The Fear

7.13.2015


The closer I get to Baby Bum's arrival and the actual event of giving birth, the less I want to hear about babies and birth stories.

Due to conflicting schedules at our hospital, Jordan and I will not be able to take a childbirth class, so the lady in charge mailed us a package of the material they go over in the class. I haven't even cracked it open.

I realize I shouldn't go into it blind. I should know something about the medicine they'll offer and birthing positions and the stages of labor. I should be aware of some of the things that could happen. I need to be informed.

I should probably read books about sleep training and breastfeeding and baby schedules. We can't leave the hospital without this kind of knowledge! It's just mean of them to kick us out of our room, hand us a two-day-old baby, and say, "Good luck."

I realize people have been having babies for centuries and lived to tell the tale. Jordan and I are both one of four kids, and our parents seem to be doing just fine. I know very well that everything will be fine, so I'm not asking for reassurance.

It's just that the part of me that knows everything will work out forgot to tell that to the part of me that holds the crippling fear of the unknown. That same part that holds the fear also holds the selfishness, and together they make quite a team.

Yes, we want this baby. I want to be clear about that. I spent years terrified I would never be able to get pregnant and years praying for this very thing I have. But now? She's almost here, and I am afraid.

Everyone says your life is never the same again, but it's okay because it changes for the better. But see, here's the thing. I can't imagine my life changing for the better because I already like my life how it is. I like going where I want when I want. I like having time for my favorite hobbies. I like sleeping in and going to the bathroom in peace.

I'm scared that I'm too selfish to be a good mom.

I'm scared of the life changes and the marriage changes and the changes I don't even know to be scared about yet.

I'm even scared of loving someone so much.

And you know babies are expensive, right? Not just with the things you think of like buying clothes and diapers but with everything. Adding her to our insurance. Doctor visits when she flips down the slide at the park and breaks her arm. And what if something's wrong with her? What if she has cancer or has some type of rare disease or learning disability?

She could die in her sleep, you know. That happens sometimes. I could drop her. She could choke on a piece of grape I didn't cut up small enough.

If my heart is walking around outside my body in the form of this little person, then tell me what I'm supposed to do if something happens to my heart?

It's the fear, you see. It doesn't want to be friends with the calm, rational part of me that says that it all will be fine and I can handle it. It doesn't want me to believe that even if it's not fine, when the sad times come I will rise above and be able to handle that too.

So here's what I want you, mom friend, to tell me. 

First, don't hit me with some well-meaning line about how it will all work out and how much you love your kids and how you wouldn't trade anything for them. It's not that I don't believe you, but it's not what I want to hear.

If you're going to say anything, tell me how scared you were once too. Tell me that my fears are normal, that I'm not too selfish to be a good mother. Tell me it's okay to mourn the loss of this season of life even as I gratefully and nervously anticipate the next. Save your stories of labor pains and crayon all over the walls and exploding diapers and no sleep for after I have this baby. Because right now, I honestly just don't want to hear about it.

I realize the fear will always be there now, in one form or another. So just tell me that's okay. Tell me how to make the fear my friend. Tell me we're in this together, all of us moms. Tell me I'm not alone.

And maybe, I don't know, offer to watch my kid for five minutes for me while I go to the bathroom? That would be great.

49 comments:

  1. We took a class and I still wasn't super prepared for the actual birthing event. (Nobody ever told me what contractions would feel like, so I had no idea that I was already in labor when I went to be induced.) It's ok to have a plan, but be at peace with straying from your birth plan.

    I was terrified to leave my previous life. I still miss the carefree evenings. My son is almost 4 years old and there are many days that I admit that this is the hardest job I've ever been tasked with. It's ok to have all of the feelings. (I thought of my son as an alien taking over my body for almost the entire pregnancy.)

