22 October 2015

The one where it all starts to sink in

So it's fair to say that these past few weeks have been unpredictably crazy. They have involved so many emotions, sleepless nights and endless questions floating around my head.

 The anxiety of that first week waiting for results and trying to take in all this new information was just too much, the fear of having to make heartbreaking decisions to finally the relief of hearing good news. I don't think I've ever felt so out of my depth in all of this. And this is just the beginning.

 Now that we have had the results and that unknown pain of waiting is over we have been sort of left in a state of no-man's land. We know that the baby doesn't have any other conditions to the ones we definitely know he has. That is talipes and the coarctation of the aorta. Life is slowly returning back to normal as we just try and carry on with the pregnancy all the same. But this is where it gets me, the pregnancy to me is no longer normal. I still have the same feelings of love and nurturing towards this ever kicking babe growing inside, but it all feels different. I feel scared, naturally, of all that is to come and I feel that in a way the joy has been taken out of it all. Instead of thinking about what he will look like or what he will be like when he grows up I am stuck on thinking about how it will be once he actually arrives. These are but just a few of the many questions that are constantly going around my head: How will the birth go, how much time will we have with him before he is taken from us to the NICU, when will we be able to hold him, when will Theo be able to meet him, how long will we all have to be in hospital, when will he need surgery, how will I feed him, how long will recovery take and how will this affect us all, and above all will he be ok?

 I know these are questions that hopefully will be able to be answered for us in due time by the professionals looking after us, but for now we are once again just stuck waiting. I'm so worried about how it will all be for Theo, how we will cope splitting our time between a sick baby requiring heart surgery in hospital to a probably confused five year old needing us to guide him through it all and still give him the love and time he needs (and celebrate his birthday too). What if Theo can't meet his baby brother for quite a while after he is born, or if he can how will he react to seeing this tiny being covered in wires and tubes. How will we react?

 It's times like these where I just don't feel old enough to be having to deal with it all. I don't really mean in a numerical sense, I guess 28 does still feel quite young to be going through this sort of thing, but I also just feel so unequipped and so unprepared for this amount of emotion and responsibility. I'm not saying that someone 10 years older than me is magically able to cope better with this situation, but sometimes I just feel like I need someone to put a hand on my shoulder and say it's ok, you don't have to deal with all of this. It makes me feel like an out of my depth child.

 I feel like in someway parenthood chose us, all those years ago when we first found out we were pregnant with Theo. We've tried our hardest to make it work, to go along with the new journey that was presented to us, going through the motions and just trying our best to provide a safe, stable and loving home for Theo. We always wanted to have another baby, me personally I wanted to go through pregnancy again - I enjoyed it last time. But then life has seemed to have dealt us blows when we've tried. First with the miscarriage and now this. I know that someday we will know that perhaps it all happened for a reason and we'll be stronger as people for going through it, with many lessons learnt but at the moment it's hard, its fucking hard. But I know that we will have to cope, and we will have help and somehow, hopefully we will all get through it.

 I've been feeling anxious also about how to speak to people about the pregnancy. I feel almost like a fraud talking about it like it's all ok when well meaning people asking me how long I've got left or if we know what we're having etc. I feel like I can't just blurt out all the problems we have been facing but at the same time I find it hard to carry on and act like this is just a normal pregnancy, because it's not. It's filled with fear and worry and questions. Most of the time I guess I just need to put on a brave face and answer the questions truthfully without going into much detail. We have another fetal echo scan (a heart scan) tomorrow so I'm hoping we will get lots of our questions answered then.

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