Last time I was pregnant, I had a sense of foreboding in me, something that told me that it wasn’t going to end well. As I went under the general anaesthetic for my emergency c-section, the last thing I remember was feeling an overwhelming sadness, convinced that I’d never wake up again and never get to meet the baby that I’d grown and felt kicking inside me. As it stands, I did wake up, but the feeling of foreboding had turned into one of extreme worry about my baby, who was unable to regulate her own breathing and she’d had the suck reflex traumatised right out of her.
It took 5 years to come to terms with those feelings and contemplate the thought of having another child, and ultimately, the want to add to our little family and give Sausage a sibling was stronger than my fears about ‘The Worst’ happening all over again. Of course, with new pregnancy comes new anxieties – will I make it to that ‘safe’ 12 week point? Will the scans be normal? Will I develop any pregnancy related illnesses along the way?
All in all, I’ve managed to get through the last 17 weeks without allowing too many of these fears to creep in. I’m acutely aware of how damaging stress can be, and despite bereavement, drama and everyday worries, I’ve done my best to maintain an aura of calm, a shell around the baby to protect it from stress at all cost.
But, as I sit here with the rest of the household fast asleep, I must admit, I’m scared.
I’m scared of what might go wrong over the next 20 weeks, I’m scared that the dynamic of our family life will change, that Sausage might feel left out and that it might damage our relationship. I’m scared that I’ll have forgotten how to do all of the practical things, or that at almost 30 I won’t have nearly the stamina for nighttime feeds and sleepless nights that I did at 24. I’m scared that I’ll have to start injecting insulin every day if my diabetes gets out of control, I’m scared of having a spinal to numb me for my elective c-section and I’m equally scared of being put under by general anaesthetic, having that same feeling that I might never wake up again.
And, do you know what? This is just the tiny tip of a very big iceberg.
But then, I think about how amazing Sausage is, and what an awesome person she’s grown up to be. I think about what an excellent big sister she’s going to be and how she’s already started putting toys and books aside that she wants her little brother or sister to have. I think about the nighttime feeds and not about how tiring they are, but how nice those times are, having sleepy snuggles whilst watching rubbish late night TV. I think about what a good Dad Husband is to Sausage and how great it is that another child will benefit from having him as a father. Most of all, I think about how happy Sausage has made, and continues to make, us and I realise that is this next child is even a fraction as wonderful as its big sister, I don’t have anything to be scared of.