Are you scared of having a baby?
I was absolutely terrified for my first time pregnancy.
My overwhelming fear of a first time pregnancy and labor & delivery were the reasons I didn’t have a baby until the age of 38.
Growing up and through my 20’s I wasn’t exposed to pregnancy and newborns. The little experience I did have, was through babysitting and stories you would hear from co-workers.
When I had met my now fiancé (Greg), everything changed. I knew he was focused on building a family and was extremely happy around his daughter, nieces and nephews. There was no doubt that he would be a great father, dad and role model if we had a child.
As our relationship grew, so did the comfort of knowing I wouldn’t be alone in my pregnancy and motherhood journey. This provided me the confidence that I could overcome my First Time Pregnancy and Labor & Delivery fears.
Three years later, we were pregnant.
These are the top fears I faced;
Child Birth & Labor
Who in their right mind would go through that much pain? Is it really worth it like you hear from so many mothers? …yes
If you haven’t heard already, the Epidural needle is at least twice the size of a needle used for drawing blood and shots.
Imagine something so beautiful that can bring you to tears in pain besides Labor. You hear of raw and sore nipples from breastfeeding, its true.
Not having the experience most women have prior to pregnancy, I was terrified of crying babies and how I could provide the comfort needed.
Carrying a baby for a full 9 months is not an easy task. Between the morning sickness, pregnancy emotions, weight gain, fatigue and swelling it seems like an absolute nightmare.
Here is the reality of all of my fears;
There are two “needle categories”
- 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 – 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. The epidural pain will not compare to the pain of 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 difficult, and it is still worth every moment! 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. Should we have another child, I will opt for Perspective 4!
- 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;
Pregnancy 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.
Don’t stress yourself out every morning trying to find something to wear. Don’t overspend on Maternity Clothes when its not necessary! Here are some of my favorite maternity clothes I found easily on Amazon!
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 regarding pregnancy past 40 weeks and their preference on inducing labor.
- Doctor Visits can be tedious. During your Pregnancy you will have a minimum of 15 doctor appointments. In the beginning it was really exciting and as time continued you realize how time consuming and irritating it can be. Waiting for the doctor, urine tests at each visit, and a list of precautions.
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