Living in fear

“If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been a person to live in fear. Maybe that goes along with being young and believing you’re invincible. Sure, I’m still young… but a number of things have happened in my life to change my outlook. And I don’t like it. Being afraid consumes your life… like the quote above, it’s no way to live.

#1: I was about 8 months pregnant and it was around 9pm. I was home alone in our apartment because Steve was at work. We had recently moved into this apartment and although I had repeatedly asked the landlord to install a peep hole in our door, he hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Someone knocked on the door. I didn’t answer it. They knocked again. I assumed it was my neighbor across the hall because I work with her… so I opened the door with a big smile on my face.

I’m not sure what I noticed first–the intense stench of booze or the man with his head down and a hood over his head. I tried to slam the door while yelling, “wrong apartment!” But it was one of those doors on hinges that don’t let you SLAM the door… it closes slowly. Needless to say, this man got his hand in the door at the last second. I pushed with all my strength, while still yelling, “wrong apartment, wrong apartment!” He pushed back and yelled, “no, it’s the f***ing right apartment!” He won.

When he got in the door, I froze. I hate myself for it now. Sure, I was hugely pregnant, but I didn’t scream, I didn’t kick or hit… I just stood there. In my head, I thought “I’m pregnant, please don’t hurt me!” but the words never came out of my mouth. He grabbed me with both hands and pushed me out of the way… I thought I was in major trouble, I really did. My bedroom was directly behind me and was the direction he pushed me, I had no idea what was going to happen, but I imagined the worst possible (in the span of 2 seconds).

Instead, he flew past me and went all the way into our apartment. I finally jumped into action, opened our door and yelled for my neighbor. As soon as I started yelling for help, he turned and left the apartment. He was gone by the time my neighbor came out. I was shaking and in shock. It probably took me another 10 minutes to even call the police.

Then we moved into a house. I’d refuse to answer the door if I was home alone and someone came knocking in the middle of the day. I’d hide. The noise of the door made me jump and brought my stomach to my throat. I lived in fear.

I’m better now… almost a year later. But still extremely cautious. Still terrified to walk to the end of our driveway if it’s even remotely dark out. It’s a little weird to me that this happened almost a year ago and I never wrote about it here until now. I hate living in fear.

#2: my birth. Come on, you had to know this was coming. I want another baby and ideally we’ll get pregnant again next summer/fall, but I wouldn’t mind getting pregnant sooner…… IF I wasn’t terrified. Birth used to be something I was excited about and fascinated with. A completely natural and awesome thing a woman’s body can do. But now I’m terrified. Terrified I can’t do it, terrified my body can’t do it, terrified I’ll make a wrong decision. OB or midwife. Hospital or homebirth. Me or baby. Terrified of another c-section. I was in such a bad place after Ryan was born… I can’t even imagine how I might be if I have another c-section. I think about it and I shake. Someone mentions birth and my whole body becomes tense. I imagine seeing my OB again and I nearly have a panic attack. I hate living in fear.

I’m doing pretty well with the first one. I think that’s part of growing up and protecting my own child as well–being more cautious of people and being safer in my actions.

But the second one… still needs a lot of work. And I’m ready to start. I’m not sure where to start, but I’m thinking about it. Confront my OB? Okay, maybe not yet… baby steps… LOTS of birth research, finding a midwife, becoming comfortable and CONFIDENT in birth again. In myself.

“No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”

8 comments to Living in fear

  • kia

    #1 sounds scary as hell! my hubby went out drinking with the boys after I dropped him off the other weekend. he was supposed to call so I could pick him up and designate drive. instead he came home, didn’t have the key and was knocking on the windows and doors around midnight as I was screaming and asking who it was. I was home alone with the baby. yes, I had my machete in my hand when I realized it was him, happy, and drunk. he felt horrible when he realized how scared I was.

    #2 I wish I had good advice. my other friends who had unplanned c-sections (but healthy babies) have had to grieve. some have gone to counseling, one is in art therapy, but most give themselves the space and support to know they are grieving. I know this fear around birth you write of. I had to seek bereavement counseling as a adult for the death of my baby brother. I found his body dead from SIDS when I was a toddler and never received help for it. I needed professional help to grieve and reconcile what happened before I got pregnant. I don’t know your next step but am glad you are openly seeking it. I will support you any way I know how.


  • Sorry that you experienced someone entering your home against your will. That must have been the scariest feeling. I have never had that happen to me but I still refuse to open the door when I am home alone. It’s sad that we have to raise our beautiful babies to grow up in a world that is full of so much evil.

    And as far as #2, I had to have an unplanned c-section once the baby stopped progressing. We sent each other messages while we were pregnant cause we were dealing with similar situations…I’m not sure if you remember at all but I was on bedrest for quite awhile for premature labor and even spent time in the hospital on bedrest twice. My daughter was born via c-section and she wasn’t breathing. Too not hear your baby cry when they pull her out of you had to be the worst experience in my life. I think about that today and it still brings tears to my eyes. She had to be on a ventilator for awhile but thankfully everything turned out fine. I want another child but I too am scared because of my last experience….how do you get past it?


    babydickey Reply:

    Yes, I remember! We both went through that around the same time–in the hospital with the terbutaline. Ryan also didn’t cry when he was pulled out. I remember asking my husband (and the anesthesiologist) if he was okay… and I remember my husband not answering me and just staring to the other side of the room where I couldn’t see. It was terrible. We paid a hospital bill for “resuscitation.” He didn’t need a ventilator though… I’m glad everything turned out alright for you too! I don’t know how I lost track of your blog, I’m heading over there right now 🙂


  • I can’t recommend hypnobirthing or similar enough, really. You can do it and even IF you ended up still needing a c-section you’d still be able to draw on it for relaxation and control.



    Leah Reply:

    I thought these figures might make you feel better.

    Experts estimate that 60 to 85 percent of women who had cesareans the first time around are able to have a normal labor and deliver vaginally their second, third or subsequent baby without incidence.

    The figures are on the higher end when dealing with babies who were not breech.


  • Kelly L

    I feel like I’ve heard about that first incident before, but reading it again… Holy shit, that would be TERRIFYING. Honestly I think you are justified in your fears in both situations, but- I think you are absolutely doing the right thing in moving forward and working to conquer these fears. Big hugs!


  • Well, I did end up changing the name of the blog once Seraya was born so you might have lost track then. It used to be dirt and lipgloss and then I changed it to the bakers family blog!.


  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by, Baby Dickey. Baby Dickey said: Living in fear – […]

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