I am working on a more general article on how to deal with huge life altering changes, but for today I thought I’d share some of my own personal feelings.
On Wednesday I shared with you all some of the best news of my life. After 12 long weeks, the emotions of finally being able to see that little face on the ultrasound and meeting our baby for the first time, were truly beautiful and overwhelming. But it doesn’t always start off that way.
Before the scan you don’t have much in the way of proof that there’s an actual baby growing inside of you, and there is this huge part of you that, despite all the sickness and mood-swings and weight gain, is terrified that you’ve made it all up in your head! It is an agonising nearly 3 months, and it is usually during the first trimester that you feel your worst, so not being able to tell everyone to explain why you’re being a tired, temperamental and pretty pathetic lunatic is pretty hard.
On top of that, it doesn’t really sink in that you’re having baby because, as mentioned above, there’s no proof: there’s no bump and you just feel rubbish. It can create an array of mixed emotions and fears.
Since finding out about the pregnancy (it wasn’t planned but a beautiful surprise none-the-less – I’d convinced myself we’d struggle to conceive and even had a full conception plan figured out in my head!) I have found myself in a heady state of exhilaration and terror about my future. I’m not sure if you guys have this time hop or memory thing on Facebook where it tells you what you were doing this time last year, but seeing how confident and sure I was of my plan for The Unmarked Road, has been difficult.
From the moment I watched the two lines appear on that pee stick, the world although still seemingly the same, was suddenly completely upside down and I found myself in unknown territory. There wasn’t a part of my life that didn’t need complete consideration because now there was something – someone – else to consider. As the weeks went on, I started to panic over some of the following:
- How would my very personal past affect future friends and parent’s of friends of my child? It’s easy as an adult to take these on as our own responsibilities and go ahead with the mission that we had intended. But my child is innocent and shouldn’t carry the burden of my choices.
- Do I want my children to find out very personal and to them possibly disturbing things about me through the internet before I’ve had a chance to explain it to them myself?
- What if my children are targeted because my past is out there for all to see, judge and use against them?
I know how I feel about the above. What I still don’t know is how to move forward. I have spent much of my time concentrating on the novel in order not to have to deal with these worries, and I must say I’ve enjoyed the more anonymous side to that.
My mission was this: I wanted to help people, but I also wanted to write. BE a writer. I know I have succeeded to some degree with the first – because that is what I concentrated on – but I have yet succeed in becoming a professional writer.
And that, now more than ever, seems incredibly important because fears of becoming trapped in a life of a stay at home mum with no other identity, terrifies me. So I did what I always do. I gave myself impossible deadlines such as:
- Start and finish the first draft of my novel in 6 months.
- Buy a house so that we have a home for our baby before he/she arrives.
- Be successful in some capacity, any will do, before I am ‘just’ a stay at home mum.
Now please don’t misunderstand my view on being a stay at home mum. I have always strongly believed that one parent being able to stay home to bring up a child is not just hugely important, but also the most rewarding and by all accounts, the hardest job in the world. But what if it isn’t enough? Children go to school and then fly the nest eventually and what then?
My feelings of being lost and of being, well, a failure if I’m honest, might completely change once this life altering being enters into my life.
But for now, where things still don’t seem quite real (I keep thinking about booking trips such as skiing for this time next year where I forget that I will have a baby with me! Getting used to being pregnant is one thing. Getting used to having a child around 24/7 is quite another!) I am panicked, lost and uncertain of everything.
Paralysed with fear of being stuck in an identity-less existence in which I have achieved nothing.
So what now? Well, as hard as it is, I need to concentrate on what I can do, not what I can’t:
- I will continue to write my novel without time constraints and enjoy its development.
- I will enjoy the pregnancy and all that comes with it. It’s one of the most wonderful things I will ever experience (when not feeling sick or psychotic).
- I will start swimming every morning. Not only has my arse grown twice the size it once was (and for those who already know the size of it, that is quite a feat), but I know that exercise will help with pain during pregnancy and labour. Plus it’s good for my mental health. As I have the most irrational fear of being outside in winter, swimming in the mornings seems like the perfect solution.
- I will continue to blog, meditate, exercise and look after my own well-being, regardless if these things will bring about the results I deem as ‘successful’.
Good luck to me! (God knows that will happen when the fear of motherhood strikes! Stay tuned for that!)
Wishing you all a wonderful Friday and glorious weekend, while I go and visit my closest friend of late – the loo 🙂 xx
If any mums out there felt the same or similar to me before that little bundle of incredible joy arrived into your lives, please comment or message me so that I may feel a little less crazy! Thank you!