I am sitting in bed, ice blocks on my feet, trying to remember what I planned for next week when the realization suddenly sets in. I am 28 weeks plus. In less than three months I will have a baby; it hits me.
Really, said baby does hit me. The little allegedly female creature who has slowly been rearranging my insides for six whole months is already active enough to make my mid-section jiggle around. The only problem is that babys do not seem obliged to rearrange your mental state until after they have deigned to arrive. All the changes in my body just make it harder for my mind to cope with the task ahead of me.
I know frequently I joke about the schenanigans of my two outside children. Actually, I can not honestly think of a post where I did not. Parenting is not an easy job. From the moment a mother first finds herself vomiting with pleasant sounding morning sickness, the path of her life must be shared. True, the every moment needs diminish in frequency, but not in intensity. Actually if you could look at my moms phone bill, you would probably doubt the frequency statement as well.
Being needed, being responsible for another human beings existance is a heart rendingly terrifying act of love. At what age I will quit leaping across space and time to form a cushion for impending injuries, real or imagined I do not know. My suspicions say never.
That is why I am suffering from an acute case of AntePartum Panic.
Do not look it up in your pregnancy manual. They skirt around this issue, as much as they skirt around pregnancy guides for third time Mothers. AntePartum Panic is the realization that there is a point in which you can stretch the Mom too thin to protect against most known dangers. It is the fact that time, and the physical resource of Mom is limited. Not the love. No the love is never limited. Just well, everything else about me.
It takes me half an hour to tuck two small children into bed. My 13 month old clings to me as I lower her towards the mattress telling her about how she'll get a cool new BIG bed soon. My 3 1/2 year old asks for one more book or one last hug, or the un-sleepy-without-it spongebob happy meal toy she has not played with in three weeks. My life and my arms are so full it seems impossible to make room for one more. Where will I have the time? The patience? The hands? How will I ever cope with sleepless nights when it takes so much energy to make it from 6:30AM (Nyobi's wake up time) to 8:30PM (The time Cora usually falls asleep)?
Once baby three is home, it will just happen. My ankles will not be swollen. My hormonal levels will not be so out of whack, and my two outside girls will be a few months and miles ahead of where they are right now. Unfortunately, that does not stop the itching feeling of panic I have. The next year stretches out dauntingly before me, a mountain of diapers, feedings and caffeinated delirium. This is Ante Partum Panic. It hits every woman who has ever had a child, but usually the ones working on number two or three harder. The cure for it is birth, when the imagined horrors dissappear in the exhiliration and joy of parent hood again.
For me, it is a syndrom with two silver linings. The new life growing into a strong little baby, and enough new and crazy experiences to fulfill my blog posts. That is, if I manage to make time to write them.