I was going to start this blog with an apology but I’m not sure who it’s really directed to! Realistically, it is nothing more than a minor irritation at my inability to update here more often. Maybe I should apologise for the random confusedness of it all.
So, I am now at 24 weeks and 3 days gestation. There was a genuine relief that came with passing the 20 week scan with flying colours and I started to believe that there would be a baby at the end of this…sort of. I say sort of, as I don’t think it really hit until yesterday.
I’m going to have a baby.
There is going to be a baby in our house.
Paul is going to be a dad and I am going to be a mum.
It may seem pathetic to some but I’ve only ever really had three things that I’ve wanted in life:
- To be a teacher. (Eight years later, despite the odd wobble, I am still doing it.)
- To get married to an incredible man. (A week on Monday, it will be two years together!)
- To have a baby.
That’s it. All I have ever wanted. Holidays, cars, large bank accounts, massive amounts of exotic travel have never held anything over me. Just those three things and they are very close to coming to fruition. Whilst this makes me happier than beyond my wildest dreams and the level of gratitude for reaching this current point in my pregnancy is utterly earth shattering, I also feel helplessly frightened. I’ve come so far past the recurrent miscarriages that I feel very lost and confused as to what to do next. I’m used to losing my babies within the first 12 weeks and the thought of losing the one, who is currently kicking me, is utterly paralysing. To lose the baby now would be a stillbirth, not a D&C or cramps over a toilet bowl. I’ve felt this baby kick me, seen its heart beating and seen its skeletal structure. With all of the others, I never got to see those things and so obviously, apart from more time, I have a lot more invested in this one. Said it before but it is still true; I am waiting for someone to tell me that it’s all over.
Due to this belief, I didn’t really do anything. In fact, apart from writing lists and buying a triceratops rattle, I haven’t really done anything. Yes, I have booked and joined the NCT! That’s it though. Then I hear that others have started buying the important things or reading books. The reading books made me search for the best in baby books and I ended up with Mumsnet’s book (that I read cover to cover) and an Aussie one- Baby Love (or something like that), which told me not to read it cover to cover. The Mumsnet one had me crying with laughter over some of the quips left by Mumsnetters- one such classic was about how you should not try to dry your nipples with a hairdryer. Yes, if you have a fungal infection due to breastfeeding, do not take a hairdryer to your nipples as it may hurt. There were bits that I skipped, like co-sleeping- it is a battlefield in our bed every night for both covers and space, let alone the thought that we would try to share it a third way, safely! There are things that I will definitely give a go, like breastfeeding as I’ve been brought up to believe that if you can, it really is best. There are things like slinging that I’d like to have a go at but given the fact that I have MAHOOSIVE boobs and a bad lower back, I need to do some more research into. It also made me realise that I really know very little and it’s all very well people saying that you learn as you go along BUT MY BRAIN DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT! I do research and weigh up pros and cons, not hope that it’s ok as you go.
So I’ve read a single book. That’s it. It’s also opened up more questions but I’m frightened of the fact that books like that are a bit DO THIS OR YOUR BABY WILL DIE/ BE AN ADDICT/ BE A BAG OF NEUROSES so I’m scared of reading any more.
As for the important stuff, my mum used to look after people’s animals in their homes whilst they were away on holiday during a break from nursing that she took whilst my brother was growing up. There was a house that we went to a few times who had an empty plastic coated nursery. A heap of baby things in the centre of the room covered in plastic sheeting. The woman, whose cats we looked after, had lost her baby quite far along. That scene has stayed cemented in my mind for a very long time. The dusty plastic covered stuff waiting for the baby that didn’t come home from the hospital. I’m not superstitious about having baby stuff in the house- I don’t feel that having it will jinx things as I don’t believe in jinxes but it’s frightening as it makes it real. The baby clothes that I used to put on blinkers to be able to walk past, I now have to think about buying. I’m thinking about getting some of the furniture too- like the Moses Basket/ crib (another thing that scares me as everyone likes something different and something different suits different babies.) That makes sense to me- if Blob arrives early, it’ll need somewhere to sleep.
I currently have:
- Red triceratops rattle
- knitted booties
- knitted cardi
- knitted hat
- a pack of vests
- a sleeping bag
- a bunny holding a comforter toy
- a nightshirt (elasticated at the bottom for easy nappy access)
- A baby hat
- some free stuff from Bounty
Everything apart from the free stuff and the rattle has been either made or bought by my mum. I haven’t even finished the henceforth known Bloody Rainbow Blanket. I have two more stripes to do but cannot bring myself to finish it. Car seats? Decorating the huge empty room? Travel systems? Nope.
I’ve left Twitter for a bit of a brain break too. Whilst I am so wobbly, I don’t think it’s a good idea to be somewhere that although incredibly supportive, can be incredibly cruel. I did get a load of notifications telling me to come back soon and not to worry, that I’d be a great mum.
That’s it. That’s what I’m so scared of. That I’m going to fail and be useless. When I said how anxious I was to Paul last night, he said that we weren’t going to be perfect and that’s ok. In my head, that’s not good enough. I’m not only waiting for the baby to be taken away from me but I’m waiting for someone to tell me that once Blob arrives, that I am an unfit mother.
Paul has just started to imagine us doing things with Blob. At the weekend, it was my niece’s birthday and on the way home we discussed how lovely it’ll be to do the cousin stuff with her (most awesome little girl ever). Also, the thought of going to the places we loved as children like the Natural History Museum. He sent me some photos of Downing street and Buckingham Palace today (from his lunch break), I said that it’ll be wonderful to be able to do that with Blob and then tried desperately not to sob. I’ve always thought whilst taking kids on school trips that I’d love to do it with my own child and now that it’s close to becoming a reality, it’s also very alarming at its closeness.
All in all, I’m glad that the midwife and the mental health team are next week. We’re also hoping to do a scan this or next weekend to see how Blob is doing. Might just make the bad voices inside my head shut up and settle down.