One of the most significant events in a human's lifetime is the birth of their child. We also happen to have almost no control over how the whole thing goes down.

Considering that the word "expect" is literally built into the job title, "expectant parents" are bound to face more than their fair share of feeling let down and wound up on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.

And never more so than they do those first few long months on the job.

Yet, your OBGYN still expects you to have a birth plan in place come D-Day.

The root of the problem: "Birth Plan' is an oxymoron. Show me an invitation to a well-planned event on which the date and time read: TBD. And, please, tell me, how does one create an itinerary for such an event? But, if you're expecting a child and feeling a bit anxious over all the unknown exponents involved, go ahead, make a plan, envision the best case scenario, but do yourself a favor and use a pencil. Now is not the time to stop being flexible (we all know how you got this job in the first place).

Actually, just bust out your Beauty and the Beast Tea Set and Magnet Doodler- it's time to make a Birth Plan.

Ah yes, mommy and daddy's first swing at playing make-believe, not to be confused with role-playing (get your mind out of the gutter, we all know how you got this job in the first place). Just know that if these 17 things expectant parents pretend they can plan ahead of time are in your 'Birth Plan,' you may be in for a surprise.. or seventeen.

Choosing a "Natural' Birth.

It's so ridiculous when our society subconsciously pats women who gave birth 'naturally' on the back, all while passive-aggressively suggesting that c-section deliveries are somehow inherently lazy, less painful, even remotely optional, or in some way less maternal acts of childbirth. In most cases, it's not a decision at all... ahem, Kate Hudson. (*scowl/growl combo). There's a much larger and far more complex plan overriding this 'decision,' and that's to send one healthy mom home, with one healthy baby, in a few days.

'Opting' for a C-Section.

Visa-Versa, you can schedule your C-Section 6 months in advance and still end up delivering your baby in the car, on the way to your scheduled C-Section, while you're stuck in traffic. You may have a preference, but don't pretend to know what the plan is when it comes to your actual delivery method.

Planning on an epidural.

Childbirth. Yeah, it really does hurt that bad. If you're planning on an epidural, more power to you. I sure did. Let's just hope that you get to the hospital in time and that if you do, that it works on more than just half of your body. Didn't know about this possibility? Neither did I... Until half of my body was on fire and the other half felt dead. So yeah, that's a thing.

Passing on Pain Management.

Which is very brave and noble and there's a real chance you just might pull it off. But there's also a distinct possibility that you'll be begging for the drugs. And usually, once that ship has already sailed.

Lashing out in labor.

You probably won't be screaming shocking obscenities at your suddenly-supportive significant other when it comes time to push like the possessed poltergeists portraying pregnant women in movies and on TV. But if there's any chance that you think you might get confused in all the childbirth chaos, maybe just jot down a little note on the top of your hand before leaving for the hospital. Something to the effect of "cussing out hubs during childbirth: funny on film, abusive in reality."

Your due date is your delivery date.

And it is, a whole whopping 5% of the time. The other 95% of the time, parents are either frantically running to the hospital before they've even packed their bags or staring at the clock, then at each other, then at the clock, and repeat, for days! Very long, very uncomfortable, days.

Your water will break at that perfect dramatic moment.

Maybe it'll happen when you're yelling at someone who you've just been dying to lay into for ages. Maybe it'll happen when your mid-conversation with your bestie and you'll soak her new Manolo's with one swift gush. Or you'll just wake up soaking wet in bed, next to your two-year-old and spend the next 5 minutes trying to figure out which one of you peed the bed, before realizing your 100 months pregnant and it's time to call your husband. Climactic? No. Reality? Yes.

Maternal instincts are instant.

This isn't Spiderman; mommy reflexes and senses are survival instincts that evolve throughout motherhood. So, if you're counting on those new-mom night-owl senses to wake you up when it's time to feed your baby, then you can count on one annoyed baby and several annoying nurses waking you up every twenty minutes. While, undoubtedly, very rude, considering all you've just gone through, babies and nurses care not of your past accomplishments.

