There are certain rituals I do before we go out of town - mostly clean the house, make sure laundry is done and the dirty stuff is minimal, that the dishes are clean and loaded into the cupboards, and that the house is devoid of too many scattered messes. This mitigates the likelihood of me freaking out when we get home and thereby going on a crazy quest to clean up when I'm fatigued and still have a suitcase to unpack. Oh freak out moment, how fun you are.
Lately, I've been having a lot of freak out moments. Most of them have to do with the lil one kicking in my belly that will make a debut in May. I got this wonderful the bump magazine from a co-worker and it's jam packed with information on baby proofing, nurseries, strollers, diaper bags, baby showers, emergency info, delivery room info, kicking chart graph, baby gender predictor, survival guide, poop guide, delivery Q&A, breastfeeding, baby friendly outings, bump photo ops, etc. As you can only imagine, this exhaustive list not only exhausts me, but freaks me out!
I always knew that being a mom would be a HUGE change, but I never really knew how much more there was to learn! Having grown up reading teeny bop magazines like YM, Teen and Seventeen, then moving on to more grown-up ones (some quite trashy now that I look back) like Allure, In Style, Glamour and Cosmopolitan, and then moving onto my work out craze of Shape and Fitness and now into my cooking mode of Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart's Food magazine, I always feel like yes, there is a learning curve, but hey, it is steady and doable because the magazines help you learn. Then, before you know it, you have a very basic understanding of everything the magazines report on, it almost becomes repetitive and you feel pretty good about the info presented, looking only at the new and upcoming stuff. With baby stuff, it doesn't feel that way. The magazines I've gotten so far (though only 3 or 4) all have different info, or so it FEELS and my eyes grow agape with awe and shock when I read most of the stuff. I didn't know that! *gasp Really?! Uh-oh.
Fear. Instilled. In. Me.
Fear. Overwhelms. Me.
Fear. Shock. Silence. Fear.
I'm fearful! I'm so scared! Scared I'll drop the baby, scared I'll suffocate him, scared I won't know if he's got a hernia or if he's just hungry when he's crying, scared I won't know how to hold him, scared I'll give him a diaper rash because I'm not using the diaper, the wipes or the cream correctly, scared I'll give him a bath with the wrong soap, scared I'll wash his clothes with the wrong detergent, scared his head will bump into something on my behalf, scared he'll swallow something on my watch, scared I won't know how much food he should be eating, scared I won't know how to be a mom!!! And those are only my freak out moments post baby delivery.... don't even get me started on the delivery chaos that runs through my mind as I read more birth (horror) stories!
Andy, on the other hand, seems calm and composed. His answers to my freak out moments galore are always that we'll figure it out, or don't be scared. Easy for him to say, hard for me to digest.
I know that faith and fear don't co-exist, but lately, it's been hard for me to process that. I thought about why that is, and realized, maybe that's what I should study about today, and that it's okay to pray about it, asking for more help to face my fears. I know I can't do this alone, that's why I have newsletters, magazines, family and friends... but I also have a Saviour and a loving Heavenly Father and I seem to have forgotten them as it relates to these specific freak out moments. I always pray for help with other things, like patience, more faith, and the strength to choose the right, the love to serve others, etc. but yet here I am, freaking out and forgetting that I have the best access to help and to know I'm not alone. I need to remember that.
I know not to be scared (but I still am!) and I know my Saviour will help me (but I must make the effort too). I know this will not be easy (but a bunch of other moms have done it before me including Eve with no medicine, no epidural, no delivery room gadgets) and I know Heavenly Father is looking out for me. I know we are not given any challenge we cannot overcome and I know there will be unimaginable happiness once Baby J is here, no matter how scared I am now.
I know. I just have to remind myself that I do.