Last week was hard for me, in a few different ways. It’s hard sometimes to be sitting here, the baby wiggling away in my belly, and yet to still feel that icy breath of infertility waft over me from an unexpected direction. I’m still trying to sort out everything that happened, and how I felt about it, and what to do with those feelings. So here goes.
I had my 24 25 week appointment on Tuesday afternoon. Manly didn’t go with me this time, which was probably a good thing in retrospect. I go into the doctor’s office expecting to spend hours there; he gets frustrated when we aren’t in and out in a minimum time frame. And this time, my doctor got called away to deliver a baby in the hospital (their office is connected to the main building), so I got to see the nurse, then get shuffled over to see one of the other physicians in the clinic since nothing was wrong, and then got called back because the baby came unexpectedly fast and my doc was back in the office. Which turned out to be good in the end; I was the next-to-last patient he saw and actually got to spend a little time talking with him. We discussed a little of my “birth plan” (that’s in quotes because my nurse friends laugh heartily at the idea of planning a birth) — which is mainly nothing unless it’s necessary, and everyone gets out alive and healthy. I am preferring the idea of no epidural (assuming that I can handle it) and I really don’t want an episiotomy. Neither of which he had a problem with. Manly’s deal of absolutely no foreceps no way no how isn’t an issue either as Dr. Speedy doesn’t use them. They also refuse to induce before 39 weeks, and will let me go no later than 42 on the far side. However, if I’m past my due date, he looks at the whole picture — am I dilating, am I contracting, am I seeing no progress as all, etc. in making the decision whether to induce or not. I get the feeling that the doc and I will get along fine when it’s time — I want to deliver in a medical setting because I’ve been screwed over by my body for far too many years now, and I am not taking any chances. But at the same time, I want as few interventions as I can get away with. (Side note — Doc S. is also my girlfriend’s doctor who did her primary infertility workup before sending her to the RE, and he delivered my niece since he was the on-call doc for the clinic the weekend my SIL went into labor. So I am pretty comfortable with his reputation.)
When it comes to the measurements, the baby’s heartbeat was 158 bpm — the nurse found it straight off and it is still just about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. My blood pressure was “fine” and I had gained 5 pounds. Which is where I start having issues. I have not gained a huge amount during this pregnancy. Today, at 26w1d, I was only up 16 pounds (which is a lb less than last week when I was weighed). I’m gaining in a weird step pattern, 5 lbs one month, 2 the next (or similar). And up until now, I’ve been fine with it. But something about gaining 5 lb this time triggered that switch in my head that it’s too much, that I’m too big, that everything is going to come crashing down. Maybe part of it is that my gestational diabetes test is coming up in a few weeks; it’s a routine screen at their office, so no triggering event for me to worry about. But given my personal history and my family history, I’m worried. I’m also worried that this is going to be a big baby. Manly was 10 lb at birth and I’m terrified that I’m going to do something “wrong” and end up with a huge baby (because you always hear about obese mothers and gestational diabetes and big babies and blahblahblah). This is all despite the fact that my pregnancy has been completely uneventful, and there is nothing that (theoretically at least) make me worry.
And worry I do. I worry that the baby doesn’t move enough, I worry that something will happen to Manly before he’s born, I worry that my birth experience won’t go the way I want it to, I worry about my project that’s due, I worry about the projects that we’re bidding, I worry that I’m not eating enough, I worry that I’m eating too much, I worry that I’m not eating the right things, I worry that my parents won’t be as excited as I want them to be, I worry that this baby is going to ruin our relationship, I worry that I won’t finish my PhD, I worry that I’ll never get pregnant again and this will be the only time I get to experience this and that I’m not taking advantage of it as much as I should. I can’t seem to find that middle ground between documenting enough to remember everything later and spending all my time documenting instead of experiencing it. I worry that I haven’t taken enough pictures of myself pregnant, and that I’ll do the same thing with my son’s first few years. I worry that we’re spending too much and not saving enough. I worry that I’m spending too much time at work and not enjoying the time I have left before he gets here. I worry that I haven’t lined up daycare yet, I worry that I didn’t get my pediatrician forms yet. I worry, worry, worry.
It’s hard. It’s an ingrained habit to try to plan out everything that could go wrong and to try to mitigate those risks. It’s why I’m so fucking good at what I do professionally, actually. But I’m tired of it. I want to, for once, let it go and just … be. In the moment. Right now. And I don’t know how.