POST IN COLLABORATION WITH ÄNGLAMARK (listen to the podcast episode, ‘Helt ærligt, mor,’ (‘Honestly, mum’) in Danish HERE)
My head is full of concerns these days. So much so that I find it hard to focus on anything else (as such, sorting out my vat accounting last Monday was a huge victory!), which is why I’m a bit quiet in here and on insta – or, at least not as structured in my publications.
Last week’s cystitis prompted another email from the hospital this week. The bacteria type ‘group B streptococcus.’ I had to call up the hospital for a more detailed explanation, seeing as the email offered just 1.5 lines – long story short: antibiotics after the birth. Home birth is cancelled.
Shutting down the dream of having a home birth is the least of my worries, though. It may have been my big dream, but his wellbeing is the number one priority. I’m more worried about the complications this may cause for my little boy once he arrives. The nurse ended the phone call on, ‘… you can just google it.’ Don’t say that to a pregnant lady! Or to patients altogether; we all know that online you’re always only two clicks away from death.
I’m an easy victim. Went straight online. Clicked on the door to the world, the small browser icon, and started scrutinising the digi world for information without an adult (medical professional) type to filter it. ‘Learning difficulties,’ ‘impaired vision,’ ‘impaired hearing,’ ‘encephalitis,’ ‘bone and joint inflammation.’ Stooop.
We have touched upon those bad statistics that we’re collecting, right? Among the 20 % requiring fertility treatment. Among the 1-3 % of women experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. Among the 15 % rhesus negative. Among the 5-6 % with placenta previa. A baby, who still hasn’t turned – a mere 3-4 % of pregnant women experience this towards the end of their pregnancy. And now also among the 10-36 % with GBS. Adding in the kidney stone and bits and bobs. Damn it! Don’t want to reach the unfortunate ‘0.5 % of children of women with group B streptococcus getting infected after birth,’ right? Haven’t we had our fair share?
All of those concerns. I’ve had them for a long time, you know. Will I ever get pregnant? What if I don’t? Will our relationship be strong enough to handle it? The concerns have been on my own behalf, on behalf of our relationship, on behalf of us.
Yet, as Monday’s post goes to show (and thank you for wonderful responses and an incredibly exciting conversation with lots of respect in the comments section – I’ll get back to it once I’ve regained my composure a bit), my focus is turning away from myself big time. That’s part of what I was initially looking for – something larger in life than us, than me, than Adam, travels, the right furniture and restaurants. And, boy, did I get that! Never mind home birth. Never mind the extra kilos. Never mind not being able to fit into any of my clothes. Never mind any of it. All that matters is him. And I almost can’t handle the thought that he’ll be entering the world with all of the perils around. ‘Bringing a child into this world is like carrying around your heart outside your body.’ Constant worry and anxiety about not being able to look after it well enough. That’s what being a parent is about. How did my mother ever allow me to go out as a teenager? I mean, think about what could have happened, haha! You’re sleep-deprived by the end of your pregnancy and get no sleep for the following two years. And then the sleepless nights return when your young hearts turn into teens. At that point it’s no longer about physical pains or changing diapers or breastfeeding but more about the external world and the idea of sending your kids out into it. Hello, parenthood! And that’s what it’s like for the rest of your life. Also when your kids are all grown up, so I’ve heard – a few years back, my dad said that he worries constantly; are we happy enough? Satisfied with our jobs? Our relationships? Are our mortgages too big? My mum once told me that when my great-grandmother had her great-grandkids, she said, ‘by now I can’t handle worrying about any more kids,’ and at that point she decided to stop worrying.
With all of the mental pressure I’m experiencing currently (Adam also said to me that it’s more than fair that I’m exhausted by now; in Denmark, this is around about the time maternity leave kicks in if you aren’t self-employed), I’m also laughing. Laughing because all of the parent-related cliches are kicking in – those concerns I’ve heard my mum utter throughout the years. I really sympathise with her and that chronic parental anxiety to which I’ve been exposing her. And it only gets worse once your kids grow older. Small kids, small concerns…
And speaking of laughing out loud – last week I recorded the podcast, ‘Honestly, mum’ with the lovely Sisse Sejr and Stine Hjelm Jacobsen (singer in The Antonelli Orchestra – and HOT heavily pregnant), which was created with Änglamark as sponsor. It turned out so well, and we go through all of the mum-concerns – from the first positive pregnancy test to ‘come out, already!’ We’re on three pretty different paths to becoming a mum, and it was such a good chat – with a far too insufficient amount of time to wrap it all up. Such good stuff. You can listen to it right HERE, in Danish.
As for my little boy and his path to entering the world, I’ve decided on a top-down approach. I just can’t worry too much prematurely. We’ll have to go for a breech birth (which I, after a really successful birth preparation session, feel good about), prepare for a c-section and hope that the antibiotics will prevent him from being affected – we’ll most likely be hospitalised for a few days after the birth for observation. I’m starting to pack fairy lights, delicious snacks and lots of soft and comfortable clothes, my yoga mat, my pillow, etc, so we can settle in. He’ll come out all right, and when he does there’s one less thing to worry about.