Welp, I am still pregnant. Baby girl is going on 5 days late so perhaps she is signaling that she is on her own time agenda.
Although I don’t have a baby announcement yet, I do have great news. Because I am scheduled to be induced Monday night if she doesn’t arrive this weekend, Josh was able to start his baby leave. He arrived home late Wednesday evening.
It is such a relief to have him home. We honestly didn’t think he would be here for her birth. I feel very grateful he is here.
As I wait for labor to start, I can share that I am a little anxious about labor. I feel informed and supported and physically ready, but that doesn’t completely ease my nerves. Assuming I am doing well, and baby girl is doing well, I am planning to have a natural child birth in the hospital. This is only Plan A of numerous plans so don’t stress….I will certainly adjust as needed with the advice of my midwives and support team.
But…laboring without pain medication will be a first for me. Both Logan and Henry were induced at 39 weeks and I was on an epidural for their entire labors. I don’t have a clue what it feels like.
So I guess I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. You will laugh, but honestly I have been visualizing it a lot like a difficult CrossFit competition or even the endurance hike I did 2 summers ago. Physical and mental energy, discomfort, pain, recovery breaks, increasing intensity and then relief and reward.
Physically I know I can do it…it’s always more about the mental side. Pushing past the “want to quit” place is never easy. But, I have practiced it, not in birthing class, but in the gym and outdoors. I’m grateful for those thousands of hours of preparation.
My favorite thing about working out is the mental cycle. Session starts, your body begins to work. You move and breath and move. Then it gets hard and you get to decide…over and over again…do you have it in you? You push through little walls and a little further than the time before. The challenge changes to staying calm, breathing as your body continues its task…even when you want to quit. You go until the session ends and feel relief, endorphins and achievement as you recover. A lot of times, your body surprises you…it does more than you imagined and you feel powerful.
Maybe that’s hokey…but for a long time I’ve known that that CrossFit, weightlifting and challenging hikes have a much bigger payoff for me than burning calories or changing my appearance.
Building physical and mental strength is preparation for life. So although I don’t know what natural childbirth feels like, physical nerves and anticipation are familiar to me. I’ve been here before.
So…as we wait for baby girl…write me back and let me know if you have ever considered physical exercise this way? Do you sing the Rocky song in your head when you succeed? Have you silenced the “you should quit” voice in your head? Have you practiced and built strength so that you are physically and mentally prepared when “real life” tests you?