Week 23 ~ September 21, 2006
~ More Freaking Out
My first trimester freak-out (leaving out the nausea and its accompanying fear of malnourishment) was my fear of vanishing twin syndrome. It turns out my second trimester freak-out is my growing fear of preterm labor, bedrest and preterm birth.
On Monday (and really starting Sunday night) I woke up with my whole abdomen feeling tight all over. It wasnít what I imagined a contraction would feel like (those, after all, supposedly clench and release; this wasnít doing any releasing), so I went to work and got through most of the day hoping it would just ease up. But toward the end of the day, it wasn't easing up and I wasnít concentrating well on anything at all. I kept thinking about all the people I've met and emailed with who smile wistfully and then tell me horror stories of three months' bedrest and three month NICU stays for their babies. Though I had no other symptoms of pre-term labor (blood, backache, etc.), I decided to call my doctor. He told me to come in. I went alone, because Dan was taking a long weekend to visit his sister out of town. Before I left, I managed to scare everyone at work. Apparently while I was gone they were strategizing about who would visit me when, and whose kids would like to come hold the babies, etc. (Donít I have great co-workers?)
It turns out there was nothing wrong with me. My cervix, which he checked for the first time since my early pregnancy Pap smear, was long and closed. He said he thinks the tightness stems from my abdominal muscles and other tissues getting used to another growth spurt by the babies. I went back again on Wednesday for my regular appointment (this time Dan was back and went with me) and we got the usual reassuring ultrasound, including a great photo of our little daughterís face (as for our son, we still have only a rather amusing shot of his privates).
But Iím still freaking out, even after the two doctor visits! This morning I went to my first meeting of the newbies group for the local twins club. The first sight upon walking into the hostís living room was a row of babies parked along one wall--there must have been twelve little carseat carriers with infants. Immediately it struck me how inadequate I am for this task, and then, perhaps because my thoughts were in such a negative bent already, I began thinking "if I ever get a chance to take it that far." And I imagined I could feel my belly clenching up again and began fretting about not having brought my water bottle.
One of the club officers asked me and the one other pregnant woman there if we wanted to hold babies. Is it terrible to admit that I didnít really want to? Of course I did anyway, and the baby she gave me to hold was very cute. But I felt so wound up and tense, afraid the baby would start crying and I'd be evicted from the club as an inadequate future twin mother. Meanwhile another mom was trying to talk to me about back-to-work options in the area and breastfeeding strategies. I couldnít hear a lot of what she was saying, the room was so loud with crying babies, and I was worried both about the one I was holding and the two inside me.
When I got home, I took an hour-and-a-half nap before my night shift at work. And I was really glad to go work after tható-it felt so normal to be there answering reference questions and not thinking about whether Iím feeling round ligaments or something worse. My boss told me my worries are only the beginning of motherhood. If I keep going at this rate, I won't have a moment's peace until the kids graduate from college and start working. I don't want to be one of those fretful, hovering moms. But that's exactly what I feel like. I knew pregnancy wouldn't be a cakewalk, but I never thought it would send me on these cycles bordering insanity.