The last nine months have felt like forever and a blink at the same time, and now your belly is filled to the brim with your newest addition.
It could be any day, any hour, that your sweet baby decides to join your family on this side of the womb. Perhaps you have an induction set for tomorrow, a scheduled c-section, or you’re waiting for your contractions to become consistent waves that guide your baby down and out. You know your days with your baby safe on the inside are drawing to a close, which is exciting! Yet, with the reality that birth is near, doubts can trickle in.
I know, I’ve been there too– I felt this with each of my five babies.
The reality of our vast responsibility as a mom hits us where it hurts– in our heart. It is a huge undertaking to be in charge of a little human who’s completely dependent on us! In those last days of pregnancy, whether it was my first or fifth baby, I’ve always come up against a wall of fears and doubts.
Will I love this baby as much as I love my first? Will this baby love me? How will the toddler react to the baby? How will I endure the sleep deprivation? How do I balance it all? What if we have breastfeeding issues? How can I stretch myself among more people? What if I don’t have enough patience?
What if I’m a bad mom?
In these final days before you meet your baby, here is what I want you to know:
Momma, I encourage you to sit with whatever you are feeling. Talk to your support system, journal, pray, meditate, draw, sing, cry — do whatever you need to release those feelings.
Feeling doubts doesn’t make you a bad mom. In fact, it shows you are already a good mom simply because you’re worrying about whether you will be a good mom! It shows you care. It shows you want to be your best. And you will be, Momma. You can do this. Everything you are feeling is normal and valid, and it is the mark of change approaching. Change can be both thrilling and terrifying. It’s normal and okay to feel both!
Use your fears to fuel your knowledge. If you are worrying about something particular about labor or new motherhood, spend some time reading about it. Knowledge is power! You will feel more equipped when you have the basic knowledge of what to expect, and knowing where you can turn to ask questions.
Just breathe. I know the unknown can be scary. But you will find your way as you go.
Take today to enjoy your blossomed belly. Though you may feel huge and uncomfortable right now, I promise you will miss these last moments. There is nothing like growing a human and feeling them move on the inside. Take pictures, celebrate what your body has grown and the gorgeous state it is in right now. Whether you feel beautiful or not– you are. Treasure these fleeting moments with your baby still inside you, listening to your heartbeat.
Know that the love will come overflowing. Meeting your newborn for the first time can be love at first sight, or it may take a few days as you settle into your new normal. Sometimes your newborn feels like a stranger you have to get to know, even if you love them deeply already. That knowing will come. Your baby on the other hand? She already knows your voice. She will be comforted by simply a whiff of your smell. He will trust your gentle touch, and you will learn what he needs. You will find a connection deep within that is attuned to your baby.
You’ve got this, Momma. Motherhood is an ever-changing process, with bends and turns in our journey both to it and through it. Don’t let the wall of doubts overshadow the immense joy motherhood has to offer.
When your baby is in your arms, you will see it for yourself– you were stronger than you thought, and you had it in you all along.
A momma of 5 who doubted herself, too