My emotions are all over the place at the moment. I am hypersensitive to everything from the passing comments of strangers to the absence of comments, to Brett being back at work, to not hearing from friends to feeling too in demand with friends, to excessive noise to too much quiet – the list is never ending. I feel like all my emotional nerve endings are exposed.
Pregnancy paranoia is not a new symptom for me. It started a few months back already. I was afraid of everything & convinced that everyone was out to get me or hated me and found me ridiculous. I didn’t want to drive because I felt like other drivers were trying to crash into me, I didn’t want to be in public places because I was afraid there was going to be a robbery & I would get shot and I woke up throughout the night convinced there was someone in the house.
The more serious fears, particularly those for my life & Charly’s seem to have mostly passed now and have been replaced by what I imagine is pretty straight forward fears of early labour & occasionally me dying of childbirth complications; in all of these Charly is now fine and healthy, so I assume the rest is normal-ish for someone with fairly strong hospital phobias (I was convinced I was going to die when I had my wisdom teeth out under anesthesia at 16 too, so I feel pretty confident this is nothing to worry about).
I know that a lot of the hormones have kicked up a gear as the due date approaches, which can also make one feel insecure – just what a pregnant soon-to-be-mommy needs thrown into the mix. I have fallen in love with my baby belly & was devastated by what I perceived to be criticism of my size from friends when I posted a pic on social media. Some very distant part of my brain logically knows that the comments were not meant to be mean or insulting, but it didn’t stop me crying for hours over it. And then I feel horrible because I know I am behaving irrationally & feel as if the world is rolling its’ eyes at me. Yes, I am also aware that I care far too much about what the world thinks of me – I am working on that because I do not want my daughter to learn this from me.
To touch down briefly on some reality, I do think I may have slight cause for concern when it comes to my birth plan. From 6 – 8 months Charly was lying in the perfect birthing position, head down, facing my spine, just to the left of my belly button. I was so happy about that as it was one thing I didn’t have to fret about. On Christmas eve we had a harrowing driving experience & I felt her move into a horribly uncomfortable position. This was confirmed at our first appointment with New Doctor when he showed us how she had rolled and was lying with her spine to my spine with all her pointy little limbs jabbing out through my tummy (I affectionately dubbed this “turning turtle” as I imagined her as a little turtle stuck on its back flailing about).
Although this was mightily uncomfortable & not a good birthing position, because my giant baby belly is being caused by large amounts of amniotic fluid & not a gigantic baby (also confirmed by new doctor), he assured me there was no need to worry as lots of fluid means she still has lots of room to change position. Then late last week I felt another deeply uncomfortable movement and now I am 99% sure she is lying transverse (sideways). The whole top of my belly is rock hard bony baby girl and it feels like there simply isn’t enough room for her in that position, but she obviously loves it because she now slowly stretches out her limbs making adorable if uncomfy often painful little tents all over my tummy. I must say I adore that when I push on what feels like her feet or hands she pushes back, it is quite surreal.
Anyway, the point of concern is obviously that if she has moved into that position & she is as firmly settled as she seems, I may be forced into a ceasar now that I am finally okay with natural birth. It seems every time I feel ok about a decision I come to after loads of thought & research, those options are taken away from me. I feel like Sisyphus, destined to push the boulder up the hill forever only to watch it slide back down, only I cannot figure out what the punishment is for. Possible further cause for the dark mood that keeps settling on me.
Other mommies – when you have your baby, do you associate it with the little squirmer that you had in your belly the whole time or do they seem separate to you? I am worried that I will miss my belly because having Charly will mean losing the bond I have with in-the-belly Charly completely and that if I can’t associate the two I will be suffering a loss & a gain simultaneously – is that not the maddest thing you have ever heard!? It feels utterly mad & I can’t quite express the feeling in the same way I am experiencing it. Maybe the sleep deprivation is just causing me to lose my marbles altogether.
I am also endlessly stressing that I am not going to get my client writing done in time. My attention span is so short & so limited to all I still need to get done for Charly before she arrives and all that entails, that I am struggling terribly to focus on work. I really have a deep respect & appreciation for those of you that are still working out in an office or on your feet somewhere at this stage, I have the option to work from my bed (which I have no doubt I will take advantage of again soon) and I still get tearful when I can’t just roll over and go back to sleep. I am setting myself a tough deadline though and hoping that helps me to focus a little at least; although I have always despised pressure, my work quality has always gotten extremely high the tighter the deadline. Here’s hoping…
Three wonderful highlights in this otherwise terribly bleak post – one, I have been reflux free for a week now!
As I am sure I have mentioned repeatedly throughout this blog, by far my worst symptom has been chronic, extremely painful, non-stop heartburn mixed with reflux since about 5 minutes after Charly was conceived. I honestly could not imagine ever being able to eat or drink anything without suffering incredible, breath-stealing chest pain immediately after or being able to lie down flat ever again in my life. As I bought my sixth bottle of Gaviscon from the pharmacy for the month of December, the pharmacist recommended I ask New Doctor how he felt about prescribing Altosec – apparently doctors have varying opinions on its use in pregnancy, but in cases as severe as mine and this late in pregnancy, most are ok with it. I should mention that I had been struggling with reflux & taking Altosec before I got married in May as well, although I had forgotten that until I recognised the bottle.
One of the first things I did after introducing myself to New Dr was ask about the Altosec & after listening to the wonderful story my husband likes to tell of how he couldn’t sleep over the sound of the painful gurgling in my chest & throat night after night, among my own descriptions of the suffering, he agreed that it was worth a try. One pill before breakfast in the morning & I have not had one moment of pain or discomfort since – if ever there was a reason to believe in medication as a miracle, this stuff is it. No matter how rubbish I feel, or how much physical pain I am in, or how sad & tearful I get, being able to eat & breathe without pain has literally changed my whole pregnancy experience.
And then the second light. I have mentioned before that one of the best things to come from this blog has been the relationships I have formed. Over the past few weeks, I have been reminded of that all over again as I have shared laughs, pains, fears & worries with other mommies & mommies-to-be on Twitter. A few special shout outs of deepest gratitude to @casseytoi @andi_v1 @MrsStick @theclam @laurakim123 @ShazRich7 & @yourbabymag. You ladies have no idea how much our chats & your wisdom & shared experiences have meant to me over the past few weeks. It has been a shadowy period for me with a lot of uncertainties I might otherwise not have shared & with all going on over the holiday season a lot of my usual support systems have been understandably otherwise occupied & you have really helped me through it! You are AWESOME!
And finally, my husband. After 7 years & 8 months together, I really thought I knew how lucky I was to have found this wonderful man, but only over the past 8 months has it really become clear. And even more so over the past two weeks. His support of me & total devotion and increased excitement to meet our daughter has taken my breath away. The way he plans for & sees our little family’s life playing out over the next months and years has taken away any fears I might have felt about becoming a parent. For someone who was beyond gunshy of relationships when we met 8 years ago, I am moved every day by his dedication and love and his drive to be a great husband to me and father to our little girl. After all our years together, I missed him fiercely when he went to work today even though he was less than five minutes from home & we were chatting online throughout the day. I doubt there are many people who are as incredibly blessed to be able to say that about their spouses after almost 8 years together and I truly love him more every single day.
I think that is more than enough for one day! I have been delaying writing because I didn’t feel I had anything to say, apparently I was very wrong.