Fighting the fear

I hate being pregnant.

It’s not that I don’t believe that a positive outcome makes it all worth it or that I don’t recognize the debt that I owe to the process (thanks Mom!).

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the fact that being here, 29 weeks along, is a gift in itself, a gift that doesn’t always come easily.

It’s just that this a terribly scary place for me.   The recent tragedies that have befallen other bloggers have served as potent reminders, not that I really NEEDED reminding, of just how fragile this state can be.

And yet with each passing day I also catch glimpses into the way that it is “supposed” to be – the casual conversations with the postman about giving g a sibling, the talk on the playground with other parents of two young children about “how one does it”, discussions of birth plans and post-birth arrangements.  The more entrenched in this role I become, the more terrified I feel.  To me, normal is bed-rest starting at 24 weeks, high risk specialists, an unsure outcome.  I find far greater security when using the term “if” than I do when using “when”.  And yet I have little justification for such an approach this time around, which should be cause for celebration.  If only I could convince myself that it might even be ok to embrace this good fortune.

Pregnancy equilibrium?

According to my friendly neighborhood pregnancy tracker, I am now 26 weeks pregnant.  And I suspect that I may have reached my equilibrium point.  People talk often about that gestational sweet spot where you are no longer experiencing the nausea and fatigue of the first trimester and have yet to arrive at the bloating and soreness of the third.  Fortunately, I do feel physically better than I have in many months.

But that’s not the pregnancy equilibrium that is currently on my mind.  I am referring to a mental state that exists at a precise point between the overwhelming terror of loss and the panic of recognition that this may actually be headed towards a good and proper outcome.

I feel like I just arrived at this point and yet I am acutely aware that this is no steady-state.  I can already feel the voice of apprehension intensifying.

You are going to have a baby, it is saying.

CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am genuinely afraid to confront this reality head-on. I have only ever known newborn-ness in strict association with trauma and I can only remember it as one of the most punishing times of my life.  Of course, there is something especially powerful about the grueling cocktail that is infant colic mixed with hormonal mayhem, extreme fatigue and a squirt of first-timer insecurities. I am quite sure that if this particular concoction could be recreated at will no state secret would ever be safe again.

I am reminded over and over, it is bound to be different this time.  And I will cling to that hope until the end.  But, in the meantime, I will celebrate this very fleeting thing that I’ve been granted, this sure-to-be short-lived equilibrium that is granting me a bit of serenity on an otherwise long and difficult journey.