Beyond the Irrational Fears of Pregnancy: What If It Happens Again?
As any pregnant woman will tell you, a lot of the crappy part of pregnancy is the worrying. There are the major worries of course, which I don't even need to mention because honestly, if you haven't thought of them yet I don't want to remind you about them. There are also the "I read too much of the baby book and now anything can happen" worries. You freak out over deli-meat and soft cheeses, and whether all the wine you drank before you found out you were pregnant is going to mean low SAT scores for your baby genius.
Are you getting too fat, or too thin? Am I "prone to stretch marks"? What if I sleep on my right side instead of my left? What if you vomit during your glucose test because that juice is disgusting? What if my water breaks while I'm in the bathtub and I don't even notice?! What if, what if, what if...
On one hand, I've noticed the worrying decreases significantly with a second pregnancy. Specifically, those irrational worries. For example... I'm hungry. Give me that Subway sandwich before I rip your face off, bacteria be damned! Oh and look, I'd forgotten about those stretch marks until now, I guess they're back...
I've mentioned before I adore my OB, and he spends every minute of our seven minute monthly visit entertaining all of my questions -- from the serious to the truly ridiculous. I leave feeling confident and pleased that my baby is healthy and I am apparently amazing.
There is one worry that I can't shake though, and no matter how many times I rephrase the same question I can't seem to get a satisfying answer. It reminds me of the scene in the Tim Allen movie, The Santa Clause, where he is talking to his elves in the workshop. To enlighten those of you who need a refresher on this 1994 classic: He's being walked through all the new developments the elves have made throughout the year to ensure his ultimate safety as the new Santa Claus. A new flame retardant suit, a fancy communication system, jetpacks... he's ready for his first season as the Claus. Except, poor Scott Calvin wants to know what happens if he falls off a roof?! After all, that is what got him here in the first place, and why he's so worried about safety to begin with... so why isn't anyone working on something that will keep him from falling off a roof? The elves shrug off the worry and the problem is never really solved.
That story sums up how I feel every time I go into a doctor's office. I know that my doctors have done every test possible to try and discover why Little Man was born full-term with a brain hemorrhage that they normally only see in preemies. They've checked me down to the genes, and they've given Baby Vegas extra long and detailed ultrasounds. But there is no answer to why things happened the way they did for Little Man, and so there is no way of predicting if it could happen again to Baby Vegas.
The best answer to my fears is "It probably won't happen again." Little Man was most likely a lightening strike, a one-in-a-million. They told me in the NICU that he was only the 2nd full term baby they'd seen with a Grade IV IVH. Ever. At one of the best hospitals in the nation. That same hospital told me they simply have no answers for "why?" It just happened.
So... there is no way to prepare for it to happen again. I simply have to go through this pregnancy, terrified that I will "fall off the roof." I can pray, I can hope, I can take all the tests and eat my vitamins. That is all I can do. Odds are good that I will finish this pregnancy with a healthy and happy baby. I appreciate every doctor and friend who has reassured me with positive feedback about my pregnancy so far. But if you ever see the crazy, panicked look in my eyes, it's probably because I'm desperately wishing that anyone could reassure me that I'm never going to fall off a roof again.