Why Was I Scared of Motherhood?

Needless to say, a lot has changed since my last post. I am now the mother of the most amazing little boy, Henry David.

I really never pictured myself as a mother, mostly because I’ve never been great with kids. Growing up, my friends all had that magic touch where they could walk into a room full of children, kneel to their level, speak to them in a voice that was an octave higher than normal and instantly connect with them. Not me. Nothing made me feel more awkward than trying to converse with a toddler. I was not much of a baby whisperer either, and that was something that made me anxious during my last trimester of my pregnancy. Actually, there was a couple of things that made me anxious as my due date grew closer.

1. Being sent home from the hospital because I wasn’t actually in labor:  I had read about this being common among first time mothers who don’t know what it’s like to be in labor. I was determined to not have this happen to me. So naturally, I was only sent home on two different occasions before Henry was born. It wasn’t that big of a deal, I technically was having contractions on both occasions, they just weren’t progressing fast enough to be admitted. One of those times was the night before Henry was born. The hospital couldn’t admit because, again, my contractions weren’t close enough. They sent me home to get some rest. Not that I could because I had contractions all night. Luckily, I had an appointment with my doctor the next morning. He confirmed that my contractions had grown stronger and closer together, and that my husband needed to get down to the hospital ASAP!

2. Labor (of course):  I don’t handle pain very well. I remember freaking myself out thinking about how painful it was going to be. Pretty sure I even lost sleep over it. Long story short, thanks to the marvels of modern medicine it was practically painless. I was able to spend those last few hours with my husband just talking and relaxing. I realize that route is not for everyone, and I have a definite respect for the all-natural birth mothers out there, but this was exactly what I needed.

3. Being a mother in general: I remember at one point wondering how I was supposed to know why my son was crying. How was I supposed to calm down a baby if I didn’t know why he was crying? We definitely were blessed with Henry because he’s not much of a crier, and when he does cry it’s pretty easy to tell when he’s hungry or tired. I was really concerned I was going to screw up as a mom and scar him forever some way. I still have a while to get this things settled though, since he isn’t going to remember anything for at least two years. So, I have until then to get some of this “mom stuff” figured out and  have answers to all sorts of weird questions.

So, in conclusion, I worried a lot about things that I didn’t need to worry about.. Everything worked out fine. Even if it hadn’t, the result was definitely worth it.

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What I Didn’t Expect About Pregnancy, But Probably Should Have

Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain – your life will never be the same.  – Catherine Jones

1. The Questions

I realized that my situation (early twenties, married less than a year and pregnant) would raise some eyebrows, as well as questions. I had just always imagined they would be subtle, or just behind my back in general. I was definitely taken back by the boldness of some people and their intrusive questions. Obviously I’m not talking about the well-meaning “how are you feeling?” from other mothers. I’m referring to basically different versions of these questions from people I barely knew:

“It was an accident, wasn’t it?”
“Were you on birth control?”

 

2. The Doctors

Now for the literal poking and prodding. I have been very blessed to say this is my first experience with a need for consistent medical appointments. That being said, I cannot imagine there is anything (except maybe a previous pregnancy) that could make the feel of a cold, latex glove-covered hand through a paper gown feel any less invasive or foreign.  At least uncomfortable questions are more justifiable when asked by a medical professional.

3. Coffee

One of the first things I said when I found out I was pregnant was “But, I can still drink coffee, right?” Little did I know that the sweet, silky taste I looked forward to every morning would take on a bitter, acrid flavor whose very smell  would nauseate me.  Apparently, it’s nature’s way of keeping you from those things you should avoid during your pregnancy like sushi, deli meats, cookie dough etc.

4. Smell

If I had to choose to have one of my senses enhanced, I never would have picked smell. That would be the lamest super power ever, right? Sometimes I like to think it gives me a Sherlockian edge. Not that there is a lot one can deduce with only an amplified sense of smell and dulled brain power such as: who ate leftover lasagna for lunch, who just took a smoke break, who sprayed on some cologne to conceal a smoke break etc.

5. The Tears

Though some people may not believe it, I have always been somewhat of a crybaby. Pregnancy adds some ridiculous fuel to that. It’s like the hormones in my body are urging me to think of awful, sad things at the most inopportune times. The other day I found myself teary-eyed as I was washing dishes. Why? Because I was thinking about the Holocaust. Why was I thinking about the Holocaust? Because the other day my husband suggested The Boy in the Striped Pajamas as we were scrolling Netflix. That’s about as much sense as that is ever going to make.

While these all are things I was not expecting to face when I got pregnant, it does not compare to the excitement I feel when I think about being a mother. It has to be one of the greatest and most terrifying experiences, but I love it. My husband and I are lucky to have support from family and friends everywhere. Thank you all!