I’m not going to lie, I have always been a “scared” person. What I mean by that is, I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop, constantly preparing for the worst. I think I have probably struggled with this my whole life, but it wasn’t until I became more comfortable in my own skin that I acknowledged it. My husband knows this about me and instead of telling me I am crazy (I admit, I am slightly neurotic), he listens and helps calm my fears – this is a big reason that we work so well together.
Recently, I have found myself on edge more than I had been, and it took awhile to realize how flat-out-scared I am of everything we have coming up. I think I have good reason to be scared: I am 27 weeks pregnant with our first child. When it comes to being scared of something, my defense mechanism is very similar to a tactic that my two dogs use: if you don’t look at it, it doesn’t exist.
Being scared of pregnancy/parenthood started long ago, but I would say that true terror set in when we got our positive pregnancy test in December. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled and elated to see two unmistakably solid pink lines. But coming off of a very early miscarriage the month before that, and after 15 long months of trying, including almost a year of various fertility treatments (more on that at a later time), I was terrified of losing this baby. To top it off, I spotted blood from weeks four through ten. No matter how much my doctor reassured me that my numbers were great, that the spotting was coming from south of my cervix and that our baby was growing at a healthy rate (even measuring a few days early), I was terrified. Those six weeks were hell. Between morning sickness, early pregnancy fatigue, and that pit in my stomach from fearing today would be the day the spotting got worse – it was awful. Being the fear-based planner that I am, I started planning a vacation for March, with my rationale being that if I lost the baby, then I would have something to look forward to. Thankfully, the vacation wasn’t needed. I stopped spotting at ten weeks, and 17 weeks later, Baby R is still going strong.
I thought for sure once we got past the first trimester and I started feeling the baby move, that I would be a lot calmer about my pregnancy. Oh, how I should have known better. I am to a certain extent more calm, but when I go more than an hour without feeling him move now, the little demons in my head start chirping that there is something wrong. I am so excited for our baby to get here, and I love him so much already, but at the same time that love and excitement scares me. In keeping with my avoidance tactics, I have put off a lot of the big decisions and purchases – making such decisions and purchases would make it very real.
Now that I am almost done with our second trimester (side note – how is that even possible!?), I find myself thinking ahead to the whole labor and delivery thing. This scares the living daylights out of me. So much so, that I am full-on pretending that it is not happening. I know women have done it every day for thousands of years, but how exactly you get something the size of a watermelon out of something the size of a lemon is beyond me. Every once in awhile I will look down at my rapidly expanding waistline and realize that he has to come out somehow, and then I have a panic attack. I quickly push it out of my head and go back to living in sweet denial. I won’t let women tell me about their birthing experience, I won’t read the chapter on labor and delivery in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, I’m not attending any classes and I’m not writing a birth plan. I figure the less I know, the less anxious I will be about the experience. If I start researching it, I am going to come across things that have a .001% chance of happening and I am going to convince myself I am that .001%.
And these are just my fears about pregnancy and delivery. I won’t even get into what I am scared of once he is here. One thing I have come to realize though over the past 6+ months is, there’s not going to be a magic moment that will make me not scared anymore. For the rest of my life, I will always be worried about the well-being of this little person growing inside me. It’s very humbling to realize and accept this, but at the same time, I simply cannot wait.
Please tell me I’m not the only terrified mom out there! Can any of you relate??