As we approach the two week countdown until Baby Gates’ due date, I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about and pondering how life will change, how I’ll be as a mom and if I have everything I will need in those crazy first few weeks (omg, the STUFF…) So here’s a less than eloquent dump of what has been spinning through my brain when I can’t get to sleep or am sitting at a red light in my car- it’s hard to focus on much else right now!
– When am I going to go into labor? Will he be early or late? Will I know when it’s time to go? Does Andrew know how to use the stopwatch function on his iPhone to time contractions?
– Just how much is this gonna hurt? Even with an epidural, I cannot picture myself actually giving birth. I mean, I still don’t believe I’m actually having a baby even though right now he’s exploring my rib cage with his heel.
– Recovery sounds quite icky- as my hilarious friend Caroline told me after giving birth, things “down there” look a whole lot like “a Tim Burton designed bouncy house of horrors” (best/grossest description ever).
– What is he going to look like??? It’s the craziest thing to try to imagine! Will he have my eyes and his nose? My nose and his eyes? OMG, what if the lab mixed up the test tubes and we have some random person’s baby (freaky IVF specific horror-show worries)???
– Will he be healthy? I have had what seems like 179 ultrasounds, exams, genetic screens and bloodtests this pregnancy, and everything looks great (his kidney issue went away!) but still, nothing is 100% certain. This is my #1 worry, of course.
– Piggy backed onto that is the “what if I kill him” worry. This is said as a joke, but also not at all. I’m talking the whole SIDS/ dropping him/ falling down the stairs carrying him kind of things, not like murderous rage. (Side note: I’ve got a solid post-partum “watch plan” in place already given my history with anxiety/depression)
– I do not know anything about caring for an infant. Nothing. I’ve never even changed a diaper! I am told that one’s maternal instinct kicks in and you just KNOW– but I’ve never been one who has an abundance of maternal spirit. In fact, I find a lot of kids annoying- hey, it’s the truth. But I assume/hope that changes the second you meet your own.
– I worry about failing at a lot of things, but for some reason I am most worried that breastfeeding will be a challenge. Not that I live/die by my ability to do so, I really have no resolute opinion on what’s best, other than whatever is best for the Mom, since a happier, healthier Mom equals a better cared for baby. I hope I figure it out and my body complies, but if not I need to remember that I am a formula baby and wrote a New York Times bestseller, so going that route if need be does not deem my kid “lesser than”. :)
– What if he comes out and we feel like the name we picked doesn’t fit?! Does that happen? I have too many monogrammed things to turn back now!
– What if I’m missing some crucial baby gadget? Every mom has a different favorite carrier/ bouncy seat/ car seat/ stroller / swaddles / monitor, etc. Reading the reviews on Amazon of baby gear is enough to give anyone decision paralysis (or second guessing of purchases). Why do I feel like I have to have EVERYTHING right now? It’s not like Amazon Prime doesn’t exist (or a husband with a car and a Target).
– Sleep training. Oh my God, I started reading all the Baby Whisperer, Happiest Baby on the Block and Babywise books but they gave me anxiety and acid reflux trying to figure out what works best and what we should do. So I’m taking a “let’s see what happens and what kind of baby we get” approach.
– Speaking of anxiety, oddly mine has been quelled by pregnancy. Andrew thinks I am so much nicer and calmer when pregnant, which is the opposite of what he (and frankly I) expected. I mean, I still worry (obviously, hello- this list) , but I think that’s pretty normal. But what will happen when he’s here? Will my anxiety go through the roof? Will I be on WebMD every five minutes or haunting my pediatrician’s hallways?
– How am I going to balance the blog/ client work/ next book/ home line with being a mom? My days are SO busy already, it’s hard to imagine. Luckily we have already hired a full time nanny to begin after I take some time off, but I hope to be as involved as I can be. Luckily, as my own boss I can make my own hours, but I also have lots of commitments (and a real love for my career!) I know so many women do it the world over, but I’m anxious to figure out just how to make the balance work.
– Will the dogs hate me forever? Will they be sweet and protective? Or will Baxter try to rip his face off and Oliver go into a deep depression?
– That whole “your heart walking around outside your body” thing I can see being exquisitely wonderful and terrifying. I don’t want to be an overprotective mom, but I can imagine that it’s hard not to be!
I probably have 500 more I could add to this list, but I’ll spare you. Did you have any of these worries before giving birth? What was your biggest? Which one proved to be silly that I can maybe take off my list? :)