I’m up, itching. My alarm will go off in 2.5 hours, but I’ve already eaten my cereal for breakfast. Maybe I’ll sleep again before 4. Maybe if I keep focusing on the tediousness and discomfort of the itching, I won’t have to admit that I’m incredibly anxious. Lots of people have asked me if I’m “ready” for this baby to arrive. I don’t know how to answer that because he’s coming, no matter what. I’m not yet entirely confident the bassinet or new onesies will be used by a living child.
I cannot, will not shake the anxiety that plagues most of us who’ve lost a baby at any stage–that despite the odds being very, very much in my favor, something could still go terribly wrong. Until the baby emerges and cries, I will be afraid of complications. Even if he makes it through labor, I will be watching for signs of early or late onset group b strep. Samuel had to be hospitalized for jaundice–I’ll be watching fearfully for that. Samuel somehow got conjunctivitis at about 10 days old–I’ll be watching for that too. I’ve been trying to prepare Samuel for big brotherhood, for sharing his parents, his stuff, his space, and his self with his little brother. I cringe a little inside each time we mention it though. What will I say to him if this baby doesn’t arrive safely? What will happen to all of his “when I’m a big brother” dreams?
I wish I could say a safe a labor will bring the end to my worries, but really, once it’s done they’ll be just beginning. Deep breaths. Chances are, everything will be fine.