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I am twenty weeks pregnant today. Halfway. It seems like I have been pregnant forever, but it also seems like I can't possibly be halfway there already. In another twenty weeks (or so) I will have a baby, which I will be expected to take home and care for and teach things and protect and I haven't got the faintest idea how to do any of that.

I can't wait to have her, my daughter, to meet her, to see her, and I also never want her to come out. I mean for one thing, have you seen how they come out? I don't see how that is possible. And for another thing, I'm scared. I don't know what to do with a baby. My whole life will be different and I don't know how to get ready for that. I'm afraid that I will drop her, that the cats will suffocate her, that I won't be able to breastfeed, that there will be something terribly wrong with her because I ate too many cookies. I'm too scared to even think about all the things that I am scared of.

I am living in a constant state of horror and shock. I really don't know how I'm going to do this. But then, I saw her toes.

Her toes made it all worth while.

Comments (34)

Just wait until you get to touch her toes, you'll know what to do.

Your "mother" instincts will kick in pretty much immediately. You'll be able to tell what she wants just by what her cry sounds like.

As far as "how they come out"? Epidurals are your friend.

The best advice I can give you is to take the stool softener they give you after delivery. I didn't take it the first time and boy, was I sorry!

i couldn't say it any better than Busy Mom...

The scary stuff seems to never go away, just change. I'm no longer afraid that my baby will die of starvation because I forgot to feed her once (because babies and kids? they really don't let you FORGET that they're hungry), or that the fabric softener will eat away at her skin, or that she'll find a chunk of fuzz somewhere under my couch and choke to death --- I have quite a few moments of peace actually, because these worries are behind me. But then I realize - OMYGOD! I'm going to have a TEENAGE GIRL! And then my whole world shatters around me and I am thrown into fits of anxiety.... So good luck, I know exactly what you're going through.
(But you definitely want that baby out of you! You don't want to be wearing maternity jeans forever, do you??)

Oh, and seriously - I don't want to scare you. But, I wish someone had told me this when I went in!

The epidural? Yes, it's your friend, but only AFTER it is administered. The process of GETTING the epidural? while you're in labor? and told not to move a single inch or you can be paralyzed? Seriously almost as bad as the labor itself. So, be prepared if you decide that's how you're going!

Kristie is right; You will be surprised how quickly your instincts will take over. You'll have days when you wonder what to do and how to do it and somehow, you just know.

I was really concerned about how our kitty babies would take to our daughter. One of the best things we did was get our cats used to gentle ear pulls, baby stuff around the house and loud, unexpected noises before the baby arrived. No problems at all now, in fact they totally love her and follow her around. It's pretty cute.

baby toes (or piggies as I like to call them)are the yummiest little snacks. I still nibble the piggies of our youngest.

I just had my first baby two weeks ago -- and so far, it hasn't been a problem with not knowing how to protect her or care for her, but rather knowing how not to -worry- so much. When I was pregnant, I thought it would be so much easier when I was able to -see- her -- and it is, in a way, but it brings a whole new set of things to think about :) Your doctor and especially your labor nurse will take care of how she comes into the world, and you and Chris will know how to take care of her once she's in your arms. It seems like an awful lot to keep in mind when you read the baby books, but it's much simpler when it's -your- baby and it's just the three of you hanging out at home. One piece of advice is to ask the nurses at the hospital tons of questions while you're there.

I don't want to start an argument on epidurals, but just wanted to give you my perspective. I went 6 hours without one, and just knowing relief was coming was enough to keep me still -- no problem. And it was so much better than I thought it would be! Good luck!

Heh, heh. That fear is pretty common I think. And the fact that you are nervous, means you are extra caring. You'll be a great mommy.

Wait-- they don't just take care of themselves?

I'm with bmh. Maybe you'll be lucky and she will spring fully formed from your body, with all of the social and survival skills that she needs.

Your instints will totally kick in gear as soon as you hear your baby cry. It's the most amazing thing. As for epidurals, don't worry about getting one if you need to. Getting the epidural is not as painful as labor, so don't let anyone scare you about how painful it is or other things. Also, since you are staying in shape ever during your pregnancy, most likely you'll just pop the lima bean out and they'll have to catch her with a catcher's mitt! ;) Don't worry, you'll be a wonderful mommy. :)

I cannot believe you're halfway!! It seems like you just told us about it a week ago!!

This is awesome. I'm getting so excited for you guys.

I kept forgetting to let our daughter out, which resulted in many an accident. Now that she knows where the pet door, is, problem solved!

Just kidding. Sort of.

Mommy instincts will kick in, yes. They've already started. And then, they will be so powerful you'll surprise yourself.

Epidurals? FANTASTIC. I never even really felt it go in - was too concerned with the labor part to feel much else. Wasn't that big of a deal. The c-section after 12 hours of labor? THAT? PRICELESS!

It's been said, but you will surely know how to care for her. You will immediately just "know"..while there will always be fears, they just change as they grow. Right now, I am fearing how the 3 grade socialites hurt my daughter's hurts me more, I think. Anyway, wait til you hold her for the very first time. It is a miracle. Wait to you get to smell her newborn is so yummy and the smell is forever in your mind. Something tells me that you will be just fine, sweetheart!