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  2. Well, naturally I would be the first comment (okay... maybe "one of the first" if someone hits "send" before I get done typing this) and I'm not a mom. However, I believe it's 100% okay to mourn the loss of a season of your life like that. As someone who's engaged and getting married last year, I'm in partial panic-mode about the fact that in a little over a year, I will never. be. single. ever. again. Ever. It's not that I don't love my fiancé. It's not that I don't want to get married. I do very much, but major life changes are scary. Knowing that you're partially responsible for someone else's well-being is scary... Not selfish.
    Praying for you, Amanda. :)

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  3. Oh, that fear is normal. I'd say it's mostly fear of the unknown, which happens all the time. Some of the fear will go away (like when you discover that the baby isn't actually that breakable) and some of it won't go away (like the fear of her dying in her sleep), but you learn to tell that little voice to "shut up", so that you can go to sleep too.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your feelings and being real! I'm sure the emotions are on an all-time high and the reality of YOUR baby almost being is probably SO real!!! While I CAN.NOT.WAIT to be in your shoes I know all have so many of the same questions! Thankful Jesus' perfect love casts out ALL fear!

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  5. The fear is always there. And sometimes you'll think it's gone and you're a totally relaxed mom, then out of nowhere a little tiny thought of "what if she gets kidnapped? or what if she runs away? or what if that fever wasn't a cold, but she's got cancer?" will pop up and you'll go back to being worried again. But, I try to remember that being worried (just a little, not to the point it takes over my thoughts) is a good thing. It means that I want what's best for her and that I'm trying to give her the best I can. The worrying and fear mean that you care, which is what your baby needs.

    Also, I'm trying to come to terms with it because my mom says that it doesn't matter how old your babies are, you still worry about them.

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    1. That's exactly what my mom told me too. I just need to like you said not let it take over my every thought!

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  6. It's okay and totally normal to be scared. I'm not a Mom yet due to almost 4 years of infertility. We're in the adoption process now and even though we're choosing to spend thousands of dollars to bring a baby home, I still have the exact same questions as you. I've spent almost 40 years now doing what I want, when I want for the most part. Am I crazy to take on this Motherhood thing now? It's okay to be scared, in fact, I would say it's even healthy as long as you don't take it too far and constantly hover over your child because you're afraid something will happen to them. I know you don't necessarily want to hear this...but you Got this, Mama!!!

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  7. Amen. I'm right there with you, and in addition to fears about the unknowns of delivery, I resonate with your comment "I'm even scared of loving someone so much." I'm already seeing signs of overprotectiveness in myself, 11 weeks out from my due date. I can tell I'm going to be the stereotypical first-time mom who worries about every little thing that could hurt my baby. But in so many ways I think that makes me "normal"--makes US nornal--if there is such a thing. I imagine we're biologically wired that way. Hang in there, friend.

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  8. Praying for you friend! Thank you for being so open and vulnerable.

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  9. I never had a child of my own but having been PG a few times, I do get your fears... know that it is something I think everyone goes through. You're not a bad woman/mom/person for having these emotions. You'll have a zillion more before its over, I'm sure :) ... Lifting prayers of comfort & peace in your heart knowing that as long as you do your best, that's all that it takes :) You're going to be a wonderful momma!

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  10. I think this post proves that you are the opposite of selfish. If you were truly selfish, you wouldn't be having all these concerns about baby Bum, you'd only be thinking about yourself. With that said, I get where you're coming from. I'm in the no baby camp and plan to remain there forever. However, I do have two incredible step kids that I love dearly, an adorable nephew who melts my heart, and a group of students who I sacrifice much time, energy, and sleep to help. At times they make me crazy. And that's ok. It doesn't mean I don't care about them and want what's best for them. It means I'm human. I'm not trying to say that's the same as having a baby, because I'm sure it's not even close. What I am trying to say is that it's ok to be worried, and it's even ok to be a little selfish sometimes and pee with the door closed. Don't forget to take care of you. Also, you know what helps with fear? Ice cream.

