This pregnancy (aside from the whole “getting” and “staying” pregnant, at least) has been so easy that a part of me keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yes, I was exhausted in the first trimester. Yes, I had some food aversions and preferred bagels to salads for a few weeks. Yes, I’ve struggled (and am still struggling) with staying well while pregnancy seems to have zapped my immune system entirely. But in the grand scheme of pregnancy issues… these are tiny. I’ve had it easy so far, and every time I say it, I feel like I’m jinxing myself.
It can’t be this easy the whole time, can it?
I was very cautious and nervous in the first trimester, since it was only a few months after my miscarriage. I was scared of a million things, all with the same outcome: that this baby wouldn’t grow to be the healthy baby I dreamed of. But in a way this worry was easy to put aside, because the reality was that the worst had already happened, and I survived. If the baby wasn’t healthy, there wasn’t anything I could do about it. We would be ok. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, and this baby has grown beautifully so far.
So now I’m past the point of worrying about the pregnancy being viable, and I’ve moved on to worry about other things. Believe me, I know something could still go wrong while he’s growing in my belly, but the odds are in my favor at this point.
So what am I worrying about now?
- I don’t think I ever blogged about this before, but it was something I feared when I was pregnant with Owen as well. Benjamin was born with strabismus, which in his case meant that his eyes were crossed. I know a lot of babies look cross-eyed in the beginning, but his situation was more permanent and extreme and had to be corrected with multiple surgeries. Apparently 4% of kids are born with this, so it’s not crazy rare, and chances are there are even better treatments available for it now as compared to when Benjamin was born. Even though I know he turned out ok (kidding! he turned out more than ok!), it still scares me to imagine my beautiful newborn being born with crossed eyes and eventually needing surgeries to correct it.
- Gestational diabetes. I don’t have any family history of diabetes and didn’t show any signs of it with my first pregnancy, but having polycystic ovarian syndrome puts you at higher risk for gestational diabetes, so my doctor is testing me earlier than is normal in my pregnancy (probably later this week). I exercise and eat pretty well (ahem, with a healthy dose of Girl Scout cookies and other treats!), but I’m still nervous about having the condition and having to closely monitor myself for the rest of my pregnancy. Not to mention the possible issues for the baby once he is born.
- Breastfeeding. Those of you who were reading when Owen was a wee babe will remember that breastfeeding and the challenges we faced quite literally consumed me from the time he was born until I made the excruciating decision to stop when he was 3 months old, and then continued to exclusively pump for 2 more months. B-R-U-T-A-L, I tell you. I have pretty much blocked a lot of that time out of my memory, but recently I was reminded of it when I came across my tattered spiral notebook where I kept notes about every feeding and how it went, how long it took, how Owen acted, how much he weighed, etc. The pages are tear-stained and worn, and just holding the book in my hand brought back memories I would rather forget. I have heard so many uplifting stories about mothers who had similar struggles with Baby #1 and went on to nurse Baby #2 or other children successfully. I know it’s possible. I also know that I will NOT obsess and lose myself in the process this time around — I will do my best to make it work, and if it doesn’t, I will have the perspective to see that it’s ok (read: BEST!) to stop if that’s what works for my family. Still, I’m scared. I’m scared to try it again. I’m scared to fail again.
Oh, and I still have a weird phobia of having a child born with a full set of teeth (it happens!). Strange and unfounded, that one.
What did you fear while you were pregnant?