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The Truth Is

28 Jul

Let’s put aside my trauma. Let’s put aside my losses. Let’s put aside my PTSD.  I talk about that enough. It’s time to come clean about another side of it.

The truth is I’m not just scared of things going wrong.

I’m also scared of things going right.

Before loss. Before trying. Before getting married. Before any of this. I was scared of childbirth. Terrified of it. Not the labor pains. The pushing. The pushing of something so big out of something so small. It scared the bejeezus out of me.  That fear has come back with a vengeance.

I’ve been through labor before but Nadav was so small. B5 isn’t term yet and she’s already so big. How in the hell am I going to get her out? That freaking terrifies me.

No matter how many stories I read. How much I educate myself. Thinking about it brings on panic.

And parenting. Holy fuck you guys I’m terrified of that. I’ve spent so long just concentrating on keeping a pregnancy I never actually fathomed that there would be a real live PERSON at the end of this. Who I have to feed and clothe and educate and parent. Me. What the fuck do I know?

Everybody says I’ll be an amazing mom. I still feel 14 years old on the inside. How the fuck do I parent?

Not to mention that I haven’t been able to bring myself to pick up even one freaking newborn parenting book. I just can’t do it. I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Everyone says there’s this magical moment where everything clicks into place and you suddenly feel like a parent.

I’d like to be after that magical moment please because I seriously think that if I manage to survive this, and I get a real, healthy, live baby out of all of this, my head will explode. I seriously think I will lose it because I’m having such a hard time truly imagining that this possibility is real. I still can’t fathom it. Pregnancy for me doesn’t lead to babies. It leads to hurt. If this actually leads to a baby I seriously think I will lose my mind because of my inability to wrap my head around it. And it looks like this may actually lead to a baby. That I have to push out. And then raise. Holy fuck. Just writing that is freaking me out.

Not to mention that I want to be after that whole part where I’m so stretched out and in pain I’m afraid my insides will fall out of me.

Seriously, I find that scary as fuck.

This is freaking terrifying. For reals.

And the waiting around for whatever outcome is just making life a laugh riot right now. I’ve been surviving this pregnancy through a nice combo of emotional detachment and distraction. But now B5 is so present. Things are starting to get really real. Holy crap.

Aren’t I just the picture of stability you guys? Good times.

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22 Responses to “The Truth Is”

  1. Christina Williams July 28, 2013 at 00:50 #

    I can’t speak for everyone, but thankfully there is a point in labor that things just go primal. I didn’t have to think, things just happen. Try not too get yourself too worked up over the mechanics. A woman’s body is this miraculous machine. Definitely gross a lot of times, but it does some incredible things. Guys can’t do it. Just think about the size of things that weirdos have come out of other body cavities and a baby that is designed to come out of there doesnt seem so scary, right?

    And don’t buy into the parenting books. I find other people (and the internet) are a great source of info. Not to mention, you will figure out what works for you guys, and it may not be by the book.

    Big hugs coming your way as always!

    • chon July 28, 2013 at 06:30 #

      Yep what she said the human body is amazing and it will do what it needs to do. The beauty of these days is that f anything did go wrong we know how to fix it. And yes the bits eventually bounce back. As to parenting NOTHING will prepare you so I say go with the flow. You could have a totally chilled out baby or a reflux baby or a clingy sad one. And you have to adapt and have no expectations because it changes every single day. There are good days and really fucking shit ones where you are ready to sell them on eBay!!! I definitely found my Internet support groups the best source of information. My only advice is turn her head to avoid flat spots 😉 and babies are smart she will have you figured out in the week!!! X

  2. slese1014 July 28, 2013 at 02:03 #

    The fear of loss and all that overshadows the fear of what if this actually works out? Totally freaked me out. I went through labor winging it. I was expecting a bigger baby and Raegan was a peanut. As for parenting, I never bought a book and literally just kind of winged it so far. I’ve taken bits and pieces of things I’ve seen, observed, read and shared with others in the same boat as me. It’s scary as hell to realize this little life is completely dependent on me for everything. But it’s a fear I face every day when I wake up and by the end of the day if we both have survived, I feel a little bit better about how the next day will go 🙂 HUGS! You’re doing great with all of this….and you’re right where you’re supposed to be….

