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’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.