I will give it a lot more thought with a second though!

    • says

      Yep totally, last time all I wouldn’t have ever imagined not having Matt next to me but this time my main concern is Iyla! It’s just so hard not knowing what day / time it is going to happen! x

  5. says

    I think it’s good to have hopes for your labour. I think sometimes the problem with the word “plan” means that you end up feeling let down when things don’t go “to plan”. I had no preconceived ideas when I had the little man and just went with the flow. With the little miss I definitely had more ideas about how I wanted it to be, but the nature of labour is that things change quickly and I hadn’t factored into my ideas the fact that I’d end up being booked into hospital at only 2cm as a high risk birth needing constant monitoring. And I still wouldn’t have it any different. It’s funny how the result always makes the means worthwhile.
    My whole plan for this time revolved around how the little guy would be cared for. My mum was able to watch him luckily, but only because she can early and my parents hadn’t left the country on holiday yet. My plan otherwise was to labour alone while the hubby babysat in the hospital grounds. I thinks it’s natural when you have the second one to be really concerned about keeping things okay for the one you already have.
    I can’t wait to come back in a few weeks and hear how it all went. X

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