Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pregnancy and Fear

We are two days shy of 30 weeks.  It's already the middle of June!  We have started going to midwife appointments every two weeks instead of every month.  The nursery is almost done.  Everything we've received as gifts is put away and ready for Little Hammar.  Holy buckets.

Throughout this pregnancy there have been different issues that have scared me.  Some of them have been short-lived while others still cross my mind daily.  John is sweet to me and is always willing to lend his ear, but he wants to be Mr. Fix-It and sometimes my emotional pregnancy brain can't let go.  My regular brain has a hard enough time wrapping around change.  There are so many "what ifs".

Early on I was scared about gaining weight and it doesn't bother me anymore.  I look great with an extra twenty pounds (not that it feels that good on my back), haha :)  I have been scared about not getting my body back, but I've had more than one friend tell me not to worry and even if my body doesn't look the same as women we sacrifice our bodies for our babes.  I've been scared about not looking good for John anymore, but we've talked that through more than once and I think he's convinced me that it's not the case.  He is great at inserting compliments when I need them most.  Apparently strangers think it's okay to comment on how I look and it's usually been positive, so that's always a nice boost.  All these fears are really issues that I can deal with and come along with pregnancy.  They are about preserving the person I was, which for the most part is just not important to me anymore.  My life is transitioning from being a wife and nanny to being a wife and momma.  I'm scared that something will happen to the baby, which in most cases I know I couldn't control, but it's still scary.  There are times I want to keep him inside for as long as possible because I know he's safe in there.

The fears I think about daily are harder to admit to and to talk about.  They make me emotional and no matter how much I talk about them they tend to still cross my mind.

I'm scared that my relationship with John will become secondary.  His mom has told us about how his grandpa used to say (to his kids) that his wife was the most important person in his life.  As much as it seemed silly when we heard the story it resonates with me now.  I want to be the most important person in John's life.  It's selfish, but I love him so much and he's such a wonderful husband.  I just don't want to lose that.  It still surprises me how much our relationship has already changed, all aspects of it too.  Life is focused on the baby.  We go on dates, which is wonderful, but we talk about the baby.  We go shopping, but often end up at Carter's or in the baby section at Target.  This little man is a spectacular and very exciting life change for us.  We love him SO much already!  We both know our lives will change, but it doesn't mean it'll be worse, probably better actually.  That's what I have to keep telling myself.

I'm scared about experiencing postpartum depression.  Since I've had depression the odds of experiencing the illness postpartum are higher.  (  I love this baby so much, but I know that some new mommas just struggle.  What if I have trouble bonding with him?  I've told myself that I have to commit myself to a few outings like a new mommas group, bring your own baby yoga or a young women's Bible study to get myself out of the house.  I've decided and told John that I have to make sure I shower every day and get dressed, even if it's yoga pants they can't be the ones I wore the bed the night before.  I just plan to take preventative steps to conquer my postpartum period.    

I'm scared about labor and delivery.  I'm scared because there is so much unknown surrounding it.  I can plan/hope for a certain birth and have an entirely different one.  I don't know what the pain will feel like.  I don't know how long my body will have to endure labor.  I don't know if my body will progress the way it should.  I don't know if I'll have to allow interventions to take place.  I just don't know and I won't know until after it's over and even then I've heard that oxytocin has an affect on memory, so who knows.  I'm honestly thankful that I'll have John by my side because he's level-headed and he knows what I want, so even if I can't convey my wishes he will.

I'm scared of feeling like a failure.  Wow, saying that out loud feels gross.  I've always been hard on myself and this journey into motherhood hasn't proven to be any different.  I am leaps and bounds better than I was in high school, but the thought of not living up to my own expectations (or my perceived expectations of others) is painful.  I want for the most part a natural childbirth.  What if the pain is too much or my body doesn't do what I thought it was supposed to know how to do?  I want to breastfeed.  What if he has trouble latching or what if I don't produce enough milk?  I want to be a great momma to him.  I want to still be a great wife.  I want John to be proud of me.  I want to live up to my plans, but I know that life doesn't always work that way.  I just pray that I am able to celebrate what goes as planned and let go of the events that don't.  This was an incredible read for me: 

So I'm scared and I think it's healthy.  If I said I didn't have any fears I would be lying and if I actually believed I didn't have any I would be in denial.  I'm not good at embracing change and along with that comes fear and stress for me.  I don't mind being vulnerable to others because I feel like it helps me to process.  It helps me to learn about myself through the experiences of others.  No one can help me if I don't first admit the fear to myself and then ask for advice or just a listening ear.

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