Eggs, shots and rock n roll

Friday, January 20, 2006

I'm scared, but I'm ready

They say every woman is afraid, at one time or the other, to become a mother. I know I am afraid, since the beginning of the pregnancy. My fears have changed, evolved throughout the months. I don't have the same fears now than I did back at 5 weeks, 10, 20 weeks... Right now, I am mostly afraid of becoming a mom for real and what it involves.

Labor and delivery
I imagine every woman is, at one point, afraid of labor. It's unknown, we can't help it. When I don't know something and can't really practice, I turn to information. They say knowledge is power, so I read and ask around. I have asked tons of questions, read tons of birth stories, read books and brochures and notes. I listened carefully during child-birth class. I did some visualisation every night. I stretched my imagination as far as I could, visualising every possible situation and reaction, trying to anticipate how I would go through them. And I know perfectly well that no matter how much I think about it, no matter how much I stretch my imagination, once the moment comes, it's not gonna be anything like what I visualised. I try my darndest to imagine the worst pain I could feel, I am still convinced that when the real deal comes, I will find it far worse.

But other than pain, I am afraid that things won't go as I want them to. I am afraid something goes wrong, I am afraid of having a c-section. Even if I know lots of women go through that, I am more fearful of the c-section than of labor and delivery. Having as much a natural birth as I can is important for me and I know I would be very disappointed if I had to go under the knife. Of course, the baby's health and mine are what's important. I'm sure I would get over it. But it still would be a big dream I would have to give up. Just the thought of not being able to hold my baby right after birth gives me shivers...

My biggest fear of all, is that the baby is not healthy. And there's nothing I can do to minimize this fear, to prepare myself. My imagination is not flexible enough.

Becoming a mother
You can't learn that in books, that's a well known fact. I still read a lot, trying to learn what I could. I don't think that because I babysat some kids when I was young has prepared me in any way to become a mother. So what, I know how to give a bath, how to change a diaper, how to put on clothes. I know the technical little things. There is so much more to being a mother than to clean the baby. And I'm afraid I won't know how to be a mother. Well, I know I won't know how, I'm really afraid I won't be able to learn. I'm afraid that I won't know what decision to make, that I won't be able to manage everything. I am afraid of repeating my mother's mistakes. I'm afraid my kid won't think I'm cool. I know life won't be all pink and light. I know I'll be tired and cranky and that it won't be easy at all. I'm just afraid I won't be a good mom.

Our couple
We've been together for almost 10 years. We've been through a lot together. What didn't kill us made us stronger, right? The years of infertility indeed made us stronger, as persons, and as a couple. I know we are strong together. But a child changes the dynamics of a couple. I have a very small fear our couple will change too much, but I'm pretty sure we'll adapt and survive. I am afraid we might forget ourselves from time to time. I am not afraid we might break up, I trust the strength of our bond and of our love. I'm just afraid of change because I don't know what to expect.

My body
Throughout pregnancy, my body has changed. I did my best to stay fit, not gain too much weight and stay healthy. I've been so lucky to have such a perfect pregnancy. Of course, time has caught up with me. My ankles are swollen, my back is aching, my belly is heavy. I don't feel sexy at all. At 6 months, I felt so beautiful, I don't think I ever felt so feminine and pretty in all my life. And now, I just feel ugly and puffy. I know my body won't ever be the same after giving birth. I am afraid not to be able to lose the extra weight. I am afraid not to be able to take care of myself as I did before and not to feel sexy again. These fears really are superficial, but I've always felt better inside when I felt good outside.

A stupid fear, but a fear nonetheless, fear of the visiting family. I am so afraid they will be here all the time, knocking on our door without calling first. I am afraid they will be sticking around when all we want to do is sleep or breastfeed in peace. I am afraid we won't be able to tell them to leave. I already can hear the comments and advices "you should do this" and "you'll see..." I am aware this is the first abby of the family and I don't want to deprive them of the joy of seeing him. I'm just afraid we won't be able to draw the line and say it's enough. And most of all, I am afraid they won't believe in our ability to be parents.

I might seem full of anguish and fears, but I am not. These fears come and go, they're not there all the time. I would go crazy. But for me, to aknowledge a fear is to prepare for it. They don't keep me from sleeping or anything, I just like to think about them and how to overcome them now, with a rested mind. I am zen. I am ready. Oh so ready.

1 comment(s):

You hit the nail on the head!!! What a great post! I have thought of many of the same things and although for me it's a ways away, I still think about it. But like you said, you are ready and you are going to be a great mommy!!! I wish you a wonderful labour and delivery experience and can't wait to hear all about it! Good luck!

By Blogger K, at 11:21 AM  

Post a comment

<< Home