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  11. Yes. The fear is normal. I grew up as an only child, and I was so afraid of everything baby related. I'd never changed a diaper. I'd never held a baby for more than 5 minutes. Never done anything baby related. Ever. I was constantly asking myself "what did I get myself into??" And fearful of giving up my nice, normal, do-what-I-want-when-I-want life? Check. Afraid of that too. But then I had Emily, and my heart just grew for her. I still have selfish moments - days even. I'm still afraid, daily, of being a good mom and raising a good kid. (Hello, 3 year pre-school readiness assessment that we haven't done and Em is about to turn 4).

    I don't think the fear ever goes away. But that, right there? Proof positive that you are going to be a good mom. Fear is ok. Fear is normal. I want to end this on a positive note, but you specifically said not to do that. So just know that what you're feeling is valid.

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  12. All of what you said was and is 100% true for me. Life is hard and scary and risky and becoming a mom magnifies it all in my opinion. I'm almost 7 years into being a mom and I still feel all of the things you're feeling (with exception of the giving birth part--done with that finally!). There are still times that I feel too selfish to be a good mom. Just last night I went to my room alone and locked the door. I stayed in there for over 2 hours because I just could. not. deal. with one more thing. Vince did the awesome Daddy thing and somehow when I emerged the kids were beaming and wanted hugs and they didn't even hate my guts for locking them out of my room for 2 hours.I may not be supermom of the year every second of every day, but I think I'm doing okay. And you will too. It will become part of who are. It's still scary for me, but watching them grow and interact and love and learn and become amazing little humans somehow reassures me that I'm not completely failing. Right now you're not getting to see all of that, but it will come. <3

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  13. I feel like these are words straight from my mind, albeit they are expressed better than I ever could. First, I also feel FAR too selfish to be in charge of someone else. I even apply this idea to getting a dog. Do I want to rush home to let him/her out? No. Is that because I'm selfish with my time and don't like being obligated to do something? Yes. Even more than that, I worry like I get paid to do it. Why would I bring something else into my life that will make me worry more than anything?! Why set myself up for the inevitable heartbreaks that come with loving someone/something so much? I know I didn't say anything to make you feel better and I'm certainly not in your situation, but I wanted to let you know that these are legitimate fears and things I think about regularly (whether it's a baby or a pet). I'll definitely be reading the comments on this post for some reassurance.

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  14. Can I hug you? Would that be weird? It's just that I GET IT. I SO GET IT.

    I could've written this post word for word 4 months ago. In fact, I still feel like I could write it some days. It is ok, it is SO ok to be terrified. I felt suffocated by fear and anxiety the closer I got to birth. I cried over giving up the life I had. I even told James the other day that I still miss it at times, the ability to sleep in and be gone from the house as long as I want and not worrying about nursing-friendly clothes and not constantly worried about my baby. I also couldn't read anything about babies and birth stories before birth, and I think that's best. It doesn't fill your mind up with expectations or worst-case scenarios.

    If it helps at all, I didn't take a childbirth class, and I honestly believe you don't need to, though most people will disagree with me. I don't feel like I missed out on anything, and the nurses coach you through everything. I truly believe that in this situation, experience is the best teacher. There's just no way to accurately describe labor, and it all goes so differently for everyone. If I could go back in time, I still wouldn't take one. I've read zero books, and I just trust my judgment, advice from my mom and friends and follow my gut. The books and conflicting advice lead me to a panic attack every time, so I stay far away and ask for help when I need it. I totally understand wanting to be prepared, but for me, the reading and research did more to stress me out than to prepare me. I didn't take a breastfeeding class either, but I had a ton of help in the hospital and left feeling equipped to handle it. And when I struggled, the lactation consultant at the pediatrician's office stepped in and helped.

