We have tried out most of the activities that are rumored to lead to labor: Acupressure points, sex, and walking.  Marla told me about a salad dressing at a local restaurant rumored to send women into labor.  There seems to be one of these joints in every major city.  Ted picked up dinner from there on Sunday night.  So far, no dice!  But he did buy a full bottle of the dressing and I've been using it every day since, so we'll see.  I KNOW I said I wanted the baby to stay inside until 40 weeks, but Dr. D assures me that he is fully developed now and I just want him in my arms.  Two more weeks isn't a long time, but for a woman at the end of her pregnancy, it can feels like months.  And, since I have been living my life in dog years since last July, 2 weeks feels like an eternity to me.

I am embarrassed to admit that I wish he would come early.  After what I have been through, I should wish for nothing more than a delivery that happens exactly when it should be and not a moment too soon.  Sometimes, when I feel like I am being selfish, I become kind of resentful that I am not allowed to consider my own needs at all.  I feel like since losing Max, I don't really count anymore  When Maxie was alive, I always worried about the decisions I made and whether they were selfish or in Max's best interest.  I have spent a lot of time this past year wondering what I could have done differently, so that Max would still be here today: The food I made for him, the daycare decision, the formula I had begun supplementing with, sleep training, vaccinations....I could go on and on.  These are all things I worried about when he was alive...and then he died...and now I feel guilty basically all of the time.  People have asked why I decided not to go on anti-depressants.  I met with a psychiatrist in November who told me that there was a "very small chance" (less than 6%) of birth defects that have been found in babies who were born to mothers taking anti-depressants.  Less than 6% isn't a small percentage to me.  The risk of SIDS is less than 1%...and still my Max is dead.  Taking care of myself doesn't feel like an option. 

So, now I have all of these decisions to make about Maxie's brother.  The same hard decisions - 100 times more loaded this time around.  I won't be sending Baby M to daycare.  I am grateful that my boss worked with me to create a new position where I can work from home.  But, can I leave Baby M even for an hour?  I imagine that I wouldn't, but what if a situation comes up and I have to?  I don't get the luxury of deciding to make time "for myself".  The fact that I went on a bike ride the morning that Max died makes me sick to my stomach.  People have suggested anti-depressants for when after the baby gets here - honestly, I would love nothing more.  Except, what if something happens to the baby?  Would I ever forgive myself?  I already know that I wouldn't.  I had convinced myself not to vaccinate this time around but then I started hearing about children dying from preventable diseases.  So, now I am thinking of an alternate vaccination schedule.  Formula?  There is a possibility that if Max had the disorder that he hasn't been found to have had, that my breastmilk didn't have enough carbohydrates.  But, Max didn't die until after he had started eating solid food and drinking the occasional bottle of formula (with carbs).  I don't know.  Life has become so much more complicated than I ever imagined.

There is already so much pressure being a parent.  So many decisions to make all of the time.  People always used to tell me when Max was alive that it was ok to make mistakes - all parents make some mistakes.  Only, my child didn't live, so I can't afford to make any mistakes at all.  And, what about all those that told me to try and find a balance in my life?  So that I didn't completely ignore my own needs.  New mothers try to also find time to exercise and run errands.  I just feel like these are not options for me.  Mostly, I feel like I just can't count this time around.  My needs cannot be important - and I am not trying to be a martyr.  Like I said, it makes me sad.  I wish I could parent without so much fear in my heart.  At the same time, I AM looking forward to a lack of downtime (like I said, I wish Baby M was here NOW).  I am just so afraid I will make a mistake.  I can't afford to make any mistakes.  I can't afford to lose focus, even for a minute.  I am so scared!

And, still, despite all of this.  STILL, I selfishly hope that tonight is the night.  I hope that he comes just a wee bit early.  I know it goes against everything I just said, but I can't help how I feel.  I am still a human being.  It seems clear that he won't be coming early and I guess that is good, but is breaking my heart.  These last days are dragging out for me and I am back in a really sad, lonely and incredibly uncomfortable place.  I can't wait for him to get here and keep me company.  Most of all though - I am praying, as always, that once he arrives, I get to parent him for the rest of my life.

