Ever since finding out I was pregnant back in April, I’ve been consumed with worry.
Am I going to miscarry again? Is this really happening? What am I supposed to do?
These days, though, I’m obsessed with something else.
I mean, major change. Like, my-whole-life-will-never-be-the-same change.
And it’s scary.
I find myself daydreaming about my former life, before dogs, between boyfriends, when I didn’t have to compromise on Netflix movies, when I could surf whenever I wanted, when I could plan a last-minute trip to Nepal if I found cheap tickets online.
Now, I have three dogs that need to be walked twice a day, a husband whose schedule I need to respect, a paycheck I can’t just squander, a yard that needs weeding, a fridge that needs filling and now a baby that’s coming whether I’m ready for it or not.
I’m sure my anxiety is normal. Every first-time expectant mom worries about this. No pre-sunrise, 12-mile hikes on the weekends. No more napping in the middle of the day. No more sleeping, period. My life will revolve around pumping and feeding and burping and bathing. There won’t be time — and money — for pedicures or massages or yoga retreats. No more spontaneous trips to third-world countries. And Champagne for dinner will be a painfully sad memory.
I worry about my own goals, even the small ones (like picking up my guitar more than once a week), that they’ll all be put on hold as my priorities inevitable shift. Will I miss them? Will I be resentful? Will I have to give all that up?
One of my girlfriends gave birth this weekend to her second child, a miracle baby. She’s a year older than me and had pretty much given up on getting pregnant again.
I asked her how much her life has changed and she agreed it had changed a lot. “But,” she said, “it’s better. Life is way better. I don’t know what [my husband] and I did together by ourselves.”
When I was younger, I figured I’d have kids. It was just something I thought I would do, along with securing a full-time job with benefits and owning a home.
But as I got older, I realized those goals aren’t as easy or as practical as they may have sounded. There’s really no perfect job and I didn’t major in anything that would get me the kind of salary where I could actually afford to own a home in Hawai‘i. (God, I wish I loved accounting.)
So there. Life didn’t work out the way I had planned.
And having a baby? Also not as easy as it sounded.
There was a time, maybe about 10 years ago, that I had stopped thinking about having kids. I was dating someone who didn’t want children, then single and worried I’d never find anyone, then single with a dog and loving the freedom. I saw less of my friends who were starting families and wondered what would happen when everyone abandoned me for a life with kids and trips to Disneyland. I would be alone, with my dog and surfboard collection, and I guess that would be OK.
But then I met my current husband, who was eager to start a family, and suddenly, there I was, weeping at inspiring stories about women in their 40s getting pregnant and stocking up on ovulation kits and pregnancy tests.
And now that I’m nearly six-months pregnant, I realize things are about to change again. And soon.
I’ve already stopped surfing. (I can’t paddle on my swollen belly.) And hiking takes way too much time and effort. (I’m literally carrying 15 more pounds of weight — and not in a convenient place!) I sleep longer, I can’t drink wine, and I can barely eat more than carbs. Life has already started to change in ways that are hard to accept.
So what happens in four months when I have a newborn who needs my attention 24-7? Are my dogs going to hate me? Will I have to ditch my dreams of writing a novel or living in Paris or taking a year-long vacation around the world?
Will I care?
I don’t know. And, to be honest, not knowing is a bit of an adventure in itself.
I guess I’ll have to wait and see. Change is happening, and this baby is just going to have to come along for the ride.
Your life will change forever but in a good way. You will be more happy than ever! You’ll never regret it.
This change will be great. You’ll pick up your guitar to serenade your baby. Wishing you well!! I’m so excited for you and your husband!!!
Change is coming, and you’ll never regret it or want it any other way. Embrace it.
Your life will change. For the better. I promise you. It may seem like it won’t but it will. This promise I will keep. You will hold a miracle in your arms and feel blessed. My son was born 28 weeks. I felt like everything I did was wrong, was my fault. But its not. He’s busy and active boy. As long as he’s happy. I am as well. So chin up Cat. You can do it.
Indy – “Ruh Rho”.
Your life will change for the better! You will actually have a meaning for existence (not that you don’t now) but someone actually need you and you needing them! A baby will bring great joy to your family! The tattered pack will be curious but it will be a joy to watch how they interact with their sister or brother. You can still do you hikes and travel the world, just with one more person in tow! You don’t have to give up everything, just somethings will be on hold in the beginning. I hope this helped a little! Enjoy pregnancy!
Your life will change for the better! You will actually have a meaning for existence (not that you don’t now) but someone actually need you and you needing them! A baby will bring great joy to your family! The ratter pack will be curious but it will be a joy to watch how they interact with their sister or brother. You can still do your hikes and travel the world, just with one more person in tow! You don’t have to give up everything, just somethings will be on hold in the beginning. I hope this helped a little! Enjoy pregnancy!
When you finally get to hold and stare at your child, your heart will be so full of love that you will be willing to sacrifice a lot. Yes there will be changes but not necessarily giving up what you enjoy. It’s just being adjusted and take on a different number on your priority list.
That’s where babysitters comes in. You need a date night? Call a friend. I’m sure you will find many among your friends and family that would live to watch your child. That is if you can seperate yourself from your lovely baby. This comes from a father of 2 and a grandfather to 2 🙂
When you see your baby for the first time you’ll be so in love all the worries go away 🙂 and when you decide to do anything or go anywhere you see it through new eyes because. Now you have a little person to share and show all the things you love with.
