My body knows something I don't know- final weeks of pregnancy

At my most recent doctor visit I was greeted in a friendly manner with this question,
 "So, you're 38 weeks now. Are you going to want us to induce you or what's the plan?"
Since I've done research throughout the pregnancy on how common birth interventions (such as induction) are I shouldn't have even been surprised by my doctor's question, but I was.
It's still shocking to me when doctors mention birthing medical procedures with such frankness, like it's all just part of the process.
At another appointment a few weeks ago I was told by a different OB within the practice,
"If you're screaming in pain I will not stay in the room... and neither will your partner."
He said this in response to my comment that I was planning on having a natural birth without an epidural.
Now, that's not a very reassuring, encouraging thing to say to woman that wants to birth naturally is it?
Upon finding out I was pregnant I began reading an entertaining, light-spirited book on pregnancy that I had picked up at a thrift store, "The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy."
While this book did make me laugh out loud and the chapter on 'sex during pregnancy' was delightfully x-rated, I discovered quickly that this type of reading was doing nothing to prepare me emotionally, spiritually or physically for the long-haul of pregnancy, and the book was even frightening me about birthing my baby (it made it sound pretty horrible and took the stance: get the epidural as soon as you can and that's it).
As my belly grew and grew I began to ask the daunting question all first-time-pregnant women ask themselves at some point: "How is this baby going to come out of me?"
This of course was accompanied by other questions such as, "-Will my body go back to normal or will it be 'stretched out' forever? -Will they need to cut me and how deep is that cut they do anyway? -What if my partner sees a baby coming out of my vagina and never sees it as a tempting, sexual body part thereafter?
 -What if I defecate? -I won't be able to even feel my legs after the epidural is administered?! -What can happen if they miss what they're aiming for with the epidural? -Will my baby be high when he's born from the drugs administered?"
These (and many more) questions began occupying my mind around the fourth month of pregnancy.
I was beginning to feel nervous, as in sweaty-palm-nervous, upon thinking about labor and delivery of my baby.
Well, this was not o.k. with me. I wanted to be joyful, grateful, humble pregnant woman, not a scared one.
I knew I needed to find a different way to approach labor and delivery and I did... seek and ye shall find. 
On a half an hour lunch break one day during my 'nervous week' (it really was only a week or so of intense nerves about delivery since I took control of the situation. -During pregnancy was I nervous about other stuff along the way? -Of course!) I casually asked a co-worker about her birthing experience.
I mentioned to her that I had read online that Miami has a 50% + rate of cesarean delivery, I asked her if this didn't seem high to her and asked her if she had had a c-section or vaginal birth.
As fate would have it, Katherine was precisely the best person I could have spoken to at that moment in time.
She was eager to have this conversation with me. She had birthed her baby vaginally, with epidural, although the next time around she intended on doing it naturally. She had even breast-fed her son for nearly 2 years.
Katherine recommended a documentary to me, "The Business of Being Born," and added, "it's on Netflix."
I watched it that same night; this was a pivotal moment for me.
The documentary is about how the field of obstetrics in the US is quick to resort to intervention (of multiple varieties) when birthing babies. It provides a brief history of how America births its babies and has done so over the decades, and compares that to other nations around the world. It offers plenty of statistical data too.
After watching the show, with my partner, he said, "Well you're going to have our baby naturally right?"
Wow, I thought I wanted him to watch this show with me but maybe that wasn't such a great idea after all.
I mean, sure I found the documentary informative and eye-opening but I was nowhere near convinced I wanted to try to squeeze a baby out of my body and be able to feel it.
Over the next few weeks I sought out women that had birthed naturally (can count them on one and a half hands) and asked about their experiences.
I'd say, "I want to be strong enough and want to believe I can do it naturally but I'm not there yet."
And that was o.k. with me. It was a process, a beautiful, well-thought-out process about how I wanted to bring my child into the world.
Talking with my best friend from high school, Lindsey, was very helpful.
She had birthed her first 2 with epidural and her last 2 without. The last 2 she had birthed at home.
