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The Reality of Having a Baby Scares the Crap Out of Me

I'm ready to commence baby-making. That's what I keep saying, but yesterday my husband went for his flu shot and sent me two text messages, "Got my flu shot, only had to wait ten minutes!" and "You have to wait a month before getting pregnant." (Which is NOT true by the way—my husband misunderstood the question. Pregnant ladies and those trying to conceive absolutely should get the flu shot—it doesn't hurt anything and will protect you and your future baby.)

I was on my way to therapy when I saw those messages and I had two instantaneous emotional reactions practically on top of each other. First, I thought, Shit, are you kidding me? We have to wait another month? Then I felt relieved, relieved that we didn't have to try again right away because there was an outside factor making the decision for me.

"What made you feel relieved?" My therapist asked calmly. I hemmed and I hawed and finally said, "I'm not ready, I want to drink some more." And she let it go at that, which frankly, I thought was weird, so I told my husband about it and he laughed and said, "OF COURSE you want to keep drinking, that's a lot easier than having a baby. You've been traumatized. Maybe we should wait another month." But that didn't sit right with me either. I don't want to wait, I want to get back in the saddle, and I'm ready. But why did I have that thought? Do I really want to have a baby? Does my relief indicate a deeper issue? Am I really not ready to try again?

Kids get hurt, sometimes babies need open heart surgery, your old pants may never fit again, and husbands cheat and leave you. This family-making business is scary, because it's the future and I don't know what's going to happen.

I went to my second private yoga class the next morning and the theme was being present. We spend so much of our lives worrying about the past or the future and so little of our focus is on the now. We did some hip openers but my goal was for me to be present, to notice how I was feeling without judgment, to just be in the now.

Afterwards, I rode my bike to the gym and for a moment I noticed how beautiful the leaves were looking and it clicked for me. Seeing those leaves was being present. Just enjoying their orange and gold beauty, the feeling of my legs pumping on the bicycle, the wind on my face, the bright blue Colorado sky, breathing in those things was being in the now. I thought again about my relief at the thought we might have to wait until next month to try and conceive. Where was that feeling coming from? And I came to a conclusion, the Internet. Yup, the same Internet that has been helping me with my healing and connecting me to others is also FULL of articles with titles like, "Kids Suck, Just Get a Dog" or "How Parenting Is Ruining My Marriage" or "I'm a Stay-at-Home Mom and I Want to Blow My Brains Out." Every time I read something like that I tremble inside. I'm nervous about the future; I'm scared of the real day-to-day life of actually having a baby and raising a child.

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This further hit home when I happened on three kids with their nanny on the bike path. One kid had clearly bit the ground and I stopped to help. And the helping was gross—digging through the weeds, looking for shards of the kid's teeth while simultaneously trying to distract him with kid-friendly questions. (His favorite Halloween treat is candy corn and I'm proud to say I didn't say, "Ewwww, candy corn! Who likes candy corn, seriously?"). Kids get hurt, sometimes babies need open heart surgery, your old pants may never fit again, and husbands cheat and leave you. This family-making business is scary, because it's the future and I don't know what's going to happen.

So I need to work on being present and I'm up for the challenge. I went home that evening and told my husband, "I think we should try but not like, try try. Let's do it like we did before, fly without a net and hope for the best." I'm open to the possibility of getting pregnant, but I'm not ready to be a total psycho about it. Meaning, we can go in the hot springs next week; we can have some champagne & caviar; and whatever will be, will be. I'm so scared of miscarrying again and I want to control all the variables that I can control, but really, it was nothing I did.

Miscarriages just happen, and most women go on to have healthy pregnancies. I don't plan on drinking when I know I'm ovulating but I know I'm not ovulating next week and I want us to have a beautiful time in the mountains and be present for each other, without worry, without fear, with only love.

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