I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I felt the shift exactly. My husband said it was last week, and that sounds about right. But at some point I went from endlessly, obnoxiously happy to the most anxious I’ve been in my life. I’m not scared of being a mother, not even a little bit. I’m scared of not being one.
Every day that this baby doesn’t make his appearance is another day that I sit around and worry, endlessly, that something is going to go wrong and we won’t catch it in time. That we will be returning home from the hospital without a baby. Yes, it is morbid. It consumes my every moment, trust me, I’m well aware of exactly how morbid it is.
My desire to deliver this baby soon is not just selfishness. It’s not even really being uncomfortable. I mean, I sit on the couch all day, I’m not that miserable, I’m pretty lucky really (though I could seriously do without the 2 hours of intense contractions that then just evaporate into the air). My desire to have this baby is partially based on the fact that I have waited SO long to get here and partially because I’m afraid if we wait too long, something bad will happen.
This is a fear born out of education, I know too much. I know the statistics. I know that the rate of complications increases once you’re over term, especially over 41 or 42 weeks. I know the things that can go wrong, the long term consequences. I’ve seen them, I have worked with the mothers of these children, I’ve worked with some of the children who have the best case scenario outcome.
I am terrified.
I obsess over kick counts. This afternoon the baby didn’t move at all during the first 40 minutes of the hour I was counting. I tried everything you’re supposed to try. Cold water, juice, laying on my left side. I pulled out our doppler and listened to his heartbeat, which made me feel better, but a heartbeat doesn’t mean that nothing’s wrong. And when a baby isn’t moving because of distress it’s because he’s conserving oxygen, his heart will still beat.
I just felt so unbearably scared. So entirely weighed down, unsure of what to do. I have tests and an OB appointment tomorrow morning, so rushing to the hospital seemed unnecessary, and eventually with some music, he woke up and moved. I judge my child a little bit for only responding to Glee and Kelly Clarkson, but in spite of his girly taste in music, I am just beyond relieved.
I just cannot shake the fear. I cannot shake the relentless feeling that something will go wrong. I am so excited to have this baby, so excited to meet him and be his mother. But every day he’s not here is like a marathon of emotions, of fear, of panic. I can put on a happy face just long enough to pass as okay (which is good since my MIL is apparently coming out here soon, and staying indefinitely, which, no I actually don’t want to talk about at all because it makes me want to scream and while that does seem to wake the baby up, it seems not so great for my blood pressure), but inside, I’m afraid. Always.
I don’t know what there is to do except wait. Try to stay calm. Not try to pretend like I’m fine when I’m not, because I know that’s making it worse. I just need this baby to come. I need to know he’s okay. I need him in the world where I can care for him because right now, I can’t. And it’s making me crazy.