I'm Scared To Have A Baby - Erin's Inside Job

I’m Scared To Have A Baby

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably already seen the image that I shared with a similar caption. I know that not everyone does, however, and I think that it’s important to talk about, so here we go.

I'm scared to have a baby - and that's ok. Why we need to talk openly about our feelings, both positive and negative. #pregnancy #postpartum #mentalhealth #pregnancyfear

I’ve noticed a trend in the media — movies, TV, social, etc. — regarding pregnancy. It’s always been something that’s struck me as odd, well before I was pregnant or even trying to get pregnant. The depiction I was faced with most often was a joyous mother anticipating the birth of her baby followed by a triumphant display of “look what I have just created.” I never saw any fear, trepidation, or nervousness in the expectant mothers aside from jokes about how it was supposed to fit, but that was also quickly glossed over.

I remember watching an episode of The Office where Pam goes into labor at the office, yet postpones going to the hospital despite the urging of her coworkers. At the end, she finally breaks down and confesses it’s because she’s scared to go. This is how I’ve felt about childbirth since as long as I could conceive of it, and this is the only media depiction that I can recall that shared those same sentiments.

It’s a terrifying thought for me to think about physically giving birth to a child, and as someone who processes things through writing, I have to admit that here in order to give value to those feelings. Previously, I would be in the middle of a conversation with Neil when the fear would pop into my head, so I would simply state “I’m scared to have a baby,” and then continue whatever we would be talking about. I thought that that gave enough attention to my feelings until we recently went on a hospital tour and I could feel tears welling up behind my eyes as our guide explained the triage room and I scanned every bit of sterile hospital equipment. It was a reaction I hadn’t anticipated, since I assumed that being more informed about the logistics would set my mind at ease. While understanding the when and where about the hospital did assuage some of those unknowns, they also made the impending labor more real.

In sharing about my reaction on social media, I received a TON of comments about how people felt similarly before giving birth and even how those who weren’t even pregnant were like I was and couldn’t conceive of how there could only be happiness and joy when thinking about having a baby. I received comments from strangers and even from people I knew who I would have never expected shared that same fear given how I watched their pregnancies and births unfold on social media.

I’m not sure of the precise point of this post except to process my own feelings on it (the more you talk about things, the less power they have over you) and to let those who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant that it’s ok to not feel ready to have a baby. It’s ok to have a fear of the unknown, as I do. Objectively, I know things will be fine, but not being able to plan for it or know when it’s happening is something that causes me a great deal of anxiety.

Talk about your feelings, and not just concerning this subject. The negative ones are just as, if not more, important than the positive ones. You’ll be surprised at how many people can relate to what you’re going through. The more we share our truths, the more comfortable we will be in working through them.

I’m happy to have this baby, but I’m scared too and that’s ok.

10 comments on “I’m Scared To Have A Baby

  1. Hugs to you!

    I am an anxiety sufferer and had severe antepartum anxiety before I had my older son (PPD with the younger so I commend you for staying with your mental health regimen!). I had one doctor who helped me overcome it simply by telling me pregnancy is rough and he hates that media (and this was before the boom of IG) portrays it as all sunshine and rainbows. He noted how strong I was for getting through the tough stuff and that I should celebrate every little thing I was doing for my baby – and myself.

    I’m not going to lie, it is hard. But it’s so worth it and only uncomfortable for a little while. I wish you the best ❤️

  2. OMG this is SO normal!!! It’s kind of terrifying to have a baby if you stop and think about it and, just because women do it everyday does not make it less so. I was really lucky to have super honest women in my life talk about the horribleness (is that a word?) of pregnancy, labor, birth and having a newborn while I was pregnant with twins!! Even though I feel like my friends prepared me for the reality of having a baby (or two) it was still something I had to work though and process on my own and figure out all the wonderful, horrible, memorable and terrifying moments of it all. I love that you are writing about it because I think a lot of women feel this way but push it aside and try to focus on the “joy” but sometimes you should just really delve into the fear and be honest with yourself. I can tell you that will come out of this on the other side with an entirely new set of skills derived from the experience of it all. I can also tell you that having my boys was the single best thing that has ever happened to me and although so hard and scary and hellish, almost 10years later, I wouldn’t change a thing!
    Allie recently posted…The Rundown – How Good is Your “Why?”My Profile

  3. I am not sure if any of your other readers experienced this but my wife’s real stress before the births of both of our children was whether she would deliver naturally or by c-section. She had to be induced both times and both lead to a natural delivery. Though my daughters heart rate dropped and they almost rushed her in for a c-section!

  4. I have the same dilemma, I’m too scared to have a baby. My boyfriend keeps on asking me when should we get married and have a baby.. But, kept on saying that I’m not yet ready and that I’m too scared to have a baby..
    Kyra Rodriguez recently posted…University of Perpetual Help System’s DALTA Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Dr/BGen Antonio Laperal Tamayo, AFP, FPCHA, Ph.D awarded as Most Outstanding Individuals in the Philippines by BizNewsAsia’s Annual Excellence AwardsMy Profile

  5. Kudos to you, Erin, for being willing to share your truth in such a courageous & vulnerable way. It doesn’t get much more vulnerable discussing our lady parts & the thought of a room full of medical personnel all looking at our va jay- jay’s. The thought of that, wondering how it’s even possible that a full-size, baby human can come through such a small opening, & one not everyone mentions but definitely worries about, possibly pooping while pushing (common actually) tamped-up my anxiety tenfold. I think the biggest part of my fear came from the unknown aspect, as well as what often partners with that for me; not feeling able to control myself or a situation. Giving birth is such a unique paradox in that way because on one hand, you’re SO not in control of when, how, & the specifics of he or she making it out of you & in to this great big bruitful (brutal & beautiful – thank you Glennon) world. On the other, labor & delivery leaves you with the most empowering sense of awe for what a woman’s body…YOUR body…is capable of. The strength, determination, perseverance, & just pure grit it takes to get thru that process is super human & how you view your body after will never be the same; in the very best of ways.
    For me, giving birth to each of my 3 kids was a seriously spiritual experience & despite feeling terrified I wouldn’t “do it right,” self-conscious, SO out of control, & once the Pitocin hit, telling my husband I was 100% sure I couldn’t do this, I made it thru 3 very different birth experiences & was able to look at my body with so much more respect, honor, & pure amazement. I can tell you that most of my female friends who have children describe a similar feeling. Once that baby is put in your arms, it’s amazing how you focus very little on the pain, loss of control, fear, or anything else but that tiny human you grew & gave life to. It’s the greatest invitation to a party you will ever receive. Yes, birth can be so many scary, painful, & unexpected things, but all of that takes such a far back seat once that sweet baby is placed in your arms & you feel a level of love & connection that is like no other.
    I pushed for 3 hours with my first & due to him having a head circumference in the 100th percentile & his shoulder turning too quickly with my last push, I ended up with 44 stitches due to a 3rd degree tear. I was committed to never ever going thru that again & most definitely, not having sex again given the shape my lady parts were in. However, I had 2 more babies after, so the rough parts still paled in comparison to the prize at the end of the journey to that sacred moment when that first cry is uttered. Simply takes your breath away & makes the world all seem right.
    You’re such a strong woman inside & out, & your body has already been a source of amazement in your ability to make transformative changes in both how different it looks due to working out, as well as how you have taken ownership & responsibility for transforming internally as well. You got this girl & the entire tribe of mothers out there are right beside you believing in ALL your body, mind, & soul are capable of. You’re scared so guess what?…you’ll do it scared & it will be so, so sweet & worth it at the end of this first part of your parenthood journey. XO

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