Tonight, as many nights before, I cannot sleep. I have had pretty bad insomnia since I got back from Vancouver. I sleep well during the day, but stay awake and think at night. I am usually happy and my thoughts involve baby-related plans and anticipation. For the last hour though, as I am hovering in twilight sleep (not quite asleep, not quite awake), I am reliving giving birth to Adrian. The contractions, the obstetrician thinking out loud that he did not think we were yet ready to let go of him, my husband telling him that we are, that it was obvious to both of us that I was in labour and there was not stopping the end. The warm gush of amniotic fluid, such a lot of it... The desperation that I felt when it suddenly dawned on me that I had lost him forever, that he was a little boy, when I held him and I saw that he was real and it all became so clear what an immense loss it was. Half out of my mind after so many anesthetics, lying on the OR stretcher for the second time that day waiting for the manual removal of the placenta, telling a physician friend who came to see me words that I can still hear myself saying, I lost my baby. I might have said I lost myself that day.
Emma is moving lots in my belly as I am typing this, and she has been active all night. She likes to move at night, which is such a reassuring blessing. Because even though I am almost 38 weeks, I am still half looking at my body as unreliable, and expecting that something somewhere is so defective that it might kill her. I often worry so much that I just want her out before I do something to harm her, like I did with Adrian. I know that statistics are on my side, but when have I ever obeyed statistics?
And yet... Emma deserves to have a normal pregnancy, a normal birth, a normal mother. She does not deserve to come into this world to a mother who is afraid, and paranoid, and expecting things to go wrong at any time. What kind of childhood would that be? what would she learn about the world? that it is unsafe, that she might die at any time, or at least that her mother fears so, which is just as bad for a child? We do the best we can, as parents, and I certainly don't indulge in my memories or fears too much, definitely not out loud. But I will always have to be aware of this fear, of these memories, of the fact that I experience life and happiness as such fragile and temporary entities. And I will have to do my best to focus on showing Emma that life can be happy and robust, which means that I will have to start paying attention to moments when life actually IS happy and robust. Like NOW.
Snapping back to reality. Almost 38 weeks pregnant. One week until I will touch her skin. A whole pregnancy going flawlessly. The happiest I have ever been.