Lesson Seven: Your Birth Plan. Good Luck With That.

Pregnancy 139

When I was pregnant with Hailey, I had no idea what I was doing and when people would ask me what “my birth plan” was, I would say, “Um ... I plan to have a baby,” and then I’d walk away because those people were clearly idiots, but then later I was reading the pregnancy books and apparently you’re supposed to have a detailed plan for the kind of birth you want your child to have. You’re supposed to decide how you want to deal with the pain, where to have your baby, what part of your body you want your baby to come out of, and a host of other things that all basically sound like various degrees of unpleasantness and horror.  

If you’re anything like me, the baby books and your pregnant friends will scare the shit out of you so I’m going to give you the lowdown here. 

You will have a million choices in your birth plan but only three things are certain.

One: You’re doing it wrong. If you have your baby at home, it will scar your other children for life and your baby may be trampled by wild horses. If you have your baby at a hospital, it will get switched with another baby who leaves the door open all the time and sells your VCR for drug money. If you have an epidural, your baby will come out addicted to crack. If anyone speaks to the baby for the first seven days, they will have psychic scars that will allow aliens to latch onto their brains. These are all things that were actually told to me by seemingly normal women who had been driven mad by the pressure of having to choose a birth plan. 

Two: IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION YOU WILL EVER MAKE. Choosing a birth plan is less like choosing a new couch and more like choosing whether to be in the Crips or the Bloods. Battle lines are drawn and someone’s going to get blood on them. Example:

Me: Once the baby’s born I’m going to become a cannibal.

Pregnant friend: Oh, like the Atkins diet. Good for you!

Me: Also, I’ll be dyeing my clothes with the blood of my enemies.

Pregnant friend: Well, you do look good in red.

Me: And I think I’ve decided to have a c-section.


Three: The person making your actual birth plan decisions is your baby. Related: babies don’t give a shit about your plans. Making a plan for the birth of a child is like making a plan for decorating your Christmas tree in the middle of a house fire. Until you’re actually in the heat of battle, you have no idea whether you’re going to want drugs or whether you’ll have to have a c-section or whether you’ll be stuck in traffic and the baby will be delivered by a cab driver who will burn off the umbilical cord with his cigar. And that’s fine. Hell, the Virgin Mary had her baby in a damn barn and he turned out okay. 

In the end, none of that matters. Whether you welcome your baby in a hut or in a hospital or in the orphanage where you adopt her, the same basic rule applies: If you’re lucky enough to end up with a baby, you win.  

The end.


PS: I was just singing that song about Jesus being born in a barn and it was all “... A child, a child shivers in the cold. We must bring him silver and gold.” And I’m all “How about a sweater?” Because metal’s not that warm. And my husband just pointed out that Jesus could buy a sweater with silver and gold but where exactly is he going to buy one? They couldn’t even find a damn hotel, much less an Old Navy. Plus, they’re going to have to carry a bunch of heavy silver and gold and myrrh with them on a fucking donkey. 

Worst. baby gifts. ever.

View More Parenting Lessons from The Bloggess

baby prep, labor & delivery


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LOL LOL Now I am a planning person and even I saw no use in a "birth plan" I ended up with pretty much what I wanted - a drug free birth with my sisters (best friends) there, o and husband was there too. I did have to very uncerimoniously kick MIL out......... I did have the baby on the floor tho. The midwife wanted me to get in the bed but at one point they had monitored me on my back in the bed and there was NO WAY IN HELL I was getting back so I had the baby on the floor. lol

drfink drfink

True,true ,true.I have four and after the first my birth plan for the last three consisted of as near as possible to the due date have my baby in my arms not in my uterus.I learned I can not control everything.They all have turned out to be healthy,bright ,happy people even those born with out a detailed moment to moment birth plan.

Lynette Lynette

lol, pretty funny.  I think birth plans are great but you have to be informed so you can get what you want.  and an intervention leads to another and so on a lot of the times.  So watch Business Of Being Born.  Read some great bks.  And if your going to have that hospital birth get a doula!...me I ran the risk w/ my last one of being trampled by wild horses and scaring the sibblings, it rocked!

stell... stellarluna

anyone who cares about birth and is well informed will probably think your article is a load of crap.  I've had three children, all completely different births, but a birth plan was always key in ensuring my basic wishes were met, that I didn't have to talk much and answer questions through my natural birth (which I planned before ever experiencing child birth).  Every pregnant woman should have a birth plan because it forces you to research, and there are just too many moms who are not well-informed at all.

Madel... MadelynMc

This is pretty hilarious. Love it.

poshkat poshkat

i had a birth plan lol silly me!!,it almost went the way i wanted! Almost, only 5 weeks early. did not plan for a preemie!! i got what i wanted with a non medicated birth (although in the middle i WANTED NEEDED those damn drugs, they were just too late to bring them) and only the doctor and a nurse in my room for delivery, guess what? i got a whole NICU team, 2 doctors, 4 nurses and one student nurse all staring at my hoo ha and guess what? i didn't care because what was more important was getting that baby out and into the NICU. i love it when women tell me exactly how their birth is going to be, it makes me smile, so i just smile and nod and than walk away.

Lori Appel

@Stellarluna,  BIG SIGH!  It's humor, pull the stick out and lighten up. 

thedg... thedgoddess

Yup. Pretty much.

I went to midwives/birthing center. THey were cool about the birth plan but once I was transferred to the hospital it went out the windows and the nurses were all, "OH NO SHE DI'INT" and that was the end of that. I mean, how hard is it to respect a few basic wishes? Like, DON'T SHAVE ME WITH A WEED WACKER and DO NOT TOUCH MY HAIR I HATE THAT.


nonmember avatar Allboys

LMAO @ the worst baby gifts ever. I'm glad someone else thinks so. I had a birth plan and I stuck to it. Mine was simple, not written down but I did not accept things I did not want.

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