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Sunday, 1 July 2012

Birth Choices?

Audrey May Rampling was born at 3.57am on Saturday 5th November 2011. My labour was, in my mind, perfect. My waters broke while in hospital just after midnight and before my husband could arrive from our house 20 minutes away I was already in established labour. My midwife, who had been with us on our journey for the last nine months, knew of my hopes for a natural water birth and quickly prepared the bath. The room was dim, there was soothing music in the background and for the most of it, it was just Luke and I. When it was time a mere four pushes later my beautiful daughter was in my arms. I know I am lucky, I had the birth most women dream of and I am forever thankful.

I guess my question is why was I so blessed? Why did I get to experience the labour I 'chose' while others are not so lucky? When you are pregnant regardless of your decision to go with an obstretician, midwife or shared care you are asked about your birth plan. It is discussed at length on more than one appointment. Would you like pain relief? Who would you like to be in the room with you? Will you labour at home and at what stage would you like to make your way to hospital? Will you elect to have a scheduled caesarian??? But what if you don't get a say? After talking to many mothers after the birth of my daughter I started to think, when it comes to labour do we really have a choice or has it already been made for us? A dear (and very brave) friend of mine once described her birthing experience as writing her birth plan then someone getting it confused and thinking it was everything she didn't want. Another friend described her labour as the most horrific experience of her life. Both of these women love their children and are amazing mothers but what made their experience so different to mine? As mentioned in a previous post I am a planner and my labour was no different. I pictured my waters breaking, the excited drive to hospital, getting into my 'birthing clothes' and using all the techniques I had learnt to work with my body and deliver my baby naturally. Now apart from the birthing outfit that was thrown into a corner 15 minutes in, the rest was pretty much as I imagined and to be honest I don't know how I would have coped had it not.

So my advice to anyone who is pregnant... Know what you are comfortable with, talk to your partner about it and express this to your carer but try not to 'expect' or over plan. However your baby comes into this world one thing can almost be guaranteed, the second they are placed in your arms it all disappears and all that matters is the little person who has just joined your family.

Love, Elle.


  1. Hi hun,

    Lovely to read your birth story & your words not to "expect or over plan". Fortunately enough our story was very similar to your own, but we didn't have a plan. Words such as natural, water, squatting (haha), intervention free were discussed between Marty & myself, but this was not our plan as such. What was more important for us was that we were both educated, prepared & open minded for any plan that was to unfold. Like you said, at times yes "the choice has been made for us" - but as a husband & wife team the choices are really all ours from conception to the first moment you hold your baby and beyond! Each birth may be different & may not go to a perfect plan (if you have one that is!), but it is so empowering that we have a voice & can play some part in these choices, as long as we are equipped with all the knowledge necessary to make them confidently... this is such a parental blessing!

    Loving this blog x x x

  2. Thank you Hun, I am so happy that you are enjoying my blog.
    It is so good to hear other peoples experiences and thoughts on birth and beyond. I know next time not to go in with a plan but to be educated on the process and let my body lead the way...

    Love, Elle. x x x