I’m currently 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. The closer it gets to baby’s arrival, the more my anxieties about pregnancy and motherhood are mounting, though I know it’s typical to have some apprehension. My husband continually reminds me that I’m capable and how women have been doing this for thousands of years, and to trust my body. I know within, he is right and I am ecstatic to be a mother, but I still have some lingering worries. I thought I’d share some of these, in case someone else may be experiencing similar anxieties.
Not being able to have a natural childbirth. I’ve always envisioned an arduous but beautifully organic labor. I want the best for my baby and I feel that delivering naturally without intervention is the healthiest option. I just worry my body won’t cooperate and I’ll have to be given Pitocin or undergo further interventions. I just really want my first birth to be as holistic as possible. Nevertheless, I will be proud of myself for enduring and bringing life into this world.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk into my baby’s room and find him dead. I cannot even fathom the paralyzing agony that would follow. We would most certainly have to attend counseling to process the grief.
My child having a serious illness or disability. Granted, I will love my child regardless, but the thought of my child facing such a battle is heartbreaking. I also worry if my marriage would be strong enough to withstand such an event. I’m sure it would, as we have weathered many other obstacles, but it is still in the back of my mind.
Not being able to nurse. I’ve always envisioned exclusively breastfeeding for at least 9 months, but worry my body won’t allow me to do so for some unforeseen reason. Even so, I won’t beat myself up about it. The fact that I have put for my best effort will be adequate validation. My baby will still be adequately nourished, healthy and happy.
Post-partum depression. This is actually a valid concern for me as I have a history of depression. Fortunately I’ve been able to manage it quite well throughout this pregnancy and have not had any major setbacks, but I worry that it is just waiting until after I give birth to surface.
Not being able to protect my child from predators. This sounds extreme, but given my background, I’m not naïve about what can happen. I plan to be vigilant and mindful of who is around my children at all times and will also teach them to openly communicate with my husband and I and teach them the tools to protect themselves.
Not being a good mother. It seems like everyone is perfect and I’m going to be the horrible mom who everyone judges because she lets her kids eat chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese for dinner instead of organic, home cooked meals every night.
My cat won’t get along with the baby. I’m worried my cat is going to feel threatened by the baby and possibly try to attack him. If this occurred, we’d likely have to give him away, which could be devastating as he is our fur baby and we love him immensely. The plan is to bring home a receiving blanket the baby was wrapped in to familiarize the cat with the baby’s scent. Then, supervise closely and let him investigate the baby once he gets home. He’s a pretty loving and affectionate cat, so I don’t think he would do anything drastic, but it’s impossible to predict animal behavior.
The dynamic of my marriage will change for the worse. We have a pretty solid and honest relationship, so I don’t really think this is a compelling issue, but I don’t want to make any assumptions. I think through increasing positive communication, stating our needs properly and making time to connect with one another as a couple, we will be able to maintain our stable and fulfilling marriage.
These are the concerns that have been bouncing around in my mind lately and how I plan to handle them. Do you have similar or additional fears? What is your plan to deal with them?