8 comments said...

The pressure is beyond. Totally understandable every single feeling and emotion you are having. I did things so different with Jayden than with my girls. I breastfed him, I quit my job to stay home, I didnt push the pacifier. And with my girls completely opposite. Today, and every single day I ask myself what if? Its torture. And mistakes, I was always terrify and today I look at moms half as dedicated and their kids are just fine. Which makes me so mad. You are a wonderful mom. Baby M would have the best care ever. Its completely understandble your desire to have baby M, ASAP. I have to tell you lately I been in such a bad state that reminding myself of what you say to me to be kind to myself has keep me going. We are thinking of you. Spicy food always help me go into labor at 39 weeks each child.

Bianca said...

I am praying along with you that you and Ted get to parent baby M for the rest of your lives. I know he is going to be such a wonderful boy, a mix of all that I love about you and Ted, with some of his beautiful brother Maxie in there too. I am praying that baby M is here soon to bring some light and hope to your broken hearts. xoxo

Sonia said...

My heart goes out to you Abby. You are the best Mom x

If you want to start labour, take two table spoons of castor oil in the morning (you can cook eggs in it to make it more palatable). Go for a walk and a few hours later bingo. If he's ready to make an appearance this should kick start labor, promise. But be careful it can give you the runs.. You can get castor oil at the pharmacy - they will probably ask you if you are full term as this is a well known successful way of starting labor.

Becca said...

Oh I can only imagine how hard all those decisions must be. I get so stressed over them and I haven't experienced your loss.

My older son is on an alternative vax schedule (that was how his first ped did it and then allergies came into play) and we've done basically the same schedule with the little one. It's been ok even though lots of doctors have gotten mad at me over it!

All you can do is your best. Past that there's always an element of luck/fate/god involved in the outcome, which kind of sucks but can also be freeing? I don't know. I wish you all the luck and positive vibes in the world for your life with Baby M. I hope it's long and healthy and beautiful.

April Hammond said...

Hope you have a quick delivery! I am a new reader...please check out my blog too

rebecca Patrick-Howard said...

We are on an alternative vaccination schedue-we still get the vaccines but stagger them so that our kids don't get more than one at the same time. It means more trips to the doctor, but since Sam had adverse reactions to his vaccines this feels safer to us.

I am not ashamed to admit that I took antidepressats after Iris' birth. They did not make me sleepy. I felt that they were the safer choice than going without. I know that some people say that once the baby gets here your worries go away and you feel better but I didn't. Had I not had antidepressants, I would not have been able to take care of her the way that I should have. It needed to be more about what was safer and better for the kids-not what was necessarily better for me. I needed to be able to go to the park, go grocery shopping, talk to other people with babies...the meds helped me do that.

I made the decision NOT to breastfeed. I don't feel guilty about it. It's a personal choice. You should do what feels right to you.

And I woud beg to differ about taking care of yourself...without a healthy mama, you can't have a healthy baby. Yes, we can't afford to be as selfish as we once were now that we have kids, but your kids deserve a healthy mother. If that means therapy, antidepressants, or just taking long, hot bubble baths every night and reading trash then that's what you need to do.

Iris is one year old and we have never left her with anyone but my mom. Peope complain about that-say we need to get her used to other people. I smile and nod.

Mollymjackson said...

I hope tonight is the night too! Oh, I can't wait to see you again someday. You were the first person I thought of after Zoe was born and I could't stop crying. I just cannot wait for you to have this tender experience again. I still can't put into words exactly what I was feeling and how it connected so strongly to you--I suppose a profound sense of connection, love, understanding, empathy, and HOPE for you.

I hope I get a text when he arrives. I will be praying for you all week. I hope it all goes well.

robyn said...

i am so sorry that you are faced with all of these decisions to make. i wish that you were never put in this position and that your sweet sweet boy was still by your side. i wish nothing more for you than to be able to hold baby m tight in your arms soon and yes, for the rest of your lives.