    Motherhood is a constant battle against selfishness. I knew it would be, and it is. God has used these past few months to open my eyes to just how selfish I can be. But I can tell you there is so much grace. Your baby loves you unconditionally no matter how many times you mess up, and I mess up a lot. I still battle so much fear over the unknown and how she'll turn out and her health and freak accidents and all those things all parents worry about. I'm praying for you. Praying for peace and strength and wisdom. I will tell you, the morning I woke up in labor, I felt awash in peace. It's as if I could tangibly feel God through the whole thing. God is always there and gives me strength and wisdom and reassurance when I most need it, just like he brought you the OBGYN in the Bahamas. You got this, girl. I can't wait to see you become a mom and go through this with you!

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  15. I think it's totally normal and it's very brave of you to admit it. I don't have children - because I am terrified. Does that make you feel any better? ;)

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  16. My son's only 6 1/2 weeks old so I'm not exactly old hat at this, but the selfishness is real. There's a small part of me that resents my son a little bit when he only lets me nap for 20 minutes after keeping me up all night.

    And, oh, the fear. The first couple weeks are terrible, making sure he's breathing, freaking about every time I bumped his head into the door. It's still terrifying. Gas pains and the accompanying shrieks, and freaking out that he's not sleeping enough, then when he sleeps too soundly nearly having a panic attack when he doesn't move if I poke him.

    The big thing for my husband and I is remembering that it isn't our baby, we're really just borrowing him until God calls him home (120 years from now). I say enjoy your time to yourself now and don't feel bad about missing it when it's gone. You're just moving into a different season with new ups and downs and when things settle down you'll get to enjoy a bit more of your former independence.

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  17. Girl, I get this. More than you know. I wrote about my fears here: http://www.beeautifulblessings.com/2014/10/pregnancy-fears.html (not trying to pimp out my blog, but thought some of it might resonate).

    I guess, from 6 months in, if I'm being 100% honest (because it sounds like that's what you want to hear), some of your fears are grounded. I've been an emotional mess, pretty much since the day I delivered, and it has been harder to focus on my marriage. However, all the cliches really are true. There's nothing anyone can say that will those relieve those fears, but trust me, after you push that little nugget out, you'll totally get it.

    Toward the very end, I felt a lot more peace (mostly in regard to the whole pushing a watermelon out of a grape-sized whole thing). I had this realization that pregnancy is one, long test of abandoning control and trusting in God and the process. The only thing I could control going into labor was my state of mind, so I was relaxed, stress-free and accepting of the fact that the process was out of my control so I was just going to trust in whatever was meant to be.

    Have faith in God, faith in baby Bum, faith in YOURSELF. (If that sounds like a cross-stitched pillow, I apologize, but it's true!)

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  18. I hated the childbirth class except for the one where they told you all the things that will happen to you in the hour following having the baby. That was very useful since no one tells you those things and it's kind of important. Other than that, they didn't tell us anything that our Mayo Clinic book didn't. Having a person come out of you is scary, especially when you realize that you are actually going to have to get it out of you. Try and stay calm and go with the flow and don't worry that everything will be perfect. Don't listen to mean nurses if you encounter them- they are out there and they think they know everything. You will have all the worries all the time but mostly they hang out in the back of your head and don't totally take over. You will be a good parent as long as you love your kid. That's all there is to it.

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  19. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment." - 2 Timothy 1:7. It's so hard to remember those words in the face of something so big (or tiny) as adding on to your family. My husband and I aren't even ready to have kids yet and I'm already fighting the fear of infertility when we are ready. It's a challenge, but I think once you see his/her little face, you will be so overwhelmed by the blessing of it all that the fear will take a backseat to love. At least, thats what I hope!

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  20. THIS IS SO GOOD. Love your realness, friend.

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  21. I can tell you my best friend went through this same thing, and everyday she questioned if she was a good Mom. Honest she is one of the best Mom's I know, because she asked for help, she questioned everything and she always has her child's needs as a priority. She cried a lot those first few weeks and maybe even longer but she got through it. It will all be okay, some days won't be glorious and some days you just sit and stare at the amazing baby you made.

