Thursday, December 13, 2007

Worry wort

I am now convinced that the whole process of having a child, and bringing it up, is one long worry.

When I was first pregnant, only 8 weeks or so, I ended up on a business trip to Australia. At the time something looked a bit odd on my first scan so things were still up in the air as to whether something could turn out to be a problem. The business trip itself was awful. I had horrible morning sickness, worked some very long days, and it was a very stressful and political project. This, combined with all of the worry and two long flights in 5 days had left me in a bit of a state by the time I went to see our friends, K and R in Sydney. K is a top girl, a rower, and now mum to two delightful little girls. She was just what I needed at the time - someone very matter of fact, supportive, and amusing about the whole experience. She set my mind at ease and gave me possibly the best advice of anyone. I asked her when I would stop worrying about my child, she looked thoughtful, and replied "in about 18 years time, and probably not even then, you just get used to it".

What I hadn’t realised is how right she is and, even now, how much of my time I spend worrying. I worry about the health of the little one, to the extent that I have convinced myself something will be wrong. I worry about the labour (not helped by my friend, J, last night telling me her daughter was born not breathing and sort of pinky purple). After reading over the Boy's shoulder at breakfast this morning that up to 80% of women get some form of the "blues" after they give birth, I am now worried I will get depressed and end up being committed. I am worried that my stomach will look like a deflated tyre for the rest of my life, I will never fit normal bras again - and I can forget about ones that look nice, and my lovely, lovely size 10 Stella McCartney suit will never go over my bum. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

I am not by nature a worrier, but sometimes the enormity of what is happening and how I will cope with it scares the hell out of me. But then I think about it sensibly, and realise that women have done this for eons, it is really not a big deal, and if it takes me 6 months or even a year to squeeze back into Stella then I will be fine.

So I take a deep breath, eat some more chocolate (well, if I'm not going to fit the suit anytime soon then a bit more choccie won't hurt!), and think about all the things that could go right.

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