what if…

OK, where did the last 8 months go?  It’s already August 9, which means just 2 calendar months until my due date!  I can’t believe I will be holding my little girl in 2-ish months!  And with work starting back up soon, baby showers, several doctor’s appointments (every 2 weeks now), and just preparing for Baby’s arrival, these 2 months are going to go by really fast.

As thankful as I am that my busy schedule will keep my occupied for the next 9 weeks, I am also a human ball of emotions right now:  excited, nervous, scared, worried, happy, loved, tired, etc.  I feel like my life is just a big “What If?” right now…

What if I go into labor early – like, really early?  As much as I would LOVE to see my baby face-to-face, I really want her to cook in there as long as possible.  We are FAR from being ready for her arrival and there is still a lot of reading I need to be doing before I will feel a little more prepared for labor, birth, and parenthood.  Regardless, if she does make an early arrival, I hope that things will fall in to place and parenting will just come naturally.

What if labor feels worse than I am already anticipating?  I have mentioned once before that I am planning on going through a natural childbirth.  However, as this is my first child, I have no idea what labor is going to feel like.  I am prepared for it to be the worst pain of my life, and I am OK with that because I know it is only temporary and I will have a baby after it’s all over.  But, there’s still that little voice in the back of my head saying, “What if you can’t handle the pain?”  Thus, I am reading as much as I can about preparing my body for a natural birth and we are also taking a natural childbirth class in late September.  I’m still scared to death though…

What if labor and birth don’t go as planned?  As much as I want a natural childbirth, I want a healthy baby in the end more.  My biggest fear about giving birth is not the pain – it’s having a C-section.  I absolutely DO NOT want one unless my baby’s or my life is in jeopardy.  However, should that happen, I am trying to accept the fact that a C-section does not mean I failed as a woman.  Like I said, the health of my baby is more important to me than anything else.

What if our baby isn’t perfect in every way like we’ve been imagining?  I’m not talking about her not being cute because of course she will be!  I’m talking like something is majorly wrong with her physically/mentally.  I have already had dreams about her being deaf.  You go through your pregnancy imagining this perfect child, but sometimes things go wrong that you don’t know about until after they’re born.  It is probably one of my biggest fears to have a child with a disability, but if she does have something wrong, I know that will not make me love her any less than I already do.  Matt and I are prepared to handle any situation that arises because we know it will not change our love for our little girl.  I like to think that God doesn’t give us things that He thinks we can’t handle.  And He definitely knows I am always up for a challenge.

What if I develop postpartum depression?  Unfortunately, depression is not something unfamiliar to me.  I can’t say that I have major or chronic depression, but I do tend to get seasonal depression and situational depression pretty frequently.  So, I feel like this is something that could possibly happen after having my baby.  I plan on making sure Matt knows the signs of it because I’m not sure I would understand what I was going through or seek out the help I needed.

What if we really weren’t ready to be parents?  To think that in just 2 short months we are going from it just being the 2 of us to the 3 of us scares my like nothing else.  There are so many things that I want for our daughter (and future children) that we had as kids.  We were both fortunate enough to be raised with parents who loved us unconditionally and were able to provide for us throughout our lives.  And why wouldn’t I want the same for my daughter?  I know we won’t be perfect parents, but you better believe that we are going to be the best darn parents we can be!  I don’t think there is any way for us to truly prepare for what having a child is going to be like, but at least I will have my partner by my side to tackle the challenge with me.

Our lives are going to drastically change in just 2 short months.  And as scary as all those “what ifs” sound to me, I am still so excited to meet our little girl and start our journey into parenting together.  We may not be able to control whether or not everything goes as perfectly as we hope, but I know that I have a man who loves me by my side and God to watch over our little family.

