The beauty of the internet is that your words can live on for years and I’m quite excited that I managed to find, on my old blog, a post I wrote two years ago (pre-babies) on “thinking about kids” and what was worrying me the most. Funny that I didn’t ever mention “I’m terrified of not being able to go to the toilet without worrying about what my baby is doing”.
I thought it would be great to answer myself, now that I’m so full of motherly wisdom, and perhaps it might answer any niggling questions and fears you might have if you’re also at the “thinking about babies” stage of life…
Here’s the post (2014) and my answers. I’d love to know if any new mums also had these same fears and how they view them now….
With each year comes the niggling question of ‘babies?”.
In our first and second year of marriage, my mum didn’t mention the topic.
In our third year, my mum bought me a baby grow and gave me folic acid tablets. I think she is hinting.
Mr H has been hinting too and so has the ol’ biological tick – which is more like a warm, fuzzy tingle that makes your eyes water ever so slightly when you see a cute baby.
We don’t want to rush into the process though. It’s a monumental, life-changing/consuming decision that deserves to be thought through and prayed about.
The more thinking I do, the more my fears spill out – and some of them are highly irrational.
For your entertainment/upliftment (some of you may be feeling the same), these are my worries.
Don’t be too judgy, I’m being brutally honest…as usual.
1) I won’t be sexy anymore. *gasp* all the mothers in the world start throwing me shade but remember, these are my fears.
I think a pregnant woman can be beautiful, stunning, ethereal but, to anyone that isn’t her husband, is she sexy?
I think this says more about my insecurities as a woman, than as a potential mother, but it’s something I have considered.
Honestly, it’s a little hard to be sexy when you’re wearing breast pads all the time and finding clothes that fit your breastfeeding lifestyle means that I’m further pushing all my pretty dresses into the back of the wardrobe. But, I’ve never liked my body more than since becoming a mother. I feel fit, healthy and despite not always getting the exercise I want, I’m a lot more toned than I’ve ever been. So yeah, when I get days when I can dress up, I feel daaamn schexy….all I’m waiting on now is for that line to fully disappear from my stomach.
2) What if I have a baby with a disability? Again, I can almost feel the outrage but bear with me.
My sister has severe learning disabilities but she is glorious. Her difficulties stem from dyspraxia, dyslexia and very slow, educational learning – it’s not a physical defect and her nature is such that you find her to be almost magical.
My fear is, what if the difficulty is bigger than that; what if it’s physical; what if my child can never leave home; what will the strain me like on my marriage???
Yes, I know I sound like a selfish monster and a hypocrite because I would never EVER want my sister any other way.
Thank you Lord that this wasn’t the case. LR is one incredibly developed and fast-learning baby.
3) What if he/she becomes a delinquent? I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s the parents who mess up their child…that was until I looked at myself.
Circumstances (death, abuse, etc) shaped a lot of my unfortunate escapades, and it was nothing to do with the way my parents parented. So what if I do everything right, but they become drug addicts/murderers even? I suppose this is something that I just, in faith, hand to God on a daily basis.
Does erratic sleeping constitute as delinquent behavior?
4) What if I just become a big saggy mess after pushing out a baby? I’m very insecure as it is about my body, now I might have stretchmarks to contend with and other such horrors.
Again, I’m not saying all mothers are horror shows, I’m just saying that I don’t have the genetic makeup of the athletic, skinny type.
I think I’ve already answered this; breastfeeding has really worked wonders for me and I’m now sitting at a happy weight despite having the appetite of a Tiger Shark. Again, I advocate exercising whilst pregnant even though it’s often the last thing on your mind.
I also didn’t get any stretch marks but I did go through a ridiculous amount of body butter.
5) Will I enjoy sharing my husband with another person? Our entire lives will change, what we do for fun on the weekends now, will be severely altered. What will happen to our lazy mornings watching movies and slurping hot tea?
I love having a baby and a husband. We’re a really awesome team that makes every crazy moment work. Sure, I’d love to have a ridiculously long lie-in once a week or go out for dinner without calling round for a sitter, but we like our new dynamic. We haven’t changed too much, and still try and do much of the same to keep ourselves sane.
The hardest part though, is giving Mr H the attention he deserves because my mind is so focused on a baby – it’s a difficult balance to master and I do need to be reminded that it’s three of us, not just LR and I.
6) Will we still have the same friends? We were one of the first couples in our friendship group to get married and so it stands to reason that we would be the first to have a baby but will that make our friendship dynamic harder? Will I still have time for them? Will I now have to go on the prowl for other new mums to hang with and then all we will ever talk about is the colour of our child’s poop that morning?
