At my last doctor appointment, my OB asked what my birth plan was. You see, last time I had this lovely, detailed, birth plan all printed out and in my bag ready to go. It never even left the bag. So my response this time was, ” I’m not committed to anything either way.” She said, “we call that the open plan birth plan.”
If becoming a parent has taught me anything, it’s that we should always have an “open plan.” From the moment my water broke, began the greatest and most valuable lesson any mother is destined to learn at some point in her career raising children: plans are made to be broken.
For many of us, perhaps this is a lesson we learned before becoming mothers. But with motherhood, this lesson rises to an entirely different level. You give of yourself and love another in a completely unique and new way. You are at the mercy of this tiny person who has the power to completely consume you with both love and fear, sometimes simultaneously. You may think something will go a certain way and sometimes it does, but more often it does not.
If you are like me, you’d much prefer to control your environment. You like to plan. So the idea of always having an “open plan” approach to mothering is incredibly uncomfortable. In fact, it feels impossible. I cannot promise that I will always keep this lesson in mind or parent with it at the forefront but I will try to. There will be those days when I’m completely fed up with not getting something done or will feel helpless because I cannot understand why this just happened to me. It will certainly be a challenge.
And so, as I prepare to become a second time parent, I’m going to do my best to maintain an open plan to my son’s birth experience. I have great hope that everything will go the way I want it to. That we will both come out of the experience healthy. That we will be able to leave the hospital, together. That I will be strong enough for whatever the experience brings our way, even if it doesn’t go as planned.
That is my “open plan birth plan.”