Today has been a bit of a lethargic day, but as time goes on, I’m feeling more and more excited about having a baby around to make life feel a bit chaotic and crazy. As I get bigger, I’m letting myself process the possibility that this might actually happen, and things might just be okay. It seems so much easier to prepare for the worst rather than face the crushing disappointment of something not going according to what is generally considered to be a best laid plan. The main lesson in all this, though, seems to be that plans are completely redundant in this situation. There’s nothing I can do about any of it, except keep myself as healthy as I can, mentally and physically, and ride this very unpredictable wave.
The practicalities of our new arrival in January have been on my mind over the last week or so – no coincidence that my Baby Belly really started to form in a big way early last week – and I’m actually starting to imagine baby slings, baby bouncers, Tummy Time (for me, not just the baby!). It feels great to be able to get excited about it all, amongst the continuing tiredness and the unpredictable nausea and almost compulsive cocoa butter moisturizing in a desperate and inevitably futile attempt to keep stretch marks at bay. All that said, I’m terrified about the ultrasound next week. I’m hoping it’s just my natural inclination towards being cautious kicking in, but I do have a major fear that some kind of anomaly will be found. Pregnancy Apps love telling you about how exciting it is (and that’s true, of course), but it isn’t a scan for finding out the gender of your baby. It’s to check that their spine has formed correctly, that they are moving, that they are being nourished correctly (something I’m really worried I’m failing at), and that they still have a heartbeat. All quite serious stuff, and it’s all so precarious that it’s a miracle if everything is okay. I’m not sure I’ve earned a miracle…
I just watched a documentary about a healthy, 30 something year old guy who felt ill for a couple of days, and ended up in intensive care with a rare condition called Guillain – Barre syndrome, which causes the immune system to attack the nervous system, manifesting in what seemed really close to Locked In Syndrome. Not being able to communicate, or move, but being completely aware of everything that is going on around you must be one of the most traumatic experiences a human being can suffer. As I watched, I couldn’t process it. What can possibly dictate who suffers that fate over another? This guy seemed healthy, young; no one could have predicted that he would spend 3 months in intensive care with a tube down his throat being unable to do anything other than open his eyes and close them. I found it absolutely terrifying, but was deeply moved by the basic humanity of those around him. The medical professionals working day and night to help him progress and communicate. His mother and sister, who had been by his bedside every day, speaking to him, reminding him that he had a life to return to. The drawings his niece had been sending him of his house showing him coming home, telling him that she is missing her uncle. There’s so much to take for granted in life. Your ability to move, to speak, to communicate. The love you are gifted by those around you. The choices some people make to dedicate their lives to the healing of others. Amongst all of the negative crap the media seems to insist on reporting about humanity, this small documentary reminded me of the power of the everyday goodness of everyday people. Their actions don’t make headlines, but they help to create and maintain the best things about human beings. The ability to love.
Anyway. Back to work! Why oh why does it all feel so hard at the moment?