I read something recently that said, "As soon as you find out you are pregnant you start worrying and worry until the day you die." I would argue you start worrying from the day you start trying for a baby. I have a whole list of things I worry about. Some of them even make me wonder why I am trying for a baby.
I am sat here on Sunday evening having got up some time around midday. I got out of my pajama's around 1pm to go to the supermarket to buy some dinner. I made a roast and since then have only left the sofa to go to the toilet. I am on my second film and have a nice warm lap having spent a day on my laptop (Congratulations by the way NN, I am so happy for you).
My friends Sunday will have been decidely different. An early morning start would begin in a flurry of soggy weetabix, mushy banana and milk splattered into the furthest reaches of the room. The cleaning up process takes double the amount of time the meal took, all the while trying to keep a breakfast fuelled toddler happy while they take it in turns to have a world record breaking shower. After that it's off to the in laws to be silently judged on every apsect of your parenting skills before forcing an overtired baby into their carseat to get home tired and stressed. While I wander to bed whenever I like, they will be into bed early ready for it all to start again tomorrow.
Our recent holidays have consisted of trips across America, good food and too much wine in Italy, a week by the pool in Tenerife and action packed weekends in New York and Paris. When you have children, luxury morphes from 5 star breaks in Hawaii to a cottage in Wales. If you are lucky you may get a hot-tub on some moulding B&Q decking outside the babies room!!
Nights out with our friends used to be frequent, alcohol fuelled late nights. Now they are over before they have started. First the phone call to check the baby has settled, regular 15 minute check ups and finally home by 9 to let the babysitter go home. Not a drop of alcohol is consumed, who wants to be hung over when they are woken up at stupid o clock?
Its enough to make me wonder why I am trying with every ounce of my being to become a mum.
The answer lies in the look in a mothers eyes when they hold their baby for the first time. The overwhelming love you feel as you feed your tiny baby and know that act is sustaining them and nurturing their tiny bodies. The carnal need to protect that tiny person that is a part of you. The happiness you feel as they crawl for the first time, the inexplicable sense of pride when their first tooth makes an appearance, they pull themselves up for the first time and take those long awaited first steps!
I had the fortune to be a nanny for a little boy for a year. I saw those first landmarks, I felt the pride as he bumshuffled his way towards me, I felt the surge of love when I saw his face light up as I entered a room and when he said my name for the first time. Keeping him safe, happy and healthy was my job but I still felt a huge sense of acheivement and an overwhelming need to protect him. It scares me that I felt that strongly for this little boy who was not mine. If I felt like that for him then how will I feel for my own? That feeling amplified must make you feel like your heart is going to explode!!
My fears start with trying for a baby, having now been trying for 4 months since losing our first little angel, my irrational fears of not being able to get pregnant are starting to resurface. When I do get pregnant there will be the inevitable fear of losing the baby again! Then come fears about giving birth. Will I cope with the pain? Will I bond with my baby? Is the baby putting enough weight on? Is he eating enough? Is he eating too much? Shall I breast feed or bottle feed? Should I use disposible or reusuable nappies? When should I wean him? How long do I have to sterilise everything? When can I give him cows milk? Why is potty training taking so long? Which playgroup should I put him in? What school's catchment area are we in? What GCSE's should he take? How do I tell him I hate his first girlfriend? What should the mother of the groom wear? Is she holding the baby right? Before you know it you are silently judging your new daughter in law on her parenting skills when they come round for Sunday Lunch!
It occurs to me my biggest fear is inadequacy! I am scared of getting that much coveted baby and then wanting my old life back. I am terrified of making decisions that impact negatively on our or our babies lives. I am frightened that all those time I have judged people on their choices are going to come back and bite me in the backside! I want more than anything to be a Mum but I am frightened of failing!
But I know I won't fail, I know I will be a great Mum. My years as a nanny have taught me that children are resilient and parenthood is a learning curve that all people go through and most succeed with! I am lucky to have a head start on a lot of things but I am not arrogant enough to think I have all the answers! I have an amazing family to support me, friends who have already made the journey and an amazing husband who I can't wait to learn with!