Since the big ultrasound two and a half months ago, I've done a pretty good job reigning in any anxiety. But suddenly in the last week or so, I find it surging again. For example, if I don't feel any movement for a few hours, I start to panic that she has died. Sometimes I panic even if I feel minimal movement rather than significant, visible from the outside of the stomach kicks. She moves less during the workday when I'm moving around or preoccupied by meetings or other tasks. So I tend to fret all day, only to be reassured in the evening as she likes to perfect her karate moves while I'm relaxing. Then what's funny is that I'll complain to my hubby that his daughter is kicking me, but the reality is that I love to feel those movements more than anything.
I'm not sure what exactly has triggered my anxiety as it has come on most unexpectedly. By my OB's standard of 10 kicks within an hour during the most active part of the day, Miss Jillian is scoring all A's. So I don't think the movement is what triggers my fears, although I think I dwell on it more during those times. Rather, I think that I've reached a point where the thought of losing her is unbearable to me. I know she's a girl. She has a name. She has a bedroom. We've had a baby shower. I've spent 7 months planning my life around her arrival. If she were to be born today she has an excellent chance of survival. I often find it impossible to fathom that her arrival is pending in just a couple short months, and yet I cannot imagine the pain of losing her.
I know that it is rare to lose a baby so late in pregnancy, but I've read the stories. Just knowing it can happen is enough to scare me. I suspect that this fear won't disappear with her birth either. Babies die too, so my fear will simply morph into that anxiety instead. Perhaps it isn't about eliminating anxiety, but learning how to set it aside so that you can continue enjoying life. Because no amount of anxiety beforehand would make grief any easier if the worse did happen.
Now that I've been sitting at my desk for a little bit writing this post and eating my lunch, I'm feeling some small movements again. A few small kicks and hiccups I think. So I can set my worries aside for just an hour or two, I think.