Sunday, March 17, 2013

Middle of the Night

The thing I like best about the middle of the night is sleeping. The thing I like lease is being up with racing thoughts. Why is it the latter always seems to dominate the former? It's 6am now, but I've been awake for quite some time, awoken from yet another anxiety dream and unable to go back to bed.

There's a lot I could (maybe should?) be worrying about these days - from North Korean nuclear capabilities to the national deficit, the rapid rise of hate groups, threat of natural disasters, etc, etc. For some reason though, at 3am, it seems more pertinent to my brain to stress out about needing stamps and what's for breakfast. How strange that this is how our minds work.

My anxiety dreams have all been similar lately. I'm packing or trying to get out the door for something, I'm running late, haven't showered, don't have what I need - something along those lines. Last night in one of several dreams we had tickets to some theater event, and I needed to go home, take a shower and get ready, but I was stuck wandering aimlessly around the grocery store. By the time I realized what time it was, we were already late, so I rushed home only to realize that we didn't have childcare lined up for Ellie. Then, the dream turned to anxiety about leaving her with a neighbor she didn't know, and the details I needed to spell out for the neighbor: where we keep the diapers, what to feed her, if she'd need to go down for bed how to get her down, etc.

When I woke up, it was instantly obvious what my brain was doing to me. Of all the stresses in my life right now (and there are many), the thing I can't seem to rationally figure out is what we will do with Eleanor when I go into labor. What the rational part of my brain says is that it will be okay and she will be watched. Heck, she'll probably have a blast with whoever she's with, and she certainly won't remember it long term anyway. What the irrational side says (rather, dominates) is that I don't want to leave her with someone she doesn't know too well for too long, I don't want her to feel lost or confused, and I don't want to do anything which will interrupt her perfect world of happiness. What if we're gone and someone else is watching her and it's the middle of the night and she wakes up for me and someone else is there? What if someone else needs to put her to bed for the evening and it's a disaster? What if she's trying to communicate using her words and phrases only Peter and I know, and she ends up being sad?

This is one of the only things I've really found myself overly emotional about. It has actually driven me to tears - a rare feat - when I think too much about leaving my baby girl and our existing life, and coming home to a whole new world. I want to do everything I can to minimize the anxiety for all of us, but it looms over me in the middle of the night when all my other thoughts have simmered down. There's a very good chance that this labor will be very fast (I'm thinking we probably won't have more than a couple of minutes to head out the door), and that possibility coupled with the idea of not knowing what time of the day or how it will present leads me to an inability to get a plan in place. PLUS, it seems that the people Ellie knows best will be at the hospital (or en route) - meaning we don't have the luxury of counting on my mom or someone else to just step in and take over from where we left off.

Sigh. It'll be fine. I know it will. Worrying doesn't help, I know this much, so I need to make some loose plans and then let it go. Heck, I could end up with a scheduled c-section, which makes all this for nothing (but, a whole new set of worries there!).

With that - I can hear birds chirping. That means I've made it through the night and now it's morning, AND the grocery store will be opening soon which means I can go get stamps (okay, and donuts...) and cross that off my list. Hooray.
My girl(s?)

sweet Ellie hand

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