It seems that our Moose may not be the most patient baby in the universe. I’m 33 weeks and 3 days pregnant today, and officially on modified bed rest. We made a couple of trips to labour and delivery last week for various reasons (ironically, none of them had much to do with me believing that I was in labour) and were surprised to learn that I’m already about 2.5cm dilated. This is no big deal – it can happen early, they tell me – but a scan of my cervix showed enough shortening to prompt my OB to order me off my feet. The hope is to buy another couple of weeks, at least. So far, this is working.
I’m less anxious than one might expect, for the most part. We’ve had two biophysical profiles and two NSTs in the last two weeks, and all indications are that Moose is as happy as a clam in there. I’m so grateful to have made it this far, and while I certainly would prefer that she stay put for awhile longer, I feel mostly confident that she’ll be okay even if she doesn’t.
What I’m finding disorienting is this sudden giant dose of reality. We are very, very close to having this baby. The thing is, you don’t let yourself think too much about a baby. You concentrate on getting pregnant, and then on staying pregnant. On each individual scan or blood test, each week’s number as it passes. You try to cultivate belief in the pregnancy. After loss, that’s a big enough task. It’s hard enough.
But, at least for me, it’s too painful much of the time to focus on the afterwards. After you’ve dreamed a baby into existence, and lost him, it’s just harder to picture. So while I’ve been (really, quite shockingly) optimistic about this pregnancy since the anatomy scan, I’m finding that it’s coming as a bit of a shock that it’s coming to an end, and that the general idea seems to be that they’re actually going to hand us this baby and let us take her home. As a result, I don’t feel ready! Which feels like an absolutely ridiculous thing to say after more than a year’s worth of cumulative pregnancy.
I have a foot in both camps, the one where I know everything that can still go wrong, and the one where I realize that we need to pick up a package of diapers at some point. Lauren and I have, very suddenly, catapulted from a universe where we start all of our sentences with “If all goes well…” to a much more mundane one where the nursery is still unpainted and full of boxes and I keep thinking that I should wash some baby clothes. It’s odd.
We start to let ourselves feel excited, as we gradually allow baby things to enter the house and I start to actually imagine dressing a live baby in those sleepers. It’s a slightly panic-tinged excitement, and it occurs to me that maybe this is what everybody about to have a baby feels like. I only know late pregnancy through this lens.
So I keep my feet up, and Moose stretches her feet into my ribs in what I imagine is protest at her dwindling space, and I tell her all the reasons why she should stick it out for just a little longer. There’s a baby in there, and we’re going to meet her soon. Although not too soon, we hope.