So yeah, I am 31 weeks pregnant. I look even more pregnant; I’m huge. I waddle. It’s hard to turn over in bed at night and the baby now keeps me awake with her joyful kicking and wiggling. She is definitely letting me know that she’s growing fast and will be ready to meet the world in mid July.
Because I am so consumed emotionally and logistically with H’s injuries and well-being, I go for long stretches of each day forgetting that I am pregnant at all until someone – a nurse or someone in the elevator at the hospital – asks how far along I am. People also sometimes ask if I am having a hard time managing pregnancy along with hospital caregiving for H, and honestly the only answer to that is that I don’t have a choice. Yes, sometimes I get tired and yes, it’s hard to get comfortable overnight on a cot in his hospital room at almost 8 months pregnant. But what choice do I have? My oldest baby is sick. He’s hurting. And he needs me. Not being there with him as much as I possibly can simply isn’t an option.
And you know that thing about God never giving you more than you can handle? Well, I think that theory is in play here because after a first half of the pregnancy where I was so nauseated and tired that I could barely function, I now feel about as well physically as someone carrying 45 extra pounds and a giant belly CAN feel. I have my little aches and pains here and there, but no nausea and no extreme exhaustion any more. I do occasionally get some strong Braxton Hicks contractions when I am on my feet too long or have a particularly long day of work + hospital, but when that happens, I just drink extra water and lie on my side for a while and they eventually go away. I don’t think I could hold it all together if I were having a difficult third trimester in addition to having a hospitalized child. So I am grateful that the pregnancy seems to be going so smoothly now.
Also, all of the extreme, somewhat irrational anxieties and worries I had earlier in pregnancy are gone. Just like that. And I’ve realized now that I was never actually worried about the baby at all. In fact, I was worried about H. I was worried every single moment of every single day that I would get the call that I eventually got – the call telling me that my unconscious child was being transported to the hospital. I knew his use was escalating and he continued to refuse the help we continually offered. I knew somewhere deep inside that something terrible was about to happen. But because I was still trying to keep H’s addiction somewhat of a secret, those fears and worries were expressed emotionally and then verbally as anxiety about the pregnancy. Now that the secret is no longer a secret, I feel a huge burden lifted from me and I am no longer worried in the least about the pregnancy or the baby. I know she will be just fine – healthy and beautiful when she is born.
At some point I simply MUST get some things ready for the baby. A few sleepers or something. Or maybe some diapers and nightgowns and a couple of receiving blankets. If you came into my house today (which I wouldn’t advise; it’s so messy that you might get lost), you would have no inkling that someone in the third timester of pregnancy lives there. There is nothing to indicate that a baby is soon joining the family…because I just haven’t had time to think about it. Luckily, newborns really don’t need that much. I’ll find and wash some onesies and blankets at some point and we’ll be good to go.