  3. Delenn July 28, 2013 at 02:07 #

    I remember the first moment I panicked and could not see how I could possibly be a mother to this small, fragile being. And I know that it is small consolation at the moment–but the good news about newborns–they are on a learning curve too! 🙂

    Wishing you all the best!

  4. Prairie July 28, 2013 at 02:33 #

    Even if you were consuming the parenting books, you wouldn’t be ready. You’ll figure it out. You’ll read or google what you need to, when you need to.

    What you wrote about the magic parenting click. I like that. I never felt the click. But I did have one friend tree to me as Mama from the get go. It seemed so wrong at first. I didn’t feel like someone’s mother. That was too big. But I did grow into it. And have thanked her since. She strangely helped me become Mama.

    That said, the fear & panic is real. And totally legit. Sorry I have nothing to say I make it go away. I found reading and classes & preparation helped. Hope you find what helps for you.

  5. Kristin July 28, 2013 at 02:40 #

    I can’t speak to you about labor because I ended up with 3 c-sections. However, those fears about motherhood…those are completely 100% normal. I had them with my first (prior to infertility) and I had them with my third. Also, at 43 yrs old, with a 16 yr old son, I still wonder how I got to be old enough to be the one in charge. I simply refuse to believe I am middle aged.

  6. l July 28, 2013 at 03:00 #

    After your daughter is born you can look at her and know there is no way she could fit back the way she came out. This is because secretly babies are like a dry sponge put into water only for babies it is contact with outside air cause instant expansion. Right! MAGIC is involved. Remembering this may help. Because clearly any other answer is not possible, Intense Magic is the only answer.
    About the instant parent feeling thing…. sometimes it happens for some people. For others it takes time and is a surprise when you realize somewhere in time it did occur. Neither way is right or wrong. Your way will simply be your way. It will be ok, and better to not worry or think about it. It happens between one minute and another, and after you realize it happened you will not know when it wasn’t always and when it changed.
    Another mystery of magic.
    Believe in magic. It makes life easier.
    In the meantime keep breathing in and out and hold hands with others. Time moves on and you will also. Honest.

  7. Esperanza July 28, 2013 at 05:32 #

    I think all the fears you’re experiencing are totally normal, you just haven’t had a normal experience facing them because you’ve been dealing with your PTSD, trauma and losses, a you put it. So it probably going to be more complicatd to work through the other stuff, if you even get a chance.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the birth and healing part because honestly, you just don’t know what it will be like for you during this labor yet. There are infinite possible scenarios that could play out and you seem to have a really good understanding of your expectations about how it might happen and that is really the best way to prepare for that. Later, after it has happened, you can start to process whatever experience you have. It might take years to properly process the birth experience, especially after all you’ve been through. But you’ll get there, eventually.

    As far as the parenting thing, I don’t think anyone can wrap their head around that until they are doing it. And again, you can’t know what you need to prepare until you meet B5. Luckily there will be time in the beginning to read what you absolutely and the rest of it you’ll figure out. It might seem improbable now, but you will. The thing is they change so much, so frequently, you never REALLY KNOW what you’re doing. But it’s okay. You’ll all be okay, despite having no idea what you’re actually doing. 😉

    You ARE going to be an amazing mom. That is probably the only thing you can be sure of.

  8. Daryl July 28, 2013 at 07:52 #

    I think most women have those same fears. You’re not alone in that. Do whatever you need to do to prepare yourself the best you can, but once you’re in the moment, things could–and probably will–change. I don’t know if there’s a way to prepare for that. Just keep reminding yourself that you’re doing the best you can. You’ll be great.

  9. jjiraffe July 28, 2013 at 09:05 #

    No one, not the most maternal women on Earth nor the least really know what it is like being a parent before they are a parent.

    This is going to sound utterly bizarre, and possibly (nay, likely) offensive, but: I’m watching Orange is the New Black (it’s amazing) and the lead character Piper studies all sorts of books about prison before she gets there, and none of them can possibly prepare her for the reality. And so too is Parenthood. Nothing can prepare you, but you’ll figure it out. 😉 How’s that for some crazy assvice? Obviously parenting is much better than going to prison.

