We’ve had multiple ultrasounds and seen her move around; We heard her heartbeat a few times; I feel her kicking me and moving around daily. For months I’ve been pregnant. Now I even look pregnant.
I’m tired and out of breath, a common cold knocks me off my feet for days, I wake up in the middle of the night with bad cramps in my legs, I have heartburn around the clock. I know that I’m pregnant.
But I still don’t entirely believe that in three months we will be coming home with a baby.
I’ve said before the birth doesn’t scare me much at all. I’m barely even thinking about it. I’ll make it through it, I have little doubt about that – or about how much I’ll doubt myself while it’s happening. It’s what comes afterwards: Having a baby, taking care of a baby, raising a child, raising a teenager, letting them go.
I’m worried about her and I’m worried about me.
What if I can’t breastfeed her? What if I can? Am I going to be able to handle all the poop and the throw-up and the spit-up? How am I going to handle not sleeping? What am I going to do when I want a break? How will we ever have a nice dinner out again? Or go to a movie?
What are we going to do when we disagree about what we’re doing? How are we even going to afford anything when we have to start paying for baby things and childcare?
I also never expected to be starting my family with my mother halfway across the country and his parents all the way across it.
My biggest fear is, and always has been, postpartum depression.
I’ve been struggling with clinical depression since high school and it has brought me to my knees on more than one occasion. I don’t know how I would handle all those symptoms while being the primary caregiver for my daughter.
I don’t know how I’m going to put someone else and their needs above my own, 100 per cent all the time.