Did I ever tell you Maggie’s birth story?
Bet that’s not what you were expecting today, huh? But it kind of seems appropriate. When I was in labor with Maggie, I was playing it super cool. Henry took forever so I thought I had all the time in the world. I can remember casually putting my makeup on at home, wincing through contractions, as my sister watched me and was like, “Ummm… you should probably go to the hospital now.” And I was like, “Nah I’m cool.”
We eventually got to the hospital and got admitted. My plan was to have an epidural and all the pain meds just like we did with Henry. Cool. The contractions got worse, so I asked for meds. I figured we had hours at this point, because that’s how it went the first time. (You can see where this is going, right?)
The anesthesiologist came in and that’s when the wheels came off. I sat up and immediately knew that my plan was not going to happen. Maggie had her own plan. And her plan was to get here ASAP. The pain was insane, unlike anything I’ve ever felt. A midwife came rushing in, did a quick check, and told us that she could see Maggie’s head.
I freaked. Four or five more nurses and another midwife rushed in and started scrambling, getting supplies, moving tools around. Lots of chaos, and I felt weirdly panicked because everyone was taking care of their own business but nobody had told me what was going on or what to do. So I sat up, stopped everyone, and said, “CAN SOMEONE JUST CONFIRM FOR ME THAT WE’RE DOING THIS WITHOUT THE DRUGS?”
BAHAHAHAHAHA can you even?! I remember it as clear as day. My one concern was that this thing was going down and I was not ready. It wasn’t going to plan, and I was scared. The midwife said, “Yes we are, and it’s gonna be okay.” I immediately looked to Ryan to help me get my head together. And he looked straight at me and told me that I could do it. And that I didn’t have a choice.
About 10 minutes later, Maggie was there.
All of this is to say: I learned a lot about myself that day, as a woman, and a mother, and a person.
Firstly, I learned that I was capable of so much more than I had assumed I was. I had put a judgement solidly in place that I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain. That I wouldn’t be able to bring my daughter into the world because it would hurt too much. Frankly, it was a judgement that I had made based on fear. And how many judgements or assumptions or limitations do we create for ourselves every single day, based on fear? Fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of growth?
The second thing I learned is that you can plan all you want, but life is going to unfold in its own way. In this case, literally. Maggie had a plan for coming into this world and there was nothing the rest of us could do but hang on for the ride. So when life throws us a curveball, we take a deep breath, regroup, and push through.
I feel like all of this can be applied so clearly to our own goals and dreams. Sometimes, the right thing to do is to start before you’re ready. How many times have you set aside a goal or an aspiration because “The timing just isn’t right.” Or “I don’t feel ready.” Or “I just need to do ____________ first.” We could wait and wait our lives away, holding on for the right timing or to feel like everything is aligned or to be completed with all of the imagined groundwork that we need to lay.
Or, we could just start. Before we’re ready. Trust ourselves, trust the process.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating diving headlong into every whim that we have. But what I am saying is that maybe we should give ourselves more credit. Maybe we should stop turning opportunities away out of fear. And maybe we need to remember that our goals won’t accomplish themselves. We are the only ones who have the power to put things into motion. It starts with us.
So let’s start. xoxo