Lately this has all seemed incredibly unreal.
Today I have made it to thirty-four weeks. I've had a few Braxton-Hicks contractions, but that's it. The baby is moving quite a bit, I felt her just as I wrote the previous sentence. I've felt kicks or something at the top of my stomach; I feel a huge amount of movement down at the bottom, little hands tapping, little head butting. Midwife appointments have been mostly routine--I've gained a pound here and there, excellent blood pressure, baby's heart rate is good, uterus is growing as per usual.
Everything is normal. Except, you know, for what isn't.
I'm a smart gal. Intellectually, I got this back in May. That bubble above baby girl's abdomen--where all her organs should be--was so very obvious on the ultrasound I saw it and noted it long before I knew what it was. There's no question here, no equivocation.
But lately I've been having a hard time with it. Harder than in the recent past, even. We had boy and girl names both picked out before we went to the ultrasound. I'm happy with the name she will have, and I've no interest in changing my mind, but in the back of my brain I keep wanting to call her by her other name, because goddamn it this is all so normal. I can't be waiting to kiss Psalm goodbye; I must be waiting to bring Susan home. Intellectually I know what will happen, but my lizard brain won't believe me because I know how pregnancy goes and this is a normal pregnancy and that means things must be fine. (I suspect this is how one keeps from becoming a gibbering fool, by the way.)
The childbirth dreams have come back, with an unearthly tinge of nightmare to them. I've awoken in the middle of the night and been shocked that my amniotic sac is intact and the contractions were ephemeral. I dread childbirth every single time, of course, because it hurts like fuck even with the good drugs, but this time it's ten times worse. I am terrified. Scared the baby will come on a weekend when the older girls are with their father. Scared I somehow won't have time to get to the hospital. Scared there will be hemorrhaging. Scared I'll wind up in surgery.
And...I just want to be past this. I want to be done with it. I want to at least know whether I have two days or two weeks or another month or something altogether different. I want to be able to wrap my daughter in my arms and bring her home with me and have her take her rightful place as the much-prayed-for fifth girl. But at the same time I can't bring her home, I know that, and I don't want her to go anywhere. I want to keep on feeling her little hands every morning and afternoon when she taps me to say Hi, Mom. I want them to have been wrong but I know they weren't and it's just fucking overwhelming.