Do you remember when you were in antenatal classes and they warned you that there was going to be a moment during labour when you would just decide that enough was enough, you couldn’t do it?
I have vivid recollections from my labour with Kitty of telling H that I’d had enough, the baby wasn’t coming and I wanted to go home now please, although I didn’t get enough time to have anything like that detailed a thought process when Elma was on her way (her labour being just that teeny tiny bit faster).
Well this time round I think I’m getting it out of the way now.
It’s not that I’m afraid of labour or giving birth in whatever shape or form that takes; if all is well and we’re not an automatic sunroof delivery, I trust that at some point (with or without the assistance of acupuncture, and hopefully without syntocin) my baby and my body will do its thing; it’s going to hurt a hell of a lot, but it will be worth it. And I can do it. (Apologies if you’re a first time Mum and you’ve just landed here – clearly I’m fibbing about the hurting bit, go back to believing that it’s all sunshine and unicorns – it’s too late to back out now!)
No the fear right now, the “I can’t do it” is not the delivery, but the mothering. I’m worried that I won’t be able to do it, that in stretching myself to three children I’m going to loose something; an essential part of me, or the faith or patience to be the Mummy I want to be, not the rather cross hot version that has seemed to be creeping out a bit more than I would like recently.
I’m trying to tell myself that it’s just the hormones, just the exhaustion that comes with this stage of pregnancy and a run of really bad nights sleep (because nothing says ‘sleep tight and rest up’ like a baby bump kicking you on the front and a lanky three year old wriggling into your back and pulling your hair), but there’s a little voice in my brain that says, what if it’s not that? what if picking things up off the floor for the umpteenth time is always going to make you grumpy, even when it stops being really difficult and slightly painful? what if you’re never going to get enough sleep again? If a lack of sleep can make a six year old behave like a four year old, what on earth is going to happen to a 34 year old? what if? what if? what if?
In my head I have a vision of how I would like our life to look. It’s not unrealistic or unreasonable, I’m not dreaming of mansions and unlimited funds to travel the world/fill that mansion with yarn/probably both, it’s more of a visualisation of a feeling. I know how I want it to feel when we walk through the door, how those golden moments when everything goes right should feel, and above all I want our lives to be filled with love, joy and hope. And I know that not every moment will have us floating around on little fluffy clouds while cherubim serenade us and the washing up fairy cleans the kitchen, there will be moments when it all falls apart spectacularly.
I just have to trust that I’m going to find my way. That just as I do believe I can give birth, I can have faith that maternal instinct, survival instinct, or sheer bloodymindedness will make it work.