Yesterday we went on a tour of the hospital where we’ll soon be having our little girl. Everything we learned was both comforting and scary. It certainly brings home how little time we have until she gets here.
I don’t think any parent enters into this whole thing with a flippant or cavalier attitude. Whether the pregnancy was planned or not, I think we all want things to be as “ready” as possible and to do the best job possible at NOT screwing the kid up (at the very least). Ideally, a welcoming, nurturing, and stimulating environment will be waiting. So we paint. We buy or rehab old furniture to make it baby-worthy. We stockpile little clothing. We obsess about how and what to feed them. If you’re a real go-getter, you start reading stories to your abdomen daily (we read at least one per night) and collecting educational toys.
As scary as it is to feel like your home might not be ready, it’s even more frightening to think that YOU may not be ready. I’m not talking about the fear of not knowing what to do and how to do it. I’m speaking more of getting your own shit together in order not to impart your kid with any of your own craziness. I don’t know of any person who doesn’t have at least one tic/phobia/skeleton in the closet that they would prefer their kid not to have to contend with. I seriously hate medical professionals. I am also deeply phobic of any type of intravenous procedure, including getting IV’s and giving blood for blood work. It’s not a needle-phobia. I willingly get flu shots each year. I have a couple of tattoos. My ears are pierced more than twice. There is just something about a needle being inserted into a vein and LEFT there for more than a second that I find deeply disturbing. It’s so bad that I am often reluctant to go to a doctor unless I absolutely must, and have even avoided suggested tests if they involved blood work. It’s not rational. It’s not necessarily healthy. Logically I know it doesn’t hurt me. Logic has nothing to do with it. I don’t want my little girl to inherit that. It’s stupid.
I think some things are easier to “fudge” than others, however. I’m hoping that by the time I finish with labor, delivery, and recovery, I will be “cured” of much of my issues with the medical profession. If not, for the sake of my kid, I’ll have to put my big girl panties on and pretend.
There are other issues that are harder to bluff your way through, however. Those are the deeply-ingrained familial dramas. I’m struggling with how to resolve some of that stuff, and to do it quick. The problem is that much of my baggage is the kind of thing that would take years, and maybe even involve a therapist to sort out. I don’t have years. I don’t have a therapist.
Don’t get me wrong. None of this is anything that would be dangerous to my daughter (e.g. someone who’s physically abusive). It’s merely (if you can say “merely”) the sense of wanting to protect her from something that would make her feel badly about herself for reasons that have nothing to do with her, or seeing her mother do the same. Unlike a needle stick, that’s the kind of trigger that is chronic. I see books all the time for “30 Minute Abs,” or “Better Butt in 30 Days.” Maybe they have a series like that for letting go of your personal crap?