Can I let you in on a secret? It might seem a little shocking, but I didn’t always want to be a mother. I was never 100% aboard the “bring on the babies!” train. I dreamed of jet-setting around the world after college, teaching English in foreign countries or maybe someday becoming an editor for a magazine or paper. It wasn’t until I met my future husband who dreamed of the day that he would be a father, that I started to warm up to the idea of being a mother.
Now can I tell you another secret? Kids terrified me. The idea of morning sickness, labor, the drastic life change, the possibility of postpartum depression, never-ending spit up, spaghetti covered baby hands and face, and on and on. If you had put me alone in a room with babies and children just a few years ago, I probably would have thrown up from the anxiety of how to interact with them.
And then nearly three years ago…it happened. Those two little pink lines. My reaction was absolute anxiety. I would even wager to say that I had a mild case of tokophobia, the fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Never mind the fact that we had actively been trying to get pregnant for well over two years…don’t get me wrong, at that point, I thought I was ready to have a baby, but as it turns out, there is a very big difference between a thought and reality. But those two little pink lines reconfirmed my doubts, my fears of being of delivering a baby and being a good mother.
Will it hurt? What if something goes wrong? Am I ready to be a mother? Will I be a good mother? How will things change between me and my husband? What will life be like? You mean to tell me they are actually going to let me leave this hospital with this tiny human being and a nurse isn’t going to follow me home? Can I really do this?
The answers to those questions lay in my arms after a mere five hours of labor and a few painless pushes (thank you epidural), all 6 lbs 14.7 ounces of her. The folds of her fresh, newborn skin eclipsed all of my doubts and fears. Her trusting blue eyes told me that I would be an amazing mother. The gentle way my husband kissed me and told me he was proud assured me that I still meant to the world to him. Life wasn’t changing; it was really just beginning. Her life, this life, she was coming home with me, and I had only just begun to the live the life I was meant to have.
Her birth was my rebirth; everything before her, the imaginary job titles I would never have, the countries I would never travel, the superficial things I would never own, those were all chapters to a story that wasn’t meant to be mine. But who needs a romance novel when you are living the greatest love story of all time?
So dear mom-to-be: whether it’s your first, second, or third time, don’t let the fear hold you back. I can honestly say “Everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
Did you have fears about becoming a mom? What were they? Share with us in the comments!