As I sit here, less than three months away, a number of concerns, big and small, still float around my head.
1) How big am I gonna get??? I have been obsessed with my belly size from the very beginning. There are all these websites on pregnancy where you can view pictures of other pregnant bellies, constantly seeing how you compare, week by week. I assume some concern over your changing body is pretty darn normal, but sometimes I'm pretty sure I'm a little too worried about it. It's just that I have never had a very healthy body image, so the idea of weight piling on (even if it's for such an amazing reason) really freaks me out. So now here I am, 7 months along, with an unmistakable for-real baby belly. Strangers are comfortable commenting on it, and now people even like to touch it (only friends so far, so that's ok with me!). I should acknowledge that I am indeed partly proud, because I feel this overwhelming pride for the little guy inside, but I'm also really self conscious. And I still have nearly three months to go. How many more pounds will I gain? How many more inches will my stomach and (gulp) thighs expand? Will the clothes that I can wear now see me through these next few months? Will my belly button pop? Will I get stretch marks? Have my stomach muscles separated in the dreaded diastasis? What will my body be after all of this is over? I have never been a bikini-wearing body-proud gal, but will I be even more self-conscious and unhappy with my body once I get through this? I feel so selfish having these thoughts, as though I should find beauty in my body as host for the amazing little being inside, but I don't know how to shed 27 years of societal training in understanding physical beauty.
2) Diapers. We have been intending to go cloth. I have found these new highly recommended yet EXPENSIVE all-in-ones that fit like disposables and are one-size so they work for the tiny and bigger guys (bumgenius). They are $18/each which seems a little over-the-top, though, and I'm afraid that when the reality of baby hits, we will end up going with disposables anyway. The waste of disposables really disturbs my husband and me, but the waste in water and energy disturbs us with cloth diapers. The answer is really not so black and white.
3) Breast pumps. So it is likely that I will need to return to work not all tooooo long after the baby is born (three or four months). The medical world recommends breast feeding for the first 12 months. This means I will want/need to get into regular pumping. I also like this idea because i think it would be great for my husband to get to share in the feeding of our new son. I bought a hand pump on sale fairly early on, and initially thought that would do it. But now I'm second-guessing. If I am feeding my baby regularly with expressed milk, is it worth it to get those wacky electric pumps? Some women swear by them, others swear they feel like a cow. Many women seem to say they are completely worth the big $$, but are they? What if I don't use it? And what bottles and nipples to get? Do you try a few and see what works? Or just go with the ones that get the best reviews?
4) Can I provide??? Perhaps the thing that brings me to tears most often during my hormonal tidal waves is the fear of not being able to provide. Often this is centered on financial concerns, but really it extends to every possible thing. I end up spending all this time thinking about my feelings as a child, my worries, my concerns. How can I make sure he has what he needs and even some of what he wants? How can I make sure he's happy? Do I have the resources to do this? Are we too young? Did we jump into this? What if I just can't go back to work after meeting our little guy. How will we pay the bills? Will we always drive this old 1990 Corolla? Will we ever find a place we actually want and can settle down in for a while?
5) Daycare. This is a huge worry. Tied to the previous concern of being able to provide: What if we can't afford to live on one income? Day care scares the h*ll outta me. How can I ship my new little guy off to someone else for the majority of the day during his most formative years? This is something I really want to avoid. But can we, with our middle class educations and working class incomes, afford to have a stay-at-home parent? A completely disturbing thought. And I think this is one issue we will just have to wait on ...
There are undoubtedly many more concerns, but my morning is quickly disappearing as I ramble in this blog and chat online. And taxes call.