Late last night, my heart started racing and I could not calm down. This happened many, many times while I was pregnant with Iris; far fewer this pregnancy. I had adapted a “whatever happens, happens” approach in the early weeks, but now as I am in the middle of that time period of “where things went wrong” between Nelle and Iris, it is becoming harder to control.
Maybe it is because there are no indications that anything is wrong, so now I am fighting hope. Maybe it is because the days drag by and I feel like I have been pregnant for two years instead of two weeks. Maybe it is because I was pregnant with Nelle at this time in 2015, so in a way, it has been two years. Our lives have more elements now, between the kids being older, different jobs, and what we have been through. We are being forced to look forward, when really I want to just ignore everything beyond the present. Maybe it was because on my way out the door yesterday, my therapist whispered to me that I am a cute pregnant person. It occurred to me that she has not seen me this pregnant before. Last time I would have seen her before losing Iris was around 15 weeks, and the first time I met her was after losing Nelle. I smile in recognition of the compliment, but winced too.
Maybe it is because we are celebrating Quentin’s birthday at Great Wolf Lodge this weekend. The first time we went there was for Theo’s birthday, not even three weeks after losing Nelle. I had to wear a maternity swimming suit because a regular suit would not fit and I hated every minute. The second time we went there was for Quentin’s birthday, a mere five weeks after losing Iris. Same awfulness. The third time was for Theo’s birthday this past fall. I was not pregnant, contemplating the months ahead, and unable to enjoy myself, remembering how painful the previous two visits had been. Luckily my mood does not deter from the kids’ enjoyment at all. And now this visit.
Back to last night… I tried every trick I knew to calm myself. Nothing worked. As 1:00 am crept to 2:00 am, I began to irrationally panic that through my own anxiety I would harm my baby. I wear a FitBit around my wrist and glanced at my heart rate and was able to breathe a little more easily – it was not as high as I thought. Though I felt swallowed by the sensations of dread, my heart rate was not reflecting the same. I’ve had a higher heart rate carrying laundry up the stairs while pregnant. Finally, I fell asleep, only to wake an hour later with a stuffy nose and a sore throat. At that point, I attriuted the dread I had been feeling to oncoming illness.
But I woke this morning, not much better. I’m in a fog, but within my fog, everything is heightened. I can feel the tension in my arms and hands as I typed on my computer this morning for work. Finally I headed up to take a bath, as I have had luck in the past with using the warm water and coolness after to calm me down. Ger came up and wanted to know why I was taking a bath in the middle of the day. He was not working from home back in the days when I was pregnant with Iris; he did not know how many different things I would do just to make it through the day. I responded only that I wasn’t feeling well, and hoped that the bath would help. I didn’t tell him how paralyzed I have been since last night, because I cannot yet put a finger on exactly what has caused it.
He came back, after I was done with my bath and asked if I was ok. I repeated that I was tired, and he said he could tell, in my face, that it was more than that. I admitted my anxiety. He feels the same. He asked if there was anything he could do, and I told him no. Nothing to be done.