Baby, Maybe? On Feeling The Pressure Of Motherhood

Baby, Maybe_ On Feeling The Pressure Of Motherhood
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“I want to get better so that I can become a mother someday,” one of my community members shared during a goal setting rehabilitation exercise.

I was about 4 weeks into treatment for an eating disorder I was still struggling to admit. And the out-patient treatment facility consisted of one-on-one counseling, group therapy, nutrition classes, group activities that sometimes included cooking and the dreaded dinner time.

This got me thinking about my own prospects as a parent. Like most little girls I grew up playing with baby dolls, pushing toy strollers and placing a pillow under my nightie and pretending it was a pregnant belly.

I was always the first to volunteer to help change diapers and watch over my younger cousins and longed for a sibling of my own.

At 11, my sister was born and I took pride in pushing her stroller down the street and dressing her up. She was cool until she got a bit older, began to follow me around and embarrassed me in front of my friends with her childhood wonderment. In her defense she hadn’t done anything wrong I was just a hormonal bratty teen.

When I got married at 22 I convinced myself that having a baby was for me. After all I was married and that’s what you did. I never actively tried to get pregnant but wasn’t opposed to it happening naturally. A part of me knew it wasn’t the proper environment to bring up a child in, it was toxic and often violent, but I grew tired of being asked “when is the baby coming?”

Thankfully that baby was never conceived cutting any ties from that man.

As I enter my mid-thirties I feel the pressure hover over my shoulders, the heaviness on my chest and can hear the clock ticketing mirroring the beat of my heart.

My mental health and eating disorder are time consuming and must be kept a close eye on as one would a child. The idea of going 9 months without antidepressants, mood stabilizers and having to carry out a proper diet terries me. I often question if my genetics are worth passing along? Would I ruin my child with my disordered rituals and uneasiness around food? Would my baby inherit my mood disorder? Would it suffer from crippling anxiety, depression and lash out in fear of rejection?

Not everyday is bad but the bad ones are the worst. I’ve managed to cope with it but wouldn’t wish that upon anyone else.

“Who else wants to be well enough to have children?” The group leader asked. A couple of timid hands rose and for a second I felt a twitch. I looked down at my arm it was making its way up and I immediately readjusted in my seat and sat on my hands.

“I don’t want a baby,” I told myself as my inner voice hissed, “maybe.”

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16 comments on “Baby, Maybe? On Feeling The Pressure Of Motherhood

  • lforsythe7040 , Direct link to comment

    This is definitely a tough topic. Ideally a pregnant mom would not take any medications because of the risk to the baby. However, there are many instances where the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks and it’s appropriate to continue these medications. When you have antidepressant medications, it can be difficult to handle during pregnancy because you may need to change a regimen that works to a safer one that may or may not work. There is definitely no easy answer to this situation. I stopped my antidepressant while pregnant but at the end of the second trimester I had to restart it because I was struggling too much without any medication. My son was born fine.

  • Scott J DeNicola , Direct link to comment

    Only you know best if you’re ready for children or not. No one else can decide that for you. Adoption is also a route you can look at and not have to worry about leaving medications etc. I really enjoy your writing.

  • Despite Pain , Direct link to comment

    I feel for you. I just wrote in my own blog this week about not having children due to my physical health. That was the right decision for me, but not easy. I really do feel for you. Speak to people, your doctor and therapists – let them know your thoughts and fears and perhaps they’ll be able to help you with this. Take care of yourself.

  • Snehal , Direct link to comment

    Hey, even I enjoyed looking after lil babies. I remember babysitting 2 of my neighbor’s babies when I was just 11. 😊

  • Trish , Direct link to comment

    Sometimes our inner selves know answers to things better than our outer selves. I hope you can make what you want work for you.

  • Mary Lentz , Direct link to comment

    I have bipolar disorder and for years, I was really afraid to have kids. I had two miscarriages and two living children. I had them in my mid to late 30s. Having kids is extra hard with depression and anxiety. But…I can’t even begin to tell you the joy they bring you. They give me a reason to live, to keep going. I’m so glad I had them.

  • Megan kerry , Direct link to comment

    It’s a question I think every woman asks herself at some point in her life. It’s so hard too knowing that there can be time limitations on your choice. It’s such a tough thing to figure out!! Good luck girl!! I hope the answer becomes clear for you:)

  • Luna S , Direct link to comment

    Deciding to have a baby is never an easy decision there is a lot to think about before hand. It can be pretty scary and most of the time it is worth it, I hope in the end you come to the decision that is the best for you and is what your heart wants!

  • Livelearnbetter (@livelearnbetter) , Direct link to comment

    Great piece and information right here. One of the regrettable irreversible decisions of life is bringing a child in to the world when you are not mentally and adequately prepared for it.
    Wishing you all the very best at the right time.

  • Debra Roberts (Run Wyld) , Direct link to comment

    As an OB nurse, I trust that things will fall into place for you and you will be a mother before it’s too late. There are some natural supplements you can use while pregnant as well as CBT, meditation…there are ways to get your through a pregnancy without those drugs. Maybe talk to a naturopathic physician and see what your options are. Wishing you all the best!

  • Nina , Direct link to comment

    Hoping and praying that all your heart’s desires would be in reality in the perfect time. Motherhood is a gift and I could tell you would be an awesome one once you decide it’s for you. 🙂

  • Erica (The Prepping Wife) , Direct link to comment

    Someone was reading my “about me” page in my blog yesterday and asked me if I planned on having kids because I’ve been married over 10 years now. I’m sure she meant well, but some people just don’t want kids. Or as you said, aren’t in a good place to have them. I never have figured out why having kids is so expected by everyone.

  • tcleland88 , Direct link to comment

    This is such a powerful post. My thoughts are to focus on yourself and your health first. It’s a hard decision, but think of the airline rules to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. That’s your current situation. Luckily there are many more options (including fertility drugs, IVF, adoption) for having children if you wait than there used to be.

  • Kippi , Direct link to comment

    I wanted a baby all my life and after getting married at 28 we tried for 5 years to conceive..nothing. Then the fertility struggles and miscarriages were all too much to do any longer, so I decided I was done with the whole mess. I then found out I was pregnant and to my surprise I was not sure I wanted to have a baby. That thought even scared me to death at 34 I was happy with just the 2 of us and now there was going to be a third. I am sharing this since I wanted you to know sometimes I overthink and plan until I drive myself crazy and all my careful plans amount to stress that I did not need. I cannot tell you if you should or should not have a baby, but I suggest you sit with the idea of having one and then the idea of not having one and see if you come to peace. Thank you for sharing, Kippi

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