When I attended Chichester home birth conference a few weeks ago a question was asked along the lines of:
"How can we protect women from feeling a sense of failure if their birth doesn't go according to plan?"
It made me ponder over my own "failed" home birth and got me thinking about what makes it different; how can some women still feel amazing after a birth those goes down a different track, and how do others take home this weight of failure and sense of being robbed of the perfect experience which can so often lead to post natal depression.
I wanted the perfect home birth. I'd done a lot of research, I had my natal hypnotherapy tools, I had my warm, safe, private birthing space set up and I knew what it was I wanted. But as well as writing my birth plan of everything I did want to happen; I also think it's beneficial to have the conversations and get down on paper some of the alternatives.
*if* I can't have my home birth- what is the next best scenario?
*if* I need pain relief- do I understand my options?
*if* I need an induction- how can I make that a positive start to labour?
*if* I need to have a Caesarian birth- how can I make this as gentle and stress free for me and the baby?
And the one that was apt for my personal situation-
*if* I need to transfer into hospital- how can I keep calm and feel protected and safe?
I think that being as prepared as possible, understanding all your options, having an ideal goal but also being flexible with your expectations is the key to a successful birth story.
I always talk in terms of having had the perfect home labour- it was incredible and I enjoyed every minute. But when things changed track, I understood my options, I readjusted my expectations and was happy to feel in control of the decision to transfer into hospital. (I didn't make it to hospital by the way, my nearly 9lb baby came out calmly and easily in the back of a brightly lit ambulance at the road side. I had Natal Hypnotherapy labour companion on in my headphones, an amazing midwife and a husband who just made it in time)
*IF* you don't get the birth journey you hoped for, embrace it. You only get to birth this baby once so get in control of the situation and use every tool you have learnt during pregnancy make sure that it is YOUR birth. You may even end up with a crazy anecdote to tell your grandchildren one day 😊