Well, not as much as I used to be anyway….
I can honestly say, after 3 months, what I used to call ‘the fear’ has lifted. Allow me to specify:
1. the fear of dropping him and thereby minimising walking-while-carrying and getting nothing done
2. the fear of breaking / snapping off of a limb when changing his clothing. The tiny hands!!!!
3. night time fear – this is a nauseating chest-pressing fear. I would lie awake, zombie-tired, staring at his chest rising and falling. I would refuse to close the window blinds to ensure enough light to see him (who needs sleep?)
4. fear of taking a shower and not hearing him cry (I still rush my showers and gone are the days of three-minute leave-in hair treatments, but the panic is no longer there)
5. general fear that you are a shit mother – OK, this doesn’t entirely go away because doubt and guilt are never far away, but you start to trust your instincts more and more as you realise you know your child better than anyone.
6. the fear of moving. Especially if he is asleep on your chest / leg / arm. The numbness becomes normal. The tingling dead-foot a daily occurrence. The realisation that you would rather cut your head off rather than risk waking him up.
7. the fear of making a noise and waking him up. The creeping. No music, no TV, no talking. Vital topics would be whispered. Sock-covered feet tenderly sliding across floor boards while holding your breath. The heart-stopping wince as the stair creaks….
8. the fear of splashing water in his eyes – simply have some cotton wool or a dry cloth near-by to soak it up
9. the fear of immunizations – you still feel bad for them when they cry, but it’s not something that keeps you awake the night before like with the first one
10. the fear of…..dammit i need 10 because ‘ten things’ in a list is better than 9 things.
Here I am, this morning, walking my beautiful boy at sunrise (squeezing in all the time I can get before work) feeling happy and less fearful.