  • Jen

    Hi Kristen, I’ve been reading your blog for a few days now. We have a lot in common! I”m a runner, teacher and I’m pregnant too. I”m about 4 weeks behind you in my pregnancy. Anyway, I noticed that you mentioned postpartum depression. I’ve been struggling with a little pre-partum depression and I’ve had a few bouts of depression in the past. Our Bradley instructor told us about placenta encapsulation as a method to control PPD and the crazy hormones after birth. Basically, someone will take your placenta, dry it out and put it in pill form. I know it sounds kinda crazy but we’re going to try it and hopefully, it’ll help me after the baby comes. I just wanted to tell you about it because it’s not really common but it’s becoming more known. I’m glad you listed all of your “what ifs”. I have exactly the same concerns! Have a great day!

    • Kristen

      Interesting. Not gonna lie, I’m kinda creeped out by the placenta, so I’m not sure I’d be willing to take a pill of it! Ha! But I will definitely look into it!

  • Jen

    Ahh, I have all of these concerns too! I’m especially worried about post-partum depression. Clinical, medication-resistant depression runs in my family and I always deal w/ seasonal depression Dec-March. Of course baby is due in Dec!

    If either of us face the unexpected, I’m sure will we manage and be excellent parents to our new little bundles of joy 🙂

    • Kristen

      Agreed! I am prepared for it, so hopefully that will help.

  • When I had my son (7 years ago!), I went into labor open minded. I wanted to feel my way through it and decided for myself if I wanted an epidural. I ended up getting one 20 minutes before he was born. No one ever checked to see how far along I was before it was given to me. My labor was incredibly fast (6 hours start to finish). I thought I had a long way to go and knew I couldn’t do that pain for hours. Had I known, he already crowned and I was ready to push, I would have never got one. This time around I’m going in A LOT more prepared. We are doing natural parenting classes. I have a game plan. I will make them check me before I make any decision. I don’t want drugs, and I’m terrified of a c-section. I also had a good case of the baby blues when I had my son. I had NO IDEA that I was actually experiencing until the cloud lifted. Definitely educate your husband. I wish I would have been more proactive and educated with my son’s birth. This time around, I’m definitely preparing myself more!

    You are already an amazing mom to that little girl in your belly! I’m sure if she could thank you for taking such good care of her already she would 🙂

    • AND the best piece of advice a friend ever gave me before I had my son – Cry in the shower! Hormones and emotions are mess after delivery. I found myself crying all the time and later feeling like I need to apologize to everyone I cried in front of. Once I started the cry in the shower rule (or bathroom!) – I never had to feel guilty about crying. It was also refreshing!

    • Kristen

      Thanks for the advice! We are definitely on the same page with our pregnancies!

  • all of those concerns and fears are completely valid and normal. I felt the same way. Then I remembered it just boils down to trust and taking things as they come. 🙂

    Also – as someone with a past of depression, I feared ppd as well. I teeter tottered on having it post-M but managed to not need meds or get a full diagnosis. Basically expect things to be HARD. They will be. Knowing that it will be a rough adjustment for the first 6 weeks-ish helps you know you’re not alone, its normal, and you dont have to feel like a failure. Those were the things that made my emotions rough the first time around. Plus, if it does hit…there is no shame in needing some temporary help. 🙂

    • Kristen

      Yeah, I’ve heard the first 6 weeks are hard. I’m definitely prepared for it to not be easy. I will be doing a lot of praying I’m sure!

  • Mom

    Your last paragraph was the sweetest thing ever! You and Matt are going to be amazing parents to my sweet little granddaughter! Don’t worry – everything will work out fine!

  • Just read this post….I’m 28 weeks and having a lot of these same fears/feelings! I’m curious…what books did you read on natural childbirth. I’m hoping for a drug free birth, but have a lot of fears surrounding it and wonder if I can handle it (though I’ve done a half ironman so you would think I would be familiar with pain).
    Stephanie recently posted..A couple of things…

    • Kristen

      I read “Husband Coached Childbirth” on the Bradley Method. It made me feel really confident that I could labor + deliver naturally. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance, but hopefully will next time around! And contraction pain is totally different than marathon pain (that’s the closest I can get to HIM status). But, then again, I really only felt contractions for 2 hours…