Showers and Downpours 

33 weeks + 5 days pregnant 

30 days until Sprocket 

The countdown is on and It feels so close. One month to go. I swing from positivity and optimism to sheer terror. My boy is just weeks away, but the stakes feel higher with every passing day. With each day that passes my connection with him strengthens, my expectation increases, a ray of positivity shines. 

With the due date approaching I allow my eyes to flicker to the future. It feels surreal, the idea of him actually being here. His drawers are filled with freshly washed clothes, his nursery is ready, his pram sits in the living room. I have partaken in these preparation rituals, yet this pregnancy has been dominated by the anticipation of another tragedy rather than of a baby coming home. I protect myself by not allowing myself to fully believe it will happen, by staying rooted in the here and now.

As I’ve begun to allow my mind to delve into the idea of Sprocket being here, new anxieties are beginning to surface. So many people say to me “You won’t relax until he’s in your arms.” But will his birth be the end of my worries? Or just the start of a new chapter of them? 

I’ve already enrolled in a baby first aid course, done thorough research about safe sleeping and bought a box load of baby pharmaceuticals. I’m concerned that my obsessions of pregnancy will simply transfer into different obsessions when he’s here. It’s no way to live a life, and it’s not the way I want to parent my child. 

But is it inevitable that my past experience will ingrain upon my whole future? This is the part of my grief that I resent the most. Losing a baby was devestating but losing my sense of faith and rational has ravaged my whole world. Will it be easier when he’s here? When I can see him and I can seek second opinions? God, I hope so. 

Yesterday the cat had a bad reaction to her worming treatment and I was overtaken by terror that she would die. Is this what life with Sprocket will be like? Every sniffle, every cry sending me into a blind panic? How do you combat the fear when it feels like the fear is necessary to protect the baby? 

Life right now is totally dominated by Sprocket. It’s the school summer holidays and it leaves me free to totally absorb myself in monitoring him. I’m undecided as to whether this is a good or a bad thing. The alleviation of the responsibility of work feels like a relief but the lack of distraction has definitely given my anxieties free rein. 

My monitoring of Sprocket is obsessive, I recognise that. I record every single kick throughout the day and when the lights go out at bedtime I continue raising fingers to count him until he’s moved enough that I’ll let myself fall asleep.  I’m not keen on leaving the house or indeed of being too busy because I don’t have proper chance to monitor him. At the back of my mind is the constant fear that I will miss something, because I feel that I missed that something with Nieve. 

I’m in hospital weekly for scans and am reassured that he’s growing well and is now in the 90th centile. Inbetween these scans I often take myself in for CTG monitoring which he always passes with flying colours. He’s certainly doing his bit to ease my nerves but I can’t settle them completely. 

Sometimes all the extra scans and monitoring just throw up concerns that weren’t even in my radar before. It introduces a whole new set of questions to ponder. Is it normal for his heart rate to dip like that? Is his heart rate too high? To low? Too steady? Is the blood flow through the umbilical cord sufficient?  Does he have enough amniotic fluid? 

My friend’s are throwing me a baby shower in a fortnight. It feels nice to be able to indulge in some of the more normal pregnancy rituals, although the very act of having a baby shower is laiden with the expectation that there will be a baby  at the end of this pregnancy. It feels brazen, but a part of me wants and needs the opportunity to celebrate my pregnancy.

And so I continue the countdown, continue the rigorous monitoring and keep holding on to hope that Sprocket is indeed coming home. 

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