Can we talk for just one minute about this incredible fear that I’ve been feeling lately? Thanks. You’re sweet for listening. Now don’t freak out when I grab your hand across the table, almost spilling our chamomile and burst into spontaneous tears.
Yes, it’s about the pregnancy and the baby and the birth. Of course it is. What else do I ever talk about these days? I’m about six months pregnant. Everything is trucking right along. In fact, if anything, it’s speeding up. Like a semi on the highway when the brake lines suddenly fail.
When I went to my 24 week appointment, they told me that I would take the glucose tolerance test and come back in a month. No biggie. But after that 28 week appointment, I will start coming in every two weeks. EVERY TWO WEEKS! Twice a month. That’s a 100% increase in the number of times I see a doctor about a person who is inside my body. And then I guess it’ll increase to once a week or something as I get closer to delivery. And then… and then. Then I’ll have a baby.
The entire first trimester was completely unreal. Not only was I keeping it a secret, I could not believe we had actually managed it despite what I saw on the ultrasound screen. And on top of that, I was on medication to be sure that I didn’t miscarry. In my mind, I was always three steps away from losing this kid. So I couldn’t believe that it would actually last. And then into the second trimester, I just sat around waiting to feel the baby move. I thought that would really make it come home to me.
When he moved for the first time, I was so elated. And now that elation has turned into cold fear. Because the unreality has turned to actual reality. In a few weeks, Gibson will exist outside the womb. He will be a crying, squalling pink baby taking his first breaths in a hospital room, screaming his existence into a world that doesn’t always care. And his father and I will be the barrier between him and the same damn reality I’m terrified of.
We bought a baby corral (a circular baby gate) on small business Saturday. Not only does Gibson have a swing, a walker, tons of baby clothes, a toilet training seat, some diapers and toys- he also has mobile designated space thanks to the baby corral. It’s the first “big” thing we have purchased for Gibson. Not something that was given to us. Maybe that’s why it seems like such a big deal.
I don’t think there are any barriers I can erect, physical or otherwise, that will ever make me feel I can adequately protect Gibson. That my husband and I are the most fit people to keep him alive. If you believe in the sacred, you might think that we were chosen by a divine force to take care of this boy. And if you believed that, then you might believe we somehow magically had all the tools and skills necessary to accomplish this task. Not that I don’t believe in a higher power, but I really am not sure we can cut it.
What’s funny is that my husband says he kind of already processed all these feelings before we ever got pregnant. He finds it funny that I seem to only now be thinking along the lines he already mentally traveled. Maybe he’s been living in the reality of it all from the beginning. Maybe he always knew and believed we would be parents. I love him for that.
But it’s just crashing into me right now. This is really going to happen. It’s like that scene from “Rosemary’s Baby” when she wakes up in the middle of being impregnated by the devil and screams, “This is no dream, this is really happening!” Not that my realization is anything as traumatic as having sex with Satan. I just mean that I feel like cold water has been thrown on my sleeping face. Gibson is coming, whether I’m ready or not. And from what I hear from other parents, there is no amount of preparation we can do that will ever make us truly feel prepared.
I guess this little talk has no true ending. Sometimes there are no right words to make it okay. Or that will take away from my fear. But I really appreciate you listening. And hey, let’s get a slice of pie to go with our chamomile. My treat.
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