These last few days, I’ve been feeling afraid. I assumed it was just the normal fears of upcoming delivery, and most of it probably is. I’m afraid of all the random things that can go wrong during the delivery process, but the fear comes and quickly goes, then I’m just excited for her to be here soon. But there’s another fear that isn’t really normal and it shouldn’t exist. It’s also really hard to admit and this will be the first time I’ve been able to do so and it’s not easy. You all might be surprised to know that there is a point of vulnerability that makes me uncomfortable to share, and this is it. But my purpose is, and always has been, to be a resource for someone who walks this path behind me.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to experience her birth as just hers. I’m afraid I won’t be able to separate the two. I’m afraid I’ll compare everything. I’m afraid of the memories that having a brand new baby handed to me will bring and if I’ll be able to suppress them enough to fully take her in during her moment. I don’t even know if I should suppress those memories. They may magnify her moment. I just don’t know. I do know that when I think about how her birth might go, images from Ben’s cut in as they wish. Details I’d forgotten are somehow vivid and clear.
It will be wonderful to experience such a different outcome of birth. I am looking forward to being able to know that with each push, I am giving life – not simultaneously taking it away.
I remember knowing that it would be the last push with Ben. I looked up at Eddie and said, “I have to push…I have to…” almost apologetically. I didn’t want it to be over, but I had no choice. I had to push.
And now it will be different. When she’s handed to me, I won’t have to wonder how long it will last. It sounds great – and is! – but it’s so different from what I know. Because it’s different, it’s also a little bit scary.
Maybe scary isn’t the right word, but I can’t think of a better word right now. Overwhelming?
Even thinking about taking her home – the car ride, walking through the front door, Max intently sniffing this new, important person – my mind wants to compare. Oh, this is how it’s supposed to be.
I feel like these thoughts aren’t fair to anyone. Not to Paisley, or us, or Benjamin. But if it was a voluntary reaction, it wouldn’t be such a struggle already.
The worst part about it – and the absolute hardest thing to admit – is that I am afraid that this new chapter means moving on. Too soon. (I need to make it very clear that I don’t regret for a second the existence of Paisley. Not even how quickly she came into our lives. She has already saved me in so many ways. It has just been a faster adjustment than anyone was expecting and in these final days, I’m feeling the crunch.)
I’m not afraid of forgetting Benjamin because I never, ever will. Of that, I am sure. He will always be my first – my forever-little boy. But I’m afraid that priorities will change and his memory will begin to change. Not fade, just…change. I don’t know that I’m ready for it, but I know I don’t have a choice. I have four (possibly fewer) days to get ready. I’m just afraid, and hoping it will come more easily than I anticipate.