When I had Sam my birth plan was a bit, well a lot, vague. There was so much conflicting advice for a first time mum to be that I couldn't always sift out the good from the not so good.
So I went with two key points. The first was no back labour - I couldn't lie on my back for the last trimester without whimpering in pain so didn't see any logic in doing it for the most physically demanding challenge of my life.
The second was no diamorphine but that went out of the window when the intensity of the contractions changed during the transition phase and I panicked.
I stuck to the first point though, when I was woozy with the drugs and sleeping in four minute intervals between contractions, the midwife and Euan manoeuvred me onto my side and the rest of the time I was on my feet or crouching. Gravity was my friend, I had a short labour with no complications and no stitches. (Don't hate me, it was pregnancy karma, a reward for 8 months of vomiting and 3 months of pelvic and lower back pain.)
Because the first labour was fairly quick and efficient and second babies generally come quicker, a home birth was in the back of my mind from relatively early on this time. As well as not delivering a baby on the side of the road, I was seduced by the idea of minimum upheaval. I would have my own things to hand without deciding what to pack, I would have that amazing post delivery cup of tea in one of my own mugs and I would have my own bathroom handy for that first shower.
I also quite wanted the privacy of our own home for those first beautiful skin to skin moments and feeding. Our experience at the hospital last time was by no means awful or overly clinical but I felt hot and uncomfortable and every time I thought I would have two moments to gaze quietly at the boy or grab a ten minute snooze, someone inevitably walked in to check him or me or offer more tea and toast.
Actually, the tea and toast part was brilliant, a key part of my home birth would have been a loaf of white bread and naughty butter on standby for toasting and my mum wielding the teapot.
I've been in what would politely be described as a "low mood" this week. I'm not polite though so I'll put my hands up and admit to have been in a sh*tty mood. It's not what I'd call depression, I know what that looks like and I'm not there yet. But it's getting there and that's a bit of a blow.
It turns out that people who have postnatal depression have a 50% chance of antenatal depression in subsequent pregnancies. Oh great, thanks hormones. Also, I think some of it might be down to either puking or wanting to puke for six months.
But my up and down, slightly nutty behaviour is mostly down to feeling like the rug got pulled out from under me. The operation to remove my cyst and the recovery time have made me doubt birth can be a straightforward experience. I've been dwelling far too much on what-ifs and also on all the things that I can't do right now.
The biggest one being that lovely, slightly hippy dippy homebirth I'd been counting on. In fairness, no medical professional has come out and said that I shouldn't have the baby at home and my consultant has reassured me that she sees no reason why I can't deliver in the midwife led unit of the maternity ward. But I'm officially wimping out. I want the safety net of doctors being two minutes away if they're needed.
At the same time, I'm terrified that the delivery will turn into a long succession of medical interventions.
So after a good chat with an excellent midwife and consultant I'm taking ownership of the mood I'm in. The depression will have to be nipped in the bud with the right medication so that Sam and Euan and the new one won't have to experience zombie-Heather.
And I'm going to write a birth plan that features minimal monitoring, labouring in a pool (I think I'll get over my "is the water clean enough?" heebie jeebies when I'm in the moment) and not letting myself panic. Then I'm going to give Euan a copy of it so he can gently remind me of those good intentions when I panic anyway and start asking for the good narcotics....