Pregnancy and those first few months caring for a newborn come with a lot of “what if’s”, I’ve decided. I remember during my first pregnancy, I could have killed myself with sleepless nights (pregnancy insomnia, it’s a real thing), thinking about all my concerns and hypothetical situations for the baby and I.
Just having my 4th baby a few months ago, I still have worries and fears about bringing him into our large family, but they’re a bit different than my worries and fears when I was pregnant with my first.
5 of my pregnancy and postpartum worries (and how I’m tackling them):
1. Postpartum Depression. Shortly after I had my 3rd child in the fall of 2010, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. Needless to say, during my pregnancy with Paul, and even now as I’m in the thick of my “postpartumness”, PPD is on the forefront of my mind. How am I coping? Since I’ve been through it before, I know the signs and symptoms. So does my husband, and so do my best friends. If PPD starts to creep back into my life, I will tell my doctor immediately, and seek help from my team of support people.
2. Fear I don’t hold Paul enough. Paul is my 4th (4 babies in 7 years, whoa!), so I’m constantly struggling with feeling like I don’t hold him enough. Paul is an excellent baby, which I feel often translates into “Paul, you just sit there looking cute, while I deal with your siblings.” Recently I was voicing my concerns to a friend, and she brought up a good point. During the day, I’m still breastfeeding Paul every 2-3 hours. That’s quality 1 on 1 time every few hours that we spend together. I’ll take it!
3. Fear I don’t have enough room in my heart to love another. Sounds like a silly fear, but I’ve suffered from this worry every single pregnancy. I worry that my heart is already too full and that I’ll give birth and not love my new little child. Fortunately, this has never happened to me. I give birth, and my heart explodes with more room. Funny and lovely the way the human spirit work out sometimes.
4. Fear I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time to give birth. My second daughter was born in a very scary situation, and because of her entry into the world, wondering if I would make it to the hospital in time (or giving birth at home, not on purpose) was a very real concern and fear of mine. To combat the fear, my doctor has always suggested induction, but that didn’t jive with me. Instead, the first moment I knew I was in labor, off to the hospital we went. For me, “laboring at home for as long as possible” simply wasn’t an option.
5. Fear my child wouldn’t be born healthy. This might be a common concern for any new parent, I know I wasn’t excluded. How did I cope? Honestly, a lot of praying and trusting that the baby would be born healthy. And knowing that regardless of what happens, I was chosen to be that child’s mom, regardless of any health issues.
How about you? What are/were your worries and fears during pregnancy and shortly after?
image credit: www.mooshinindy.com