In The Face of Fear


**Author's Note: I wrote this very late last night when the thinking got to be too much. And while I feel a little better about everything today, I still wanted to share. It's difficult to know where life will take you next. Sometimes the uncertainty generates that fear and that fear builds up within. It needs an avenue to escape and it's always nice to know that you're not alone in your fear or your uncertainty.
Which is why this blog is so special to me-my tiny little nook in the universe to express myself. **
It started with a grocery list. I've been making weekly menus to keep on top of the grocery budget, as well as to challenge myself to get creative in the kitchen. Even though I'll be recovering from surgery and working out a schedule with Baby Bean #2 next week, I thought it would still be a good idea to make a menu for Mr. B. I've already warned him that he might be doing the bulk of the cooking. (for next week, anyway)
So I jotted down quick meal ideas like spaghetti, tacos and baked chicken. Easy things. I thought about all of the ways that I could make life a little easier for him, like possibly preparing things in advance and putting together simple snacks. It's not that I don't have faith in him and his abilities to cook or run a household. It's that I feel the need to do it all myself. I feel the need to be in control of what I consider my domain. My area of expertise. 
And damned if all of this "simple" meal planning and menu writing didn't culminate into a sudden onset of fear about Friday. I've been telling myself that it's routine and safe and easy. I've been quoting positive statistics and boasting about how nice it will be to get all dolled up this time around. It's all planned and if there's one thing you need to know about me, it's that I'm a planner. 
But the problem is that things rarely go according to plan. I found that out the hard way last time with Bug. After enduring a very long day of hard labor, I was told I would need an emergency C-section. I was exhausted and emotional. I had no other alternative. So I allowed them to strap on an oxygen mask and wheel me down to the operating room alone. (Mr. B would later follow after they had finished prepping me for surgery) It was undignified to say the least. My body betrayed me, as I had no control over it. I vomited and I convulsed and I couldn't stop any of it from happening. One of the worst feelings was knowing that I was completely helpless. And in that inability to control even the simplest parts of myself, true fear was born. 
Fear of the epidural wearing off. Fear of an organ being left out by mistake. Or of a surgical tool being left in by mistake. (Illogical, I know. But still.) Most importantly, fear of not waking up when I passed out from sheer exhaustion afterward. I remember asking the attendant by my head if it was safe to go to sleep. If I would wake up. And could he promise me that I would? 
I did, obviously. Bug and I spent a week in the hospital, but we made it. I find the old adage, "Time heals all wounds," almost funny in relation to my experience. Time does have a way of somehow lessening certain experiences in our lives. It de-complicates. It romanticizes and sentimentalizes. For many experiences, no matter how hard they were at that specific juncture in our lives, time does eventually give us a more positive perspective. Maybe that's a coping mechanism. Maybe it's that we want to believe it was better than it was. But there are some experiences that don't necessarily fade. That still continue to sting when thought about. That release the same raw emotions as if it happened yesterday rather than years ago. You can rationalize all you want, but that feeling will never really go away. It'll just be hidden in the back of your mind until you're faced with a similar situation. 
And it will overcome you when you lease expect it, like when you're making a grocery list.
Which is exactly where I am this evening. Caught somewhere between the logical and illogical. 
I know in my heart that I will be fine. The end result will finally be meeting this precious little life within me. I know that it will be a much better experience than I faced last time. I won't have the hard labor. I won't be injected with numerous types of drugs to "prep" for surgery. I will be alert and focused and steady. Even better, I've been told that I'll have an opportunity to hold and nurse Baby Bean #2 almost immediately after he's born. I didn't get that opportunity with Bug. He was whisked away while I was left traumatized on the operating table. If everything goes routinely, we won't be stuck in the hospital for a week, just two days. There won't be any hurried, emergency, craziness like last time. Honestly, I have so much to look forward to. 
With all of this being said, it still doesn't stop me from worrying. From fearing that the plan will go awry; that there will be a complication. I feel almost embarrassed bringing it up, voicing these seemingly unfounded fears. And yet, I can't help it. I need this. I need to understand that it's okay to feel this way. That it's normal. 
So I'm letting go of my reservations tonight and I'm feeling it. 
Two days left in my countdown, my weekly menu completed and a little less worry on my shoulders now that I'm sending this out into the void. Thanks for listening.


Jen B.


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