Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Coping with poisonous fears
I posted yesterday about some of the physical struggles I've been having with my pregnancy, and I got lots of great comments filled with advice and encouragement. I read all the comments today, and I've had a huge attitude change.
I've been very scared for the last several weeks. I've been afraid of the pain and changes my body will go through. I was afraid that I wouldn't love my baby. I was afraid that Conrad and I would not be as close as we were before. Your encouragement has sparked excitement in me, and I'm getting a lot more excited for the future.
But I do want to address one of those fears: Being afraid that I wouldn't love my baby. The following, in italics, is part of a post I had written a while ago but decided not to publish because of it's negativity. I'm sharing it now because of the change of heart I've had.
I'm so early in my pregnancy that I haven't had any kind of bonding moment or maternal instinct for the baby. I don't know what it looks like, I don't know its gender, I haven't felt it move or heard its heartbeat. I haven't even felt any sort of protective instinct for it. When most people want to eat something unhealthy, they might refrain, using the logic that "it's not good for the baby." Most people would continue to take their prenatal vitamins, even if it makes them sick, because it's good for the baby. Not me. I haven't taken my prenatal vitamin in 6 weeks. And I honestly eat whatever I want.*
The only thing I've felt from/for this baby is illness, fatigue, and, honestly, fear and a little resentment. Conrad already loves it. How is that possible? I don't even feel love for it yet. What if he loves the baby more than me, and our relationship drastically changes? He rubs my little under-belly (where my uterus pokes out) and talks to it. Other people will ask me questions or say things like "aren't you just so thrilled?!" and "aren't you so in love already?" and "oh, your dream is just coming true!" I sit there with a forced smile on my face and use all my will power to just nod my head. The truthful answers are "not yet," "not yet," and "this was never a major dream of mine."
I know these fears are a little bit blown out of proportion by my ever-shrinking brain (thanks again, Baby). But just because I know they are kind of silly, or driven mostly by hormones doesn't make them any less real to me. I also know that these fears will go away as I:
- stop feeling sick
- hear the heartbeat, find out the gender, and get to know my baby more
- can start nesting
- am able to have other bonding moments with it
As I learn how to deal with the sickness and I start feeling better (very largely thanks to your advice), I'm able to be more positive and think about the good things that will come. Thank you so much for your encouragement, and for being excited for me when I wasn't excited for myself.
How did you guys deal with these feelings?
*My dad will read this part and promptly call me. I recently visited my family, and when he saw me eating appetizer meatballs or chips and dip, he'd take it away from me and say "babies aren't made out of that," and slide a vegetable tray my way. I think it's cute that he's so concerned and aware of what babies are made of.