Sunday 11 August 2019

I'm Scared

(All photos by Candid Days Photography)

I've had this sat in my drafts for months, I've read over it again and again tweaking little bits so it makes a little more sense, adding other bits in that have kinda become relevant and being too scared to press publish on my post about being scared.

Seems silly right? 

I needed to let my thoughts out in the open, a problem halved almost. I started writing this in January, I don't think I'd even shared much of what I was feeling with Arran at this point until one day it all came barreling out in a fit of snotty sobs. It was not pretty and I'm just glad he didn't leave me after I left snot all over his shoulder as I wept. 

I'm ready to share this post now, after taking the time to look into calming apps and walk more to clear my thoughts, I feel less terrified of putting how I feel out there for all to read and incredibly grateful I have such a strong support network.

Becoming a mother is one of the scariest and hardest things I've ever done and once you have that tiny tot in your arms, it doesn't get any less scary. For me, the fear started the day I found out I was pregnant. I was scared of the unknown and what was to happen especially as we had an ectopic pregnancy scare. From the day we found out to the three days following, it was a blur of blood tests, hospital visits, an emergency department dash and eventually a scan to let us know it was all okay. Six weeks later we had another scan to find a heartbeat and six weeks after that was our dating scan, the big twelve-week mark.

We're told time and time again your pregnancy becomes more viable the closer you get to twelve weeks and with a previous pregnancy which resulted in a miscarriage at seven weeks one year prior, it was a nervous time. I know many refer to children after miscarriage as rainbow babies but I personally don't as I don't like the term. Joshua isn't a rainbow baby and we don't want to associate him with loss. For us, it happened and we closed the door on it and we wouldn't have Joshua today if that hadn't happened. 

I suppose you can associate fear with so much in pregnancy, especially in the lead-up to the birth. I wasn't scared of the birth as such, he had to come out one way or another but I was scared about something going wrong, scared that I wouldn't be taking our son home with us. Throughout my pregnancy, I would worry about things I couldn't necessarily prevent such as a freak accident which would change everything and take everything in a second. It almost seemed silly, I would tell Arran about scenarios that I would worry about, some had no way of ever coming to light but it didn't matter. I found meditation helped while I was still pregnant but the minute we had him in our lives things intensified.

My birth was horrible, the details I'll never share but it almost felt like I was up against a battle from the minute he was born, I felt like so much was preventing me from being what I thought was a normal mum and because I wasn't on my feet for some time, I felt like I couldn't protect him and that's what I needed to do. I'd lay there at night watching his chest move as he breathed, something I still do now and the slightest thing would send me into a panic.

Meeting me, you wouldn't think I was an overly anxious person. It's something I keep to myself as I've always been able to control it to a certain degree but having a child has thrown that completely out the window. I'm anxious all the time, I'm so scared that something is going to happen or something is going to take my son away from me. Silly things like walking down the road will send me into a panic. There's a blind corner along one of the ways we walk and each time we walk that way panic sets in and my mind goes into overdrive thinking about what would happen if a car swung round and lost control, I would think about what I could do to protect Joshua to the exact detail and what would happen if I couldn't. I can't control the actions of others and that terrifies me. I always thought everyone thought like this but I'm not so sure. 

We could be walking along without a care in the world and that little seed of doubt creeps in and my mind goes into overdrive full of what-ifs. Nothing has ever happened, it's all a build-up of thoughts but those thoughts seem so real that I would just burst into tears there and then. I thought it would get easier as he grew older but I don't think it has. He's a much better sleeper now in his own room than he was but has always slept in chunks with one wake-up. When he does sleep for longer instead of feeling relieved we've had more of an evening just Arran and me, I start to freak out and think something has happened. I get panicky and I just need to know he's breathing and okay, he always is but I'm so scared that the one time I don't check will be the one time I really should've.

It's relentless and exhausting mentally.

All parents worry though right? That's what I always tell myself, that I'm not alone but I do wonder if my concern is so intense that it's more than just being scared and something I need to address. I suppose in a way this is me addressing it, writing it down to let it all out and share my thoughts with the world.

There is so much wrongdoing in the world and it terrifies me that I can't protect him from everything but I also know at some point, I'll need to let him find his own two feet in the world. I feel like I'm constantly being torn in two, I want to keep him small and in my arms forever but I want to show him everything I possibly can and let him run free. I don't want him to be afraid, I want him to reach for the stars and know he can achieve anything if he puts his mind to it.

I know this is my own personal struggle, my own fear and I need to find a way to live with it more calmly and not let it affect me but being a parent is honestly the most terrifying thing I've ever experienced and sometimes I don't know how to deal with it.

I suppose sometimes it's okay to just admit it. 

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