4:46 am

and i'm up. have been since 4 am. there's coffee in the press, and i've finished a bowl of cereal - might be time for another... i just gave in this morning. the dreams were no good, and my heart was racing because of my paranoid brain.

i am terrified of not feeling ezri move.

a month ago or so, at the check up before last with the OB, one of the sheets handed to me by the nurse was entitled "kick counts". oh, that is too cute - soon i'll be feeling her move more and more, and i can count the kicks... that's great, right?


as my dad observed the other day to my mother when he saw this sheet, "oh great, another thing to make stefanie paranoid."

now, i love the clinic i'm going to and the two OB doctors who are overseeing me and my pregnancy. they are attentive, straightforward and generally great. the one doc took care of me during our miscarriage last year and i could not have asked for better treatment. and they're so good at mapping out what's ahead... yeah, including letting you know how much your baby should be kicking after 26 weeks' development.

10 times in an hour... if you haven't felt her move that much in an hour, they give you a formula for how long you should wait before calling the doc.

so, every time she doesn't move for a while, or really - when i don't FEEL her for a while (she may be moving, and i'm too busy taking orders, doing dishes, baking or serving coffee) - i start to quietly freak out.

it doesn't help that i have that repository of horror stories to fall back on. thanks moms. not that some of it could be helped - life happens around you, and you hear things, and you should so that you can grieve with the tellers - but, this brain of mine conjures far too often. i think it's worse with age, really i do.

so when my heart starts pounding through my skin whilst i fight off a dream about emma thompson having twin nieces in a bbc crime show, and even in my dream i have this underlying track of, "is baby moving? please God, take care of her... reassure me..." yeah. it's time to wake up, tell myself to calm down and breathe, and take care of the gnawing pregnancy hunger... and then she squirms, and punches, and i allow myself to calm down a little.

and i know that the rest of my life will be like this. holding my breath every time the bad stuff passes us by, praying that my little girl will be spared whatever evil i see, and knowing that eventually she will let us know, "i'm okay, i've got this."

because, she's our baby, and that's what she'll do.

and maybe now i'll be able to dream about that instead.