Third Baby Syndrome

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My “priorities before baby” list has shrunk, and I am pretty much out of things that really needed to be done. However, I am still pregnant, and could very well remain pregnant for the next week or more. So, here’s a partial list of all the crazy things I have running through my head right now (and please note, that as a midwifery apprentice, these are not necessarily the norm.)

Well, on various days I obsess that my baby is either too big or too small. It’s impossible to tell on your own body, and I have likened palpating your own baby (feeling baby’s size and position with your hands) to cutting your own hair (something I know I would not be good at). Sure, I’m getting decent at determining this information about other women’s babies, but my own…..forget it. I’ve had all kinds of blood sugar issues this pregnancy, and so although last month I thought this kid was huge, right now I think the opposite.

Which brings me to my next deranged line of thought……

Is my due date right? I had my first child at 37 weeks, and my second at 39. Because this due date has never been set in stone, I don’t know absolutely if I am 39 weeks now or only 38. The week discrepancy made no difference to me during most of the pregnancy, but now I laugh at what a big deal it is! I mean, I could go into labor TONIGHT….and believe me, it crosses my mind with every practice contraction.

Did you know that this paranoia of sorts has a name?? Truly.

I am suffering from Third Baby Syndrome, and I promise you I am not making that up.

Third Baby Syndrome is actually indexed and gets a whole page of text in my best midwifery book, Anne Frye’s Holistic Midwifery. I never paid too much attention to it, but is a page I have read several times in the last few months to reassure myself that I am not alone.

Basically, third-timers question everything, and worry a lot more because if things don’t feel exactly like the first two times, something must be wrong! Of course, most the time, nothing is wrong, just different and unfamiliar in a way that makes you feel like you have never been pregnant before.

I guess the good part of the “syndrome” is that it’s made me tune in more to my intuition. That’s the part of me that says that nothing is truly wrong and that my baby is well and will come when she is ready. And when I do think of it like that, I know it doesn’t matter what week it is or how much bigger or smaller this one will be compared to her siblings.

It can be scary to tune into this part of yourself, but I find courage there as well. So, I know I can do this last week or two, but is there a fourth-baby syndrome?

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