14 March 2012

conquering my fears

If there's one thing I've taken from my whole pregnancy/birth/new mommy experiences, it's how much I've worked through some of my fears.  I usually don't have many fears, but for some reason, the thought of labor and delivery freaked me out.  Here are a few things I was scared of and how they played out:
  • The IV.  Although I'd been stuck by needles in my inner elbow a lot, I'd never had an IV before.  I knew I had to get one regardless of my pain meds because I was GBS positive, and I knew they would stick it in the back of my hand.  Yes, it HURT, but I managed.  When I came close to passing out the first time I used the bathroom after delivery, I was so glad that lock was in there because then they just pumped me with some more fluids.
  • The epidural.  Holy cow, I was so scared of this.  I was crying when the anesthesiologist first came in, and she had to give me a few minutes to calm down before she could even do anything.  It ended up being not bad at all, and I will definitely do it that way again for the next baby.
So happy with the epidural!
  • A catheter.  I think I only feared this because of another friend's birth story where they put the thing in before the epidural.  But for me, they waited until after it had me mostly numb so it wasn't a big deal.  The idea of it still kinda grossed me out, but overall, it was fine.
  • Post-partum depression.  Yes, during my pregnancy, I just had this feeling that this would probably happen to me, even though I've never had any history of depression or other mental health issues.  Well, I don't have full depression, but I did have some pretty bad "baby blues" the first two weeks and talked to a counselor at the hospital a few weeks ago about it.  I had a hunch it was mostly due to sleep deprivation and the hormonal issues, and she called it on that as well.  It's mostly subsided, but I'm seeing a counselor again soon for a check-up.  But I've learned that the depression happens to a lot of moms and getting medicated is quite alright and nothing to be frowned upon.
  • Tearing.  You know what?  It happened, and there's nothing I could do about it.  I had a lovely 2nd degree one, and I'm still recovering.  I was hoping by 6 weeks the pain would be gone, but my baby will be 7 weeks tomorrow and it still comes and goes.  I have my lady appointment tomorrow and am dreading it!  Luckily it seems that Tylenol still helps.  I really want to get back into working out (at least doing some elliptical and some ab exercises to firm up the tummy), but this is basically the only thing stopping me.
It seemed that initially a lot of people were more excited about my pregnancy and birth of baby than I was.  I was not "over the moon in love" those first few weeks.  I was exhausted and sad and sometimes regretted it (newborns are boring, by the way!).  Breastfeeding was still painful and my baby hadn't regained her birth weight (more on my ups and downs with those issues in another post).  I remember my sister calling and asking, "Are you enjoying it?"  I love that I could just tell her, "No."  I probably couldn't have been that honest with anyone else other than my mom.  And she told me that my "no" was perfectly okay, and a lot of moms don't enjoy it at first but won't admit it.  I felt so much better and less guilty after that.  If you're wondering, I am starting to enjoy it now!
See??  I look like I'm enjoying mommyhood finally!


  1. I'm glad you're starting to enjoy mommyhood! That's a great picture of the two of you. You both look great:)

  2. Cat, this post was so honest and wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. I think it's awesome that you were so honest. I was so scared about a lot of that stuff too (definitely the epidural), but you realize why people are able to have more than one kid- it's not fun stuff, but it's doable. :)

  4. Great pic! I'm glad that you are starting to enjoy mommy-hood now. I've been praying for you and I'm glad that you've talked to someone. :)

    It does get better. Just hang in there. :)