It’s 3:30am. My eyes flicker open, for the 3rd time this week. I sneak a peek at the clock. Dammit, 3:30 again. What is it with this time? I lay quietly, hands on my belly, immediately waiting for the gentle nudges of a sleeping baby also turning inside me. The bit of reassurance I’ll need before I can go back to sleep, if that’s even a possibility. There it is – it’s a soft nudge, but it’s there. Now, my mind can move onto the day, and why today has to be an insomnia day, something I have never, ever experienced outside of pregnancy. But I know why. It’s induction day.
The morning I learned my daughter wasn’t alive, I also woke in the wee hours of the morning. Without the anxiety and PTSD I now carry, I poked my belly, asked out loud if everything was ok, and went back to sleep. I’ve looked back on that moment so many times as my mother’s intuition waking me. Was that the moment she passed? Why did I ask, for the first time that pregnancy, if she was alright? And why, oh why, did I go back to sleep?
The morning we induced my first rainbow, I woke in the night then too. He was a much quieter baby, and I laid awake for an hour waiting for him to move. My husband was also very much on edge and neither of us was sleeping well. In the dark he asked, “Is he moving?” and placed his hands on my belly while we both breathlessly waited. We got up in the morning, exhausted and anxious, and at 37 weeks exactly, decided it was time to induce and hold our baby in our arms, a week ahead of when we had planned.
This morning, as I lay awake in the dark, my mind obviously thought back to both of those days. I’ve spent the last few weeks questioning when the right time to welcome this baby into the world would be. Could I wait until he decided it was time? Did I have the strength to be patient and trust in my body to protect him?
And then, it’s 4:30, and my toddler is now whimpering for mommy. I crawl in next to him and hold him close, savoring this moment where I’m awake and my big boy is breathing on my chest. But then, I realize it’s been a while since I felt baby give those gentle nudges and my anxiety comes back and I’m ready for more. I roll away from my toddler and let him snuggle into my back and I poke and prod his brother and try and control my breathing while I wait. Finally, big nudges and stretches, paired with the soft breathing of a toddler that has gone back to sleep. Before I know it, I’m dreaming again and getting a few more moments of rest before we’re all up and preparing for a big day.
I know now I’ve made the right decision. I need to get this baby into my arms today, ready or not, so that my sleepless nights can be spent feeling a tiny chest rise and fall instead of feeling my own chest constrict as it imagines the worst.
Hopefully the next share from me will be news that my sweet Layla watched over us and protected her brother as he makes his way into the world. I’ll take all the good thoughts you can spare today.