Time is ticking my little girl! Before I know it – you’ll be here; and in my arms. It’s such a weird feeling; definitely stranger than when I was about to birth your big sister. When I was at this stage with her; I didn’t have a birth plan, I didn’t have worries, I didn’t have stresses. She was growing, wriggling, and I was just hanging out day by day to meet her; just as I am you. With Emelia-Michelle’s pregnancy; I spent so long being scared I was going to loose her that I didn’t have a lot of enjoyment in her pregnancy. It was filled with a lot of fear, and nervousness. But then at the same time – I felt very much in control; and at peace with letting my body just do what it would and what it needed to do. I didn’t have a birth plan, I had hopes. I wanted no epidural etc, I didn’t want caeserian, I just wanted to let my body birth in the calm environment of the birth centre. But I did know that sometimes things go out the window, I just didn’t fully know what to expect, and I didn’t know what child birth was really truly like. I was told every pregnancy is different, and that’s so true. I’m seeing that now. With you – I do have a lot of worry, I have a lot more planned, I have a bucket of ‘different’ nerves. But for some strange reason – I feel so much more at peace and connected. The worries are different; the plans are for different reasons and the nerves are different. Your bed is made, your bags are packed, your clothes are washed, the carseat is ready. Your birth needs to be planned a little more; there are things that need to be done, and things that need to be checked and looked at. It’s very much a different process that’s for sure.
There are a lot of uncertainties this time – That I didn’t have last time. A lot more to mentally process; and prepare my body and mind for before you come into this world. Thoughts I’ve put to the side in the daily cope with mechanism; But the reality is – you will be here soon. You will be born with a cleft, you won’t get to meet your Grandad, you will be born in the midst of some global pandemic.
I’m scared of what your wee cleft will mean for the start of your life. I don’t know what it will mean. I don’t care how it looks, but I do care how it shapes your life. I’ve had so many “prepare for this” “plan for that” – all worst case scenario moments. That you might not be able to breathe when you’re born, that you might need to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit at our hospital, that you may not be able to feed – and may be reliant on a tube in your nose. The plan for so many people in your delivery, right there watching what is supposed to be one of the best times of my life. All of that scares me. I just want to be able to bring you into this world calmly, peacefully, and safely. I know having a cleft lip and palate will give you complications in life, and you will need surgery, and you will need assistance with feeding, speech and all sorts of other areas of life. You will have surgeries; several most likely. But we just don’t know what – until you are born. We can’t plan. I really want to breastfeed you, and birth you in a birth centre rather than hospital. But again – even those possibilities could be stripped in an instant.
Then I’ve had so many episodes of bleeding, fluid leaking etc. We’ve had so many scans recently checking that you are ok; that our placenta is still providing you what you need – keeping you alive, that your fluid levels – while dropping; are still ok and your cushioned enough. Your movements are reassuring; I know while you’re wriggling the way you do – you are ok. But sometimes you’re shy, and quiet and then Mama does get worried. So does our midwife! So we play it safe. We don’t know why or what it’s all coming out; but I suspect that my body just wants you out now. But you’re not quite ready; although you would cope – you are still a little too small, and your lungs need a little more time. Even 2 more weeks would make all the difference! Your sister was born at 39 weeks; your midwife and I would be happy to deliver you anytime from 37. But 35 – is still just slightly nervy. You’re currently living pretty comfortably in there – which is good! It’s just Mama who’s uncomfortable!
We’re also amidst part of a worldwide global pandemic while a virus “covid 19” wipes through the world.. We’ve been on this track for a couple of years now, and it’s clear that it’s obliterating anyone in it’s path that it wants too. We’ve been pretty sheltered here in NZ lately – but now it’s here; and everyone is scrambling to protect themselves and the healthcare system. Our country is so torn currently, filled with a mix of people with all differing views. People protesting vaccinations, people promoting vaccinations. Half the country is in isolated lockdown – and half; are in medium ranges of freedom. Currently we’re in a “level 3” – your sister hasn’t gone to daycare properly since August, and I haven’t been to work in just as long. Your Grandad passed away; and we had 2 weeks with the family during a small blip of freedom between outbreaks. If Mama has to birth you during level 3, we won’t be allowed any visitors, we aren’t allowed to take you to meet any family members, we will be isolated at the hospital until you’re well enough to leave and then continue to be isolated at home until our alert level restriction drops. I’m hopeful that we can transfer to a birth unit rather than general hospital – it will be much more comfortable for us both; and much more relaxed and free. Your Aunty Sarah will be able to stay with us at the birth centre if she wants too, but not if we have to stay in the hospital. Again; it’s all so unknown and dependant on the day – and time.
It all feels a bit overwhelming; everything I ‘think’ it’s together and actually sorted and under control; something creeps into my brain. Thank goodness you won’t remember the crazy world you were born in! And hopefully it’s more settled when you are old enough.