Hello, beautiful Di-hards.
I’m freaking out a little bit.
I mean, I’m not hyperventilating or feeling faint or anything. I’m pretty sure you can’t tell by looking at me (unless you catch me at very specific moments).
Tomorrow, baby-in-progress is scheduled to have a fetal ECG (echocardiogram) at the hospital. Which is great – it’s part of the shared, extra care we’re getting with this pregnancy and I’m not complaining whatsoever.
The problem is, I can’t shake the dread. I’m NOT normally a paranoid person, nor even much of a worrywart, compared to lots of people. I’m used to being my laid-back self. I was fine when Sean and I went for the 12-week ultrasound at the hospital – a little antsy, maybe, but not fearful. I don’t have hospital-related anxiety (even if I should, by now). I have been doing pretty well, I think, at keeping this pregnancy separate from my last one.
Here’s the situation: our furnace has been on the fritz for almost two weeks now, so Sean took the day off school today to oversee the installation of a new one. It is not a good idea for him to take two days off from school in a row, in his new program – but I was fine to go by myself tomorrow.
Then suddenly, lying in bed last night, I was seized with apprehension. I could picture exactly the circumstances in which I would undergo the procedure, and then be asked to go up and see Dr. S. at the clinic, who would then tell me that something was wrong with my baby’s heart; it’s not the right size. Or worse, it’s not beating. It was so clear in my head.
I vividly recalled Sebastian’s final ultrasound, and the technician asking me, “Is that your husband out there in the waiting room?”
(It’s really not good for me to go back to that awful day right now. Unfortunately, I don’t get to decide when renewed grief will pounce on me.)
I tried to imagine getting myself home from the hospital alone after receiving bad news, and I felt panic. (Especially getting out of the underground parking; even though I don’t fear hospitals themselves, underground parking gives me the heebie-jeebies – it’s a claustrophobia thing. Unthinkable if I were otherwise upset.)
Then there’s the unease about my fluid levels. Those of you who have been pregnant will know what I mean when I refer to the, um, humidity of undergarments that occurs (due to hormones trying to prevent infection). This week, I can’t stop worrying that I could actually have a slow leak of amniotic fluid and not realize it. Sebastian was born with NONE. It had to have gone somewhere, and we have no idea where.
One of the big problems here is that I can’t just pat myself on the head and tell myself I’m being irrational… because I’m not. I know, it’s highly unlikely anything will be wrong, I have no good reason to fear, the odds are very slim that something bad will happen to this baby… but all that reasoning doesn’t really mean anything. Odds are for sh*t sometimes – just ask A Mourning Mom. And if I don’t know why things went wrong last time, how do I know it wasn’t me? How do I know there wasn’t something in my body that shifted or busted, say, during the 45 hours I spent working to get E into the world, that now doesn’t work properly? This idea seems all too plausible to me.
I don’t know. Maybe I am being irrational. If so, please tell me. That would be great to hear.
In any case, I am lucky because my parents thought of this, and my mom offered to come with me to the hospital, so I won’t be alone. Everything will be fine. (Everything will be fine, everything will be fine…)
Baby is the size of an avocado. It’s moving a lot. It can make faces (squint, frown). It’s got ear-bones, so now it can hear me. It’s got fingernails, and is growing eyelashes, and taste buds. Holy cow.
A couple times this week, I was pretty sure I felt movement – but so small, I could never be sure.
On a semi-related note:
Last week I spent a resource period with ten Grade 2 students doing guided reading in French. We read a story – at their request – called “Avant ma naissance” (“Before my Birth”), all about the growth of a baby in utero. One student raised his hand and spoke in English.
“I have a question. When a baby is born… why does the mom… need a male?”
Oh, great. I stalled. “Do you mean at the baby’s birth, or to make the baby?”
“I mean to make the baby.”
Awesome. I pointed to the illustration of the spermatozoides reaching the ovule. “Because these come from the male, and this comes from the female, and you need both parts for anything to happen.”
“Okay. But how do they get all the way to the…”
At this point, a bunch of the other kids started protesting. “You don’t wanna know! It’s NOT a cool story! It’s GROSS!!” Obviously some of these kids have already had The Sex Talk. I told the student I would be happy to talk with him about it another time (which I honestly would, if I had time to prepare) – or he could always ask a parent.
I thought it was a really good question, actually. There are three different kids in his grade who come from two-mom families, and all the Grade 2s are aware of that. It makes perfect sense that he was wondering where the “male” comes in.
After the hubbub died down (or was squelched by me, actually), and we wound up our discussion of embryos and fetuses, one of the other kids said unexpectedly, “One of my sisters died when she was in my mom’s belly.”
I said, “Wow. So you have a sister you never got to meet. That’s tough. My son has a brother he never got to meet, too.”
You just never know the things people have been through.