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Mom Plans, God Laughs

Photograph by Getty Images

After typing up my two-page birth plan, I had five copies printed out on highlighter-green paper and laminated. After going over this plan with my "birthing companions" (my husband and my mother), these copies were placed in the suitcase I would be bringing to the hospital, so as to be handed out to hospital staff who would be attending to me.

I had drawn up this document after attending a breastfeeding class, an all-day birthing class and a three-week hypnobirthing course. Though I had always been the type of person who rolled her eyes at "breast is best" pronouncements and who thought attempts to have a natural birth were utter lunacy, suddenly I was making plans to allow only intermittent monitoring and to refuse an epidural.

RELATED: How Not to Write a Birth Plan

For example, item number four on my birth plan: "I would prefer to wear my own clothes while in the hospital—rather than the standard hospital gown—during intake, labor and post-labor."

Item number six: "I would like a calm, relaxed atmosphere in my hospital room, with a minimum of noise, dimmed lights and access to my music and meditation tracks."

Item number nine: "As I will be practicing hypnobirthing, I will breathe the baby down when the time feels right. So no counting/pushing, and no discussion of pain tolerance or pain levels."

"Heck," I told people. "If it weren't for push-back from my husband and my mother, I'd do a home birth."

When active labor finally ripped me out of a fitful sleep in the middle of the night a few days before my due date, the pain was so bad I puked.

I puked twice more at the hospital (by this time I was in a hospital gown, despite what my birth plan said), and every contraction was accompanied by moaning and writhing. When my mother suggested I practice my yogic breathing (yes, I'm a yoga teacher, which is partially why hypnobirthing appealed to me), I cackled like a madman.

Motherhood: never what you expected. So don't bother making plans.

When my doctor told me I was still only at seven centimeters, my response was basically: "What!? NO. GIVE ME DRUGS."

And everything after that was rainbows and unicorns. I even got in a nap and some light reading.

It's common knowledge here on mom.me that, when it comes to birth plans, things don't always turned out as expected. In fact, it's typically better to go into these things with no expectations whatsoever.

It seems that motherhood itself is much the same. To illustrate, here are Things I Declared Pre-Baby That Eventually Led to Foot-in-Mouth Disease:

I refuse to waste my money on such frivolous items as nursing pillows when regular pillows exist.

One single day after returning home from the hospital, I ordered a nursing pillow. Then I got a backup one because I had a coupon. Then I ordered a pumping bra. And an infinity scarf that doubled as a nursing cover-up. And cold compresses for my boobs. There's this fantastic post over at The Billfold on the cost of breastfeeding, and I have purchased many of the items therein. And I have not regretted a single purchase.

I probably won't be breastfeeding for long anyway.

As I write over on my own blog, I never intended to breastfeed. And the only reason I gave it a shot was because my husband asked me to. I never expected that it would stick and that, even more than that, I would prefer it to both pumping and formula feeding. I won't lie. The first month was hard and it felt like I was suffocating and I cried a lot. I changed my mind approximately a thousand times in regard to what I wanted to do going forward. But when my daughter inexplicably spent a full 24 hours refusing the boob, I was sad about it!

I will only dress Emily in gender-neutral clothing. Down with pink!

I will dress Emily in any damn outfit that has been gifted to her—pink, green, yellow or blue—because I didn't have to pay for it.

Also, tutus are adorable.

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I will continue working from home as I always have and teaching yoga as I always have while simultaneously caring for Emily ... and I will do this without any help from anyone.

All of you work-at-home moms know how this one turned out.

And there you have it.

Motherhood: never what you expected. So don't bother making plans.

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