Don’t Borrow Trouble – by Lisa Kelly
“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos
I spent almost all of Saturday in bed, not sleeping but wide awake, hard at work building a wall of negativity around me. Friday night my husband proudly announced to my friends that I had gone to the Social Security Administration and put in for my name change. Not changing my name was my last bastion of freedom. I did not have to become a wife and mother because people, I kept my old name! When the hubby knocked down that wall, I climbed over the rubble knowing I could technically still keep my old name for work and really, no one had to know that I caved in. Yet here he was, trumpeting his victory. Actually, he wasn’t. He was proudly proclaiming that I loved him enough to do something important for him. My strong, independent mind works against me in situations such as these and I deliberately mistook the pride for gloating.
So I went to bed angry and woke up even angrier. Why did I allow this to happen? I’m a grown woman! Not some teenage girl who ignored the risk of unprotected sex! The thoughts spiraled down from there as I spent hours constructing my new story. My new story would read that I was so very lucky to be a military officer’s wife but I’d never be a good mother again. How could I be? I didn’t plan this baby. I didn’t go looking for this new family. I often cringe when I see new moms unloading their baby from the car in this awful heat and think how much I do not want to do that again. Diapers. Sleeplessness. Babysitter issues. If you sit down to make a list of the less than joyous aspects of motherhood, you will run out of ink before you run out of ideas. I know this but I laid there working my list anyway.
Eventually my bladder dictated that the pity party was over and as I came out of the bedroom, my new husband looked up at me and said “Good morning, beautiful.” This story would be awesome if I had collapsed into his strong arms but I uttered something like “Don’t talk to me today!” and rushed into the bathroom. The rest of the day was wasted with me trying to convince him that I was not beautiful or wonderful. I was going to be a terrible mother and I just knew that even thinking negatively for one second was causing mental health issues for my unborn child and she would be better off without me. He finally shut me up by saying “Okay. Let’s say you do not love her and you do not want to be her mom. That will not be desirable but if it happens, you can leave her with me and I will be enough for her.” Wow. Another wall comes down. How could I not want to raise a child with a man so strong and loving?
I don’t know why we build these walls or allow the insecurities to consume us but if we’re lucky enough, someone will knock the wall down and prop us back up. I’m a very lucky girl. I was also happy to learn that every single feeling of doubt, frustration, and anger is normal. Just another symptom of being pregnant. As the delivery date draws closer, it’s expected that we have doubts and irrational fears. I am going to mention this to my doctor in case there’s a chance I could be suffering antepartum depression but I believe it really is just a side effect of hormones and human nature. I will be fine. This baby will be here before I know it and I will love her despite the fact that she poops a lot and doesn’t sleep.