Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fealing the Fear

SO worth a read.
Have you read this book? If you haven't, you really should. I came across it about 5 years ago and it completely changed my life. I make an effort to re-read it every year (preferably on a sun lounger). 

The last time I did this (in Mauritius, on sun-lounger, with fizz) I returned home to discover that the author, Susan Jeffershad died. Very sad news and the fact that it happened just as I was hearing her voice through the pages made her passing even more poignant.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, before I had a baby, before I got pregnant (and let's be honest, the whole way through my pregnancy) I was gripped by fear. Aside from being out of control, having a dramatic pregnancy and in and out of hospital every two minutes, I had some very tangible, real fears. Want to hear them?

1) Lack of Sleep

If you have a baby that sleeps then look away now (in fact don't even speak to me!). This fear was totally founded. Times a million. Enough said.

2) Screaming

I've never been a fan of screaming babies (is anyone?) and I was terrified of this. Again, I was right to be. 

For me, it' s not just the sound, which is like nails being hammered into your soul, but the fact that sometimes you just don't know how to stop it. You are completely and totally powerless. And it can strike any time, any place.  Obviously you get better at this as time goes on, but the first few months were hellish. 

A highlight for me was a neighbour knocking on the front door to see if everything was ok. "The baby has been crying for a very long time," she helpfully pointed out. Thank god she came to check - I mean I never would have noticed....

3) I Wouldn't Love the Baby

I look back on this now and laugh. Actually chuckle. I was GRIPPED by this fear. I've never been maternal, not a huge fan of children, never been a baby snuggler. I lay awake the night before my c-section wondering if it had all been a big mistake and feeling so sad for Baby Britney. That I might not love her at all.

If only I could whisper in my pre-baby ear that this really was the least of my worries. The absolute one thing that I shouldn't have given an inch of thought to. It might not rush over you instantly (rather a fierce protective instinct) but when the love comes, it is incredible. 

Every cliche is true: it takes your breath away, makes your heart stop beating, makes the world stop turning. It's like falling in love, every second and every minute of the day. Apart from the minutes when they're screaming, obv. 

Of course, this love is also coupled with a crippling sense of responsibility that also takes your breath away, but by this stage you're so drunk in love with your tiny tyrant that this is bearable (most of the time.)

The moral of the story? Feel the fear. Jump off the cliff. You'll survive. I promise.


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