I’m no first timer to the motherhood rodeo. My oldest child is officially a teen and my youngest is rapidly approaching double digits. With all this experience tucked under my belt, I am still terrified of my pending birth and newborn lifestyle I will soon be encountering once more.
You might be wondering why, and of course, I am going to share!
And I’ve never actually pushed. I’ve required c-sections both times and will be having a third. I know the common misconception is that having a c-section is easy. While you may not have your vagina stretched to the max; having your belly sliced open and a human pulled out is just as painful as it sounds. Recovery sucks in ways I can’t verbalize. Yes I’ll be totally happy to hold and see my bouncing baby boy; but I am not looking forward to the actual semantics of child birthing in any form.
Breast Feeding Can Go Wrong
I see all these articles, bloggers and sanctimonious mommies who stress breast is best and how gratifying breast feeding is. And while that may be nice, it’s not the beautiful journey it’s painted out to be. Personally, I tried breast feeding twice and due to reasons I won’t go into, the experience was far from great. I thought I was a horrible mom for my alleged failure, my nipples were cracked and bleeding and I’m pretty certain my milk wasn’t coming in fast enough. Sooner than later I ended up formula feeding and was far happier with the results. Does this mean I won’t try again? NO. It simply means I’m not as naive as I once was about the process. But the idea of doing it again does indeed feel daunting.
Sleep Deprivation is a Thing
It’s a very real and tangible thing. I do not miss those days moving through life like I am the walking dead. The just getting comfortable and the baby begins screaming at the top of it’s lungs because it’s hungry, wet or just needs to be held. The kind of exhaustion that had me pouring OJ in my coffee and coffee on my cereal. The kind of extreme tired that had me spinning in circles praying that the baby would suddenly decide to sleep through the night because they know it’s the kind thing to do. To know that this is on the horizon is not something I look forward to at all.
Newborn Baby Anxiety
It’s no secret how much things change when a new baby comes; even if it’s not your first. There’s an anxiety that you develop as well. Is the baby breathing? Did he feed enough? Why is he crying? Will my mistakes damage him in some way later? And the list could go on and on. I try so hard not to be that mom but that is who I am. It takes me a few months to get comfortable with my babies…to feel somewhat secure with their fragility. As much as it is a character trait; I truly hate when it rears it’s ugly head. I want to be way more smooth and nonchalant about things, but I can’t.
I Won’t Know Who I am for Awhile
I obviously can’t speak for anyone else, but I had bad postpartum depression with both of my births. As a person who has major depressive disorder, I know that it’s not uncommon. That being said, there’s an uncertainty of self that comes with it. A confusion, a doubt, a worry and a feeling of falling short that comes along that may not have been there prior to birth. This is the thing I fear most. I remember how sad I was following the birth of my children, how much I wanted to bond and feel better about motherhood; but postpartum depression crippled that ability and stole a joy that I should have been able to revel in. This time around I have a birthing plan that includes preparing for the very real possibility of postpartum depression again. However, I am still fearful that I will have to contend with these draining emotions once more.
I know everyone’s birth stories and experiences are so different, and I truly believe that something can be learned from everyone no matter what. So now that I’ve shared my fears about birth; what are yours?