Welcome Mary! Congrats on your pregnancy! It is normal to be nervous, this is my second baby and I am a little nervous still. Not as much as with the first though! There are lots of wonderful women on here that are very supportive if you want to share some of the things that make you nervous and hopefully we can help you feel more confident! Becoming a mother is one of the best things ever. It will change your life but in a very wonderful way. It isn't easy but so very worth any sacrifice you might have to make.
I understand that fear! My first was born in a hospital and I did have an epidural, which I really regret. Had some bad side effects to it. Anyway I am having a natural homebirth this time around. I am a little nervous about feeling the pain full force this time around but only a little. I have been doing some research and have found how much better it is for you and baby if you can have a natural birth! I know I can do anything for awhile and the pain only last for a short period of time. One thing I watched that helped me was The Business of Being Born. I really liked it. You might want to watch it! It is in Netflix if you have that!!
To combat that, I surrounded myself with friends who had done it, read lots of positive birth stories and told myself over and over I could do it.
I was an athlete in high school, and likened the process to an especially tiring and challenging basketball game or practice early in the season. It doesn't feel great while you're doing it, but once you're done it's awesome.
For me, it was helpful to keep in mind that every contraction was getting me somewhere.
I never had that "I can't do this" feeling.
Toward the end I stopped people mid sentence in their horror stories and said I'm focusing on having a positive experience and I'm informed of the risks and challenges so I'd rather not near any more gloom and doom.
You can do it. Stay positive and remember Ina May's sphincter law! That was probably the thing that stood out to me the most. Keep yourself relaxed up top and the rest will open up for you.
I had a complete intervention free hospital birth with my first and plan to do so with my second.