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Accepting my fears

05/30/2013

Belle

I’m finding difficult to totally prep for baby because of the “what if something goes wrong” mentality. I ventured out Sunday to buy four crib sheets from Target and crept around the baby isle trying to hide my totally not concealable bump.

Once home, the Professor gave the sheets his stamp of approval (he actually loved them!) and went to throw away the receipt.

“Don’t throw that away!!!! Just clip it to the fridge,” I said.

“Why not throw it away? I like them,” he asked.

“Mmmm, just in case.”

“In case what?”

And then his eyes widened and he silently clipped the receipt to the fridge. Right, just in case we don’t bring a baby home.  Which is ridiculous. It is ridiculous that at 35 weeks pregnant I’m still going through this. Chicken and his/her gigantic nose looks great! The placenta, despite all its weirdness, seems to be nourishing Chicken just fine and if Chicken is still breech at the next scan we have medical intervention to ensure that he/she gets here in one piece. Has it been a rosy ideal pregnancy? No, but for all intents and purposes it has been progressing properly and we will bring home our baby.

As irrational as it is these worries linger, and I’m trying my hardest to not beat myself up over it. This too will pass. Just as my fear of telling people passed. Just as my fear of posting a photo of pregnant Belle on Facebook passed. Just as my fear of baby showers passed. I am slowly realizing that this is just the path towards healing after infertility and/or loss. We have seen a lot, both in our own struggles and those of others. How could we not still have undercurrents of doubt? So I’m trying to respect these doubts and give them a little space, let them do what they need to do, and hope that once Chicken is home safe and sound, they can be put to rest along with all the others.

I didn’t come to peace with my insecurities easily, though. In fact, it was not until my shower two weeks ago that it really hit me that everyone has doubts and fears – whether they have been through infertility and loss or not. I have a friend who is rapidly closing in on the end of her first trimester. She is a fellow PCOSer but was able to conceive naturally and with ease. I am so happy for her and have to stifle my desire to bombard her with baby and pregnancy crap daily.

Why hold back my own personal assvice? Because she is scared of losing her baby. And she has not struggled. She has never lost. I thought long and hard about how I can support her – I don’t want to downplay her fears, but at the same time, want her to remember that at this moment in time she has no reason not to trust her body and baby. So I’ve been trying to do just that – acknowledge the fear and gently remind that right now, things are good, and that in time, things will get better and easier.

And then the light bulb went on. Why the hell have I not done this for myself? Why do I expect myself to be this model of pregnancy security all the time? Why do I feel such shame when the fear wells up so deep that I have to rush to the bathroom to hide tears? If my fertile friend is allowed to have fears and reservations surely I am, too. So I am trying to sit with my fear. I’m trying to find a happy medium between moving forward, while still respecting the insecurities that occasionally take my breath away.

After the shower I set up a temporary nursery for Chicken. The cosleeper is now upstairs and housing his/her sweet little stuffed animals and blankets until the time comes that Chicken will move in. One of the Professor’s and my dressers has been emptied out and now houses all of the clothing and small accessories that Chicken has received. The changing pad has been placed on top and one drawer is prepped with diapers, wipes and bum cream. Everything else is tucked into the basement or my closet.

That sounds tremendously well-adjusted and secure, right? Well, sort of.  The weird thing is that nothing has been removed from its box. The changing pad remains in plastic and the water proof cover and soft topper sit on it, still in original packaging. Tags are still on the new clothing and the hand-me-downs still smell like other people’s drier sheets. The cosleeper still does not have sheets. Rather than scold myself for being such a weirdo, I’m allowing myself some leeway. I’ll open boxes and do laundry when I’m ready. And if I’m not ready, I know we’ll have lots of friends and family around after baby comes home to help us open and wash everything. No pressure. No stress. No beating myself up because I’m “not embracing this properly.” I am embracing this just the way I need to at this moment in time and that is all that matters. 

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8 Comments

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  1. Melanie #
    May 30, 2013

    Beautiful. Beautiful Belle. Beautiful message. Thank you.

  2. May 30, 2013

    Awww… part of me wants to say, “Oh Belle, just relax and unpack stuff!” But really, most of me feels the exact same way. I like to blame the fact that we haven’t bought ANY baby stuff on the fact that my hubby’s Jewish and there’s a tradition/superstition in that religion about not wanting to jinx anything by throwing showers or buying things in advance. In all honesty, though, I’m still not 100% convinced we have a take-home baby on our hands. Hopefully your fears about bringing Chicken into this world safely will morph into fears about just keeping him/her healthy, at which point you can probably start tossing out those receipts. 🙂

  3. stupidstork #
    May 30, 2013

    Oh dear… It continually infuriates me how much happiness infertility takes away from us.

    On a positive note, you go ahead and feel nervous as I am completely confident and stoked about chicken’s impending victorious arrival.

  4. May 30, 2013

    I know a lot of Jews who don’t even buy stuff for the baby until after it arrives. Superstition says not to tempt fate. I bought stuff and even set things up – some people were horrified, some people were like “I wish my husband/wife/in-laws/mother would let me do that” … I know someone who bought things secretly and kept them in the apartment, her husband didn’t want to buy anything at all!

    So… that kind of crazy is built into my religion, though I chose not to participate in that, I *did* hide the names of the babies until their ceremony, because they hadn’t yet gotten the blessings to protect them from the Evil Eye. YEP.

  5. Kathy #
    May 31, 2013

    You are so wise, follow your heart and do what feels right.

  6. May 31, 2013

    Wonderful Belle! Your last two sentences sum it all up perfectly!

  7. May 31, 2013

    THANK YOU for this post. I have been following you for while now and will be 14 weeks pregnant on Monday. After 2.5 years and 4 miscarriages, this 14 weeks have been terrifying for me, and I can’t seem to help but feel embarrassed and ashamed that I am not happier than I am. I just so afraid, and keep waiting for “that next sonogram” before making any big decisions. We announced our pregnancy last Saturday, and this entire week has been filled with anxiety and fear that something is going to go wrong and now all these people know. Anyway, this post just made me feel not alone and not stupid for having these fears. While it sucks that others go through this too, it’s nice to know you’re not alone.

  8. June 1, 2013

    you will get there. even if it is not until baby is here, even if it is not until a while after baby is here, it will come and that’s all that matters. There are still big steps, scary steps. I swear when our baby made it here I felt HUGE relief. and bawled my eyes out, because she was here somehow, she really made it. We all know the chicken will too, but for you – it will take seeing it to believe it, and you are the one that counts.

  9. June 1, 2013

    I think it is totally normal to be afraid something will go wrong. I will be afraid that I might lose this baby until the day he is born. That fear will not dictate too much of what I do but it will be there. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt thankful that I don’t have to buy anything new or really even set up anything different in my house, because those things are scary. And they will always be scary, until the day you give birth, because the reality is no one knows it will be okay until it is okay. And it’s not a fault to recognize that.

    I hope you find some peace in the uncertainty. I know it’s hard. Even at 35 or 36 weeks.

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