I am scared about it hurting. I am scared about my recovery afterwards. It has been five years since my arms last held Noah, and man, it doesn’t matter that I have been through hours and hours of counseling and grief groups that have made it possible for me to function and go on. The simple fact is that brand new babies scare the bejesus out of me. I absolutely hate that I will be forced to care for myself just as much if not more so than my brand new baby who is so fragile and new. She needs me. I need her. What makes me feel safe is micromanaging everything to do with her until she feels sturdy enough to start to be independent in various ways. So how is this going to be? She will be a month early, so add that to my pile of worries. I worry about her being fragile enough that the NICU whisks her away where I can’t get to her, because I am tethered to equipment that monitors me and keeps me safe. I am scared she will be strong enough to be with me, and away from the tight monitoring that the NICU has to offer keeping her safe, because can I do as good of a job when I don’t feel 100%?
I know that as tough as all this is that it is so worth it. I look at my sweet four year old Aaron, and how amazing he is, and as scary as his early days were (and his were scary – we had him so close after Noah), that getting through this fragile stage of life is worth it. Being his mom is so awesome. He says and does new things all the time as he learns and grows, and it is such a joy to watch. The last four years have gone by so stinking fast, and I know it will with Katie too. I am glad that these phases with him are not the last time I will experience them ever – I get to do it all over again with another kiddo. It is just worrisome looking at the immediate days ahead.
Managing a complicated pregnancy has been tough too. This has been my hardest one to get through. I think I still consider myself to be someone who loves to be pregnant - my previous two were awesome - but man, I really get how some women have it easy, and some just don’t , and how that can really color your experience overall. I have felt like a ticking time bomb, waiting to see if I would have a serious bleed, as is so common with placenta previa. I have gotten so lucky. Thank you God. Thank you Noah. Thanks for keeping Katie and me safe! I follow a placenta previa mom’s board on facebook, which has been so helpful – hard to read at times – but the support and understanding of those in a similar spot has been amazing. I shared with them how hard it has been to remember to be excited about what is coming. Everything with this pregnancy has been about dealing with the “right now” rather than the “what is to come.” Doctor’s appointments, modified rest schedules, preparing for worst case scenario, etc. It really hampers your ability to connect and bond with your baby, being stuck in fear and discomfort and limitations. The courageous placenta previa moms I have met remind me that really, I am setting myself up for an even bigger surprise once she is out and I get to hold her for the first time. I remember that. I remember with each of my awesome boys that incredible moment when all the madness of childbirth has died down and gone away and life is quiet and it is just us alone finally how completely and deeply I fell in love with each of them in such a unique way that I had never experienced before. I can so easily mark the best days of my life: the day I married Chris, the day I had Noah and the day I had Aaron. No matter what I do, Katie’s birth day will be on that list too, so I need to just not worry.
Experienced moms that are done having their kids all say that this phase of life fades away and life becomes about raising and caring for their children. I am ready to leave this phase of having babies behind. We had a missing spot where another child belonged. Here comes Katie to fill it, and I am done. Time to move on to the next phase of life and I am ready for it. Time to love and appreciate my family – all five of us – and watch how my children make their own unique mark on the world as they grow. I can’t wait. So Katie, goodnight sweet girl. I will see you in the morning on the next best day of my life.