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Monday, October 5, 2015

What Am I Afraid Of?

Lately a number of people have asked me if I was afraid of giving birth, worried about the epidural or nervous about being a mom in general… and I have to say, I really am fine with everything. We have been trying for this for so long now that I just can’t wait to meet her and finally be a family; I don’t really have any of the usual “first-time-mom” fears.

I would say that I am more anxious about outside factors, after giving birth, than I am about the initial giving birth.

The pre-natal classes really helped me work through any fears I had about labor itself. The idea of laboring at home for 8-20 hours before going to the hospital, as they explained in class, does not appeal to me at all so I was really counting on being induced early to avoid all of that. However, in recent appointments with Neverland I have been told that they may not induce me early now because my health is not as bad as they had expected it to be earlier on. That said, they still cannot allow me to go past my due date because of the GD so there is still a chance! Either way, I am as ready as I will ever be for both options. And, should something arise during labor, I am completely prepared and more than happy to have a c-section too. I just want to hold my little girl!

As for the epidural, I know that it will be uncomfortable and likely unpleasant at first, but if I have learned anything throughout the years it is “no pain, no gain” so I will do whatever I have to do to get through it all. I think DH will have a harder time with it than I will because he is still squeamish about needles and, let’s be honest, this is a big one! If I need to hold onto a nurse instead of him that is fine. It will be a fun story to tell later on! Mommy went through labor and Daddy couldn't even watch a needle go in!

Being a mom… that, in and of itself, does not make me nervous one bit. Mothering tends to come very naturally to me but, most importantly, I know that things won’t always be perfect and won’t always work on the first try and I am completely fine with that. Trial and error, patience and support (whichever way I need it) will be key. The only hurdle I see for myself right now is that I am extremely stubborn and very independent, and I need to learn to recognize when I should reach out for help from those around me, even if it’s for 5 minutes so I can take a shower, because the list of people willing to help is quite long and there is no reason not to ask. That said, I know I will be very quick to dismiss those who force help on me as well. I need to come around to it in my own time.

So what DOES make me anxious?

Well, for starters, everyone simply assumes that once the baby arrives they (friends AND family) can all flock to the hospital to meet her. Well, no, they cannot. I have already spoken with DH about this and, for now, I do not see myself wanting any visitors at the hospital at all. Because of the GD, I will be going through my own medical recovery process during this time in addition to “just giving birth” as some have put it. I know myself as a patient and I am awful! The last thing I will need are visitors that I really don’t want there in the first place involved in this process. Don’t get me wrong, there are some people I simply wouldn’t mind seeing at all, but since I cannot have some without the others this was the simplest solution – a blanket rule. If I feel fine then we will certainly call some people and let them know that they can come by… but not before I say so and only if I do. And, quite honestly, we have waited 10 years to meet this baby so everyone else can wait 48 hours! We may be mom and dad, but we will all still be strangers to one another and we will need the time to bond together in peace and quiet. Not to mention, help from the nurses getting our acts together and maybe some time to catch up on some sleep before going home without a live in nurse/nanny at our fingertips.

Next comes the inevitable parenting advice. I get it; everyone on the planet has had children before we have so everyone is an “expert”. But while everyone has been raising their children, we have had plenty of time to sit back and observe them while making our own list of do’s and don’ts that work for us. Not to mention that I have grown up surrounded by people who have repeatedly taught me how NOT to raise a child… and believe me, I took lots and lots of notes. I don’t take criticism well to begin with from certain people, both friends and family, but taking their shots about parenting will be a million times harder for me because I have seen how they themselves have parented and it will be trying not throw that back in their faces in response. Part of me says to smile, grin, just move on and be the bigger person… but part of me has a mother bear instinct I know I will not be able to control 100%. Sometimes I wonder how far we would have to move away from everyone we know in order to be able to raise this baby our way... and then I remember how supportive DH is, and how willing he is to stand up and defend our/my beliefs and I am comforted to know that I can count on him to get through these next few months. Or, should I say years?

And last, trusting others to care for our child just as we would when the time for babysitting comes… not easy and not happening any time soon! I am not going to lie, I feel more comfortable entrusting our child to a responsible teenage babysitter who will follow our rules over family members who always think they know what’s best and will likely ignore what we request of them. I have seen it happen time and time again with my in-laws and because of this I am extremely uncomfortable with the whole idea. As for my own mom, I haven’t seen her with children at all since I was a child myself but she has mentioned some things during this pregnancy that turned me off a little because her parenting is clearly a polar opposite of mine. So, how could you feel comfortable dropping your child off with someone whose beliefs are dramatically different from your own? Not to mention, my mother-in-law raised DH and my own mother raised me so we clearly know what went wrong for both of us first hand! Yes, I know that I will have to get over this issue eventually because I won’t really have a choice at some point. Knowing that we have chosen a daycare that speaks to our parenting puts me at ease for going back to work at least, but for now I don’t mind if we never go out without our child alongside again!

I am sure there may be other things that worry me to some extent, but those are at the forefront of my mind lately so I thought I would share.