When I told her, "I think I'm going to try to do it naturally,"
she immediately called me on it saying, "Having a baby naturally is not really 'easy,' you have to go into it 100% committed to doing it that way or else you just won't. You won't have the willpower to do it if you don't set your mind on it long before the birth."
Wow. I knew she was right. Damn it.
Linds shared her epidural experience with me, saying how it is downright weird to have your body go through these amazingly-powerful contractions while you sit in (a hospital) bed doing crossword puzzles, completely oblivious to what your body is doing apart from witnessing it on a screen. This image stuck with me. 
By this point in the game I had a different, text-book-style pregnancy book that was informative and focused on the facts about baby's development and what changes my body was going through simultaneously. That was very helpful- all facts, no emotional commentary by the authors.
However I still felt something was missing. -I wanted guidance on how to actually birth a child. Upon doing a quick search on with keywords like 'peaceful birth, happy childbirth' or something along those lines the book "Hypno-Birthing" popped up.
Seeing chapters labeled, 'how fear affects labor,' 'how the body works with you and for you' and 'preparing your mind and body for success,' I knew this would be a good book for me.
Reading Hypno-Birthing I found out that the hypno-birthing classes would be very helpful. 
Classes huh? That sounds like it involves money, something I didn't and still don't have much of.
But I pushed forward, finding out that a class would be starting up in just a few weeks at Mt. Sinai, the hospital where I'm scheduled to deliver Sam, only 10 minutes from home. 
When I found out the 5-week-course was $300 I emphatically told the instructor that I'd love to participate but that was simply out of our budget.
She squeezed us in as scholarship attendees and we did pay what we could, $100.
This was a blessing I was able to attend Hypno-Birthing classes, a real blessing. 
So... I've put in the work, I've done all I can to prepare my mind, body and soul for birthing Sam into this world the best way I see fit. 
I never would have known so much was involved in preparing one's body, mind and soul for birth had I not chosen to take this journey, this path, seeking out a natural birth. 
I wouldn't have known about all of these lovely 'positions' I get into on a daily basis to alleviate occasional discomfort... on all fours rocking back and forth, leaning over towel rack in bathroom doing gentle squats, hip circles, child's pose, leaning over a big stack of pillows... prenatal yoga has been instrumental).
I wouldn't have known about perineal massage, or leaning forward when sitting, or the relief sitting on a birthing ball provides, it has been a really fun, exciting process all in all.
Knowing what I know now I can't imagine not doing all of these things, they've become an integral part of my pregnancy, making me feel more like an active participant in the entire process. It has been empowering.
So, in regards to my doctor's question about inducing, of course I said, "No thank you."
She went on to explain that, if I pass 41 weeks they'd 'have to do something' to initiate labor.
I really hope that doesn't happen.
I don't think it will but one never knows.
I do know that my body knows something I don't know.
It gives me little hints, whispers of activity every day now that it's preparing to birth.
Most are so subtle that after they happen I brush them off as nothing but they're not nothing, they're something. 
And I'm grateful for them, for every time I have to walk with my legs nice and open because it feels like baby's head is 'right there,' or waking up to a slight tightening sensation in my lower abdomen that quickly subsides, or feeling the urge to squat, these are great signs that my body is preparing to birth Sam. 
God willing, all will go beautifully.
If you or someone you know is pregnant I strongly recommend exploring your birthing options; don't just leave it all in your doctor's hands. 
It's your body, your child, a child of the Universe, a Universe that has an invisible intelligence and knows better than any of us how to bring new life into existence, into the world. 
Seeds sprout, whales, puppies, gorillas, elephants, tigers are born every day without intervention and it is beautiful... you don't see these animals screaming out in pain, you seem them still, calm and in control. 
Bringing life into the world shouldn't be perceived as 'painful,' it should be perceived as beautiful.
-Perception is everything. I truly believe that. 

Footnote: Any woman that brings a healthy child into the world has 'done it the right way.' I was a c-section baby as were my siblings and so, so many of us. This blog is by no means intended to downplay bringing a child into the world, no matter how it's done, or offend anyone
... for the record. ;)