I wish I could shake this dreadful sense of foreboding and just enjoy these moments. I don’t remember being this ‘doom and gloom’ about either of my other pregnancies. Maybe it is because this time the medical professionals have continually reminded me of the complications that being over 40 can bring? No wonder I feel flipping ancient! Maybe because this time there are complications that could have disastrous implications (even though 1 in 4 women have Group B Strep and manage just fine). Maybe because I feel like it would be karma for not wanting this in the beginning? Maybe because I’ve been on such a rollercoaster that I need this to be worth it. Maybe because of how much I want this now and I’m scared it will be taken away from me, and then what would I do?
My friends threw a baby shower for me yesterday. It was lovely, they all went to so much trouble and I was truly spoilt with things for me and baby. But even as I opened the gifts of little pink shoes and little pink clothes, I couldn’t help but notice a feeling of detachment. Like they were lovely things but they weren’t for a real live baby. It’s weird, I can’t explain it. If they weren’t for a baby then what would they be for!
When I got home (and after a long rest on the sofa) I started to look through all the lovely things I had been given by my generous friends. So many things. All beautiful too, there wasn’t anything I had to politely say thank you for whilst wondering how I could get away with baby never being seen in it! All lovely. And all a weird little omen. The voice in my head was all the time saying, “What on earth are you going to do with that lot when there’s no baby?” There. I’ve said it.
I feel deeply uncomfortable when people talk about the future – about when the baby is here. Because I can’t see her in my future. I can see the midwives’ faces covered in sadness, and hear the tone in the doctor’s voice as he tells me the news. I can see me, distraught and unable to function, curled up under a duvet never wanting to come out. I can hear my screams. I can’t see a happy ending.
Why the hell not? Is it normal? Is it just one of those things that pregnant women feel towards the end but never say out loud? Or am I seriously screwed up? Because I’m not talking a fleeting fear, I mean that I cannot shake the conviction that there will not be another baby in our home.
If I wasn’t so practical and others hadn’t pushed me, I think I’d have waited until after she arrived to buy anything. But now I’ve got a houseful of things and a little pink bedroom, and I can’t stop myself from wondering what we will do about it all when…
It’s debilitating. I want to feel more than dread when I look at those things. I want to pick up the little dress and hold it close over my belly and smile as I imagine my little princess. I want to see a future with this new beginning. But I dare not dream.