Call the midwife (week 39)

By |2018-02-04T16:45:07+00:00February 4th, 2018|3rd Trimester, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Week 39.

I’ve been relatively calm leading up to the final stage of this pregnancy. I feel pretty good about the way I’ve handled my anxieties and fears. Our birth plan simply involves an ending with me and baby girl alive and healthy. How we get there really doesn’t matter much to us because we realize that no plan is perfect and things rarely go according to them anyway. But as we get closer to hopefully bringing baby girl home (and I have to phrase it that way, I just have to) I think I’m feeling a little more anxious.

I’ve heard from lots of pregnant women that when they take baths their babies go crazy with movement. Our baby either really likes being in the bath and gets really relaxed like me, or she hates it. Either way, a bath is a sure-fire way to get her to be still. And staring at a still belly in a bathtub for 20-30 minutes is a sure-fire way to make me worry. Last night I had a bath and she was still and it seemed like ages before she moved again once I got out. Normally, I can stay calm and just do some tricks to get her to move because the pattern of her stillness in the bath is normal for her, but last night I spiralled a bit.

In PAL, for me, my mind does one of two things:

  1. Of course she is dead. Once that’s confirmed, how will I proceed to get her out? Would I have a c-section this time? Or be induced? Etc., etc., dark thoughts, etc.
  2. There’s no way she can die. I can’t believe a world exists where we could have two babies die. Everything is fine.

Extreme? Yes. Normal in PAL? Definitely.

I felt paralyzed when I considered calling our midwife last night. Our team has been incredibly supportive and understanding so it had nothing to do with feeling judged by them. But I still felt embarrassed and ashamed. By the time I made the call I had felt baby move and there was really no reason for me to be worried. But I was and I couldn’t shake it. And maybe the idea of calling our midwife made my fears seem more real or plausible. How can I feel reassured that there’s nothing wrong? Even if she’s moving, couldn’t something still be horribly wrong?

This is probably obvious, but after speaking with our midwife I felt better. Baby girl was moving around even while I was talking on the phone and I was reassured to hear that at this stage in baby’s development she sleeps for up to 80 minutes at a time. And, now that we’re getting closer to delivery, her movements will start to feel different. I can go in for an NST (non-stress test) any time we’re worried. Our midwife also suggested that, for me, doing kick counts might be helpful (though they typically don’t recommend their patients focus on it).

I’m still feeling a little rattled this morning and am very focused on her movements. I’m on edge and a bit grumpy despite having slept pretty well. I’m going to try not to obsess too much, but it’s hard. It’s also hard to admit that I’m feeling this way. Part of me still feels really silly to be this worried, even though I know it’s normal. I’ve been nervous to share my feelings over the last little while for fear of seeming negative. I know I am so lucky to be pregnant with this baby and to have made it this far and to likely be bringing her home very soon. And we are so excited to meet her. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not hard. I’m trying to be kind to myself but sometimes that’s the most challenging part.

I think today for self-care I’m going to try and finish this blanket I started making out of Odin wool. Wish me luck!

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About the Author:

Karalee Harbridge
Karalee Harbridge lives in Toronto with her husband, Nathan, and their two cats, Kippy and Tuna. On Boxing Day, 2015, they were surprised to find out they were expecting. Once the shock wore off, they were extremely happy and excited to be welcoming a child into their family. Unfortunately, it was discovered at the 20-week anatomy scan that their baby boy, Odin, would not survive to full-term. On April 20th, 2016, they met and said goodbye to their first and only son at 21 weeks and 6 days gestation. After surviving the first eight months of life without their baby boy, Karalee started writing a blog about her grief. You can read about her journey at The Long-Term Project, where she also has an extensive collection of book suggestions, podcasts, and other resources. Karalee has found a lot of comfort in support groups both online and in person and is grateful for the opportunity to be giving back to that community through PALS. Karalee and Nathan are happy (and anxious) to be expecting a baby girl in January 2018.

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