Monday, December 6, 2010

Secret Fears

I feel like there is a part of pregnancy that no one talks about. I've heard and talked all about morning sickness, aching backs, bizarre dreams, weird cravings...but what about the emotional part? What about the part of pregnancy that makes me want to run as far away from this thing as I can? No one talks about the anxiety, the fears, the worries...I might even go as far as to call it a "pre-partum depression."

Angie had a meltdown last night which ultimately involved washing the comforter and the bath mat, Lysol-ing the bathroom floor, Craig consoling Angie and me upset that I'm going to be the "bad guy" for the next 18 years. How did I get from rubbing Angie's belly on the bed to having an anxiety attack because of how I will inevitably one day get mad at Natalie and how I'm afraid that my temper will somehow negatively impact her life?

Of course I pray that she is a healthy, beautiful, smart and athletic little girl, but most of my prayers have consisted more of...

"Dear God (and Grandma), I have been given such a pure and perfect gift. Please don't let me screw her up. Amen."

My grandma was an Italian Red Cross nurse during World War II and she always spoke of how on their deathbeds, the soldiers did not ask or call out for their wives or girlfriends...but it was always for their mothers. I am overwhelmed with the prospect of being that important of a person for another human being. I look at myself in the mirror and don't see anything particularly special...but yet I am going to be the end all and be all for this child's life in the first few years. And the impact of my decisions, actions and words will possibly impact her for the rest of her life. How can someone so imperfect and sometimes utterly ridiculous as me be given such a great responsibility as caring for and raising a child?

I love Craig dearly but I don't think I fully comprehend the type of love that I will have for a child that I have carried for nine months. Maybe I'm afraid of the love that I will have for her because I know that with such a great love there will come great pain as I watch her throughout her life. Through the broken hearts, the busted friendships, the failures, the disappointments...I don't want my daughter to ever feel any of the pain that I felt and I can't imagine the helplessness that will devour my heart when I have to sit back and let her make her own decisions; decisions that I know might lead to heartache. I think about my own mother as she watched me through all my disastrous love affairs and how torturous it must have been for her to see her (in her eyes) beautiful, smart, funny, caring daughter be so careless with her life and her heart. I told Craig the other day that I part of me doesn't want her to be born because while she is in my womb, I can protect her from everything that is bad and evil in this world but once she is born...the process of her leaving me and experiencing life on her own, the good and the bad, begins.

And again, I will reiterate that I love my husband dearly, but I don't think he is truly grasping the tidal wave of emotions that are coursing through my body on a daily basis. He hasn't expressed any nervousness, anxiety or fears about becoming a father which makes me feel like I'm very much alone emotionally in this journey. Everyone that I speak to about pregnancy and motherhood only talks about the positive things...which again, makes me feel like I'm taking crazy pills for feeling these things. I just want to hear someone say that yes, this is normal and it's okay to feel these things, that it doesn't make me a bad mother and not brush me off by telling me that everything will work out and how I'll be a great mom.

I'm afraid that I'm just not going to be any good at this "motherhood" thing and I keep asking Angie if I'm a good mom and she just licks my face. I'm not sure if that's a "yes" or if I have the remnants of dinner on my cheek.


annajanine said...

Thank goodness you have Angie! Friend...yes...these are the secret woes of a new mommy and I can't speak for everyone, but I for sure experienced them. My biggest fear was the lack of a connection that I felt while pregnant. I blamed the fact that we didn't "plan" to get pregnant and the surprise kept me from feeling that instant bond with by belly. It even took a little time after she was born for me, I won't lie. That love it there and strong already, even if it takes some time to realize it. And I know you'll be a great mom...because you have all these fears, worries, anxieties about it all. If you weren't a good parent, you wouldn't care! Hugs to you. They don't call it a roller coaster just for fun. It's scary, too!

Molly said...

A. You will be a great mom.
B. Natalie already loves you.
C. What you are feeling is completely normal. It even happens to adoptive moms. ;)
D. Craig will have his emotions soon enough.
6. I heart me some Laura Nelson!

Anonymous said...

I am certain with everything that is in me that you will be just the right mother for Natalie (and any siblings she might have!) As we have said before, no human can ever be perfect, and yes, you'll make mistakes, forgive yourself for them. You certainly know that I have made mistakes, and continue to make them! Be gentle with yourself, B-R-E-A-T-H-E... know that you are loved. Baci, Mom

Heather said...

Laura, I am so excited for you and love following your pregnancy. You have nothing to worry about- everything with Natalie will be perfect and you will be just the right Mommy for her! You are right about that you love your husband but there is a different even deeper love you will feel with Natalie. It amazes me everyday the love I feel. If Craig is like Eric he probably won't feel the emotions or connection until after Natalie is here. I don't think men quite get it...although I was worried I wasn't connected enough to Parker and Presley when I was pregnant...and I had an even harder time with them being in the NICU there first 6 weeks of life. No worries Laura, just be excited and enjoy your time with just you and Craig for a little while longer. =)

Heather said...

P.S. did I mention I love that you are sharing your feelings and emotions on your blog? This post really got me thinking this morning.