I'm nearly 28 weeks pregnant. Baby and I have made it to the home stretch. Baby is officially a baby now, or at least officially a human being with some rights... I meant to write a post about this when we achieved a 'viable pregnancy' at 25 weeks, which means that according to UK law I would no longer be allowed to abort my child, but it's probably lingering on my desktop with the other five posts I haven't finished writing...
Anyway, 28 doesn't seem like such a high number (after all, it's my age), but when I realise how few weeks are left I sort of hyperventilate and have a mild panic attack. Then I email Madeleine, because she just laughs at me and tells me that everything is going to be alright and then usually says something insightful which makes me relax. It's lovely to send out panicked emails--it's like a blog post except you know that the comment you get in return will just be helpful instead of anxious advice.
My life is pretty anxious by turns, which I'm not going to go into here because in my experience talking about things with no tangible solution tends to make them worse rather than better, since it just leads to people trying to be very helpful by speculating advice. From what I can tell, everyone on the planet feels a lot of anxiety about certain things in their own life, and when given the chance these tend to get projected into my own. It's not like people do this on purpose, so please don't think I'm complaining, it's just that we respond to others by latching onto the things we can understand, or if we can't understand, by trying to imagine how we'd feel in that situation. Comments like "I don't know how you can do it, I certainly couldn't" are perhaps meant to inspire confidence, but usually leave me just second guessing myself. There are a lot of what ifs that I don't have the answers to. I just try to trust God and not freak out.
Someone recently described me as relaxed and calm. I laughed. I've learned many things from my mum, and one of those things is how to pretend you're comfortable when you really are not at all comfortable. I am not a person who has been given the gift of small-talk, but I do have a pretty good sense of humour (I assume that's what all the laughter around me is for) and a sort of keep-calm-and-carry-on attitude (or make-do-and-mend) when thrust into uncomfortable situations, or when speculating on dealing with unpleasant situations. I have inherited a fair dose of Eastern European realism (some dare to call it cynicism or even negativity) but I hate being surrounded by negativity, stress, or unproductive griping. I'd rather try to see the humour in the situation, at least when I'm giving my public face.
So, 28 weeks. To cope with the AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH EVERYTHING IS CHANGING BABY LACK OF SLEEP PRECIOUS SLEEP moments I made a list and did some googling and began to feel mildly in control of the situation. When the list fails to calm me, I think about my long line of Mennonite descendants being kicked out of this country and that country and still managing to have babies and all that while wearing long skirts and having to milk their own cows. I think about one of my uncles, whose baby-crib was an apple crate (if my mum can be believed). The wisest people I know all seem to agree on one thing--what babies and children need most of all is a loving family.