If there's one thing I have learned about pregnancy and childbirth and raising kids, it's to expect the unexpected.
Yet things still have a tendency to startle you when they don't go to plan – even when you didn't really have a "plan" in the first place.
I have just been told my third pregnancy and birth is going to take quite a different course to my first two. I am most likely going to have a caesarean.
At 24 weeks, the baby's placenta is growing across its exit and is highly unlikely to move out of the way.
This means, that instead of going 12 days overdue as I did with my first two children, I am likely to be called in two to three weeks early for this quite planned medical procedure - if I make it that long.
Because the placenta isn't in the most ideal location, there can be earlier complications (bleeding) that could see me sent to hospital. This may happen as a precaution, or as an emergency which could lead to an earlier emergency c-section.
In New Zealand, c-sections are to childbirth as formula is to feeding. The rhetoric around them is that they should be avoided at all costs.
This is giving women an unnecessary fear of them and a sense of failure should they end up having one. This got me initially too. I was a bit shaken, disappointed and fearful after I received the phonecall.
But luckily this is my third child so I can see through the bulls**t and not buy in to the fear that some of the language surrounding these things triggers women wanting to do the best for their kids.
Yes, of course it is always better to not have a medical procedure over having one. But if not having one means dying, or your baby dying, or both, then what choice do you have?
It's the same with breastfeeding as a colleague wrote last week. Why do formula companies have to inform you that "breast is best" when alcohol companies don't have to tell you that water, or not drinking, is best?
All that is happening is that women, many of them vulnerable and anxious about doing the best they can for their children, are left feeling like they have failed.
Well, not me, anymore.
Just like in feeding, FED is best. So can we just say for birth, OUT is best?