Monday, March 28, 2011

Making Plans (or not)

I was laughed at today, in a good-natured manner, for mentioning that I had given my OB a copy of my "birth plan" at my last appointment. The person's response, besides laughter, was, "I plan on having a quick, easy and pain-free birth!"

Wouldn't it be nice to write it down and have it happen that way because that's "the plan"?

I was a little hurt feeling that someone thought I was being naive to make decisions about how I wanted my baby to be born and expecting things to go that way. I'm not saying that things will go the way I would like them to, but I would like to try to make it as beautiful an experience as it can be.

Paul and I have been taking our Bradley classes and, even if we don't have things happen the natural way we would like, I would like to: A) Prepare and hope for things to be the best they can and B) Feel as though people I care about are respecting my decisions and believing that I have the conviction to try my best.

No matter what, the classes have been a blessing for Paul to feel more involved in our pregnancy and to help him know how to handle me and all the craziness involved in pregnancy. They have helped me know better how to take care of myself and the baby (even if I don't do as well as I should), to feel Paul's support even stronger than I had and to have a chance to spend with him talking about our baby and the changes in our life as we made the weekly two hour drive to class.

People have also given me a hard time about cloth diapering and saying that I won't stick with it. Why don't people just say, "Hey, that's great! Good luck!" and then if it doesn't work out, so what? It doesn't hurt to try. [Side note: Yes, I know many think cloth diapering is expensive and could result in people wasting their money, so they feel they need to "warn you", but our whole point of cloth diapering was to save money. We've bought and had people give us good, inexpensive diapers that practically paid for themselves in two months of using them. If things weren't working for us, cloth diapers have an amazing resale value. Plus, they encouraged Lil' Man to start going potty! Now we hardly use any diapers!]

Yes, plans don't always go the way we would like, but we all need encouragement.

When my husband and I got married "the plan", in our eyes, was to let go and let God decide when He wanted us to start our family- us knowing, of course, that God's "plan" would be to give us a baby ASAP. Well, God either didn't get a copy of our ASAP version of "the plan" or He has a way different idea of "the plan" that was not what I wanted it to be!

Funny how plans go, isn't it? Praise God, I knew that so many friends and loved ones were praying for us.

Looking back now I can see why God had a longer, harder version of "the plan" than the one we had come up with. It was hard and I had some times when I just wanted to throw a tantrum (and did!) that God wasn't doing things the way I thought they should go. Especially when I lost my little treasure, Paul Joshua, and felt as if everyone else around me was being blessed with one baby after another.

We, as Catholics, can understand the beauty of Lent and redemptive suffering, but sometimes connecting the knowing and the accepting are two totally different things.

Now I can look back and see how my suffering was needed for my soul and to prepare me for where I am now and the joy I am able to experience if I accept it. I have a new plan that I pray God will give me the grace to stick to. I plan on doing all I can to make this baby's birth as safe and joyful as possible, but I am prepared to experience the pain, the long time of apprehension and waiting and the suffering that will strengthen my soul and perhaps help others. I will offer up my suffering for my baby and for those who are mourning the disappointment of "plans" that haven't gone the way we would have liked.

Again, that is "the plan", but I know that plan will only be stuck to by the grace of God and the love, support and encouragement of people who believe in me and will respect me no matter what. I have complained during my morning sickness, my long nights battling indigestion, back pain and almost every time I've had the opportunity despite the fact that just a little over 9 months ago I "coveted my neighbors wombs" as they bore children I only dreamed of! I am SO far from perfect! But, I am blessed that I do have a God who loves and  forgives me, Paul to support me, family who will be here for us and a baby who will be incredible no matter how he or she makes it into this world. I am blessed.

Sorry for the rant. There is a lot going on around here right now and I am crazy hormonal, so I just need to get the minor stuff off my chest.

Did any of you have unique birth plans (or a birth plan at all?)??? Did you feel supported? How different did things work out from the way you wanted them to?

The sun is finally shining here! I hope it is where you are and that you have the chance to enjoy it.

God bless!


letlovebesincere said...

Oh Ann- what a good post. I have spent so much time in the last year and a half thinking about my 'plan' vs. God's plan. And, how wrong I was to doubt His plans for me. It is amazing as we are both about to enter this crazy parenting adventure, being so aware that God had this amazing plan for our lives the whole time. A long time ago, Bree and I talked about getting tattoos that said, '20/20'. Reminding us that although we can't always understand what God is doing, His vision for our lives is always 20/20...because so many times we look back at our lives and see how very in control God was.

In regards to the naysayers of birth plans and cloth diapering...everyone has an opinion- and, as I am sure you have learned in your pregnancy (as I have in mine)everyone is going to share it, no matter how hurtful or judgmental it is. You will ROCK OUT cloth diapering, I am certain of that. And, with Paul as your rock, I am sure your birth plan will come into fruition. :) So, do your thing.

Our birth plan, as many drugs as quickly as possible:) But, I even say that in jest, I am trying to stay as open as possible to any movement I might have the day of. Right now, I just can't help focusing on how awesome it will be to have the little dude in my arms, in his nursery at night! Oh, and meeting his new bestie, baby Coakley!

We love you, keep your head up. Just this morning Aaron was like, 'do you realize Ann is due at the end of this week'. HOLY MOLY Annie- your little guy (I know, I know, but I am just SO certain it is a boy) is gonna be here SO SOON! I can't WAIT to get that text :)

Barbara Fryman said...

Well, now that the little bit is here, you will get all that advice on how to raise him. But in the end, God gave him to you and Paul, not them. For example, many people think spanking is good discipline, but you might find that your little guy is too sensitive for that type of discipline. You might remember while all that advice is thrown at you, even by your loving parents and in-laws, you can be confident that God's in your corner giving you what you need to help him become a saint!

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