It's been 15 years since I had my first son, but you summed it up perfectly. I was so scared - I knew nothing about babies - and I was petrified of the whole birthing process. Two c-sections later, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat (if I felt like we had the money to send another to college :) It's so weird - as everyone has said above, your natural instincts will take over. It's so amazing the love you feel. It's so overwhelming. You both will be fabulous parents. Love and a huge sense a humor will take you a long way.

Halfway woohoo! Hope you did the halfway dance.

I totally don't see how it's supposed to come out, either. And I am quite sure my lil fetus will be disturbed by my obsessive bagel and cream cheese diet.

Thanks for your play by play. I am two weeks behind you and it's comforting to know you're always two weeks ahead, and doing just fine.

Yes, you'll take care of her just fine. Yes, we 'seasoned' moms will chuckle at all of your antics. Yes, you will ALWAYS have questions about what you are doing to your child.


I can't believe you're halfway already!
Look, I dunno whether to weigh in with this or not, but here goes....
As someone whose friend had PPD, I get very nervous hearing comments saying "natural instincts" and "you'll just know". Chances are, you will; but for my friend, well, she just didn't. She was (and is) a loving wife, sister, daughter, friend; a smart woman; a compassionate one. But when her first baby was born, all that "natural instinct" she was assured would just appear, didn't. The tragedy of it was that she felt incapable of asking for help; she was wracked with guilt; she gave herself such a hard time, and mostly because she believed that the fact that she didn't "just know" somehow reflected badly upon her as a person and a mother.
Why do I tell you this story? Because I hear your concerns, and they are valid, and in my heart I know everything will be more than okay. BUT, you know, if initially they're not? that's okay too. You have the love, and from that anything can grow, regardless of what path it takes.
I don't know if I've written this right, it was meant to be a type of comfort too. I hope the spirit of it came through that way. My apologies if it didn't.
Oh, and my friend - she is doing so cool now! #3 is on the way :)

My friend Julie is due in three weeks...(hardly showing at all, the hag)...I told her, "I'm so excited", and she just said "I'm scared!" so we decided that we'd tag team on the emotions so we'd have it all covered.

Your natural instincts will kick in. It is an amazing part of nature.

Emma is more right than anyone here. Whether things happen naturally or not, whether things are smooth sailing or a bit bumpy, you LOVE this child already. And you will do anything for it. Whether it means asking for help or automatically knowing what to do, it's that you're doing it for the baby. Not, like some people, to prove something to other people around you. So don't think otherwise, and it's ok to be scared. I've never met a truly good mother who wasn't.

You already ARE a good mother, Beth. Hugs.

I am sure you will be fine. The hardest part is getting enough sleep the first couple of months! If you can handle that the rest is not that hard... until she gets older ;o)

I feel exactly the same way. I did my pre-registration at the hospital where I'm going to deliver today - it scared the living daylights out of me! I'd rather just keep getting fatter and fatter. I am petrified of having someone rely on me to care for them - afterall I just killed two pointsettias...

Think of it this way: the child HAS to come out because to think what it would be like to carry around that child at 18 years of age would be UNTHINKABLE!!!

Hooray for halfway!

Two comments:

First...I had the same paranoia about having too many cookies - in my case orios. One day I sat down and ate half a package while I was pregnant and then the panic set in - OH THE CAFFIENE! Irreparable harm! It's really okay. She was perfect.

Second...About the stool softener as mentioned by Kristie. She's right on for YOUR sake. Take it. As for baby cactusfish? Hopefully Chris will have had lots of sleep leading up to the birth because if you are breastfeeding, BCF will be up pooping a LOT. :)

But it's ALL good. You are gonna be FINE!

take a few deep breaths (and let them out!...quit holding your breath dern it)....and repeat after me

" I will be a great mother, Chris will be a great father, we will be fine and when the time comes we will know what to do.......and if Lima Bean doesn't like it, there is always a boarding school somewhere far far away"

see don't you feel better now?

(this mantra has seemed to work for my mother all these years :) )

I remember when they put me in the wheel chair and prepared to discharge me from the hospital, and I thought "You have got to be kidding. I should sue you for libel, because there is no way in hell I have the slightest idea what I'm doing."

My one peice of unsolicited advice (today)please nap, or at least relax in a horizontal position when the baby naps. Do not clean the house or do other useful things because I will have to come all the way to DC to beat you.

You have probably heard this from 100 other blog readers but you MUST read Jenny McCarthy's Book on pregnancy. It is hysterical. Hang in there 20 more weeks will drag and fly all at the same time. So you know it is a girl...awww. Please don't name her cactus-fish for real.....

I'm sure you'll be great at it! Everyone has to wing on their first time around... :)

i think that everybody HAS to feel that way when they are pregnant, it's an unwritten rule. (yet another thing about pregnancy nobody told you about!)
i thought i was completely loosing my mind when pregnant - its bloody hard work keeping it together with this enormous responsibility coming your way without any idea on how to handle it.
the whole thing scared the living crap out of me. but as soon as she was born it all changed - when you meet your baby and see their face, look at their little fingers and toes, well something just clicks and your a Mum and you just know stuff, about stuff (as Mums do!).
you probably will make mistakes along the way - everybody does but the best thing is they are too young to remember!!
you'll do great - just try and enjoy the ride.

One of the best things ever is the protective instinct that turns on immediately.

Ain't nothin' bad gonna happen to that baby. You'll make sure.

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So the Fish Said...

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