New fears, new love

It has been an interesting week! Emotionally, psychologically, and physically…

New fears

I have felt relatively confident throughout this pregnancy, especially considering my history, but in the last week, maybe two, I’ve been having some new fears. I think the impetus behind the fears is being able to feel the baby move more often, feeling, distinctly, that there is a human being growing inside me, with little arms and legs and all his parts and pieces—in fragile, oh-so fragile, miniature.

Sleeping is hard. Not just because I am physically uncomfortable, but also because I have low-level worry that certain positions might cause him distress. Which makes no sense, as the human body is designed to accommodate a growing fetus during mama-sleep.

I get these new aches and dull pains that I know are normal, but I have an irrational, if low-level, concern about placental abruption (based on nothing whatsoever). Placental abruption has become the bogeyman au jour, I’m sure to fade soon.

I had an orgasm last night that caused an achy feeling in my groin a little too long for my comfort, and I found myself worrying and thinking that orgasms are off the table.

I swam laps for 40 minutes the other day (instead of my usual 30) and my body was very tired afterward. That evening I got a dull, intermittent pain in my lower abdomen, an extremely slow pulsing, that I worried was caused by that ten minutes extra of exercise. (It went away—the pain, and the fear.)

I had a nightmare about reaching between my legs and my hand coming up covered in blood. I woke up from that one like a scared little girl. I had one of the worst nightmares I’ve ever had, period, that I shall not describe—not pregnancy related, except in a Freudian latent-content way. Couldn’t sleep for hours afterward.

So these little experiences are cropping up here and there. They don’t last long, and they don’t characterize all my time. But I think underlying it all is a voice that says this: If I lose this baby now, that will be the blackest, bleakest, saddest, most unimaginable horror. No. I love him. No.

I’m allowing myself the fears. Because I think new fear is the natural accompanist to new love.  It’s human nature to become more afraid of losing something the more we love it.

By allowing myself the fear, I can more easily let it go. And I think I will do, because I think this is a phase—one that comes with becoming so much more physically pregnant that it’s going to take my mind a wee bit more time to catch up with what is happening, and balance out the irrational with the rational, to say: It’s okay, yeah, you’re more pregnant and the baby is more baby, but you’re accommodating and nurturing his burgeoning life just fine.

[I’d appreciate no “just relax and enjoy it” comments, please. (: We need a place to explore our fears, accept them, move through them.]

New love

As for the new love, it is potent. It is gorgeous and growing, like a field of flowers blooming in fast-motion.

I’ve been talking to him a lot more lately. His teeny, tiny ears are now formed. He most likely recognizes my voice, and that of his papa. I talk to him about the warm water of the bath and the cool water of the swimming pool or the Sound. I talk to him about the food I am sending down the hatch, and I ask him, later, if he likes the way it tastes (he can now taste the food in his amniotic fluid). I know he can’t form memories as we know them until 30 weeks gestational age, but his brain is now sending impulses to his limbs—so I get this sense of what he likes and doesn’t like by the movements inside me. He definitely likes music and swimming.

I play yoga music for him on my indulgent gift to us, Sound Be.gin.nings. The other day, I put on my “Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Patsy Cline, Gillian Welsch” mix and belted out the songs in my kitchen as I made Asian peanut-butter noodles and chilled cucumber-dill soup. The good food and the good music had us swaying and stomping. I wondered what it sounded like to hear me singing so loudly?

Then I wrote my first letter to him. It was about the singing I just did, and imagining him, one day, singing along with me. With me and DH. The letter is in a new blog I created, a private blog, that is going to be entirely composed of letters I write to him. I’m going to show it to him much, much later. If he turns out as thoughtful as his papa, I think he will appreciate such things.

I’m less surprised when I feel a tickle-tumble, although sometimes it’ll catch me off guard and I’ll cry out and giggle. The placenta might still be muffling him because the movements still feel “padded,” but I definitely feel him every day, several times a day, and certain nights he’ll give me a little show right before sleep-time. But nothing I would describe as “kicks,” yet. It’s hard to imagine kicks.

When I do feel him, I get this extremely dopey feeling that I know, from what I know of the brain, is coming from good ol’ dopamine. This baby’s little tickles make my face relax, my body relax, make me smile like I’ve just downed an alcoholic beverage in one gulp. My voice gets higher and softer and I talk to him, I laugh. In those fleeting moments after I feel the movement, the connection with him, nothing else really matters, and all of my concerns seem small.

Yeah, I love my little mister. I love him a lot. This is going to be crazy, having this love in my life always.

New body

Hands swelling, feet swelling, and abdominal muscles seem non-existent. Trying to get up out of the car or off the couch now feels a little bit challenging! Sleeping, no matter how much I exercise, is a challenge—my joints want zero pressure (which is why I love the water). Belly is very heavy and taut, and clothing items that used to be dresses are now shirts. My thighs, for the first time, are becoming wobbly and dimply (eek), and at the same time they look like someone blew a little bit of air into them, making them slightly balloon-ey.

But all this said, I still love being pregnant, love the way the bump looks in a tight-fitting cotton striped thing. And having always been small-breasted, I am digging these blue-veined Mayan earth goddess wonders. One of my books asked me to draw a picture of what it felt like to be pregnant, and I drew myself floating blissfully in water under a waterfall on my back, with twelve giant pink-tipped breasts.

New books

I will write more about these later, but for now, titles:

Birthing from Within—filled with wonderful art and writing exercises.

Hypnobirthing—filled with great relaxation, breathing, and visualization exercises.

Time to go work on the nursery (finally). At least I bought some containers to pack away the office stuff. And I started a registry finally! Progress. I’m flabbergasted by the amount of time it takes to research things like green diapers and eco-friendly bottles and crib and high chair safety. It’s a world I knew nothing about…even while the tasks are seeming a little endless right now, I’m so thankful to be inundated.

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8 Comments

  1. I love Patsy Cline! *I go out walkin’, after midnight…* I’ve thought about writing letters too–privately, of course. You sound great! XOXO

    Reply
    • She’s a badass! Too bad her life was so short-lived. Letters are a great idea! I’m glad to hear you’ve found the savior of Zofran over there. (:

      Reply
  2. I think you captured this perfectly, these new fears – the love is growing and we are worried more than ever it will go away. I related to so much of what you wrote only being a couple of weeks behind and this post was just beautiful. Hugs

    Reply
  3. I was reading something recently where the author talked about parenthood giving rise to all sorts of new fears about bad things happening to her child. She basically realized that it was coming from how much love she felt for her child. She said that it was going to be her new normal and that these fears would always be there but that she had to manage them under the surface so that she could enjoy being a parent. I can totally see how that would happen.

    Reply
    • New normal, yeah, I can definitely feel that beginning to happen, something you just get used to being part of your everyday emotional/psychological life. Biology is powerful. It’s like we are just simply wired for this automatic love/fear….then again, I shouldn’t say that, because I know it takes some women longer to bond with their babies. But generally we all get there eventually.

      Reply
  4. You write so beautifully. I can only imagine the fears you are feeling, and I am sure the dreams are just your body’s way of letting the fears out. Love how you describe him moving. Hugs

    Reply
    • Thank you! I don’t know what I’d do without words, without typing them out. Go insane? Probably. It never stops amazing me how writing helps me process and move on—it’s almost instantaneous. I guess with 70-some diaries under my belt since age 9 (can you believe that??) I’ve pretty much trained myself to process stuff through writing. Always feel so thankful for it.

      Reply

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