Pre-Baby Ambivalence

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I had some abdominal pain while in Lake Tahoe. I was definitely worried about Jackson and times like that really open my eyes to how devastating it would be to have anything happen to him and how protective I already feel over him.

However, I am still so ambivalent towards having a baby at home! Some days I can see myself having him here with us and other days there is nothing I want less than to bring a baby home! (Maybe that’s extreme- I still would not want anything to happen to him!)

I’m not sure if all moms-to-be feel this way or if just moms who didn’t really ever want kids feel this way or if I’m like, the only mom in the entire world to feel this way. I sort of feel like the only mom in the entire world to feel this way. I’ve briefly mentioned feeling like this to my coworkers who have kids and while some of the women do say that having a newborn is hard and that it took them awhile to really fall in love with their child, most of them just say, “Wait till you hold that baby! You’ll just fall in love in a way that you never have before!”

I have to be honest here. That is the line I have come to hate the most. Without a doubt. I think it really sets new moms up for failure. I do think that the majority of new moms genuinely do feel that way- like they are just so overcome with love when they hold their new baby. But there are moms who aren’t. (Clearly I can’t speak from experience, but I have heard.) Some moms take months to fall in love with their babies or to feel connected to them. While they may feel something indescribable when they hold their baby for the first time, I don’t know that women should set this expectation that it’ll be this amazing love that you suddenly can’t imagine living without. I sort of feel like I’m going to hold Jackson for the first time and be overcome with emotions but have no clue what those emotions mean. I won’t know if I love him or if I am terrified or if I want to just go home to mine and Jon’s pre-baby life and leave him at the hospital! And that’s totally okay. I think it’s okay that some moms take months to feel like they love their child and I think that by feeding people this line about how they will just fall immediately in love is just dangerous. Many moms suffer from postpartum depression and I’ve already said that is a huge fear of mine! Your hormones are all over the place after having a baby! I wish moms would tell me, “You know what! You may hate your new life. You might even hate your baby. You might wonder why the hell you ever thought having a baby was a good idea. And that’s okay. That doesn’t make you a bad mom. You’ll get there eventually, but it might take time.”

One of the pediatric nurses I work with (who has a 19 year old daughter) said to me the other day that when you’re tired and hormonal and your baby won’t stop crying, she totally understands why people shake their babies. I think that’s the most comforting thing for a mom to say (to me), because I imagine those times where you just want to go leave your baby in the woods far, far away at 3am when you haven’t sleep for 3 days happen. And I guarantee new moms feel that way. So completely and utterly overwhelmed and frustrated, and I’m sure it makes them feel like horrible mothers to be that frustrated with their children and with themselves. Instead of making them feel bad about it or like they’re abnormal for feeling that way, it seems safer to validate their feelings and acknowledge that those feelings happen and that one day, it will be okay… Just maybe not at 3am with your crying baby…

So, as I’m 12 weeks away from having a child for the rest of my life, I’m getting less and less exciting. I still enjoy being pregnant. I still love feeling Jackson kick and move around. But the whole thought of having a baby? It sounds so unappealing. I’m having a crisis and all I want to do is travel. I can’t imagine being married to a man who can’t clean up his freaking mess! How are we going to have a child together when my husband drives me freaking insane?! (And the other 50% of the time, I think he’s the best thing since sliced bread. I’m always a little crazy, so add pregnancy on top of it and I can’t decide if I think he’s the best husband ever or the most annoying husband in the world.) What if  get this baby home and hate it? What if Jon doesn’t even understand why I hate this baby and then he wants to divorce me? Would I be a bad parent thought if I just decided that I don’t even want to take care of him and just tell Jon to take Jackson and go make their own life and pretend I don’t even exist?! What if this baby is the biggest mistake of my life? What if I don’t ever get over wanting to go travel the world and feel trapped in this “mom-life?” More and more, I just want to cling to the life we have. I want to comfortably fit in our 1,100 square foot condo with two bedrooms, near Atlanta, that we can easily afford. I don’t want to decide if we should move to the suburbs or stay here until we can afford a bigger house in this area. I don’t want to give up my 10am and 12pm gym times. I don’t want my abs to separate. I don’t want to wake up and feed a baby. I don’t want to have to feed my kid from my boobs at all. I don’t even want to have to clean up poop and pee. I don’t want it to take me an extra hour to feed my baby and dress him before gathering up all his baby shit and running to the grocery store for two things. I just want this childless life to last way, way, waaay longer than 12 more weeks!

I wish when I said this to people, just one person would say, “I felt the same way. I went to deliver my baby and didn’t really want to take it home. I didn’t even want to take it home when I did have to leave. But it’s okay. And now, I wouldn’t change it for anything.” But instead, everybody says, “You’re going to hold the baby and forget all about it!” I hope that I do forget about all 29 of these awesome, childless years of my life in the split second that my baby pops out of my vagina, but I’m not buying it. I know how awesome my life is and how many trips I could afford to take if I wasn’t going to be lugging a baby around with me, and we all know that traveling is my real dream- not being a mother.

So guys, I’m just going to cling desperately to these last 12 weeks before Jackson is born. And I’m going to remember this post that I wrote so if another person ever says this to me and I forgot what it was like, I can remind myself. And maybe somebody else who is pregnant will read this and actually think, “Oh good, I’m not alone.” But hey, maybe I am alone. Maybe I am a terrible future mom for thinking this way. But ya know what? Whatever. This is how it really feels. If I’m going to talk about being pregnant and having a baby in my blog, then I’m going to be honest about it.