The last week has been hard. Really, really hard. I’ve hit that point in pregnancy – the one most moms experience, but the one that feels oh so different when you’re PAL. I’ve hit the wall. I’m uncomfortable. All the pillows are on the bed. Baby boy manages to kick my bladder and my ribs at the same time and sometimes I feel like I’m going to burst. My back hurts. I just can’t. get. comfortable.
And yet – here it comes again. Those thoughts that creep into “normal” territory while the rest of me is shouting, “You know what the alternative is like! You are lucky this baby is moving so much!” Because pregnancy after loss doesn’t just come with crippling anxiety and fear and depression – it also comes with guilt. So much guilt. Guilty feelings when you feel ‘over it’. Guilty feelings when you wish baby would just go to sleep when you lay down so that you can get some rest. Guilty feelings when you wish that the next 4 or 6 or 8 weeks would just zoom by so you can be done being pregnant and have your baby in your arms, and guilt when it’s not just so you can know he’s safely here, but so that you can physically breathe again.
Because I know what the alternative is. I’m getting really close to that point again. 35+3. How those numbers are ingrained in my brain. The day I found out Layla had no heartbeat. I was feeling the same way then, too. I was tired and big and sore and eager for her to come. With your first, I feel like it’s different. I was so excited to meet her, to be a mom, and it was easy to be ‘done’ with pregnancy – I knew I’d have more chances to do it all again. With my rainbow, I needed him OUT. I wanted to hear my baby cry, I wanted to stop watching a ticking time bomb, and again – I knew it wasn’t my last time. But this time – this is different. It’s a combination of the anxiety and the fatigue of my 3rd pregnancy in 4 years and planning that this is the last time I’ll be here. It’s trying to savor every moment I have, because dammit, I’ve loved being pregnant, I really have. So these conflicting feels of being done drive me crazy. More guilt.
But I saw my midwife this morning and we made our plan. There are dates for appointments on the calendar – for homeopathy and cervical sweeps and checks and there’s a tentative date to break my water if all else is favorable. It’s on the calendar. It’s next month. And that helps, more than I expected it to. Because when I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever, I can look at that calendar and count down the weeks. And then feel guilty for some other reason. But not for eating ice cream – that I refuse to feel guilty about.