Instincts, and not trusting them

This week, I have mostly been freaking out. I don’t know if it was to do with getting close to the end of being a pregnant lady, or if the timing was coincidental, but I spent a lot of the week wandering around with a general sense of unease, monitoring the baby’s movements obsessively and telling Mark ‘I think I’m freaking out a bit’.

I wasn’t freaking about giving birth- That will be undertaken with help from experienced medical professionals, and while a bit scary, is just a day (or a couple of them) in a life… instead, I’ve been panicking about pretty much everything else- the final four weeks, whether or not the baby is alright while ‘on the inside’, and what on earth I’m meant to be doing when he actually arrived- Am I cut out for all this motherly stuff? Basically the bits where I’m left to my own devices and am meant to have some kind of internal inbuilt knowledge bank on what’s the right thing to do and what decisions I should be making.

The question of movement was particularly worrying me- For the last couple of midwife appointments, I’d been told ‘make sure you monitor the baby’s movements’, and everything I read online (and I read a lot!) said that if you felt that movements had decreased then you should definitely contact the hospital. That just led to me stopping every twenty minutes, and thinking ‘shit, the baby’s not moving’, then sitting very still, with an increasing sense of panic until he moved again. I’ll swear blind the baby knew and purposefully stopped moving whenever I was looking for it, like it was a massive game. I drank a lot of coke and ate a lot of sweets in an attempt to provoke him into giving a little wriggle, and as told by various sources, every time I was worried, I lay on my side for an hour and counted what I found and recorded the whole lot on my kick counter app on my phone. With the exception of one occasion, everything was totally as it normally was, but as I googled obsessively, I built myself up into a state of frenzy, wondering if I was counting right, or whether something was still wrong even though everything seemed fine.

On Friday I went for my 36 week midwife appointment (and picked up the box of stuff for home births- more on that one later), and voiced my fears. I actually asked her if I was being ridiculous, and bless her, she said yes, which was just what I needed to hear, especially after being told the baby’s heart beat and size was all as it should be. She then proceeded to laugh at me when I asked if too may hiccups (from the baby) could be a sign of cord compression. Nothing she’s heard of before, apparently. I then got told off for going on google too much.

I banned myself there and then from internet searching on things unless I really had cause for concern and a weight lifted right there. Then today, I read an article on the Telegraph website that really resonated- It reasoned that mothering instincts were being destroyed by an overload of information and technology.

Now, while I am a little bit worried that my ‘instincts’ are at best going to be lacking, or at worst are just bloody wrong, after my week of obsessively googling and really not making myself feel any better about anything, I’m going for basics and I’m going to try and trust myself, rather than relying on the (mostly conflicting) advice of a million other sources.

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