I make plans for a living. Each and every event I coordinate has a set-up plan and a pre-planned menu and a timeline and plan for the back-up plan. Pretty much all I do is plan!
So, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that for the birth of my daughter, I had a very set plan in mind. (Don’t worry, this birth story doesn’t get too graphic.) She was going to come exactly on her due date because that’s how Mom does things, and I was going to have a vaginal birth and was fully prepared to have an epidural. As much as the nurse in our birth class encouraged us to keep an open mind, I was focused in on my birth plan.
Sure enough, 39 weeks came along, and my doctor asked me about a plan should we go past her due date. Of course, I was thrilled to have that conversation, but I had a feeling she would be here on, if not before, her due date. WRONG. Her due date came and went, and on the 15th of November, I was admitted into the hospital to be induced.
I shook that off because at least we were starting my back up plan. This was a pre-discussed option that my husband and I and doctor had talked about in great lengths. Everything was going to be just as I imaged it within the last week…until we found out Parker was OP (in the occiput posterior position), which meant she was facing up instead of down. My doctor warned me it was going to be hard to get her to come out in that position, but I was determined! Because that was the plan.
So I pushed and I pushed and I pushed for over an hour before her heart rate started to drop and my doctor explained to me that I could keep pushing, and there would be the possibility of me having to be rushed down the hall to the operating room, or we could decide then to have a c-section, and I could very calmly be walked down the hallway.
At that moment, my plan exploded. It got thrown completely out the window because never in a million years did I plan on having a c-section. However, I knew that’s exactly what I needed to do to ensure a safe delivery of our little one. So there I laid in what looked like the set of Grey’s Anatomy with a team of doctors around me and looking at my husband, I tried so hard to hold back tears. During the past 9 months of my life, I had a vision of how this day was supposed to go (well, technically 2 days prior since we surpassed her due date), and this wasn’t it.
When you have a baby, you are taught so much about this new human being: what they like and don’t like, what makes them happy, what makes them angry, what types of products they prefer, what facial expressions mean certain things, etc.
But on that day, my little girl taught me the most important lesson of all. Starting that day, she taught me to let go of my fears and be OK with no plan. As perfect and polished as things can be with a plan, it’s the unplanned that make life so special. It’s those random winter days that Columbia is supposed to get yet another ice storm and daycare is closed that allow you to have a surprise day at home in your jammies together. It’s the frustrating moments when you’re running late for work and she decides to poop right after you have her in the car seat but that also make you giggle because of course it would happen that way. It’s the Saturday mornings when Dad brings his to-go mug of coffee into her room to play with the two of you because he decided his crew can take care of things and he’s not going into work.
These. These are the moments that I will look back on when I’m old and sitting on my back porch enjoying a nice sunset. These unplanned days will be the days we will joke about with her at her wedding. These are the days that contain irreplaceable memories, and the best part will be they were all unplanned.