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Midnight Ramblings of a Heavily Pregnant Insomniac

Posted on: Friday, March 22, 2013

It's 4am, there's a dog barking somewhere outside and I have a cat trying to drink my cup of tea.  What on earth am I doing sitting at my computer, you may well ask.  Excellent question.  You try going back to sleep after being called by a distraught toddler to change a wet bed and then having a little inside creature tap dance across your belly wearing what can only be described as clay clogs.  I used to be able to sleep - these days not so much.

So what keeps me up at night once my little person has drifted back to sleep and the baby has given up on trying to kick its way out of solitary confinement?  Oh you know, the usual stuff... remembering that I forgot to book the electrician for an interiors job (the same job that I forgot to order the wallpaper for, yet remembered to order the wrong rug)... thinking about how we'll manage with two children when some days we seem totally incapable of wrangling one... contemplating death (is it just me, or do others get completely overwhelmed in the darkness by the sheer inescapable truth of it?)... wondering if its possible to make it through an entire pregnancy without purchasing a single maternity item... worrying that I spent too much money at Priceline again (can one really put a monetary value on frizz-free hair and oral hygiene?).

But perhaps the biggest thing keeping me up lately is an unspeakable fear that I might not be able to love my next baby as much as the little boy asleep in the room next door with his cherub curls laid out on his pillow like an offering to the gods.  Writing the words feels sacriligious, like I've defamed and blemished my mothering right. The rational part of me knows that I will love the new baby just as powerfully and passionately as the first - of course I will.  But it seems almost unfathomable.  Sometimes when my son looks at me with aquatic eyes full of such intense love and joy, I feel so humbled I could weep with the beauty of it.  His hilarious daily attempts at communication, combined with a personality that oscillates with whip-cracking alacrity from head strong viking to soft, thoughtful angel, make being with him a challenging delight (or perhaps a delightful challenge?).  He is my heart in its entirety.  How is it possible to feel what I feel all over again?

My Mum has a theory about love and shoeboxes (is the link not obvious?).  It goes something like this... love is not a thing that we can quantify and contain in a shoebox.  We do not have an infinite supply.  Love is self-renewing and self-generating.  Essentially, love is boundless, bottomless and eternal.  I know this to be true so why do I worry?  I guess its like being given the world only to realise that you will be given the world all over again - does your prior experience of cradling such beauty render the experience less powerful or does it simply make your heart expand even further so that you feel it more intensely?

Questions, questions.  In my soul I know that I will cherish this incredible new being, that I will stare at it in the darkness with the same inconceivable wonder, that my tears will anoint its perfect head as it lays in my arms.  I know that our lives will be enriched by the wonder of a new baby, that in an instant we won't be able to remember what it was like to be three and that the little soul who joins us will be a gift of pure love.  I know with certainty that our home will be filled with the chaotic laughter (and bickering) of siblings and that our children will love each other in a way that is all their own.

"OK Mama, go back sleepies now" as my eldest child would say.  Think I might go make another cup of tea and watch the sunrise with the cat instead.

Top Image: Emma Durkin
Bottom Image: Angela Steyn


  1. Oh Angela, you have nothing to worry about. This is such a normal feeling but when you hold your new baby everything will be perfect.


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