It's alarming to realize how quickly your spirits can be crushed, your hopes deflated and lying lifeless on the ground, just a pile of spit-filled rubber waiting for some child or duck to come along and choke to death. This weekend I experienced about 24 hours of despair, as I watched my feet and ankles swell and could not seem to stop myself from thinking, "This is it. It's over."
Last time, hugely swollen feet were the reason I first went into the hospital. Once there, I was diagnosed preeclamptic and things very quickly moved in a scary direction. So, this time, even though swollen feet are completely common at the end of pregnancy, I assumed that it meant my blood pressure was up, and that I would have to be induced soon.
It would have been okay, I know. Certainly it would have been better than last time, since I am much better prepared this time around. Still, I mourned the loss of my homebirth dream. I think I was also pissed that I had worked so hard to keep my bp under control, and it apparently hadn't made a difference.
When I went in for my 36 week appointment on Tuesday, I had resigned myself to the idea that the news would be bad. My blood pressure would be soaring, I would be put on bedrest, and then induced shortly thereafter.
But I was wrong. Everything was okay. My feet are swollen because I am a normal woman having a normal pregnancy. Midwife Jewel seemed very confident that I would be fine, and that a homebirth is in my future. I was completely bolstered by this news. On Tuesday I'll be 37 weeks, and if I go into labor any time after that, they'll deliver me at home. Yea!
I can't believe how much I'm looking forward to birthing this baby. A younger version of myself would've seen this as crazy. I was always terrified of childbirth. But now I can't wait! I can't wait to work through the pain, to see how strong I can be, to totally let myself go into a primal birthing trance. God, when did I turn into such a hippie?
I think maybe I owe my body or the universe an apology for having lost faith so quickly this weekend. Right now, my sausage-y swollen feet have never looked so beautiful.