Like you I had difficulty getting and keeping pregnancy. But once that part was done, being a mom, well, there is nothing that I had done previously or since that is as rewarding and demanding. Yeah, it’s tough not having time to yourself. And it’s always agonizing when you’re not sure you are making the right decision. But the best part of parenting is kind of like newspapers, there’s always tomorrow to rectify your small flubs and mistakes.
Before my husband and I got married, he didn’t want kids (I am guessing because of the “fear of change”; then he changed his mind. We had two … and he wanted a third one (absolutely loved being a dad). If I wasn’t working full time outside of home I would have wanted a 3rd one myself. Here’s the thing – sure there will be changes – and sure there will be hard times and you will long for your free time, etc at the peak exhaustion … but seriously … there are also perks, and unexplainable joy … Embrace motherhood, seek support when need, enjoy it. As many of us “older moms” always say … time flies fast … the changes that’ll happen when your baby comes … you will look back love every minute of it … ok, not EVERY minute but really you will be fine. I can’t wait till your meet in person that little baby in your tummy 🙂
I will be an experience that you’ll treasure the rest of your life. You and your husband will be great parents.
CAT: Soon you will appreciate what your Mom and Dad went through for you and your siblings…It is an amazing circle of life.
Hey Cat! Congratulations first of all. Second, the feeling of not knowing is normal and you’ll be an awesome mom! Change is always for the better and you’ll bring that guitar out and create songs to lull the baby to sleep. Surfing will be there when you need to just get away for just a moment. There will always be time for writing, wine and dine. As mothers we always find the time or we make the time. I’m just happy for you, because as we were growing up we talked about having a husband, a family and lots of other grown-up stuff. Here you are, with a husband, dogs and a soon to be family. Change is welcoming and as women we embrace it. Congrats again! Let’s have lunch some time.
Trust me (as a mom of two) you will have manicures, champagne, trips, and all those other things you worry about giving up!!! It will all work out!! Try not to worry and just enjoy being a mom, it truly is the best job (gift) in the world. ????
I had a baby nine months ago and I was pleasantly surprised at how much easier it is than people tell you. I think people try to scare you when they say things like you’ll never sleep again–I sleep plenty! The only thing I give up is the occasional shower. You will still eat well, sleep enough and now have a beautiful baby to play with!
Just a note of caution. I have seen too many women who make their baby the most important thing in their life, relegating their husband to second place. This is not good for the marriage, and also not good for the child as it grows up self-centered and “entitled.” I believe spouses should always be first in each others’ priorities, and kids should be expected to defer to the spousal relationship. Spouse first, child second, dogs third, chickens etc. fourth. The gap in emotional intensity and priority between spouse and child should be roughly as large as the gap between child and pets, and should be a simple fact of life routinely understood by all concerned.
With an amazing and loving husband, who will undoubtedly be an amazing loving, and attentive father, you will still have time to do the things you enjoy. You’ll also pick up new exciting hobbies: Alinea comes with me to test out new coffee places and we travel to Kauai together to visit family. It’s like taking a best friend on a new adventure, everything is exciting and new to her. I love seeing her face light up at each new experience 🙂
It’s great to think that you have the responsibility and choice to raise/nuture your child to be whatever they want to be. An excellent surfer, writer, guitar player and with the passion for travel and food. The possiblities are limitless.
Just last night when my 6 year old was reading a book to me I remebered how I read to him at 10 months old and he reached up to turn the pages. I asked him if he rembered me reading to him and turning the pages and he said he did. Listening to him read was like such an accomplishment that gave me such an extreme sense of purpose and worth that words just cannot explain.
Remember that you are the baby’s parent and not his’ or her’s BFF. The hardest part is to disipline a child, but you need to have the child respect you or else he or she will only laugh when you try to tell them to stop writing on the wall or throwing food or yelling inside the house. This is my wife’s biggest problem.
Your dogs will probably love the baby as mine did. One time when the baby was crying he came over carrying his favorite toy and gave it to the baby. Or other times when the baby is crying and we were busy he came over and like Lassie you could tell that he was trying to tell me that the baby is crying go to him. Dogs love babies.
Nothing can prepare you for those first 3 weeks or so at home with the baby. If you get out of a bathrobe and into some clothes, it’ll be a major accomplishment. However, it’s wonderful, the best and biggest challenge of your life.
Be especially careful not to leave the dogs alone with the baby at first. In the pack hierarchy, the dogs know that they were there first. However, the biggest risk is that dogs recognize humans – we give off an unmistakable primate odor – however, for the first few days or a week, new babies don’t smell like the rest of us at all, and the dogs may not recognize the little one as human at first.
Congrats!!! It will be a great change for the better and yes sometimes the compromises will suck. But you will be able find new instensified joy in the things you’ve always done by including your little one in them now (with a little–OK maybe a lot—more planning, of couse) 😉 You may give up some things temporarily for practical reasons, but you will join in new ones that your child likes and that will give you an overwhelming amount of joy, pride, and excitement. It will be the biggest adventure/roller coaster ride of your life. Strap in and Smile a lot—there are sooooo many more pictures to be taken and memories to be made. #CheersToBabiesAndTheirMommas