Monday, March 5, 2012

36 weeks...scattered thoughts about loneliness, fear, and keeping busy

scenes from the past four months...

this baby is coming sooner rather than later. four weeks if he's on schedule like leon. less if any of these cramps and lower back pains indicate anything. yesterday i was at a store deciding whether or not to buy infant sized babylegs. i visualized the scrawny legs, mottled skin, and tiny toes and decided against the legwarmers. they would be too big for the first few weeks if this boy is as skinny as leon was. 6 lbs and 11 oz at birth, 6 lbs 5oz when we left the hospital. i've been looking at birth announcements at babycenter's march 2012 birth club and there are 35-36 weekers who are as big as leon was at 39w5d. in spite of my weight gain (nearly twice as much as the first time), i don't think this baby is going to be much bigger than leon.

so i keep bouncing on the balance ball while at the office. i take walks to the bathroom or kitchen every 30 minutes because short walks are the only thing that alleviates the pain. i wonder about leon at preschool, lonely and alone. he was so sad at his school birthday party, mainly because seeing us during the middle of the day made him want to go home. i miss my group of women and men in cambridge. we held each other up, listened to grievances when our partners were tired of listening, and kept an eye out for each other's littles. if only we could live communally. pre-school has been a major transition for everyone, even the ones who didn't move far away. i thought leon would make new friends and weekend playdates would be scheduled. but the loneliness of the past summer seems to have taken root these past 8 months and we just can't seem to shake it.

and then i worry about a home birth. i worry about last minute emergencies and have to remind myself that the midwives are much better integrated into health care here in toronto. they will not hesitate to call an ambulance or transfer if necessary. they will not participate in a homebirth before 37 weeks. these things reassure me, but at the same time, i do not feel ideologically bound to a homebirth. i do not imagine a 'perfect' birth experience. health and safety are paramount, but i do feel that in a normal (second) pregnancy the comfort and security experienced by the mother has a major impact on labor and delivery.

thinking back on leon's birth, i can't decide if the hospital setting made me feel secure enough to endure two long hard hours of pushing or whether going to the hospital during transition slowed down the pushing and made it worse than it would have been at home. there are so many variables, and of course this labor and delivery will be different. and that's where fear enters.

i focus on visualizing the baby in all his squirmy newborn sweetness but am distracted by my shadowy self. fear of death, of unnecessary complications at home or at the hospital. not having my support system in place has compounded the loneliness. keeping busy at work is the only thing standing between me and that shadow. so i work on my lectures, write a final exam, and grade assignments. i think about my article-in-progress and am grateful for the heavy work load.