The final countdown

I sit here less than a week out from meeting you.

I feel awful, but not because of the situation. Just due to the fact I’ve had a tummy bug all week. But it’s made me sit still long enough to actually rest and think.

In fact, I feel very at peace with the whole situation at the moment… almost excited actually. We never thought we’d reach this point where we were making plans to deliver a live baby and potentially meet you, rather than just deliver you stillborn.

That date next week does bring with it anxiety though – even in my unworrying ways, I’ve caught myself overthinking minor discomforts as possible pre-eclampsia, feeling a little paralysed and helpless as you decided to stop moving for a whole three days, and hoping my vomiting wouldn’t send you into labour just days out from schedule.

There’s this weird balance in our minds at the moment, between putting plans in place for if you live for a while and the care you may need, and the fact that all that may just be a waste of time. That kind of pre-planning does get your hopes up inadvertently, we’ve realised. It’s been the focus of a lot of our appointments and meetings with the medical team lately, and it’s easy to get caught up in the momentum and easily forget the reality of a 1-2% chance of being born alive.

As I drove over the Harbour Bridge yesterday to see the midwife for the last time, I thought, this is going to be a very weird feeling doing the drive to the hospital next week. This is it. Life changes big time from here on in. You seem safer on the inside – do we really have to change things up?

But the final countdown is here now, and despite prior experience, it is more daunting than any other baby I’ve had before because we just don’t know what you’ll bring. Joy no doubt, like any other baby. But what else? Heartbreak, at some point. Challenge and perhaps major life change, if you live on, depending on your ongoing needs. Physical pain. Awkwardness – the strange interaction (or lack of interaction) with people wondering what’s happened to baby. An understanding of what others have walked. Wonder. Brokenness. Anger? Resentment? Easier to keep things just the way they are, really!

Like having your first baby, it’s the unknown – despite what everybody warns you about or preps you for there is no way to truly know what the experience will be until you've walked it.