I hesitate to admit my fears, as I don’t want to risk sounding ungrateful, because I’m not. I am absolutely thrilled and know exactly how blessed I am to be carrying a healthy baby boy. I can certainly appreciate how miraculous this gift of life is. And I am so ready for Liam to join our family – every day I find my excitement growing as we draw closer to the day we bring him home.
It would be very unreal of me to pretend I have no fears. Because I do. And I need to convince myself it’s okay, even natural, to feel this way.
Throughout this pregnancy, my fears have largely revolved around whether I would get to keep him. I still have those fears – I know all too well there is no safety zone in pregnancy, infancy, or childhood. In the back of my mind the worry of losing him will always exist, and I’m sure it will remain a continuous struggle to remind myself that his life belongs to God, not me, and that try as I might, I cannot control the path God has intended for his life. I will always need to remind myself that worry accomplishes nothing. And as is the case now, there will undoubtedly always be days when worry is the dominant voice in my head. All mothers have these worries, but those of us who experience loss are even more acquainted with them. And that is something I expected.
What I didn’t expect was to have the normal fears I would have considered had I not lived through a loss. These fears are nothing like the worry of loss, and are not nearly as strong as the joy and excitement I feel as I inch closer to my due date. But they exist and, as I mentioned above, it would be dishonest to pretend otherwise.
So, here is my list: my admission of fear.
I am afraid of not getting everything done in time for Liam’s arrival. We are still doing work on our house and, while we’ve made progress, it seems we have so far to go.
I’m afraid of being completely unprepared to care for a new baby. We never got to practice with Madelyn. We only had the chance to hold, kiss, and love her. And I look forward to doing all of those things with Liam. But I also know there is much more to newborn care than affection. I know my maternal instinct should point me in the right direction, but I still worry about doing something wrong.
I fear parenthood, and wonder if I will be a good mother. I know I will make mistakes, and that is to be expected. But I tend to be a perfectionist. I don’t WANT to make mistakes. I want to do everything flawlessly.
I never got the chance to worry about these things with Madelyn, as our only concern when pregnant with her was for her life. We knew the rest would fall into place, had she lived. And everything will fall into place for Liam’s arrival as well. I know we will be fine – people have been having babies as long as the world has existed, and we humans are still here. I have to believe that if so many before me have done it, I can too. I WANT to do this – more than anything. But that doesn’t mean it’s not scary sometimes!