The answer to this is both yes and no. The real friends stick around, the ones who were meant to be with you for more than a season, the others just slowly fade away. And it’s okay. You realize that it’s not you, you just don’t share the same interests any more; your scope of life has altered, expanded and you can’t take everyone with you.
Yes, there are days when I really don’t want to talk about babies because my brain feels like it’s becoming a wet nappy so I have to switch off and talk about cars or something and I find that social media helps me not to go mental.
7) 9 months without wine!
Um, well that didn’t work. I think I managed 5 months before having a glass of wine a week.
8) The cost(s)!! Nappies. Clothes. Prams. Cots. Toys. Etc….maybe I should just move back to the U.K and cash in on freebies from the government.
This is on going. Fortunately, we had a nappy party and are still using what we received then which is brilliant. I think we’ve bought two packs in total.
Wipes, on the other hand, disappear quicker than Zuma’s convictions.
9) The actual labour part. No C-section…but I don’t want a crater for a vagina.
No drugs…but I’m not that good with pain.
Constant trips to the gyny which cost more than a plane ticket to the U.K? Awesome.
I had a pretty great birth. It was not drug-free as I originally envisioned and I take my hat off to those women who can do contractions without any pain relief.
I was a week overdue and on the evening of Monday 2nd May I took myself to hospital to get induced because my skin was making me suicidal and I just wanted this baby out. When they did an inspection though, we found out that I was actually already in labor and was 2cm dilated so we waited until 12pm on Tuesday to have my waters broken. The first time didn’t work so at 5pm I had it re-done (it’s such a yucky feeling) and that was the start of the pain. Within 30minutes of breaking the dam, I was having contractions which got steadily worse and man, that pain is INTENSE. There was no pattern, no “1 minute on, 3 minutes off”, it was just relentless. I tried gas & air – whoever thought that nonsense would work was obviously a man – and it was about as useless as a rich tea biscuit in a fresh brew.
Once my waters had successfully broken, I had been told that the baby was only likely to come at around 2am but I spoke to the Big Man upstairs and told him I wanted this baby today. NOW. My pray was answered. At around 8:30pm I gasped for Pethidine. The nurse took so long getting it that I grunted for an Epidural instead. My Gynae was called and they hauled (hauled: like a beached whale having a stroke) my ass onto the bed to check how I was doing. I was 8 1/2 centimeters and they thought I might be too far along to have an Epi. Apparently, when they told me this I looked so utterly dejected and told Mr H that I was then going to rather take myself home. Anyway, I have an amazing Gynae, he did that Epi and God only knows how I managed to keep myself still whilst that needle was going in my back but within half an hour, I could actually smile again. Sure, with it being so late in the labor, I experienced the delights of the ring of fire *insert echo* but it no longer felt like I had a volcano spewing lava inside my stomach anymore.
Anyway, needless to say, it was all worth it and the rush of seeing my baby being lifted onto my stomach was incredible. Oh, and Mr H was fantastic throughout all of it.
11) What if I can’t have kids? I’ve always wanted to adopt but I’ve always wanted a biological baby first….but what if adoption is the only way? What if my body fails me, what if I’m not perfect?
Again, we’re so grateful that this didn’t happen for us but we are both strong advocates in the term “keeping mum” meaning that you should NEVER ask people when they are going to start trying for a baby because you NEVER know what struggles they are going through.
12) What if I lose a child? As a sibling, death is hard. As a mother, the death of your baby is the loss of a piece of you.
I was very selfish in my grieving for my brother, not seeing that his loss was far greater for my parents than it could ever be for me.
For 9 months, they had envisioned meeting this miracle of their creation and then 7 years later, after countless dreams, memories and future plans, he ceases to exist and the golden thread of his life is severed.
As a mother, do you still feel that ache years later; does your body still feel a connection to the child you will never see again until Heaven?
Every day I look at LR and am overcome with emotion thinking how precious her life is and knowing that I am no longer a single entity, but am forever connected to this little miracle. To even, in passing, imagine something befalling her makes my insides contort and my knees buckle.
I’m in awe of the power of my mum.
13) And, after all the above, if I have that tiny, precious gift in my arms, who’s to say that I will be the best mother? What if I fail at the basics. What if I’m too over-protective, too strict, too lax, too anything?
It’s a continual learning process and I will never know whether I’ve done a perfect job until she leaves home and finds herself in the big wide world. For now though, the human body is a wonderful thing, and instinct has kicked in 90% of the time when it comes to knowing what LR needs. It’s truly mind-blowing how you – who has never been a mother before – can read the signs of your baby in an instant.
So there you have it, old me and new me. It seems so weird to think how much things have changed but I’m so glad they have.