Monday, April 27, 2015

Motherhood Anxiety

Photo Credit: Day Three Studios
Pregnancy has mostly felt forever long to me, but on the other hand, the time remaining before I have a real live baby in my arms can be counted in days now, in single digit weeks. Yikes! I have been a tad bit really emotionally crazy lately, flip-flopping between "OMG I want my baby here NOW" to "I am SO not ready to be responsible for a real life living breathing tiny human." I basically have about 1000 fears and worries about becoming a mom, and although I know that God has perfectly designed me to be this little boy's mom, I still struggle with most of these things on a daily basis.
I am anxious because we have two animals, Jak and Ollie who both happen to really dislike children. Jak, our Australian Shepard is a gentle-spirited dog but he gets anxious so easy and when he is scared or feels threatened, that is when he turns aggressive. Our cat, Ollie is just a mean, spicy cat who thinks biting is for playing. My friend Lea was in town with her toddler who loved both the cat and dog and its safe to say, the feeling isn't mutual. I was a walking ball of nerves the whole time, praying that our dog didn't just run out of patience and snap at the baby after he lovingly pulled his fur for the fifth time in an hour. Luckily, he didn't but I already have anxiety about our son who will be harassing both the cat and the dog for many years to come.
There is a plethora of Pinterest "Post Delivery Survival Kits" that include really terrifying things like medicated pads and little bath things for your hoo-ha and spray bottles and numbing cream and generally stuff I was much better off not knowing even existed. Now, I know they're out there and that delivery is going to be traumatic enough that I am going to need those things. I just want to live in denial about the entire getting this child out of my body process because I am not ready to go there mentally. Also, though I appreciate the supportive comments from other first time moms who haven't given birth yet that try and reassure me it won't be that bad, I don't believe you! Moms who have been there, done that are ALL about those frozen medicated pads and that is terrifying enough.
I am really worried I am not going to be able to nurse my baby, and am dealing with a lot of fear and guilt when I think about having to formula feed. The medication I take to manage my Rheumatoid Arthritis hasn't been 100% cleared for breastfeeding, and miraculously, I haven't needed it while pregnant because my body has gone into remission, but my doctor has started mentally preparing me because most women flare in the immediate weeks after giving birth. At that point, I would have to choose whether or not to live with the pain and nurse, or take my medication and have to formula feed. I've always wanted to nurse my children, and have always imagined doing so, so I feel like I am going to have to grieve that loss if I am not able to. Other moms don't even mean to do it but they just assume I am going to nurse when we talk about all things baby and though its my hope and prayer I am able to, I also worry about looking like a "bad mom" which I know is prideful and unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
I am sick to my stomach about our decision for me to go back to work after my maternity leave. Financially, me staying home full time isn't an option at this point, and it seems like I am surrounded by friends and acquaintances who all stay home, and again, I worry about not being as good as a mom if I leave my three month old baby with someone else five days a week. I think it may be a little easier if I had any close friends who also were working moms but I don't and I feel really alone in that area . Its also definitely hard to discuss with my friends who are (or will be) stay-at-home moms because they were able to make the decision to stay at home where I feel like that decision is really out of my control, and I just need to suck it up.
I am sorry about the downer of a post-these are just some of the fears that I have been working through over the past few weeks. As I prepare for motherhood, I don't want to document just the good things, I want to let myself feel the joy as well as the anxiety and see how God uses it in my life. If you have any tips/suggestions/insight I'd LOVE to hear, I am welcoming any advice or thoughts on any of these areas. If you're a mom, what are/were some of your fears before baby came?

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