Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The First Shoe

I know that the saying is "waiting for the other shoe to drop," but the implication of that isn't really accurate for me. It implies or connotes that something bad has already happened, and you're just waiting for the rest of it.

Well...nothing bad has all...and it makes me nervous. Other than a few unexpected delays (and one unexpected lack of a delay!), my life since I've been back in MD has been as close to "charmed" as it could be. Met and married VNB, finished my MS, got a job, and got pregnant with a very healthy, normal baby.

I think, especially with the baby, I'm just sitting here, waiting for the bad news that is sure to come. I think the main problem is that I've watched too many "Birth Day"s on Discovery Health where babies are conjoined, or moms need emergency C-sections, or they're having quadruplets and three don't make it, or...something. But those things are very compelling, and even without them, all you hear about is pregnancy problems - premature labor, pre-eclampsia, hypermesis, toxmoplasmosis, etc., and those are only confounded by birth defects, SIDS, Downs Syndrome, and childhood cancers (to name a few). Not to mention all of the birth/baby horror stories that everyone seems to have (mom didn't know she was pregnant until about 7 months, then baby came in about 5 minutes - no urban legend, I _know_ these people). Then you add TV births to that where the woman is standing there normally, grabs her side, announces that the baby is coming "RIGHT NOW!", and five minutes later is pushing, whether Worf is ready or not.

It's like with the war in Iraq and elsewhere. No one ever tells the good or normal stories. Just "this is how to prepare for the bad that might happen" or "these are the horrible things that have happened in the past or are happening now." You only hear about the stories with "drama." Gestational diabetes-related inducements, poorly-delivered pain meds, midwives that don't make it in time, (potentially brain damaging) umbilical cords wrapped around the head....and those are just the stories for me and my three siblings (in no particular order).

Don't get me wrong...every baby's birth and every pregnancy before it has "drama" just from the mere fact of what it is - bringing new life into the world - but you don't hear about the ones (like mine, apparently) that go "by the book." Perfectly healthy, perfectly formed, take a normal amount of time, don't have any complications...

Now granted, something could still happen to me and/or Baby. We're only half-way there...but I think this "focus on the bad to prepare for the worst, just in case" mentality that we all seem to have is the main reason that I haven't really felt that "connected" yet to the reality of this Baby. I mean, we're preparing the house, I'm taking my pre-natal vitamins, I'm eating right, we're getting ready to register, etc., etc.....but it just hasn't seemed that real, like I'm still in shock or something. Maybe because, deep inside, I'm preparing for the worst "what ifs" babies have to offer by just not letting myself get attached.

Now that Baby has become a Mexican jumping bean that likes to tap dance on my bladder (and smush intestines) from time to time, it's harder to ignore, especially now that I've _SEEN_ him or her, even if just in profile. But it's still not quite "real" yet. I'm sure this is a normal process that will get better once we settle on names...but I guess I'm still waiting for that first shoe to drop so that I can spring into action and fight something more real than "your life is about to change drastically forever and never be the same (or even remotely close) again."

In the meantime though, it's time for "second breakfast." I think I'll have soup.

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