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  22. This: If my heart is walking around outside my body in the form of this little person, then tell me what I'm supposed to do if something happens to my heart?

    Beautiful.

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  23. I'm not a mom but I've had some of these thoughts already just thinking about having kids. I mean, it's such an insane responsibility! And I'm like you, I like my life and who I am, and the idea that I might change and become a different person is a little terrifying. I think you're thinking very normal thoughts, and it's ok to be afraid as long as you don't let that fear cripple you or interfere with the things you have to get done.

    My sister went to a few counseling sessions for a while and the biggest thing she learned was that you can't invalidate your feelings. Anytime you say, "I shouldn't be feeling like ___" you're invalidating yourself and you're making yourself feel worse. There is no should or shouldn't. You feel the way you feel and that's ok. You got this!

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  24. We took no class in preparation, because the hospital cancel our months. I was anxious and terrified. Just like you after months of prayer and anticipation for this baby, all high wanted was to go back to normal life, without one. What you're feeling is totally normal and very common. I think most women don't talk about it due to embarrassment or fear being judged, but it's very common.birth of your child will be a beautiful day to you, even if it's terrible because you'll have your baby. And trust me, whole week later you'll hardly remember the Bad parts.it isn't "easy" but it's natural – and your body will do it all by itself. You got this mama

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  25. I can't speak to you as a mom because I'm not there, but I can tell you that I've had thoughts so similar to many of these. In our early years of marriage when people would ask why we were choosing to wait so long to have kids I'd explain that I wanted to enjoy this season of life. That once I have a kid a little piece of my heart will be walking around outside my chest for the rest of my life. And I just want to enjoy it being "just us" for a time. So we can be selfish with our time and money and honestly just have fun. We're excited about kids someday too, but we also love the "just us" time. :)

    I don't know what it's like to be a month away from labor, but I have no doubt that if I were in your shoes, I'd be worried and scared too. It almost seems like it would be strange not to be.

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  26. As you know, I'm not a mom, but I desire to be! I've wanted to have kids for a long time, and daydream about what they might look like. However, I feel the same "selfish" feelings/fears about giving up my slow mornings, quiet evenings, being able to just relax. I've been in bed all day because I'm cramping and meds aren't working, and I've thought to myself that if I had a baby right now, I'd have to push through it and get out of bed. I'm not sure if I'm ready for all of that, but I think and hope that when I do have my baby in my arms, that pushing through the pain, giving up those quiet evenings will come natural...maybe. I want you to know you aren't alone in your fear! You're going to be a wonderful mama, Amanda!

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  27. I'm not a mom, but I am an aunt to three amazing boys and soon (very soon) a baby girl. When my third nephew was born (my sister's first), I felt a lot of fear for him. I worried about him constantly, especially during the year-and-a-half I lived with my sister's family. And now I worry for my (near-future) niece. I worry for my sister. I pray every day that her labor and delivery go as smoothly as it did with her first. I pray that my niece has a clean bill of health. I pray she wakes up from every sleep, and that she has no trouble eating or breathing. I love my nephews and (near-future) niece beyond anything I thought possible, and because of how much I love them, I worry for them, every day. If I am this fearful as an aunt, I can't fathom how much more fearful I'd be as a parent.

    You have so much bravery to forge into parenthood despite all your fears. It's not just brave, it shows how much love you have- for yourself, your husband, your child.

