I have found myself so full of fear at times since knowing Isis was even a possibility. While trying to get pregnant, I was scared that I wouldn’t be fertile. During early pregnancy, I was scared of a miscarriage. During later pregnancy, I was scared of something being wrong. During labor, I was scared of a c-section. When she was a newborn, I was scared of SIDS. Now that she’s 5 months old, I’m scared of her choking on something or of me falling down the stairs while I’m carrying her or any multitude of things that could hurt her! When a little life is your responsibility, I feel like the fears can just be overwhelming at times! I was reading on Mixed Mama Project & Erin was talking about her fears during pregnancy & they sounded so similar to mine! Melissa at Dear Baby also talked about some of her fears2010/06/5-ways-to-calm-those-baby-fears during the early days with Everly & it hit home to me as well.
Last night, I found myself lying in bed, unable to fall asleep because I was scared of the possibility of her choking on food at some point & me not knowing what to do! I mean, we just started her on rice cereal 5 days ago!! We aren’t even close to the foods she could choke on. Just always looking ahead to the possibility of problems in the future, I guess. Cameron – time to get a grip. I decided to come up with my suggestions to myself for how to calm these baby fears!
1 – Give it to God
This one is so much harder than it sounds. If you don’t believe in God, you’ve got to just let it go & tell yourself that you can only control so much. I find myself repeating this verse: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) I also find myself reading Psalm 139:16 (NLT) “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” God has been preparing for Isis’ life even before I was.
2 – Talk to a Friend
I’ve found so much comfort from talking to other friends who are moms who have been through the exact same thing. Getting advice about how they got control of their fears or just hearing that I’m not alone in being afraid has been really helpful. Although the overwhelming consensus is that the fears never really go away. I think it’s only natural to always be aware of the bad things that could happen, but you have to learn to prepare & move on – just doing what you can & letting go of the rest.
3 – Prepare!
You can only do so much & then it’s out of your hands. When I was pregnant, I tried to just eat right & stay active & be as relaxed as possible. I took all the proper vitamins & drank lots of water. In the newborn stage, her bed had tight, fitted sheets & she was placed on her back to sleep. Now that she’s older, I’m just aware of what’s going on around her & I plan on finding a baby CPR class for the choking fear. I can only do what I can do.
4 – Identify & Face the Fear
Maybe this is the morbid one & my friend Diana said this is the trick she’s had to use a lot. Say you are afraid that your child could choke. Well, okay, let’s walk through it. Say they choke & you can’t see the food in their throat: then you need to perform the Baby Heimlich maneuver. Haven’t been trained? YouTube is a great source for some videos. Say they choke & you can see the food in their throat: swipe your finger from one side to another to move the blockage – don’t push it back further down the throat. Say you can’t get the food: immediately seek help, calling 911 if possible. Okay, I’ve identified the fear & worked through my possible options if something were to happen. You can do this with any fear. You work through exactly what you would plan on doing before it happened. This way you are not dominated by the fear – you are able to take control of it & know your plan of action if something were to occur.
5 – RELAX
Last night when I couldn’t sleep, I went through all the above things (except talking to a friend of course because it was late). Once I’d done everything I could do, I just took a few deep breaths & told myself to relax. She is perfectly safe in her crib right now, sleeping soundly. Nothing she can choke on, nothing that can hurt her. Time for me to sleep. Take a bubble bath, read a book, watch a movie, just relax & remember to enjoy your life as a parent!!
What fears are you facing right now?
How do you calm your fears?
Any other advice besides what I listed above?