Yesterday I was organizing my desk and found an old journal I was writing in about 18 months ago. At the time, I was around 5 months pregnant with baby Paul, and was actively trying to journal through some of my fears and anxieties about bringing my fourth child into the world.
One specific entry caught my eye, a few pages where I listed specific worries I had for my future. Fast forward a good year later, and it’s interesting to look back at this time in my life. In hindsight, some of my fears were completely legitimate, and some I’m chalking up to crazy pregnancy hormones.
8 of my pregnancy fears (now with added clarity):
Fear I wouldn’t hold him enough
With Paul being my 4th child, I spent a ton of time during my pregnancy worrying that I wouldn’t have enough time (or hands) to bond and cuddle with baby Paul like I had his siblings.
Hindsight: Yes it’s been a challenge. Thank goodness for babywearing, it’s been a true lifesaver.
Fear I wouldn’t have enough room in my heart for another child
I realized at the time that this “love” fear was silly and irrational. But you know what? When you’re pregnant and emotional (and feeling overwhelmed), you’re allowed a bit of silly and irrational.
Hindsight: I have plenty of room in my heart for baby Paul, and I can’t imagine our family without him.
Fear I would again suffer from PPD
After the birth of my 3rd child, I suffered from a mild case of postpartum depression. Since I didn’t have it with my first two babies, PPD wasn’t even on my radar. During my pregnancy with Paul, I spend extensive time playing the “what if” game, praying that I wouldn’t again suffer from PPD.
Hindsight: Around 4 months postpartum, I did again suffer from PPD and anxiety. Not gonna lie, it was a really hard few months of my life. But guess what? With the support of my family and doctor, I can smile and say that I’m a survivor!
Fear my baby wouldn’t be born healthy
Honestly, I don’t know an expectant mother that hasn’t worried about the health of her baby. I knew it was a fear completely out of my control, yet still I worried.
Hindsight: Baby Paul was born perfect, and I’m still counting my blessings every day.
Fear that I would never leave the house
Seriously, how was I ever going to leave the house with four young children in tow? I envisioned myself staying at home for days on end, craving human interaction.
Hindsight: It’s been difficult, and I’ve had some lonely days feeling like the world is chugging along without me. But, thankfully everyday it’s getting easier! I’m finally on the other side of this fear, and with proper planning, we get out almost daily!
Fear that I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time
This was a very real concern of mine, all the way up until the day I gave birth. I blame the extremely scary and out of control delivery I had with my daughter for this fear.
Hindsight: Thankfully, baby Paul’s labor lasted 8 looooong hours. He was safely born under careful watch of my doctor and doula, IN THE HOSPITAL.
This was one of those fears that even if the fear came true, everything would still have been OK. The rational part of me trusted the doctor’s anatomy knowledge, but the crazy pregnant part of me feared that what we were told was a he, really was a she!
Hindsight: The doctor was unsurprisingly right, and baby Paul is a little boy!
Fear baby Paul wouldn’t breastfeed
Breastfeeding has always been very important to me, especially as a way to bond with the baby those first few early weeks. I worried that either my body wouldn’t cooperate, or for some reason Paul wouldn’t be into it.
Hindsight: We had a few bumps in the road, but baby Paul happily breastfed into his first birthday.