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  28. Oh yes, the fear. Our daughter is 15 and the fear is still very real. Now it's fear of peer pressure, boys, driving soon, college and moving out soon... but I vividly remember the baby fears. We checked on her breathing at night for years! Just Saturday she was complaining how I bug her to wear sunscreen so often - the worry and fear never leave, they just learn how to handle nagging. ;)
    It's totally ok and normal to feel like one life is ending while another is beginning. Honestly. Sometimes I feel like both sides of a coin - the fun, go out dancing, be young woman and the straight-laced, perfectionist mom. They can co-exist, it just takes a while to find the balance. My biggest advice is this: It's OK not to have it all together. NONE of us do. EVER. And take time away/for yourself from the baby/toddler/teen. It's healthy and keeps you sane.
    We're all just doing our best and hoping we don't screw our kids up too much in the process. ;) God has a beautiful plan and He will guide your way.

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  29. I went through the exact same range of emotions before the births of both of my babies. You are strapped in the roller coaster and heading up that first hill. It's nerve wracking and scary. There are times when it is exhilarating and there are times when you want to throw up. You will make it to the end of the ride. You will be wind blown, out of breath and still have mixed emotions about the ride but you will make it.

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  30. Not a mom, but I know all about mourning the seasons I've passed through in my life. I mourned when I went off to college. I mourned when I graduated college. I mourned when I moved to CA and I still deal with homesickness. Shoot, I even mourned when I got married. It's perfectly normal to be sad about how life was before even if something BETTER is coming along. I think the key is to embrace the memories of the old season and be thankful that they were so so great that you actually need to mourn the passing of them. Is this too cliche? :)

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  31. At this point, with a nearly 10 month old child that we spent years trying to have, I honestly can't remember a time that I didn't feel fear. And fear is very fluid, so sometimes I'm afraid something will happen to her. Then I'm afraid something will happen to me. Then my husband. I'm afraid the stock market will crash and my child will grow up in another Depression Era. I'm afraid that pollution will ruin the world we lived in as a kid, and she'll be a teenager in a Hunger Games type, post-apocalyptic world. I'm afraid she'll be ugly. I'm afraid she'll be too pretty. I'm afraid she won't like to read (gasp!! Not my child!). I'm afraid she'll get sick. I'm afraid that she's going to grow up and every new stage will suck (so far, every new stage is just better than the last). I'm afraid I won't like her future husband. I'm afraid she won't have children. I'm afraid she'll get pregnant at 16. I'm afraid if I let her have sugar before she's 12, she'll be addicted and be morbidly obese. I mean...dude....I'm afraid all. the. time. But you know what....it just becomes your normal. Because, truly, when your heart lives outside of your body, you just do what you have to do. And no amount of planning or worrying or wondering will change it. It's amazing what your instincts can do.

    And as for being sad that your life is changing, you won't get over that any time soon. Sure, we're thrilled with our little miracle. But you know what I miss....laying on the couch for 6 hours straight, binge-watching TV and eating frozen burritos. I miss cuddling with my dogs. But mostly, I miss actually missing those things. Because to tell you the truth, I don't miss it at all. Motherhood is the absolute most amazing thing that's every happened, while also the absolute hardest.

    And you know what...even if you don't read your birthing stuff, she's going to come either way. And no amount of planning or preparation or lack thereof will change it. So don't stress about it. Unless you're planning on having her at home, the Dr's and nurses will totes know what to do. ;) Good luck and congrats!!!

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  32. i am not a mother, so i know my words won't mean much.. but yes. that is 100% the reason that i know we aren't 'ready' yet. i want kids, i do. i will love them, i know it. but i'm not ready to give up my life yet. i'm not ready to stop travelling or other fun stuff. KC sometimes has to work all day on a weekend and i LOVE those days - I'm not a bad wife, I just rarely get time alone like that. so i watch all my lame movies and eat lots of bad food. how can i do that with a kid? KC can't take it to work. I know if I got pregnant I would be all sunshine and rainbows and love my kid. but i'm not ready yet because i'm scared i will resent it for changing my life. there is a part of my brain that says the 'it'll change for the better and you'll love your kid more than travel etc etc' and that's fine, but i just really want to get it out of my system as much as i can.
    and not to make it more about me, i'm so good at that, but yes to the expensive and the doctors and the insurance. it is so scary, because we actually have a better option - move to australia with universal healthcare and free doctor visits. how do i make that kind of decision??? although if our kids had any kind of anything (cancer) then we would probably move because holy expensive.
    the dying in the sleep terrifies me.
    i'm sorry if this hasn't helped at all. i wish i could help!

