Why I'm Afraid to Get Pregnant

Lindsay Mannering

scared baby
Yikes! I'm scared, too!
I've heard the stories, I've seen the videos. Giving birth is terrifying. And then after that bloody horror show is said and done, you're left with a baby to care for. The scary news just keeps coming! But before you get all "it's beautiful! It's the best thing I've ever done! It's so marvelously fantastically wonderful to be a mother! I clicked 'like' because I love my kids!" on me -- I get it. There is no doubt in my mind that being pregnant, giving birth, and raising a child is easily one of the most rewarding things a woman can do in her lifetime.

I just ... I'm scared ... for a few reasons, not the least of which have to do with the fact that my idea of a good time still involves beer and fart jokes, the reset button on my toy Tamagotchi wore out, and the only education I've had on the subject of motherhood has come from MTV's Teen Mom and TLC's attempt at national sterilization: John & Kate Plus 8.

Needless to say, I'm not ready for kids. Also, I'm not married. I'm just, like, a teence freaked out, but I want you to know that my fear of childbirth and child rearing is on a grander scale, not an immediate one.

It's just that now that I'm reaching the end of my 20s, I find myself waking up from Saturday afternoon naps, a half-eaten slice of pizza on my nightstand (FINE! On my exposed stomach), with thoughts of fear and loathing running through my foggy brain about what my future holds.

Below are my anxieties, however unfounded, about carrying, birthing, and raising a wee one. Oh. And they're based on the entirely impossible notion that I discover I'm pregnant right.this.second. Here we go!

On the whole pregnancy sitch:

  • Could it be the excuse I've been waiting for to only wear sweatpants and flip-flops?
  • How much would I sweat during pregnancy, because I sweat enough as it is. Has anyone ever died from sweating?
  • I'm a stomach sleeper: how unrealistic is it to cut a hole in my mattress and box spring?
  • Would I succumb to the peer pressure and re-create Mariah's belly-painting fiasco?
  • Stupid question: of course I would.
  • What if I forever more eat-for-two because it was so much fun?

On the whole pushing-baby-out-of-me sitch:

  • I think I'd want to do it au naturel but, like, what if I can't?
  • Sometimes when I exercise, this vein pops out in the middle of my forehead. I mean, it might burst if I'm giving birth, no?
  • When she comes out (oh, I'm having a girl, no doubt about it), what if all I can think about is having a jelly and cream cheese sandwich because I once saw a behind the scenes look at E.R. and that's what Noah Wyle said they used for that "newborn look"?
  • What if no one can get me that sandwich fast enough?
  • What if I can't decide on a name right away?
  • What if breastfeeding doesn't work? Would cream cheese and jelly sandwiches?

On my living sitch:

  • I live in a 350-square-foot studio apartment on the fourth floor with no elevator. I would definitely have to move. But where? Home I guess. Would my parents make me live in the basement or could I have my old room? 
  • If I HAD to stay in my studio, is the air OK for the baby to breathe? I mean, on more than one occasion, a pigeon has flown in, pooped its way from my bed to my bath and beyond ... pigeon poop can't be safe for a baby no matter how much bleach I used to clean it up. Wait. Is bleach safe? And how would I get the stroller up the stairs while also carrying the infant to my bird-cage of an apartment?

On my job sitch:

  • Would I have to quit? If I didn't quit, I couldn't afford childcare, and if I did quit, I couldn't afford life. Rock/Me/Hard place.
  • I guess I couldn't quit because I would need health insurance now more than ever. So are there, like, volunteer sitters?
  • How fast can babies start earning their keep? Could I put her to work at 3 selling candies on the subway?

On my habits:

  • Would my baby grow up thinking that all women are catty messes based on the fact that she was only exposed to the Real Housewives franchise at a young age?
  • Would she come out looking a little orange due to my Cheetos addiction?
  • What if she doesn't have a sense of humor and really resents me dressing her up as a condom for Halloween?
  • What if she doesn't like movie theater popcorn? What will I feed her?
  • Can babies live by the five-second rule, too?

Don't worry, I'm not pregnant, promise. But one day a few years from now, I think I'd like to have a baby, er, something. I have some time still to try and get over my fears (and you know, find a husband), but ...

What do you suggest? How did you get over your fears?

Photo via bardgabbard/Flickr

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