Saturday, March 1, 2008

Freakiness and fear...

I had a couple conversations this week about how completely freaky it is to think about having a baby. It's a combination of the craziness it puts the body through, how weird it is that there's a little person inside me, and the sheer reality that life is never going to be the same again. In four months, our lives are going to be completely and utterly different, and that's a lot to take in. Almost every day it amazes me to think that the thing kicking me is a real little person, not just gas pains or something. You see it in the ultrasound, but it's still pretty mind-blowing. And I'm not even letting my brain go to the whole concept of delivery yet. No sense worrying about that for months. It's going to happen, it's going to hurt, but I just have to keep hoping the timing works out right for getting some drugs and doing it as uneventfully as possible.

I'm almost 30 years old, but most days I still don't feel that way. I still look pretty young, though I think parts of my face are starting to catch up with my real age. At least, I don't get the "I thought you were in high school" comment anymore, so I must have aged somehow. I still wonder, though, if when I'm very obviously pregnant I'll get dirty looks from old women who don't see my wedding ring and don't realize how old I am. Some days I just think I look too young to be a full-blown adult...but I know that I'm plenty old enough in reality, and soon enough I'll be forced into growing up really fast, in whatever ways I haven't already. As scary as it is, part of me looks forward to the challenge and how good it will feel when I succeed at all these new things.

But the thought of being a parent is pretty crazy...some days I feel like I can't keep my own life in order, let alone someone else's. This weekend I'm visiting my parents, and even something as simple as packing for a couple days is going to get infinitely more complicated in a few months. When I was obsessing over what I should bring with me, I was laughing to myself as I thought about the huge amount of stuff that I'll have to pack for the baby...diapers, formula/food, many changes of clothes, blanket, toys, spit-up rags, pack-n-play...and I'm sure there's a ton more that I don't even know about yet.

There are so many things we need to do around the house and just in general to plan for this baby (the whole pediatrician thing is the newest addition to that list...and I still have to look up lamaze and parenting class schedules), and I just wonder how I'll ever get myself motivated to do it all. So much to think about, so little time and energy some days.

And all of that's not even getting to the fear of parenting itself. Will we be good at it? How will we have time for anything? How strong are our stomachs? Will the chaos get to us? What about having to schedule every second of our time? Can we afford this? All those fears and more have probably held us back from this for a while, but in the end they probably wouldn't ever go away. And we're not getting any younger, so in the end, if we knew we wanted kids, what was the sense in continuing to put it off? Might as well face those fears head-on, get it over with, and hope that we're one of those couples that thrives off of the joys of parenting. As I've said before, the awe of watching your children grow and learn is something that I look forward to. Fear and freakiness aside, this is going to be a pretty unreal experience...heck, it already is.

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