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  33. Total honesty: I have two kids and sometimes the fear STILL gets me, mostly in the form of something happening to them or that I'm totally messing them up and they'll grow up to be crazy or weird or something.

    Someone once told me that the very fact that I was WORRIED about being a good mom meant that I WOULD BE a good mom. You don't worry about stuff you don't care about... Guaranteed you'll be the same.

    I think it's totally normal to mourn each season of your life as it passes... There are great parts to each season and we can't have it all at once, so of course we miss certain aspects of each time period. Overall, I'd say motherhood is my happiest season so far because I know I'm serving the greatest purpose.

    I had zero experience with kids and refused to read birth stories before I had my first daughter simply because they totally scared me. So you're normal there, too! I feel like reading books is great, but you never really know how everything will go, so if nothing else, just having an open mind will help tremendously.

    Anyway, I just wrote you a book, and I don't know if any of this will even help... but you will be an amazing mom, and I could tell you that even if this was the only post I ever read on your blog. I'll include you in my prayers!

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  34. My mom always tells the story of not being able to believe that they just let her (20) and my dad (23) walk out of the hospital with newborn baby me. She says she wanted to ask the nurses, "Don't you realize we have no idea what we're doing? How can you trust us with this baby?"
    Babies are a huge responsibility and kind of a scary mystery, too. Seems this is the kind of thing women have felt for a long time, but it's hard to know the right things to say.

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  35. I'm not a mom so I don't have any fellow motherly advice, but if we were neighbors I'd totally bring you chocolate and offer to babysit! :) Can't wait to see pictures of that little lady!

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  36. I'm not a mom so I won't give you any advice or wise words, but I can thank you for sharing your feelings with such honesty. You are not selfish, Amanda. Change is scary. Fear is normal. I would give you a hug if I could, but a virtual one will have to do. xxx

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  37. This kinda gave me tears. Because every mother feels this way. And no, it doesn't go away or get easier. There is always fear and always a love that is scary and always a feeling of being selfish because it does take so much of you and sometime you just want a little back.

    But I would definitely read up a little bit about labor. I think knowing something (about stages, drug choices, etc) helps with some of that fear. Not that you can prepare for the pain or what happens, exactly, but it is such a whirlwind a little background info can help. You'll get by all the same, though. Just try and breathe, and enjoy the ride. It's wild

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  38. Oh my gosh. Every. Single. Word. I can totally relate. We weren't able to take a childbirth class either, and I was OK with that, largely for the same reasons you said. When I was pregnant, my husband would always ask, "are you getting nervous about giving birth?" I had to tell him that yes, of course I was scared, but I knew that it was going to happen no matter what, and that countless women have done this before me & no matter how much I prepared, things were going to happen the way they happened. So over-preparing wasn't for me. I needed to just sit back and take it one step at a time. And it worked great for us. Of course I was scared but that's why there are doctors and nurses to walk you through everything. And I know that's just step 1 of the fear. For me, the anticipation of something tends to be worse than just diving in and being in the thick of it. I was so scared about becoming a parent, for all of the same reasons. Am I capable of sustaining another life who depends so much on ME? Can I really afford this? Am I really ready to completely transform the way we live our lives? All completely normal feelings, and all legitimate things, but as cliche as it sounds, you'll be surprised how quickly you learn to figure it out. Sure, it's hard sometimes and there will be plenty of Google searches and calls/texts to family and friends who have been through it. And I think being a parent, there will always be fear. Like you said, your heart is living outside you. But it's amazing how this incredible blessing can come into your life and make you forget so quickly what it was ever like with him/her. You're going to be great parents!

