I’m Pregnant and Scared of Losing My Freedom
Along with the excitement and eager anticipation that a first pregnancy brings comes fear in its many forms. So many fear-based thoughts can come up when you find out a baby is on the way, but rarely do we feel comfortable expressing them. One fear in particular that jumps to the top of the list is being afraid of the implications this human will have on life as you’ve known it up to this point. This loss of freedom is a terrifying yet common thought for anyone who’s ever had a baby before.
There’s no question that once a baby arrives on the scene things will never be quite the same again, for better and for worse. The freedoms in life you’ve enjoyed up to that point will no longer be yours to savor. No more late nights out with friends, last minute trips, academic or career pursuits that consume your days and nights without consequence to anyone else but yourself. The fact is clear that caring for a baby will take a front seat to everything else going on in your life, and, therefore, being afraid of this prospect is a natural reaction. But is there a way to transmute this fear into something productive?
While you wait the months and weeks to gestate this baby, consider this timeframe as a gift of sorts. One way to look at your pregnancy is as an extended transition from one phase of your life to another. It is a unique period in your life when you’re in metamorphosis and this gradual changing can be a bridge between who you were before and who you will become after. Allow your pregnancy to be the time when you honor and appreciate the life you’ve lived up this point, but also as a period when you can begin to imagine all the beautiful ways your life will change.
There’s a reason it takes 10 months for humans to grow a baby. It’s so we have adequate time to adjust to what the implications of this new life path will be. It’s so we can gradually grieve for and let go of who we were before a child and get gradually acquainted with who this new version of ourselves will be. And when you allow the fear of it all to subside and release all the worst-case scenarios swirling around in your mind, you’ll realize that this loss of freedom is probably not as dire as what you may have initially thought.
A late night out with friends is still possible post-baby, it’ll just take some extra planning and coordination with a reliable babysitter. And while a trip might not be last minute anymore, your parents or in-laws will cherish the opportunity to take care of their grandchild while you and your partner enjoy a little getaway to Palm Springs. And without question your education and career will, and oftentimes must, return. Things may require a little rearranging or cutting back, but you’ll figure out what you need to do to make it work. That’s what all of us do. We’re parents now.
There is a shadow side to giving birth but the sooner you acknowledge these legitimate fears, the sooner you can diffuse them of power over you. Your freedom will change but it won’t disappear. Let your pregnancy act as the runway to your new life aloft as a parent.
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