You're driving to a new place you've never been... you get your map/GPS out, figure out where you're starting point is and where you're going, and determine which route to your destination is the best for you. You may decide beforehand who is going to ride with you and account for all probable pit stops to fill your gas tank, grab a bite to eat, take toilet breaks, or possibly even reserve lodging to rest. In other words: you make a plan to get the best traveling results possible.
Of course, sometimes things come up... Major construction and unforeseen dead-ends. Stand-still traffic. Missing turns and getting lost. Things that slow you way down and/or take you ways that you would have rather avoided.
In the end, you'll surely make it to your destination; but with the possibility of so many unknowns and obstacles, does it even make sense to planning any details? After all, "all roads lead to Rome", right? So why not just wing it and hope for the best?
The point of a plan isn't to ensure that everything turns out perfectly like you thought (when it does, what a treat! But we'd be kidding ourselves to think that isn't the exception.); no, the purpose of a plan is to give yourself an opportunity to review the choices you have in front of you, discover your preferences, and to recognize if you've veered off track.
Making a birth plan is exactly this. The destination is a healthy baby safely delivered into your happy arms. But the question is, how do YOU want to get to that destination? A doula can be your GPS, navigating you through the whole journey - equipping you with information about your options and what may lie ahead; and "rerouting" you if an unanticipated direction takes place. Just as with everything else in life, there are no guarentees with birth; however, building a plan for it can help you decipher what is most important to you and how to prepare for and make the best of every potential road block.
I want the best for your birth experience. A birth plan can cetainly be a powerful tool for you to use. But ultimately, the birth plan won't be what makes your experience satsifying; it will be that you made your own choices. So whether you're the sponateous roadtrip kind of gal; or a step-by-step logistics kind of traveler, I'm delighted to join you for the ride and see you make it to the end.
Did you make a birth plan? Did you find it helpful to you and your support team?
Or did did you play things by ear during your labor? What was your experience?
Share in the comment section below!