My room at the hospital is connected to the OR where all of the c-section births take place. The result is that I get to hear, on average, 1-2 little screaming, squalling babies come into this world each day. At first I will admit I was a little horrified but have since decided that hearing these goings-on is actually pretty inspiring. I even decided that I could begin to use them as practice for my own upcoming delivery, a sort of visualization process if you will.
I first learned about visualization as a technique for success when I was in high school, playing on the field hockey team. I sucked at field hockey. So much so that once my coach tactfully told me that her feelings would not be hurt if I decided to "pursue other endeavors." Unfortunately, I didn't catch the hint and enthusiastically assured her I was in for the long haul. I am sure that she was thrilled.
So, on our way to yet another game where I would most likely be riding the pine, my dad told me about how the great athletes will visualize themselves scoring goals/points/what have you and that studies have shown the technique to be just as powerful as physically practicing. Having possessed a strong imagination from birth, I spent the next fifteen minutes visualizing myself scoring goal after goal, I may have also thrown in an ending or two where I was hoisted on the shoulders of my teammates while the opposing team clamored for my autograph. There may have been a small portion of my visualization that involved a write-up in the paper about the local field hockey phenom.
Probably needless to say, I did not score a single point in that game. I don't think I scored a point that whole season. I did, however, continue my visualization techniques and ended up improving quite a bit, even getting a grudging acknowledgement from the coach by the end of the season.
I feel like the same lesson can apply to this pregnancy. Already, it is clearly not what I envisioned (which, just so you know, was hopping around through 9 months looking fabulous while graciously downplaying other's compliments at how wonderfully equipped I was to have a child). I am sure this next month will not land me any awards either. But, with the help of my little screamers next door, I can continue to visualize the perfect pregnancy I am having in my mind...no full page spreads in pregnancy magazines, no articles in the paper...but certainly East Cooper Hospital's Most Improved Mother of a sweet baby boy (and maybe just a few balloons).