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  39. So like. I can't relate to this at all. I mean, I guess I can. I HAVE a mother, so that's.. something.

    I don't know what I, the still-trying-to-get-engaged person, can tell you to make you feel better. But I DO have complete faith that you're going to be an awesome mother. To me, the fact that you are terrified is a good sign - it means you are already completely invested in that child.

    Also, I'd over to babysit but I don't live close. Plus, I wouldn't know what to do with a baby. They freak me out. ;)

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  40. Confession: I cannot read this post. I'm sure you work it all out by the end...but I'm terrified you'll say something in it that I haven't thought of and then I'll add that to the list of my own birthing fears! :)

    I was just reading a book by Carolyn Weber and in it she talks about giving birth at 35 and being considered "old" and all the complications that took place...I realized, "'I'm nearly 25...And that gives me 10 years to get babies into the world before they consider me 'old'. What am I waiting for?!?!" Well...The whole dependable man thing is the first item of business. Maybe my Mom knew what she was talking about when she told me to HURRY UP, after all! ;)

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  41. Great post, I obviously can't speak as a mother, but I do know that it's TOTALLY NORMAL to feel scared. I would be worried if you weren't a little scared! You'll be great parents!

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  42. Honestly, I'm so scared too...so scared that things will change and I will not be happy. So scared that something bad will happen. And so scared that I will not have the patience if she is a fussy baby. As my due date gets closer and closer, I just don't' want her to come out! Love this post and bravo for hitting the publish button!

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  43. Ohhhh, I'm not even pregnant and when I think about one day having kids, I already have all these same fears. So I don't think I can say anything to reassure you but I wish I could give you a hug right now, if that helps at all.

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  44. I'm not a mom so I can't reassure you, but I am scared too for what it will be like even though I really want kids! I'm most scared about birth. I told a friend that I want to sleep through the first trimester (because everyone I know has been sick as a dog in the first trimester) and then through weeks 38-50. And then they can wake me up when my newborn has become an infant. Is that an option, do you think?

    (I'll come babysit for you!)

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  45. This post made me tear up, and here's why: I am only threeish months ahead of you, so all of this feels like it was happening yesterday. I was scared, too. And actually, I was probably more scared those first few weeks. After 30 hours of laboring, all I wanted to do was sleep. And it seems so cruel that on top of being so tired and extra hormonal, you have a BABY who is totally dependent on you. I know you didn't want any scary stories. I don't say that to scare you. I say that because you will feel the same way, and you need to know it is completely normal and it absolutely WILL get better. I love our baby girl so much it literally hurts (I actually mean literally). I honestly wonder if I would survive if anything ever happened to her. I still worry about being a good mom. I worry about being able to pay for everything she needs in life. There is so much to worry about. But here's the other end of the spectrum: as inconvenient as babies sometimes feel, it really is easier than it looks (once you get past those first few weeks that feel like a never-ending slumber party). You just make it work, because you have to. And it is actually a whole lot of fun. Seriously. I am tired and I worry more than ever, but I have never had so much fun. I'm not just saying that! Know that your worry is normal, it probably won't ever go away, but you have been given everything you need to cope with it. For one thing (the main thing?), she will always be God's child first. I have to remind myself of that every day. She is the personification of God's goodness to us. She is a gift, and He will give us everything we need to take care of her. I'm sorry for such a long comment! But I just want to emphasize how NORMAL you are right now. Also, we didn't take childbirth classes! You are going to be just fine. Promise. Also...we should really get together soon, if you are up for it.

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    1. *more scared those first few weeks after Violet was born.

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  46. Okay, Amanda Bumgarner. It’s creepy how you just stepped into my head, took my words, and put them in your blog entry. It’s also plagiarism! I’m going to report you right after I go back up and read every single one of these comments to ease my own exact same fears. Love the honesty in this piece.

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