When I was in labor with Cub, I had my labor plan all ready to go. I knew how to breathe and, most importantly, I knew exactly what my "happy place" was going to be. You know--the place you go in your head to block out the excruciating pain of preparing your body to produce a human being.
THAT happy place.
With Cub, my happy place was a beach in Cozumel with some dear friends, a memory from a cruise we took before any of us started families. The hot sand, the vivid blue ocean, and the absolute carefree beauty of that moment was exactly where my brain needed to go under duress. This time around, I assumed my happy place would stay the same. I like beaches.
However, I was wrong.
When they started the pitocin, my contractions began to come more regularly with more intensity. The room was ready to go--the lights were dimmed, my husband was by my side, and we had NeedToBreathe playing a loop of their Outsiders album on our laptop. As the contractions built, I found myself breathing and, of course, going to my happy place. But, this time around, the footprints in the sand just weren't cutting it for me.
Then the song, "Stones Under Rushing Water" came through the laptop speakers. You can listen to the song here. Seriously, listen to it, or at least some of it, or else this post won't exactly make sense.
As I felt another contraction build, I gripped my husband's hand, closed my eyes ... and suddenly my mind was filled with memories of my little Cub. Remembering him as a baby, remembering the first time he sat up, ate food, crawled, took a step ... as the lyrics played in the back of my mind, the past 20 months of my life sat comfortably at the forefront, and I felt tears well up in my eyes.
And I started to sob.
I found myself overwhelmed at the thought that as we were preparing to bring our daughter into this world, our son was flooding my thoughts, and my husband was by my side. I wasn't scared or stressed--it was the kind of overwhelming that washes over you sweetly and covers you wholly, bringing a simultaneous feeling of excitement and peace. I knew I was exactly where I wanted to be.
As the lyrics imply, life is too short to not enjoy every moment. I never want to stop. Today as I sat outside with Cub, blowing bubbles on the back patio while Naomi slept soundly on her play gym, my mind wandered back to that moment, and to that song. And as Cub chased the bubbles across the lawn and the hot sun poured on my shoulders, I heard Naomi coo from her spot in the shade. I realized my life is a simple one.
And I have found my happy place.