Fear of Preparing for the Arrival of My Son, Now 31 Weeks In Utero

Fear is the inevitable side effect of my experiences with infertility, embryo implantation failures, a miscarriage, a vanishing twin and yet-another high-risk pregnancy. My fear is rational, based on hard facts; therefore, it makes me unable to wholeheartedly celebrate my pregnancy and the surviving twin boy I’m carrying inside me. Because, even now, at 31 weeks in utero, my son isn’t guaranteed a life, nor are my husband and I guaranteed a sweet baby boy to parent.

Day after day I make a conscious choice not to let my anxiety overwhelm me. And that’s difficult for me, because I’m a Type A woman, diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’m a natural worrier.

So I take Prozac. I have weekly sessions with my psychiatrist, now by phone because I’m on bed rest. My husband, who’s Type A too, and I have weekly or biweekly appointments with a Family Systems Therapist, who now comes to our home due to my bed rest.

And I have made the decision to not ruin my pregnancy by obsessing about outcomes that may never occur. I am aware of all potential complications so I’ll recognize any symptoms of them. I am perhaps overeducated about every aspect of my high-risk pregnancy, so, if and when a problem arises, I will be prepared. But, in the meantime, I am living the cliché of “taking things one day at a time,” which has worked well for me.

But, with less than nine weeks until my due date, I feel compelled to start preparing for my son’s birth because, as part of my Type A-ness, I’m a planner. While I have the big-ticket items—the crib, the glider, the stroller—left over from my son, now 5, I gave away everything else, including almost all of his first-year clothes, to friends, because, at the time, my husband and I weren’t planning to have another child.

I’ve e-mailed the friend to whom I gave my son’s clothes to see if I can have them back, since she won’t be needing boy clothes for her newborn daughter. Several other friends have promised to look through their storage boxes to see if they still have the items I passed on. And others still have offered to give or loan me everything from clothing to a car seat with two bases.

But nothing for a newborn has arrived yet. This is, of course, normal, considering that I’m not due until April 23, two months from now. But, being a planner, I can’t stand the possibility of not being ready if my son is born before his due date, which is likely.

As a result, last week, my husband drove me, now on partial bed rest, to the discount retailer Marshalls®, so I could buy some newborn clothes. I explained to him that I won’t take off any of the tags, in case, after my friends come through, I don’t need the clothing. But, the unspoken truth is that I also won’t take off the tags in case we end up without a baby to bring home.

It makes me feel better to have these teeny-tiny outfits in hand, but it took me an entire week to actually go though the Marshalls bag in order to put these maybe-unneeded clothes away. Because I can’t oooh and aaaah at how cute they all are. I can’t blissfully prepare the baby side of my 5-year-old son’s bedroom.

I’m not that naïve. Oh, how I wish I were…

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