For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mother…at the right time. The hubby and I made a decision before we were married that we wanted to be young parents. After we got married, we made a decision that I would quit taking birth control this coming fall, and we would start trying for kids. This was a decision that was made back in January. We talked about it more in February. Coincidentally, I landed a job at a children’s store.
Now, I know I swore not to give any details of the store I help manage, but it’s important to what I’m writing. Let’s just say I won’t tell you the name of said store, and just keep it at “I’m working in a children’s store.” Over the past few months, I’ve seen women with children, couples with children, couples expecting their first child, single mothers, what I’m pretty sure was a gay couple and their daughter, and so and so forth. I’ve heard horror stories of pregnancy. All the nitty gritty details of what to expect when I’m expecting. I’ve been given advice. I’ve seen women just exhausted and all they wanted was a margarita and some time to themselves.
It still didn’t phase me. I would laugh a little and say that I wish I could sympathize, but I couldn’t because we had yet to have kids. I would make jokes with my husband, tell him what I expected when I got pregnant, and then brush it off. Then, I got an email from http://www.theknot.com telling me that the wedding was only 4 months away, and here’s what you need to nail down. After that, I panicked. Not because the wedding was 4 months away, which is what I should be panicking about because I still have an unbelievable amount of work to do, but because that meant that fall was only 4 months away. Which, in turn means, no more birth control for Kelley, and the start of the next chapter in our lives.
It’s a fear I never imagined would catch me. An uncertainty I never thought I would feel. I could cry. I’m terrified. I’m overly excited to start trying to have children, but I am flat out fucking terrified. I have all these questions and concerns about being a mother and being the proper mother. I saw how hard it was for my sister at first, but she’s doing a stand up job and did a wonderful job when little Pat was a baby. But, SERIOUSLY, fucking. terrified. It’s like that moment when you have a pregnancy scare and all you see are babies and pregnant women. Right now I’m in the position of having now mothers tell me all the awful details about pregnancy and birth. I don’t doubt that I will love the end result. Right now I’m at a total loss on how to handle being pregnant, and I’m not even pregnant yet. For instance, let me give you a list of all my current concerns.
1. What if I don’t know I’m pregnant and I continue to drink and smoke during the first part of my pregnancy?
2. Is labor really that awful?
3. How long should I breastfeed? I’ve read article after article. Some of them say “breast feed for 6 months.” While others say “breast feed for the first full year,” and the last one I just read said to breast feed until their 2 years old.
4. Should I start preparing now? I have a friend that had started a “baby tote.” She did this just in case of an unexpected pregnancy, but also so they had some stuff to start them off when they actually did get pregnant. If I do this will my husband think I’m bat shit crazy?
5. Should I breast feed?
6. Is it really that uncomfortable to sleep?
7. Am I going to become preg-zilla?
8. Will I be an emotional wreck?
9. We will never be financially prepared for this because children are money suckers. Face it mommies, they are.
10. When will I be able to go back to work?
11. Will I be able to go back to work? (on a personal level)
12. If I breast feed, and I mean really commit to it, when will I be able to go back to work?
13. My body will (supposedly) never look the same.
14. What if I get postpartum depression?
15. Will people look at me funny and make assumptions because I look like I’m 16? (this one was a thought that crossed my mind, but not really an issue…)
16. I want an epidural, is that wrong?
17. What if I can’t be the mother I expect I’ll be?
18. What if I’m a helicopter? Always hovering, always there, always smothering?
19. What happens when the hubby deploys? Do I play mom and dad for the duration he’s gone? There are questions that I’m CERTAIN he could answer better than I could, but what happens when those questions come up and he’s overseas? What happens when the bike needs fixing and the hubby isn’t around? Do I need to learn to do these things?
20. What if we can’t get pregnant?
If I’m having these thoughts now, I can’t imagine what I’ll be like when I actually am pregnant. I’m so not prepared for this and I’m not sure I ever really will be, but still. This is a huge, life changing decision. It’s a life-style changing decision; not just for my life, but for him too. None of these fears are great enough to change my mind. That doesn’t mean I’m not still scared. Fall is right around the corner. Earlier it was a mirage that when looked at from a year away, was pleasant and beautiful. A loving happy family. Now, the closer, I get to it, it’s looming in the corner, menacingly holding baby clothes and diapers. Luring me in like a siren.
I still want kids, and I won’t change my mind with that. I just wonder now, if we hadn’t talked about, if we hadn’t made the decision that I would go off birth control on an exact date, if we had just randomly gotten pregnant, if I would still have all these fears. I’ve had too much time to think about it and all the awful things about pregnancy. I’ve only had one woman tell me “it’s not as bad as people are telling you it is.” That made me feel better until someone piped up “No, it really is. Be prepared.” Are they trying to scare me because they think I’m too young? OR are they just saying these things because they had an awful experience?
I guess I’ll find out when the time comes. Until then, I’m going to sit in the corner of my mind and mull over the horror stories I’ve been told because that is, unfortunately, what I do. *sigh* Oh well.