In the past few years, I have learned first hand that this is true. My plans were to get pregnant during the summer of 2010. Then I changed my plans to go to school and NOT get pregnant yet. Well, God planned that I would not have a baby when I had planned, but that He was going to surprise me with one during the busiest time of my life! And He laughed and laughed in giddy anticipation as He knew how much more JOY His plan would bring me.
Well anyway, speaking of plans, I thought it would be fun to share some of my plans for the birth and the baby. I think it will be fun to actually see which plans we stick to, and which ones fly right out the window. My goal in all this is to be as flexible as possible since there are so many unknowns! Flexibility is not one of my strong suits, so I know God will use this to stretch me a bit! Pun intended.
A couple of disclaimers:
1. I am totally open to all opinions, and I am fascinated by all types of different prenatal, birth, and parenting philosophies. Obviously, I have no clue what I'm doing when it comes to labor, delivery, or even taking care of a baby! So these are just some ideas, and they are not meant to be judgmental at all to anyone who does things or plans on doing things differently. I would also love to hear all of your ideas and thoughts especially if they're different from mine! Again, I am so new to all of this, and just kind of testing the waters and trying to figure things out.
2. I am still not even halfway through the pregnancy, and might change my plans before the baby gets here. I plan on doing a lot more research before baby gets here. So again, these are just loose ideas.
Okay, so here are our plans in the very early stages of things.
Finding out the Gender:
We are finding out on March 1! We scheduled the appointment for 8:30 AM so we could wake up, go straight to the office, and probably be the first patients of the day, meaning a short wait time. We are both not patient enough to wait 9 months. I have such great respect for those who CAN wait all 9 months! It would be so fun to be surprised! But we want to pick out a for-sure name beforehand, buy girly or boyish clothes, and decorate the nursery accordingly (although I'm kind of into gender-neutral nurseries anyway. More on that in a minute). Also, for the record? I am voting girl.
Little Peanut, are you a girl or a boy? I can't wait to find out!
I seem to like gender-neutral colors with feminine or masculine touches. I'm not into "themes" per se, although I've seen a few cute ones. I tend to like vintage looking cribs and other furniture. I think the whole alphabet wall thing is adorable, and a bookshelf or some kind of book nook is an essential. Here are some of my favorite nursery pictures from Pinterest:
Who: Who will be in the delivery room? Definitely Luke (obviously) and other than that, I'm not sure! This is one of the undecideds.
What: What kind of birth will it be? Well, I would like to go as naturally as possible! Even I am a little surprised by that, because up until the time when I got pregnant, I always said I wanted an epidural. But the more I think about it, the more I want to at least try it. The choice of an epidural is definitely not off the table. I will ask for one if I think it's necessary. But again, I'd like to try this as naturally as possible.
- I don't want to slow down the labor and delivery process. I know that induction can lead to stronger, longer contractions, and much longer labor. And an epidural can slow labor down. Honestly, I'm terrified of labor, and already anxious to meet this little guy or girl, so the faster he or she can get here, the better! (Once they're "fully cooked," of course!)
- I've also heard recovery is quicker the more naturally you go.
- I know the pushing process will be easier without an epidural. I had a friend who got one, and was pushing for such a long time because she couldn't feel anything, and couldn't time her pushing with the contractions. This goes back to the whole "quick labor and delivery" thing. Also, I feel like the pain will be a motivator for me to push harder and get it over with!
- Women did it for thousands of years before drugs were even an option. If they could do it, why not me? God made my body for this purpose, and I think that is awesome!
When: When will the baby come? Well, obviously, that is up to my body and the baby. However, I do know that the only way I will agree to be induced is if it is absolutely medically necessary (as alluded to above).
Where: Where will the baby be born? I think those of you who can do a home birth or birth at a birthing center are rock stars! But for me personally, I like the idea of having a whole medical staff at my disposal in case anything goes wrong. The hospital where I will be delivering has one of the best neonatal intensive care units around, and this was a big plus for me when choosing a hospital. We haven't visited the hospital yet, but I am so excited to! On their website they make it sound like a luxury getaway, with plush robes, spa services, a special dinner for 2 or a family pizza party after the birth. Ha! Ha haha. I'm sure at that point I'll just be so enamored by the newborn that I've been waiting so long for, I won't care what the heck the hospital offers! Just let me hold my miracle! But it is fun to see how they want their new parents to feel special and comfortable (which I'm sure all hospitals do!) It is such a weird feeling to be 100% terrified of an experiene and 100% excited about it at the same time. I can't wait, and yet I want time to slow down. What an oxymoron.
Umm, what about that little thing called "Grad School"?
Well, hmm. Your guess is as good as mine here. I know that my plan is to graduate, and to graduate on time! But I've already talked about how our plans work. This is probably the most up-in-the-air, uncontrollable, too-many-variables, unplannable aspect of this whole thing. I was so nervous to talk to an administrator or supervisor at school about it. I finally emailed our clinic supervisor about it last Friday, and she could not have been more sweet about it. Tears of relief flowed down my cheeks as I read the email where she congratulated me, told me I was not allowed to panic, assured me that they've had pregnant women in the program before, and told me to stop by her office this week so we could chat about all those crazy variables and what to do about them! Our program is year-round, although I do believe we have about a month off from the end of July to the end of August. Since the baby is due July 22, that's actually pretty good timing. So all I can do is find out my options, and do everything I can to graduate on time. But I've already decided, if I have to take some time off, then so be it. Now more than ever, my family is my #1 priority. I've already cried hundreds of tears over the fact that I'm going to be so busy during my baby's first year of life. I'm sure I will probably write a whole post about that at some point. I know that I'll be gone at my externship about 3 days a week next year, and I'll have night classes a few nights a week after that. I am just so thankful that I have a husband who can take care of the baby most nights. And we have so many family members and friends who have offered baby-sitting services. We don't have a set plan as far as childcare goes, but I'm sure we can easily figure one out. God has blessed us with the most amazing support system in the world in our family members and friends. Every free second of my last year of school is going to be spent cuddling and loving on my baby. But I'm glad that those many, many times that I'm not there, the baby will have so many loving people to do it while I can't!
I'll write a post at some point about our Baby Plans once he or she makes their grand entrance!