Many, many years ago, I told everyone that would listen or as that I was not going to have a child. Ever. I was happy without a screaming kid tugging at my skirt. I was happy without a crying baby tugging at my chest at 2am. I was happy without having to cover my nose while changing a diaper. Or so I thought.
Once had my son, all those thoughts went out the proverbial window. Wherever I am, I want my son tugging at my hand or holding onto my skirt. I came to find that the diaper changing wasn’t so bad especially as I would play Coldplay for him and he would wiggle to their music. At least someone can dance to Coldplay’s old music. Ouch, I kid. Although, I readily admit I far prefer their new music even if Chris Martin was overshadowed by Beyonce at the Superbowl. Breast feeding was one of the all-time best experiences once I got through the fist two weeks of pain. As a side note, those first two weeks of breastfeeding were more painful than actually giving birth. Which brings me to my larger, main point.
When I was younger, I saw my mother experience a miscarriage. I had been frightened that my mother wouldn’t make it. I developed a blood phobia due to the pool of blood in which I found her. I also developed a fear of having children. I developed a fear of being pregnant I know that society tries to instill the opposite in young girls at an early age through all the “baby” toys that are pushed onto girls. My nieces received baby carriages as gifts when they were less than three years old. Why would anyone think that those are appropriate gifts? Anyhow, I am severely digressing here. Despite the push for motherhood being the ideal state for women, I didn’t subscribe to it from an early age.
Based on all the television shows I watched as a kid (which were many and I still came out ok), I believed that childbirth was way too painful of a human experience to endure. I firmly believed that I would’t survive going through labor. In terms of world health data, surprisingly, women in the US gave a relatively higher chance of dying at childbirth than women in many other developed countries. I don’t think I have ever seen a great explanation as to why that it is. Some note that American women are older these days when giving birth and those more pregnancies may be complicated. Sure, that seems to be a tad right. But back to my fears. Besides the statistics, which I didn’t really know as a kid, I just felt that giving birth was just too painful an experience that one may not come out of. Was it a bizarre belief? Perhaps. As a result of all these fears and societal pressures that I wanted to rebel against, I convinced myself that having a kid was not for me. I convinced myself that giving birth would be something that I would never be able to get through. The thought of the excruciating pain, numbed me to the idea of being a parent.
But then, as it was meant to be, I got pregnant, had horrible morning sickness for seven full months, and then experienced just 12 minutes of active (very painful) labor. I was in shock when he came into this world. Not only did I survive the labor, but I was efficient at it and got through it relatively intact. One can’t let irrational fears dictate the course of one’s life. It may seem trite to say, but I experienced the truth of that triteness. Now, by overcoming that fear, I get to wear shirts that say “mommy needs a cocktail” and I love them. Thus far, motherhood has been great and let’s see what other fears I can conquer.