Menifee Mom: You Can Plan, But Be Flexible, Too

By Jane Walker

Who out there is a planner? How many of you spend a lot of time organizing, preparing, executing, to make sure the best outcome possible? You set goals for yourself and your life revolves around these goals at whatever cost, to make sure the result is what you’ve imagined.

We tell ourselves this is most necessary because life would be utterly chaotic if we didn’t plan out every detail. We can schedule things and set up a routine to follow, but we must prepare for changes in those schedules --sometimes drastic changes.

I was a planner. I’d plan and research and talk about my goals and how I was going to get to them. So many of my family members always emphasized the need to have goals. If you didn’t have goals, you didn’t strive for anything in life. You were lazy. You had no drive.

I was this goal-driven banshee, until a year after my daughter was born.

My husband and I had been married six months when I found out I was pregnant. It was a surprise, especially because life was a bit of a whirlwind at the moment. But after the first trimester, when my hormones started to settle, I was overjoyed to finally have a bun in the oven.

I had hired a doula at about week 8 because I knew that I didn’t want a traditional hospital birth. I knew that I wanted my labor and delivery to be as natural as possible. I started reading about midwives, and water births, and how to get through the most intense labor pain without medicine. We found an OB in San Diego who was highly renowned in her field. I felt safe and confident everything would be OK.

Around week 26, after asking my OB several questions to try to keep my labor/delivery as natural as possible, I decided she was way too medically inclined, and I started to feel more like a cow being shuffled through the dairy farm. It was then that we decided to go to a Birth Center instead.

The birth center was everything I had imagined; hippie, natural, small, clean, with amazing midwives. No unnecessary medical devices etc. And the hospital was minutes away, should anything happen during the birthing process.

We had a handful of appointments and everything was fine. Our daughter was in the “right” position, head down, bottom up. She was also growing by the minute.

The midwife on duty at one of my last appointments before D-day felt my tummy like every appointment before. She was checking for head/bottom position. Then she told us she’d like to do an ultrasound just to “make sure” our daughter was in the right position.

What!? We’ve been getting these checks for the last month, and everything has always “felt” right according to midwives who have 20 years in this field! My heart sank. I knew that it was our daughter’s round little head at the top of my ribcage, and not her round little butt.

The ultrasound confirmed that our daughter’s precious face was staring right back at the camera, up by my chest. Nice.

We scrambled to find an OB who has more of a “natural birth” background, and I gave myself a week to try to turn this baby into the right position. It didn’t work. Two days before my due date, my OB said those dreaded words: “Let’s schedule a C-section”.

I didn’t even have time to think about it, because he wanted this baby out by noon the next day. My “plans” took a sharp 180-degree turn.

It took me about a year to finally accept that I would have a permanent reminder (my C-section scar) of my daughter’s birth. It took a year for me to finally realize we really have very little control over anything in life. We can hope, we can try to plan as best as we can, but what is supposed to happen, will happen, whether it’s what we want at the time or not.

I have found it’s best to just go with the flow, and don’t try and fight life. You become much calmer, joyful and have more of an ability to live in the moment.

Jane Walker is a Menifee resident, a wife and mother of a 2-year-old girl. Every Thursday, she shares her experiences as a Menifee mom. Jane welcomes your comments here.


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