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.