Antenatal Moody Blues.
Back when we first talked about a second baby, Birdy was about three and it took us a few months to wrap our heads around the possibility of another kid. But once we landed on “Let’s do it,” we assumed it would be a short process to conception. We did not anticipate the wait that was on tap for this baby.
Preparing for this pregnancy was a process, different from my daughter’s creation in many ways. Two years of trying, with heaps of doctors appointments both diabetes-related and decidedly non-diabetes related. I’ve written about that a little bit here. It wasn’t easy. It was complicated on a dozen levels. I’d do a version of it again to get here, but there’s so much I would change about the specifics of the journey.
But now. This baby. He’s in there and he’s healthy and kicking regularly and every time I go to the doctor and they do an ultrasound, I am honestly thrown to see this little creature happily rolling around in there. I want to hug him. To hear his little cries. To meet my son and welcome him to our family. He’s so wanted, so loved already.
So why am I not filled to the brim with excitement?
My A1C is well in-range and I’m up to date with all the required doctor’s appointments. The kid has a room and a crib already set up. The closet is stashed with diapers. My daughter has given him a name and we talk about him as though he’s already sitting at the dinner table with us, throwing green beans and reaching his toes towards the cat as she strolls by. While I’m heavily pregnant and weirdly shaped for the time being, I don’t feel sick or unwell like I did with my daughter. Pre-eclampsia is not a thing this round, and being in my home makes this third trimester easier than being on bed rest.
So what’s the frigging problem, Sparling?
It feels like I’m playing pregnant all over again, only this time there’s medical confirmation every week or so that there is indeed a baby. It’s confusing. I’m confused. Where’s the joy? The first time I was pregnant, with my daughter, I was diabetes-obsessesed, making blood sugars my main priority. That, and we were shocked that we were actually going to become parents. The second time I was pregnant, it ended early in a miscarriage, which threw me for a very uncomfortable emotional and physical loop. This third time – with my son – started off riddled with paranoia, every milestone met with trepidation and fear. I had some bleeding early on, which brought me in and out of the doctor’s office to check on the safety of the developing kid. The 20 week ultrasound to check the anatomy was one I held my breath throughout. The fetal echocardiogram was another hour-long panic attack. I know why I’m eager to have him out, because I want to see him, hold him, and confirm that he’s okay. Right now, he’s this ambiguous creature who I love intensely without actually knowing him yet. And as I prepare to know him, I’m distracted by the needs of my daughter and my family. The ability to focus on Just the Baby isn’t an option this time around, which adds up to a different experience.
I’m emotionally lit up a lot these days. With Birdy, I was in the hospital on bed rest around this time, so I assigned my emotional intensity to being trapped and lonely. But it turns out I’m just as emotional this time around. I’ve had some interesting outbursts. More on that never.
(I’m going to take a stretch-guess here and assume it might be “pregnancy” contributing to my emotions at the moment.)
The emotions aren’t all negative, though. I was at the Friends for Life conference two weeks ago and sporting a gigantically pregnant belly. The year prior, I miscarried in the middle of the conference, so by contrast this year, it felt really, really good to be back with a baby safely ensconced inside of me, reclaiming a work/life experience that I treasure.
I’ve done some reading on antenatal … depression? Anxiety? Stuff. And it turns out there are many links between people who have managed infertility before getting pregnant. There are also links highlighted for people who have chronic illness and become pregnant. And women who have experienced pregnancy loss are rolling along with their own loaded expectations. So I’m rocking a threefer there. And while I’m “aware” of feeling a bit off and a little less-than-optimal, I am still unsure of what to do with those feelings. I can’t exercise at the moment due to some pregnancy-related discomfort, I’m having trouble falling/staying asleep, and I’m in a rotation of the same three outfits that sort of fit for the next six weeks, until he’s escaped. Working through the emotions is a challenge, and I’m more in a limbo of (im)patiently waiting.
The point of this post? I’m still here. Six weeks left to go and doing my best. And while I know his birthday doesn’t guarantee reclaiming my emotions (or decent sleep patterns), I do know that holding my baby in my arms and seeing his face will bring me the peace I’m seeking. My house will be turned upside down and chaos will reign supreme as we adjust to life with this tiny biscuit, but he’ll be out, and safe, and huggable. And I can’t wait for that.
I look forward to that the most.