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.
Pregnant friend: SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH AND LEAVE NOW BEFORE YOUR SELFISH WHORE BREATH INFECTS MY UNBORN BABY.
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.
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.