On Monday morning I wrote this really great blog post all about fear. That post never made it up, because life kind of took an interesting turn between the time I saved the draft, and the next time I made it back to the laptop.
I had recently started having some anxiety over the upcoming birth, and after a little exploration, I worked out that my fears were stemming from some leftover infertility feelings. Somehow I am still suffering under the notion that all of this is simply too good to be true. At the beginning of my pregnancy, that same apprehension robbed me of some of the happiness I could have enjoyed. It was hard for me to accept that I was finally getting the very thing I had wanted after years of disappointment and frustration. How could it be real?
It wasn't until the blood clot developed and I was told that the baby was in danger that I woke up and really owned the pregnancy. Having something to fight against somehow allowed me to move past the fear and insist that my baby would be just fine. I felt like all I could do to protect my child was to believe in her, so I did, fiercely, even when doctor after doctor told me to be prepared for a loss.
Then the second trimester started and we entered this magical period of safety and bliss. The blood clot dissipated, baby was growing and thriving as expected, and I felt great. We trucked along that way for pretty much the rest of the journey, and for that I am grateful.
So it was kind of surprising when I recently started feeling a tinge of sadness when I thought about the upcoming birth. It would occur to me that within X amount of days or weeks I would have a baby, then out of nowhere, I would have this weird sense of loss. What the heck was that all about? I wondered if maybe I was prematurely feeling sad about not being pregnant anymore. Could be. For the most part, I have enjoyed being pregnant, and I could easily describe the past 9 months as some of the happiest in my life.
On the other hand, I would obviously prefer to have my baby rather than go on being eternally pregnant, especially now that I'm starting to feel encumbered by the size of my belly. After a little thought, I realized that what I was feeling wasn't so much sadness as it was fear - fear that after all of this, something would still go wrong and stop me from being a Mom after all. I guess deep down I am still worried that this just isn't meant to be - that somehow it will all be taken away from me.
These thoughts were keeping me up at night over the weekend, but I felt a little better after writing them out Monday morning. I determined that what I needed was to find that same faith that carried me through the trials of my early pregnancy. I needed to believe in my baby, that she would make it through delivery happy and healthy. I knew I needed to find that kind of courage again. What I didn't know was that life was about to give me something much more tangible to worry about.
After I finished my draft, I packed it in and headed to the Birthing Center for my weekly checkup. That's when the midwives discovered that my blood pressure had jumped to a dangerous place. Concerns about hypertension and preeclampsia were suddenly on the table, and before I knew it I was being sent home on bed rest while the midwives started running tests.
In a flash, the two to three weeks ahead of me was shrinking. The midwives are now on a mission to get this baby out ASAP. The tests came back OK, so I don't have preeclampsia right now, but I do have high blood pressure, and the longer the baby stays in the less manageable the situation will become. If we stay within safe limits we can still deliver naturally at the birth center, but if my blood pressure rises, or if I show any other symptoms of preeclampsia I will be headed to the hospital to be induced and shot up with an epidural immediately.
So here we are again, me with an unfounded fear, and fate handing me something bigger to worry about. The next time I indulge an anxiety for no good reason, someone please shake me.
We're doing our best to help encourage Babeleo to come out early, but as everyone knows, babies do what the hell they want to do. Unfortunately, no amount of acupuncture, acupressure, evening primrose oil, targeted breathing, or hanky panky can force this baby to come any earlier than he or she damn well pleases, but we are still going to try.
To all of you reading this blog I'd like to ask you a favor: think baby thoughts. Visualize a happy, healthy baby coming SOON. While you're at it, visualize a nice easy birth for mama too. Maybe if we all tell Babeleo it's time to come out, he/she will listen. Shout loud!