Mum admits she lost sight of what really mattered after blowing thousands on luxuries before her sons birth.

Aoife writes in The Sun, “I’d planned a drug-free water birth and pictured myself meditating serenely in a hospital birthing pool, surrounded by euphoric wave sounds as I calmly ‘breathed out’ my baby. ”

“My birth plan laid out my wishes for a natural delivery with as little medical intervention as possible, and detailed the oils to infuse during labour and how many minutes I wanted the umbilical cord to pulse before it was cut (preferably five). And now I was going to do it all in fancy swimwear.”

“I was seeing an acupuncturist once a week for £40 ($74 au) an hour to de-stress and prime my body for labour, plus a reflexologist at £50 ($93 au)a pop to help stimulate contractions.

I was also attending a hypnobirthing course costing £200 ($372 au) for 10 hours over five weeks. This was all on top of free antenatal classes and a water-birth workshop at the hospital, plus the countless natural childbirth books, relaxation tapes, herbal teas and tinctures to induce labour naturally. In total, I spent the best part of £3,000. ($5500 au)”

“I became so obsessed with the idea of an all-natural water birth, it didn’t register how much I was spending on classes and treatments.

My mum Bernie, 62, a civil servant, warned me that labour can be unpredictable. ‘Don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t go according to plan,’ she advised. But what did she know? She’d only had six babies. Doctors at Ulster Hospital Maternity Unit also tried to manage my expectations. ‘You may have to be induced,’ said one when my due date of October 20 came and went.

When my son Charlie finally arrived on October 31, the reality was very different from my serene plan. My waters broke at home around 10am the previous day, but the greenish colour signalled meconium in the water, meaning the baby had passed a bowel movement – a possible sign of distress. A water birth was ruled out as soon as we arrived at the hospital.

Disappointment was quickly replaced by fear. Within minutes of being examined, I was given a hormone drip to speed things up. The contractions came horrendously thick and fast. Twelve hours in, the buzz of the pethidine I’d been given was wearing off and I was crying out for an epidural. My meditation CD lay untouched in my bag next to the oils and tankini.

By 5am the following day, I was only 7cm dilated and exhausted. Doctors advised an emergency Caesarean, and Charlie was born at 5.56am weighing 9lb 7oz. But he didn’t cry, and I was gripped by panic.

Doctors told me he had a lung condition called transient tachypnea, also known as wet lungs, but not to worry. He was kept in an incubator and monitored for four days. Seeing his tiny body struggling put my birth plan into perspective – the only thing that mattered was that Charlie was OK.

Five months on, I regret spending so much time and money chasing the ‘perfect’ birth.

While the breathing techniques I learned helped me stay calm during labour, if I had the chance to do it all again, I’d sooner save it all to cover the expense of nappies and wet wipes! Failing that, I’d splurge on a sun-soaked babymoon. Maybe then I could finally give that tankini an airing…”

Did you spend up before the birth of your child? Any regrets?

Share your comments below.

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  • my first baby i read all the books and searched the web for hours. In the end i never bothered with a birth plan, i just let my body do its thing and figured that i had no control over it and it would be what it would be. Turned out to go very smoothly…my second i knew what i was in for and although i was being induced, i trusted the midwives and gynos so just went with the flow again…a few minor complications with my second but at the end of the day, as long as baby is healthy then we do what we have to dont we? :)


  • I deliberately tried not to plan too much.


  • I didnt, and yet my birth was terrible i do not think it really makes a difference!


  • We only bought a cot and changing table. I hoped to have a water birth but when I booked myself in with 30 weeks it became clear that my baby was far too little and after some testing had to be delivered ASAP. All what matters was that my baby was alright and she was…although her weight was only 880 grams she had an Apgar score of 9-9 and was a wee fighter !


  • I didn’t have a plan really, just followed what the doctor thought was best and safest for bub


  • I didn’t bother with a birth plan – I trusted my Obs and let her call the shots. As they say, if you want to make God laugh, tell him you have a plan. One example – 2 different friends endured painful labours, drug free only to have a ‘brow presentation’ and emergency caesarian. Another example, again drug free painful long labour – drs didn’t pick up baby was breach! Again emergency caesarian…


  • I wrote a birth plan which took a dramatic turn at 30 weeks pregnant when I threatened pre-term labour & was diagnosed with an Irritable Uterus. So I had to re-examine the whole process as I was highly recommended to have a planned C – Section. Which is what ended up happening at 37 weeks & 3 days gestation. I had time to prepare for this and so didn’t set my expectations to high and was able to soak in the reality of it all by the time my baby arrived.


  • Wow….With my first we purchased a cot and just the basics such as clothing and cloth nappies.
    A friend gave me an old wooden change table that she had used for her 3 kids and a baby bath.
    That was it.
    We didnt spend because we didnt have the money to spend


  • I was very practicle. I was given a cot and change table, stocked up on nappies when they were on sale and was given good second hand baby clothes. I had no birth plan as I understood that everything and anything was possible. The only requesting had was that only the DT\\\’s and midwifes looked \\\”down there\\\” and not my husband or mother lol. I went 10 days over and two failed attempts to induce me (literally nothing happened no pains not even enough to get my waters broken. My cervix was tight shut and far back so I had to have a ceaseran…which also went wrong when I was t given enough spinal block and I screamed in pain as the dr continued the entire process. At the end of it I was thanking everyone because I was so grateful for a large healthy baby boy!
    On saying that I went for seconds 18 months later and had a pain free ceaseran with another healthy baby boy.
    You never know what\\\’s going to happen, expect the unexpected and you won\\\’t be disappointed. Xx


  • Lol. I’ve heard stories similar to this all too often. It’s our first lesson as mums- it’s impossible to plan ANYTHING when there is babies/kids involved. My ‘plans’ went pear-shaped as soon as I was told that I had Grade 4 Placenta Previa with my 1st. So I quickly learnt to go with the flow. End result was a very calm welcome to the world via scheduled c-section for my gorgeous girl & potential life-threatening situation for both of us averted.


  • I spent quite a lot preparing the nursery and everything “I thought” a baby needs. I had no budget, I went crazy shopping. After baby was born I then discovered that you don’t need to have everything you see in baby magazines or baby shop, and sometimes the simple is more useful than fancy.


  • It can be very hard to know what to do and what to focus on with the first baby. We all make decisions throughout our lives that with hindsight we could improve. If everything had worked out as planned (and it does for many) it would be called great decision making. I really feel for this new mum and truly hope her family is happy and healthy into the future.


  • Hope your son is fine, sorry to hear about the trouble you had to go through. I had to have a Caesarean for both of my children they grew up very fast and now out on their own both out west



  • The more a birth is planned, the less control you have over the outcome.
    My own philosophy, before having my last babe was simply to allow labour to happen when it happens, stay calm & go with the flow. Baby calls the shots ;)


  • LOL! Baby will be born the way Baby decides! Nothing Mum wants will have any bearing on how Baby is born, if Baby doesn’t want it that way! ;) Although, I must admit… When I saw how much was ‘accidentally’ spent by this misguided lady (who is in some way all of us, lol), I found it a bit difficult to believe. With four children of my own, I am well aware that things often do not go to plan, the only thing you can do is roll with it, and enjoy your beautiful bundle at the end of it. :D


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