Sitting on this side of an experience is an exciting and scary thing.
I remember having similar feelings before getting married -- about embarking into the unknown and starting a new chapter. I knew 110% I wanted to marry Mark! Still, so many people throw at you, 'it's hard work' and many more lines that make you wonder how you will actual feel and handle things in that new season.
After saying 'I do', embarking on a honeymoon and finally sharing the same roof after almost a year since our first meeting. I look back fondly to those thoughts and see that it was pretty unfounded. 'Hard work' is relative. Marriage has been great. I have the world's best husband and can now dish out some of my own marital wisdom with the best of them.
All that being said-- I now stand on one side of the great abyss (not yet having a child) and can't quite make out what the other side looks like (having a child). Oh, sure, I have read lots of books, read the travel brochures and even met some nice people who have been there and lived to tell about it. But, it's still the unknown. And I will still be crossing over to the other side in about three months, ready or not! I am ready. No I'm not. Either way, it's almost here.
So we met with our doula, Susan on Monday. You won't find me shouting this from the rooftops or even updating my Facebook with this status-- but we are going to try for a natural birth. At least stacking our deck to go natural with a doula, birth plan, birth classes and long talks with the OB. Assuming no major drama-- I hope to report back in about three months that all went well, we have a healthy baby and had a natural birth.
In talking to our doula, Susan, she says she loves working with athletes. That they understand the 'no pain, no gain' mentality and that a little sweat gets you to the finish. (Major paraphrasing by yours truly.)
I think that is true. While I have never had a single labor pain, I have all along looked at pregnancy and then the act of labor being similar to running a race. There are times of discomfort, but you know the finish line and the reward is just ahead. You've prepared. You have run and trained and 99% of putting one foot in front of the other is mental at that point. If you can keep your head quiet, your legs usually follow. You can't allow the fear or doubt creep in and start talking. If or when it does you shhhhhsh it away! Tell it, you can do this. And when you look back to whatever race it may be (an actual race or a life experience race) you realize that it went by much too quickly and was not nearly as tough as your doubts were whispering that it might be.
Don't forget to breath.
Look around, take it in.
Enjoy every step along the way.