Friday, May 04, 2007

The Fear You Know

When I was pregnant with Sammy, I was terrified. I was venturing into uncharted territory, as far as my own personal experiences were concerned. But that unknown, while scary, was more about anticipation, rather than trepidation. I didn't know what I was in for, so I didn't know what to be afraid of. Was breast feeding going to be hard? Was I going to suffer from post-partum depression? Would I really be that tired? These were questions that I couldn't answer, and since I had enough sense to realize that I wasn't going to get the answers in a book or online, I didn't dwell on them. Instead, I decided to focus on other things like how cute my baby would be, or how quickly I would snap back into shape. Ha. But not really. More like wah.

In order for women, and people in general, to commit to procreation, you have to have a sense of excited recklessness. Just like any other major life decision (marriage, jobs, moving, babies), at some point you just close your eyes and jump in with both feet. Yes, you are scared, but you are also so high on adrenaline that you hardly notice. The potential for positive outcome usually erases any lingering doubt, outweighs any shadowy dread.

The second time around, whether it's babies, moving or marriage, things are a little clearer. You've been down in the trenches, and you know what you're in dealing with. The cast of characters may vary, but the plot follows roughly the same story line.

Lately, I've been thinking about the fast approaching day when I bring a new child into this home. Even though every birth/baby is different, in general I know what to expect in terms of feeding, sleeping, pooping, crying etc. I know how hard those first days are going to be, and that knowledge makes me a little more frightened than I was when carrying Sam. Yes, there will be lovely, wonderful moments, like when Sam kisses his little sister or when they nap at the same time, but there will be awful, gut wrenching moments, too. I've had them already, and I know that they lurk just around the corner waiting for me.

Some days, the trepidation is a little more powerful than the anticipation.

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Mrs. Chicken said...


Amy, this is what keeps me from jumping in. I remember, and I also now know The Poo has the kind of personality who may be totally adverse to a new person taking my time.

I think you are brave and wonderful and I hope the bliss outweighs any burden.

super des said...

Some differences WILL include the fact that Sam's a boy and F2 is a girl.
So it's still like your first time, on some stuff.

Mom101 said...

Are you reading my mind?

"A sense of excited recklessness" is just perfect. Explains exquisitely how I jumped into this - both times.

Amy Jo said...

Some days the fear is worse than the excitement, but luckily that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. For example, today I went out and bought a bunch of girl clothes. I'm guess I'm feeling generally better about the little lady.

susan said...

Picturing Sammy and his little sister is almost enough to make me wonder if one is enough. Almost.

Just remember any time it gets to be too much, you've got a world of support out here and I'd venture to guess we'd all be thrilled to have a minute or two of uninterrupted time with any of your crew! Dibs on Sammy's first sleep over... :)