Saturday, June 16, 2012

We would like to announce to the world, that we are expecting another child. So far, things are going well. We have passed all tests with flying colors and the doctor has said that he anticipates no problems.

This, of course, means absolutely nothing to me.

Unfortunately, in my crowd, I have a special knowledge of every conceivable thing that could go wrong. I know about super babies who were so ridiculously healthy that mom had not a care in the world, until that baby was born lifeless. I know about the girl who was born, went home, and then died five days after at her mother’s breast- she had an undetected heart defect.

I know about the SIDS babies who die in the months following a perfectly healthy pregnancy and delivery.

I know about car accidents and pool accidents and accidents too terrible to talk about.

I am especially fearful of everything. The air we breathe causes concern, as it could be contaminated with some toxic fumes or fungus spores. I am frightened of undiagnosed illnesses and un-immunized children (even though we follow a very minimal vaccine schedule for our kids…)

I am frightened of malformation and toxic chemicals and shampoo with formaldehyde in it.

I was frightened of ectopic pregnancy until the doctor did an ultrasound to make sure that the baby was properly located in my uterus- Irrationally perhaps, after loss- I truthfully don’t know how I would handle having to purposely remove a baby growing in the wrong place….. the devastation would be too much for me, I’m afraid.

I am frightened of the next few months, and becoming big and ungainly and vulnerable. I don’t want to travel alone- you see the stories in the news…. Those women who like to steal babies out of their mother’s wombs.

I do not want to be so fearful. I suppose that it is some form of post-traumatic stress disorder. I suppose that I could see a doctor who would prescribe me with some “safe” medication that would calm me down and mitigate my fears. But that would require me taking in a substance that could possible interfere with proper fetal formation.

I could do yoga or get a massage. But if my joints pop out of place, or I stretch the wrong muscle, or I am rubbed the wrong way that could cause preterm labor. And that would be bad.

I want to be happy.

My husband is happy. He whispers sweet nothings to this tiny being and I want to say, “Where have you been for the last two years? Don’t you remember what happened? Don’t you remember that BABIES DIE?”

Who is this man? Where did he come from, this person who can so blithely look at the child birthing experience and say, “everything will be fine- you’ll see.”

I want to purchase something online, and not think “at least I’ll have a tiny little something to remember this baby by, if things don’t go well.” I want to stop planning what I will do when (not if) things go wrong. Because they inevitably will go wrong. I want to be honest when I tell my other children that things will be ok. That yes, this baby will live.

My 9 year old told me that he doesn’t have any room for another bear in his bed, if this baby died too. We were sitting in the middle of a crowded restaurant. I wonder what the people at the next table thought of us and our dark-minded child.

I am tired of fearfulness. But I cannot be any other way- if I don’t guard my heart, than I will be disappointed again, and I will be devastated and I won’t know what to do with all of this hopefulness I could be sprouting.

My paranoia is a problem. I am too careful of everything, and my fear translates into stagnation and distrust. I won’t eat soft cheeses or tuna fish and I don’t clean the bathrooms any longer- because of both the chemical and biological toxins involved.

If this is a girl, I should call her Deirdre- “fearful or brokenhearted.”

The worst part- the fear itself makes me worry about things. Am I being so fearful that I’ll have a nervous, pre-term baby? Will my child be shy (if I have a child), and rigid in his/her being? Will stress cause the child to spontaneously combust in my womb?

I don’t know what to make of all of this, or how I will make it through the next few months of carrying the baby burden. I wish that this pregnancy thing could be done under sedation. I could sleep away the days like a bear in hibernation and wake up surprised at the baby in my arms. I could be in a dreamless sleep where I can’t begin the task of imagining all of the things which could go wrong.

I wish I was the fearless girl I once was, who took on challenges and overcame things. Now I am just a sad, frightened pregnant woman in the process of growing a baby who may or may not be birthed in a heightened state of anxiety.

I wish I could be normal again.

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