Today I am 30 weeks pregnant. Welcoming another child into our family is just around the corner and I am not sure what to write. My thoughts are all over the place and it could take hours to sift through, label and express the slew of feelings I have right now.
The past 10 months I have thought about how to express my recent experiences into words but I always stopped short knowing that it would take more time than I have to be clear, precise and accurate. Of course, waiting hasn’t made this task easier as my experiences have turned into memories, and these memories are now slowly turning into foggy dreams.
The other day I finally thought, “I should look up the word ‘clonus.'” It was a term one of my doctors used to describe this vibrating kick I felt while in the Stanford hospital when I told him the resident there had no idea what it was. I repeated this term to other doctors and professionals when telling my history, and most of the time got this reflexive nodding of the head that made me feel like I was just a sad mom who had no idea what she was talking about. At some point I wondered if I just made the word up and that maybe I just imagined the strange kicks and the doctor’s confirmation. But I looked it up (yeah, 10 months later.) And the word meant what I thought it to mean. (And this is why I will never see a resident again if I can help it.)
But if I had to say in a few short sentences what I feel right now, I’d start by saying that I am prayerfully and openly excited and secretly scared. For the first time since I can remember I am scared of what may happen. To this day I have no idea what happened to our Elise so my mind still believes that anything can go wrong.
Luckily, it is impossible to put me into a state of paralysis, but if it would be comfortable and if I could be blissfully ignorant of being in that state, I would do it. Let’s just say I would sleep standing or floating on my belly in a swimming pool. But as it is, my nights are restless with a throbbing tailbone and worries over sleeping positions, and my days are filled with anxiety-laden bends, reluctant lifts of my little man, and clenched teeth when playing with the kids.
I have been asked if Elise was a quiet baby inside the womb (this one certainly is) and I could only say, “I don’t know, I was too busy to notice.” If you asked me about this baby I could tell you that not a minute goes by that I am not aware of how it is moving or not moving. It borders obsessive.
And for the first time, I am scared of the pain. This is very unlike me. Lactic acid workouts and taking tests and meeting deadlines at MIT trained me to not think of pain until it was too late and by then you were in the middle of dealing with it, maybe begging but knowing it would soon be over. That has always worked for me. I prided myself on this.
But I won’t lie. I had a stronger contraction the other night and thought, “no, I don’t want to feel anything stronger than that.” I think I almost started panicking. I must have had a flashback and I will admit, I got scared. At 36.5 weeks almost a year ago, I had my first contraction at 4:00am in the morning. Elise was born at 5:09am. In one extremely short hour I went into labor, through transition and delivered a beautiful baby girl. In that time, we called my brother, packed a bag, woke up 2 very sleepy kids, barely got into a car, suffered getting out of a car and began giving birth in a wheelchair. That’s why I am scared.
And that could be the beginning of my story.
But what I really sat down to post was the backlog of pictures I have of Isabel and Thomas. Well, as a friend of mine has reminded me, I am a Gemini and it is hard for me to stay on task. My mind really does wander. (Hopefully, one day I can fix that.)
I guess in keeping with the tone of this post, I will only show a couple and save the rest for next time. And, perhaps as a warning, while I dread writing these heavier posts I am determined to get my story down in words, mostly for my memory but also for those of you who never heard it and are curious. I’d like to be done before our next peanut arrives, so if heavy is not your thing, please check back sometime in June! In a couple of weeks I may even have an expected due date.