Needing an Episiotomy

Whether or not a woman needs an episiotomy can depend on several factors. Like mom's biology, the size, and position of her baby, as well as the length of her delivery. Sure, some of these factors can be evaluated in advance, yet, at the end of the day, none are certainties. If your Doctor thinks you may tear, and he has time, he'll snip you quicker than you can say "Wait, what are those?" and when it's all said and done, you'll thank him for the medieval treatment. OR, if you know you're of a petite frame and carrying a big-ass baby, you can plan an episiotomy ahead of time, and still end up being torn in two when your baby busts out early. Either way.

Self-Esteem STAT.

We know you're looking forward to wearing those old skinny jeans, seeing your feet and using your knees again, but don't get too ahead of yourself. You will never be more swollen, exhausted, or terrified of bleeding to death as you are AFTER you just had a baby. And for the next six weeks or so. If you plan on packing some cute PJ's for your post-birth hospital stay, just make sure they're a size or two bigger than the pair you wore when checking in, and, oh, yeah, that they can camouflage buckets of blood and a fair share of spit-up. Do yourself a favor, give yourself at least half the time it took you to get to this point before expecting to feel like your old self. And don't you dare weigh yourself before your baby is 6 weeks old.


For being "the most natural thing in the world," there sure are a lot of books on how to breastfeed. That's because, while certainly natural, it is by no means easy. Read the library. Buy the boob-gear. Pray to the milk-gods. Just don't go around bragging just yet. If your milk never comes in, baby won't latch, has a dietary restriction, allergy, or feeding issue, you may need to lean on the support of all those bottom-feeding bottle-feeders you blasted just a few weeks back. Blasphemy, we know, but it happens. A lot.

Post-Baby Bonding with Bae.

You've probably heard that there is nothing sexier than seeing your husband holding your newborn baby, right? But you probably haven't heard an expression about a far more common occurrence among new parents. "There's nothing more infuriating than watching your husband nap, while you're up with the baby like you have been all night every night for the past three weeks while he slept through the night." The struggle is real. But if you're not bickering, are you even parents yet?

Post-Partum Depression? Not you.

Whether it's legit post-partum depression or just those "I threw away my precious freedom, not-seeming-so-bad-now-pre-baby-bod, and any remote chance of truly ditching my husband for the next 18 years" baby blues, don't be surprised if you find yourself feeling a little down post-baby. It's A LOT of change. And change, no matter how wonderful, is hard. Don't set yourself up by assuming that you're going to be beaming with joy once you've had your baby. The joy will come. For now, take a cue from your baby and just sleep, eat, and cry.

You're so about that self-care.

You'd never let yourself fall apart like your friends did as new moms. No, you're going to make self-care a priority! Good luck with that. While you're currently hoping to still get in an occasional mani-pedi, you'll be praying for a scream-free shower in no time at all. And you know exactly who you'll be calling for advice on how to engage in basic hygiene once your partner goes back to work.

Hurry Up and Wait.

You'd think with all the "hurry to the hospital" hype there'd be some sort of schedule in motion. But you'd be wrong. And while you should definitely play it safe and plan on rushing to the hospital once your contractions get going, don't plan on much after that. Like eating, drinking, peeing, or going anywhere, or doing anything. The average first-time mom hurries to the hospital just to play the waiting game for the next 14 hours or so.

Planning anything, at all.

You can plan for months on end, researching cord blood technologies, thoroughly weighing the costs with the potential benefits through discussions with both your partner and health care providers. Then register and pay thousands of dollars in fees upfront, only to have an insanely late on-call delivery doctor barely show up in time to catch the kid and, oops, cut the cord, sans saving the several thousand dollar sample of completely irreplaceable, precious and potentially life-saving stem cells.

Or, at least they were.

But like I said, oops. (Yes, the nurses knew this information. Yes, it was written on the pointless crappy little whiteboard chart in the corner of my hospital room in the third best maternity ward in the country.)

Childbirth is like a real-life game of Jumanji.

Plan with caution. What 'plans' did you have for childbirth that didn't exactly pan out? Be sure to share this with the expectant parents in your life,  you know, the ones expecting things to go 'according to plan!'