Are you scared of having a baby?
I was absolutely terrified for my first time pregnancy.
My overwhelming fear of a first time pregnancy, being a first time mom, labor and delivery were the reasons I didn’t have a baby until the age of 38.
Growing up and through my 20’s I didn’t have a lot of family or close friends that were pregnant to understand and learn from their experiences. What I had heard from friends and co-workers was extremely terrifying with the continued disclaimer of, “it was all worth it.”
When I had met my fiancé (Greg) I knew he was focused on building a family and was extremely happy around his daughter, nieces and nephews. There was not a doubt in my mind that he would be a great father and if I was to have a child this was the man I would be having a child with. The comfort in knowing I wouldn’t be alone in the journey gave me a glimmer of hope that I could overcome my fears. Surviving Marriage during Pregnancy and Newborns.
Three years later, we were pregnant and the immediate rush of emotions as I took 4 pregnancy tests in disbelief, was overwhelming. Previously I wrote about how to prepare for pregnancy, and newborn essentials. Everything I mention in those helped me greatly with being ready for when the baby was born.
These are the top fears I faced;
Child Birth & Labor
Who in their right mind would go through that much pain? I would always hear from other mothers it was absolutely worth it but still the fear overwhelmed me.
I have an extremely difficult time with any blood draws or shots, let alone getting an epidural where you hear of this insane needle that goes into your spine.
As I had learned from other mothers is that this could be extremely painful and that your breasts & nipples would be extremely sore and raw.
I hadn’t babysat or been around many babies as I was growing up and when I had, I was never able to provide comfort or figure out how to calm the baby.
Carrying a baby for 9 months is not an easy task. Between the morning sickness, emotions, weight gain, fatigue and swelling it seems like an absolute nightmare. Tips on dealing with morning sickness.
What I haven’t told you is my experience and journey as it related to my fears.
There are two primary concerns;
- Needles & Pregnancy – Not many people enjoy shots, especially not me. I had great anxiety and hated the feeling of the needle. During pregnancy I can tell you that yes, they did draw blood a few times but it isn’t any different from when you draw blood for a health screen. You typically already do that once a year, in this instance you’re probably only doing this 2-3 times. Not as big of a deal as it seems.
- Needles & Labor – Yes, when you go into labor you will get an IV and depending on your birthing plan you will have a few more shots and an epidural but it will not compare to the contractions. The best way I can compare this is if you’ve ever had an injury you are willing to take all measures to remove the pain. Having the epidural is scary and my labor was a part of the small percentage of difficult ones and I had to have the epidural twice and I would not have done it differently! Pick a focus point and hold someone’s hand while you are having this done and you can absolutely make it through!
Labor & Delivery
You need to know that everyone’s experience is not the same! You will ask many mothers and everyone will have a different perspective. Here are a few;
- Perspective 1: 2 hours of labor, no time for an epidural it was difficult but quick.
- Perspective 2: 12 hours of labor, had an epidural, pushed for about 10 minutes, super easy, no pain – it was great!
- Perspective 3: 38 hours of labor, had an epidural and additional medication, still in pain, 2 rounds of pushing totaling 1.5 hours, ultimately having a C section. This was my labor. What did I learn (I am not a doctor, always listen to the doctor) If you are having pain, are not dilating well, and you’ve been in labor more than 12 hours ask the doctors advice and have the C section. The recovery from a C Section was the easiest part of this experience. If we have another baby, I will schedule a C Section!
- Perspective 4: Scheduled cesarean, 4 days of recovery in the hospital and minor activity (personal advice, do not do the laundry as tempting as it may seem) returning home for 2 weeks.
Believe it or not this is a lot easier when you are the Mother. You will be able to sense their needs and absolutely there are sometimes your baby can still be irritable and crying however you are more saddened looking for solutions than you are frustrated. There is truth behind, they “eat, sleep, and poop!”
Here are a few things that helped me with the return home and soothing our son;Baby Shusher – The Soothing Sleep Miracle for Babies
HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle
Fisher-Price Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper
It isn’t all that bad looking back. Yes, your feet swell, you gain some weight, you’re overly emotional and nothing seems normal. Despite all this, there are ways to still enjoy your pregnancy and advice is available or morning sickness and coping with pregnancy emotions.
Here are some must have items that I relied on heavily during my pregnancy
Two things that I found shocking about pregnancy outside of just the physical and mental experience were,
- Pregnancy is a full 9 months. I thought when you reach 9 months you were full term, which is incorrect. It is in fact 40 weeks and sometimes a little longer. Be sure to talk to your OB/GYN about this!
- Doctor Visits can be tedious. Now that I’ve mentioned the OB/GYN, understand you will have appointments every month, then every 2 weeks, and then every week. This is standard and I personally did not know this and actually argued with the nurse on the validity and purpose of each visit. The doctor quickly reminded me we aren’t building a house and it’s for both the Mother and babies safety. Just imagine the look on the nurse’s face when I stood there dead in my tracks and said “Who has time to come here once a month and how is this vital to having a baby?” The shock of what I had said was so overwhelming she went to get the doctor. Lastly, while you are at the OB/GYN always expect them to ask you to pee in a cup. Extremely important and yet another thing I challenged and was quickly told it was for the mothers and baby’s safety. I am sure I was quite the joke around the office for awhile.
Is having a baby scary, yes. But its only as scary as you allow it to be. Stay informed and know that everyone’s experience is different. I provide additional help on how to prepare during this time in “10 Things to do When Pregnant.”
The best piece of advice I can offer would be to focus on the return of the baby than the pregnancy. The book that provided me the best resource for this was