  10. ozifrog July 28, 2013 at 14:08 #

    Ok mo, I might send you an email on my thoughts on this. But. What I can tell you about labour is go inward. Listen to your body. Don’t fight it, because fear gets in the way, slows it up, and increases the pain. Just say ” my body can do this”. Pretend to yourself you’re this crazy primal earth mother and trust your body, even if you feel like it’s bollocks. And have a laugh at the shit crazy noises you’ll make.

    Now you know that feeling you have when you need to take an enormous crap? Do you have to THINK about pushing it out? Nope? I just kinda happens? Well, gross analogy I know, but multiply that feeling by 1000 and that’s childbirth (in stage 2). Just get out of the way and let your body do it. Trust it. The things I can tell you are 1. Pack snacks. I got really hungry. And powerade. 2. When you get really sweary, or when there’s a crazy cease fire type halt in proceedings, or when you want to get up and go to the pub, or get crazy hot all of a sudden that’s transition. You’re near the pushing stage then. 3. The pushing is shit easy.the hard part is if they say don’t push yet. When you get what I call ” the burning ring of fire” it’s baby’s head. Just take it easy here so you don’t rip yourself a new one (I did. Oops), but once you do a couple of pushes on the head it is all a lot easier and you’re bloody close to the end. Get the midwife to show you the placenta. It sounds gross, but seeing it really helps you understand this mewling thing on your chest is the one that was kicking you a while ago.

    Parenting. Ok, weeks 1-6 are a giant blur. Remember it gets a lot less intense, and the boring blob that is a newborn gets lots more interesting. Don’t judge anything for six weeks. And ignore the “omg what have I DONE.” Thoughts!
    1.Try for a one hour feed, change, play, sleep routine. So in an hour, get baby up, feed them, change nappy (halfway through feed is good to wake them up), play a bit ( not much at first), swaddle tightly, back to bed.
    2.Then you eat or bathe, then you nap too.
    3.The best advice I can give is LISTEN TO YOUR BABY. Follow their lead.
    4. Baths improve sleep.
    5. Dads are better at settling. They don’t smell like dinner.
    6. Google different cries, learn the hungry cry and the tired signs. That’s all you need at first.
    7. Get a large collection of quality take away / home delivery menus. And online grocery stores that deliver,
    8. Get outside every day. At least one nap should be outside in the pram or carrier so you can have a walk and get sun.
    9. Pretend you’re an awesome parent who knows what they’re doing. Eventually, you will be.
    10. Join a mums group with babies of similar ages.

    • Courtney July 28, 2013 at 22:29 #

      This is ALL fantastic advice, especially the part about not judging anything for the first 6 weeks. That was a good reminder for me right now!

  11. Heather July 28, 2013 at 15:01 #

    It is freaky, but just take it one day at a time. You will get there.

  12. Kathy July 28, 2013 at 15:46 #

    Some great suggestions here ! Who needs parenting books when real-life moms are available ? The first few weeks are mostly sleep, eat, poop, so as long as you have diapers, boobs/formula and a place to lay her down, you are set. I’m sure you’ll get care and feeding instructions before you leave the hospital. The rest is pretty much trial and error. Baby will teach you what you need to know in a lot of ways. As for labour, I agree with the tribal comment. Your body will take over and once she’s out it all goes back to normal eventually. The waiting is the worst part for sure !

  13. Karin July 28, 2013 at 15:56 #

    It took me 6 months before I clicked in… And even now I think who the fuck let me leave the hospital with 2 babies? How the hell can I be trusted to raise these 2?! And it will be scary as hell, but you will get through one day, then the next and the next… And you will have breakdowns and freak outs… And suddenly you are like when the hell did these kids become real people?

  14. Theresa July 28, 2013 at 19:16 #

    Since I had a c section I don’t have any advice on chilbirth, but a friend told us a piece of advice that I find both helpful and humorous: don’t worry, its hard to kill a baby. 🙂

    • Theresa July 28, 2013 at 19:34 #

      Whoops, I hit reply too soon and then a baby demanded to be fed.

      I worried too about how little, fragile and vulnerable our babies seemed. If a head flopped a little I was afraid I was causing brain damage (well not literally but it concerned me). Turns out babies are much more hardy than you think. You’ve got this parenting thing – and what you don’t know you’ll figure out as you go.

