Not feeling crash hot tonight.

Maybe it’s indigestion. Maybe it’s growing baby. Or maybe, it’s this niggling nugget at the back of my mind… this putty piece of paranoia… this annoying new knowledge that was overshared imparted during breakfast and, like yeast, was allowed to take hold of the leaven of the mind and give rise to the unholy WHAT IF.

Why. WHY do women like to share horror stories about their birth?

This morning at breakfast, a colleague I barely knew decided to give me four – four – labour stories with varying degrees of gruesomeness.

Usually, I’m pretty alright with the labour stories. I heard the pain described later this afternoon as “hell starting”, and I get that. It’s like nothing I’ve ever encountered, and part of me (the naive, stupid part) is curious. When it’s someone I feel closer to, I even ask for the birth story. It’s something very intimate and among friends, I think it’s a privilege to be told.

However, I was NOT ready this morning – especially while spreading blood-red jam on toast. Yuh.

What made the 4-part mini series particularly jarring was the fact that two of the births were premature with complications – at 31 weeks. Guess what week I’ve just started on. I didn’t realise how freaked out that made me, until I got to my obstetrician today and shyly quizzed the midwife about premature births – the how, the why, the what to do.

And even though she said that a lot of it has to do with a weak cervix, I think this morning’s stories still haunt me somewhat. I haven’t had an ultrasound since Week 20. What if she’s grown funny? I mean, the doctor can hear her heartbeat – big deal. No one’s looked at my goods to see if I’ve got holding power, have they. And suddenly every discomfort, every twinge, every pull and push is making me think.

(And BTW – why does the medical field have such unflattering names for delicate female conditions? “Incompetent cervix” indeed. It just conjures an image of a cervix rocking under her desk at work because she couldn’t manage the filing. Meanwhile, what’s the male equivalent? An “inscrutable scrotum”? Pfft.)

I am getting more uncomfortable, generally. I’m exactly 7 months today, according to the obstetrician anyway (the midwives keep giving me different dates, just to yank my chain.) Blobette packs a punch. Apparently, her head’s down south, which means her feet are up where my ribs are. Sometimes, she even gets me on the sides – right where I’m most ticklish. When she kicks now, I have this image of her doing star jumps, but upside down. It looks extremely awkward.

I love that she’s moving almost all the time now. I love that she’s apparently healthy and fiesty and reacts to ice-cream. But until this morning, I never knew that it’d kill me in some way if I ever found out that my body was incapable of helping her grow healthy and to full term. Until I got to thinking.

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