I posted a few weeks back on the anxiety I’ve experienced on and off during this 10-month hormonal roller coaster, and to be sure those (mostly irrational) fears still apply on some days, but this post is more about my general fears about becoming a parent.
To be honest, it’s not the laboring/childbirth experience and pain that I am scared of so much, as the idea that the experience may not happen the way I want it to. I know that I’ll have pain and that it will probably be worse than any physical pain I’ve ever experienced before, but I don’t really feel any fear towards the experience of that pain. Nervousness, sure, but the pain won’t kill me and I know it’s pretty much over the second my child fully enters this world. I’m aiming for an unmedicated birth, but if I need to, I’ll get the epidural.
I am afraid that something will not go the way I want it to (i.e. we’ll need an emergency C-section, baby will suffer somehow, they’ll have to use suction, etc.). This is something I know I need to come to terms with, because it’s almost guaranteed something with not go according to plan. Obviously I am envisioning a complication free, smooth and positive birthing experience, but I need to also be able to accept that things happen not according to plan all the time, and still be happy with the experience. Right now I am reading Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond by Nancy Bardacke, and am practicing a regular, mindfulness meditation every day in an attempt to basically just be happy and okay with whatever happens.
I worry about experiencing Postpartum Depression. With all the lack of sleep and learning and unknowns in the first few weeks of baby’s life, I get nervous about this, as someone who thrives on 9+ hours a night, plenty of quiet, introspective time, and routine. I am sure everything will be fine; I’m planning on planning nothing and having healthy, pre-made meals available in the fridge for brain/breastfeeding food, but this fear is still on my mind in thinking about the beginnings of parenthood.
How am I going to cope with NOT being able to just do nothing when I want to? To be able to decide I’m going to the gym/store/friend’s house on a whim and then just go? I am aware that this will obviously be a transition for everybody (Bdub can’t just pee into surrounding amniotic fluid anymore without discomfort, or hear the comforting whooshing of mommy’s blood and heartbeat!) but what the heck am I going to do on so much less sleep and without the much-valued ME TIME I carve out every day?
- My Marriage
I am not so much afraid of the changes a child will bring to our relationship with each other, but of the way it’ll affect us when challenges arise. Matt and I are super different people who complement each others’ personalities for the most part, but will we be able to communicate healthily when it comes to disagreements about how to raise our baby? Right now we just live our lives the way we want to, and everything pretty much falls into place – that is, his lifestyle is compatible to mine, or we are okay with each others’ differences. But when it is our child’s upbringing we disagree on, I want to make sure I’m not taking the typical bossy stance and frustrating him endlessly in the process.
Obviously things are going to change for better and for worse, and I know we’ll navigate each challenge as it comes up, but I can’t help worrying anyway! What can I say? I’m an over-thinker by nature 🙂
Can you relate?