Khloé may be the youngest of the Kardashian sisters in age. But she’s definitely the middle sister when it comes to life stage: she’s not single, but she’s not a mom. The tabloids can’t talk about her dating exploits because she’s married. And she’s yet to become pregnant, which means we get to read a lot of articles about when she’s going to get pregnant, why she isn’t pregnant yet, and what she thinks it might be like to be pregnant. Despite the fact that there is no sign of an actual pregnancy, the details of her non-pregnancy continue to make the mags.
Mostly I find these articles tedious. Sometimes I find them to a sign of the apocalypse. And very, very occasionally, I find them useful.
This week, Khloé tells Us Weekly the three things she’s most afraid of during pregnancy. And they are three biggies I think would rank pretty high up on the pregnancy fear totem pole for a lot of women.
Here are Khloé’s big fears, distilled (by me) to their essences, along with her actual quotes from Us Weekly, and a little post-game analysis.
1. FEAR OF BIRTH
Khloé has enjoyed the fun of trying to get pregnant, but going through the birthing process seems a little bit overwhelming. “Kourtney made it look easy, but I don’t believe it,” she tells Us. “I’m scared of the epidural needle in my back!
It’s a rare woman who’s not, at least on some level, a bit afraid of the birth process. The mythology of pain is huge. The hospital environment comes with its own anxieties. Khloe’s focus on the epidural is a common one. Nobody likes needles, and the idea of being stuck with a particularly large needle in the base of your spine is scary to a lot of women. Maybe because of fear of side effects, or maybe just because it takes you back to a childhood fear of getting a shot in the doctor’s office.
What to do if this is your fear too: If you’re freaked out about an epidural, you don’t have to have one. Consider an unmediated birth with a midwife or an OB who supports natural childbirth. If that’s not for you, try asking other women who got epidurals if the actual injection was a big deal at the time. Though the shot itself can be harrowing (and complications aren’t out of the question), most women who have gotten epidurals are way more focused on the relief it provided than the worry or pain of the injection process.
2. FEAR OF FAT
“I’m scared of gaining weight and not being able to lose it after,” says Khloé, who has worked as a spokesperson for Quick Trim for over a year. The tallest Kardashian sister has often received criticism for being the biggest girl in the family.
Body image is a big deal to most women. It’s an even bigger deal to women who are in the public eye. Khloé is at the unpleasant intersection of the media spotlight and what seems like some complicated family history about weight and size. She’s a bigger girl in a family of petite women, which has to be a hard place to start contemplating something that could potentially make you a lot bigger. Family competition about beauty and body can run pretty deep, and in a family with three sisters and a model for a mother, well, you can imagine how that might feel.
What to do if this is your fear too: Staying fit throughout pregnancy goes a long way to keeping weight gain, and weight gain anxieties, at bay. If you’re not able to do that for whatever reason, making a solid plan for postpartum diet and exercise might make you feel more in control of the body situation. But you should remember not to have unrealistic expectations. The quick weight loss and return to pre-baby body you see in the media does not happen for most women. Give yourself time and give yourself a break if it doesn’t come easily to you. Your body will benefit from the exercise you get trying, even if the results aren’t quick.
3. FEAR OF GETTING A DUD
Khloé’s third major fear is that Kourtney has used up all of the good Kardashian genes with her 9-month-old son. “Mason is so good, he never cries! I don’t think that could happen twice in the family!”
This one runs really deep. Having a baby is a big gamble. Who knows what kind of kid is growing inside you right now? Khloé’s quote shows her anxiety about not living up to her sister’s example. This kind of sibling comparison about parenting and kids goes on all the time. In some cases it’s just a way to highlight the fear of the unknown, and in others there might be other family mythology involved (ie I always get the short end of the stick, so my kid will obviously be worse than hers).
What to do if this is your fear too: There is obviously no way to know anything about your baby’s personality and temperament before birth. It can be intimidating to have a sibling with a “perfect” baby. Every kid is different, for sure. But “good genes” are not a finite resource among families. Your sister’s kid’s good behavior doesn’t have anything to do with how your kid will be. The best thing you can do is try to keep an open mind about it all. If your kid ends up being more difficult in some ways, so it goes. Comparing your baby to somebody else’s is a no win situation. If that somebody is your sister, the down side (resentment, jealousy, family weirdness) is even worse.
Everyone has big fears during pregnancy. Pregnancy is scary! You’re jumping into the unknown. How could you not be worried about a few things. But knowing that this is normal, and that just about every woman who’s been here before has been worried about the same things (or some variation thereof) can help put it into perspective. You’re in good company, Kardashian included.
Photo Credit: Tommaso Boddi / PR Photos