Matt left yesterday for a business trip, and like always, I had trouble sleeping last night as a result. As I lay in bed trying to drift off, I started really thinking about this whole process of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood.
And truth be told, it scared the living bejeezus out of me.
It’s not that I’m not excited to be a mother. It’s not even that our lives would change so drastically — in fact, I don’t see much change at all, save for positive aspects.
The feeling is almost indescribable. I have such doubts of my ability to carry and birth this child, such doubts as to my aspirations for motherhood. Sometimes, I even have doubts about whether my child will turn out normal, or whether I’ll fuck him or her up in some way.
Y’all know me, right? That’s a distinct possibility. (I keed, I keed!)
Part of me doubts that I’ll be able to handle this birth like I want. I’m going to Special Beginnings, a midwifery practice near Annapolis, and I couldn’t be happier with the care I’ve received there so far! The midwives are amazingly kind, gentle, knowledgeable, and take the time to answer your questions and concerns. I have yet to have an appointment that was shorter than 45 minutes, and I appreciate that they take the time with me (and all their patients, I’m sure!).
I keep reassuring myself of a few things: My body is meant to do this. It’s fully capable, it’s wise, it’s totally preparing for this. And if my mom could do it (and she did, with three of us!), then I certainly can, too.
Childbirth itself is a scary thing, though, and I’m afraid I’m putting too much pressure on myself to do it the “right” way. As often as I say that I’m going to remain flexible and will do whatever is necessary, a big part of me is worried that I’ll think less of myself if, heaven forbid, I need any interventions, interventions that I certainly don’t want. I must be Super Labor Woman!
Another part of this doubt, I’m sure, comes from the fact that I’ll be a working mother after Kit is born. After three months of maternity leave, I’ll be driving our baby to a daycare close to my workplace and dropping Kit off to be cared for by this room of strangers and these other babies, hoping feverishly that Kit’ll be in good hands while I bang away at a keyboard all day. Sure, there will be the hour-long break when I head over to feed and snuggle my baby, that one precious hour amidst eight, then it’ll be back to work until the end of the day and another car ride home.
How can I be a good mom to my baby when Kit is cared for by other people for a majority of the day? How can I really bond with Kit when the only real time I get is at home, for those few precious hours? (Car rides don’t count unless someone else is driving!)
Then sneak in the other expectations of being a mom in the 21st century — perfectly clean home, well-kept children, a solid exercise routine, and culinary skills that would make Chef Ramsay look like a common line cook, because you know a mom ain’t a good mom unless she fits both 1950s and current ideals of motherhood! — and it’s no wonder that I’m feeling like I’ll likely be inadequate.
Sometimes, I’m even afraid that I won’t love my child. Not just unconditionally, but in general. I have a difficult time connecting to people on that level, anyway, and to think that some describe that bond between them and their children as unwavering is… unnerving, to say the least. What if I don’t feel that way?
I guess these are normal fears, and as this pregnancy progresses, I’ll start to feel more at ease with them. Or I’ll panic, whatever!
I think the gravity of everything, the whole “WHAT DID WE DOOOO” mindset, just hit me full force last night and I couldn’t help but think about this — not that it’s the first time I have, but it’s the first since we got our positive test, and considering how far along we already are and that we saw Kit recently (as beautiful and perfect as I knew Kit would be!), it was more real than ever.
And it’s about to get even MORE real. And even more exciting.