I’m Nearly There

It’s nearly time to meet my baby. My section is booked, bag is packed, and I’m on a countdown. It’s surreal. I’m starting to shit myself, both about becoming a parent and the operation (though vaginal birth would make me shit myself more, so for me, there isn’t a nice choice).

Midway through my pregnancy I learned that stillbirth is incredibly common in the UK – 1 in 200 births after 24 weeks gestation is stillborn. Scarily, they don’t know why much of it happens. It’s made me pretty obsessive about monitoring kicks (as the best way to make sure everything is okay inside the opaque wall of my tummy). We’ve been to hospital a few times where RB’s heart and my contractions were tracked on a CTG machine to get a professional opinion. I didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed by the responsibility of pregnancy, so I’m delighted that the responsibility of keeping Runner Bean alive will no longer be only mine. I couldn’t find much of a statistical breakdown of who stillbirth happens to, why and when online – the ONS has the best source I could find.

Now C Day is looming, my thoughts have moved from the dreamy to the more practical. Before the day was so close, my thoughts lingered around feeling RB’s feet in my hands, seeing his or her face, learning which to say – he or she. I longed for the hot baths and exercise and food and drink freedom I’ve missed, to end the endless sacrifice in pregnancy. 

Now I’m awaiting my operation, I’m scared I’ll be paralysed – either I’ll flinch when they insert the needle into my spine, or the drugs won’t wear off and I won’t be able to flex my toes again. Last night I dreamed that my blood wouldn’t clot. Worst case, I’m scared I’ll die, or we’ll both die, leaving my husband doubly bereaved.

Our final NCT class made me wake up to the relentlessness of feeding a newborn. I didn’t realise it’s every 2-3 hours. I’m also conscious of how common PND is and that I might suffer that too.

I feel like I’m preparing to know that I can’t be prepared for how I’ll feel when someone presents us with our son or daughter, and the little person becomes our responsibility, 24 / 7. Or what might happen and how we’ll cope in the days and weeks ahead.

Thankfully, many of my friends have gone first, and they say the first few weeks are a whirlwind, but keep your head down and get through it. There are delightful moments too. But the stage is not forever and it will get easier.

I sound rather depressing, and I’m so excited too. But I’ve learned through good and bad experiences that unlikely is not the same as impossible, and mentally, I find it easier to prepare for the worst because it gives me an inkling of control.

Equally, I need to remember that placebo is real and creates real chemical differences in our brains. I’m taking my crystals to hospital with me to keep me calm and positive. I need to remind myself my body and mind are strong and we are about to be blessed with a child, who (as I’m sure all parents believe) is going to be a fucking epic example of humanity. Maybe he or she will positively change the world one day.

One thought on “I’m Nearly There

  1. Suwi23 says:

    Pleased to read you've now got awareness of feeding and caring for RunnerBean in the early weeks and months. RB wants to live too and won't let you ignore the demands for milk and loving. Growing all the time. Find moments to enjoy the new experience and adjustments you'll feel perhaps are forced on you. You take up willingly. Love for another human (sprogling) does that to you. Take the deep breaths and boldly go … Where every preggers female has gone before. There'll be lots of little playmates for RB around – suddenly you'll notice them all with one of your own. And Sammy needs a big hug too. Lots of reassurance. Sammy being Samson the wonder dog, of 18 months and your fun buddy. Soo exciting. All a buzz.


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