  15. Courtney July 28, 2013 at 20:42 #

    The idea of birth is hard to even fathom. I have no advice since I have scheduled c-sections, but I am told that it just happens and it feels right. Scares the hell out of me though!

    In regards to parenting, I’ve just gone with what FEELS right. I do read a lot when I fave a particular situation (like discipline), but in general, I do what feels right. You’re going to do great, and you’ll naturally be a wonderful mother. I can already see it in you. 🙂

  16. psychsarah July 28, 2013 at 23:25 #

    My first thought when I read your fears about parenting is that you’re already doing so much to make this baby happy and healthy. You’re already a good mama! You’re a smart, empathic, kind human being-you’ll figure out how to care for a small human. Feed them, keep them warm and dry, snuggle them (as if you’ll be able to resist)-that’s all you really need at first.

    Others have said helpful stuff about labour. I’d second the “primal” comment. You just do what needs to be done and it somehow works. Once you’re on the other side it will probably feel do different.

    All the best to you!!

  17. Amy July 29, 2013 at 22:09 #

    I had nearly identical thoughts about pushing. I felt like I sort of had some strategies on how to deal with contractions, but the whole pushing thing was more than I could imagine. By the time you get there, though, that rational thinking part of your brain is totally disabled, just standing there all slack-jawed in awe of what’s happening, and you will probably have just passed through the whole I’MNOTDOINGTHISANYMORE stage of transition, so you’ll actually be ready to do it and be done with labor even if you still have no idea how. They’ll tell you to push, you’ll try, and then they’ll tell you things to try to do it more effectively, if necessary. There’s really no other way to approach it other than taking it as it comes. When I looked back at my doula’s timeline, I realized I pushed for a pretty long time (couple hours, at least, I think), way longer than I thought at the time, but you’re still working with contractions, so there are breaks and it doesn’t seem like this huge thing you have to do, you just do them one at a time. Nature was pretty smart to break this whole thing into manageable pieces like that!

    I never read a single parenting book, either, for exactly the same reasons. I felt like I did pretty good just getting myself to read about and prepare for labor. Parenting? What does that have to do with pregnancy, right?!? You’ll be fine, though. You have access to google, and to us, and to your friends and family, so you really will be fine, even when it feels like you won’t. You are the perfect mother for B5, and it won’t matter at all if you haven’t read this person’s or that person’s take on how everyone should do everything (I hate that shit, if you couldn’t tell). You will quickly learn to follow her cues, and then the cues will change, and you’ll figure her out all over again, until the next time.

    I hope you’re feeling better regarding your ‘stability,’ after all the smart comments above. I think these are perfectly, totally, completely normal things to be freaking out over. Frankly, I would be way more concerned if you were all, ‘oh, pushing will be no big deal, I know exactly how this works and this is how I’m going to do it’ and ‘I have compiled this parenting style/strategy based upon the multiple sources that I have pored over and I feel very confident in it and gee did I enjoy all that reading and felt super comfortable taking it all in and it didn’t sound foreign to me at all!’ Like, it would really freak me out if you wrote anything along those lines. What you’re feeling is way more in touch with reality. Approaching birth and parenting after loss is just a terrifying thing. But you are doing it, just right.

  18. pjsarecomfyn July 30, 2013 at 19:15 #

    Dude,

    This is all totally normal. I too was so focused on getting pregnant I didn’t think much about the end result and what that would mean, so I spent a fair amount of time with my mind blown getting ready and trying to figure out how I would proceed.

    You don’t need no stinkin’ books. You just need to see your sweet baby, pull her to you, and all the rest will get figured out as you go.

    The unknown is supa-hard. I am a planner. I like knowing EVERYTHING that could EVER happen…EVER 🙂 But you just can’t do that with parenting. You just have to wing it. And you will figure it all out…I have no doubt.

    Also you vag will go back to normal feeling. Take it easy, lay around a lot the first two weeks and your innards should stay right where they are.

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    […] THANK YOU ALL for your sweet comments on my last post. They made me feel a helluva lot better, and a lot less alone. You guys are the […]

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