Another blogger (I have no idea how to insert links to other people's blogs!) suggested that I post some of my concerns/questions here. This is my second attempt to respond to that suggestion. This may be a long entry- I'm sort of thinking and trying to figure things out as I type.
I asked Daniel what his main fears are, and they're "big picture" guy fears. Providing for his family, the baby's health, his ability to support me during childbirth and his general fear of seeing me in pain and not be able to do anything about it. I honestly think he may have the tougher part to play in the whole birth process. Standing by helplessly has got to be terrifying.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not even entirely sure that I can "vocalize" my fears into coherent sentences on this blog. Right now I'm not too concerned about anything in specific- we've had the childbirth classes and the parenting classes and the CPR class, so, in theory, I know what to generally expect from the birth and recovery, and I know there will be people around to help with breastfeeding if that doesn't go well. And I think I can figure out diapers and bathing and things like that.
I think my main, rather overwhelming, emotion right now is just the feeling of fear of finding myself again as a person, once I become a mom, and being a good mother. I'm 30 years old, I've traveled the world, lived overseas, have a master's degree and a job in a fairly demanding field. I've always been pretty good at things I do (with the exception of anything sport or outdoors related), and things have come pretty easily to me. But less than a week from now, I'm going to be a mom. And none of those other things that I've accomplished in life will matter. I'm going to be stepping into a job that I didn't go to school for, that I have no instruction manual for. And God has some pretty high expectations of Daniel and I as parents. We have to guide this baby not only in his physical life, but raise him to be someone who loves the Lord and follows Him.
We are really blessed to have a great church at which there has been a gigantic baby boom lately, so we're not going through this alone. I have a wonderfully supportive family that will encourage us and help us in raising the baby right. But in the end, it's not anyone's kid but God's, Daniel's and mine, and it's up to us to try not to screw him up too much.
I'm scared that I'm going to lose myself and my identity, and if I do that, how can I raise this kid properly. How can I be a good wife to Daniel if I don't know who I am anymore.
And, on a more shallow note, I'm concerned about the yuckiness of childbirth and the pain of feeding and all of the bodily fluids (mine and Lucky's) that I'm going to have to deal with for the next while. I don't like being dirty. I wear makeup everyday (in Seattle!) and fix my hair to run to the grocery store on the corner. I wear skirts and heels and pearls. I don't like dirt or snot or any of those things. Granted, I was an EMT and worked on an ambulance in college, so I have dealt with lots of yucky things, but it was always for a short time each week. This is long-term.
The pain of childbirth and the recovery also worries me a bit. I was having painful Braxton-Hicks for the first time yesterday, and they about kicked my butt. And those are like a -3 on the pain scale of 1-10, I know.
So, if anyone out there has any stories or suggestions or comments on my long rambling post, I'd love to hear them. I know in my heart that we will be fine. I know that God blessed us with this child and He's going to be there with us if we remember to turn to Him and keep Him as the head of our household. I know that I will gain strength and confidence as a mother and that Daniel and I will learn to make and stand up for the decisions that are right for our family. But it's still a scary week- just waiting for next weekend to arrive. I think that, as with most things, the anticipation is often worse than the actual event. And I know that I'm forgetting to factor in a big thing- the love that I'm going to feel for this little pooping, peeing, vomiting, crying creature. It's hard to wrap my brain around that now, to be honest. Right now I'm very fond of Lucky, but it's hard to truly, deeply love someone whom you've never met, and whose main past-time is headbutting your cervix. :)