Facing Fear

I'm working on my photography, random photos will abound.

I want to write more about what pregnancy has been like this time around before I start to forget it all. It won’t be long until I’m thrust once more into the pandemonium of new motherhood and can hardly remember what I ate for breakfast (the answer will probably be: nothing), let alone the quiet observations of some late pregnancy afternoon. 

In some ways, I’m very grateful for how quickly this pregnancy has flown by. I haven’t had time to slow down while chasing Lucas through the wild, fast changes of toddlerhood. When I was pregnant with Lucas there was this terribly stagnant feeling towards the end of my pregnancy; it felt like I was waiting for life to begin. This time, there is no pause, no waiting. When the universe throws her into my arms, we’ll have to hit the ground running if I don’t want to land on my face. And although it sounds daunting, there’s a comfort in the constant motion. 

Because it’s the moments when I’m alone, when the house is quiet and Lucas is sleeping and Rob is working in one form or the other, that I find myself unnerved. It is only when the day slows down that I get scared of the what ifs and maybes of my wandering mind. 

And I know that it’s natural for me to be frightened of going through postpartum depression again. It’s not as if I’m freaking myself out over reading the what could go wrong sections of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I’m not scared of someone else’s horror story. I’m scared of my own. I'm scared of the dark days that I remember. I'm scared there may be things I have forgotten.

How could I not be scared? 

But, as scary as the prospect of going through that again may be, I try my best not to dwell on it. Because ultimately, I have no say in the matter. I may have postpartum depression again, and if I do that is bridge I must cross when I come to it. I am grateful to know that this time I will not have to go it alone. And maybe I won’t have postpartum depression. But maybe she’ll have colic, or be a terrible traveler, or any other numbers of “what could go wrongs.” I can’t know. And dwelling on the billion different outcomes that may unfold in these coming months won’t make a damn bit of difference. 

The best I can do is put one foot in front of the other, and bravely face the fact that I don’t know what’s coming next. I must accept that this journey is entirely different than anything that has come before. That I can't make things happen one way or the other based on my hopes or dreams or worries or fears. Bringing another person into this world doesn't work that way. Because the moment that she comes screaming into the world, she'll no longer be a part of me. She'll be her own person and set off on her own path from the moment she takes that first breath.

Our love story will be different than mine and Lucas’ regardless of any similarities. We'll dance our own dance to the steady rhythm set by her heartbeat and no other. She will have her own story, and it will intertwine with mine in a way that is entirely unique. Entirely ours. It’s beautiful and exciting notion. And it makes me feel a little less scared.