Friday, March 7, 2008

Sometimes It is Better Not To Read

When I want to procrastinate, I often delve into the tangled web of blogs available for my time-wasting pleasure. If something catches my eye, I stay a while, read the archives and generally learn all I can about the blogger.

I guess I am what many bloggers call a "lurker," but somehow that seems easier than commenting, especially when what I am reading is upsetting. There is so much out there in blog-land that can upset a girl, especially a pregnant one.

These tales of third trimester loss and devastating stillbirths at 20 weeks remind me that I am not even close to out of the woods with this pregnancy. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have Sam and how much the little things--the weight gain, the exhaustion, the shortness of breath--pale in comparison to the miracle we will (hopefully) experience at the end of all this. Today I stumbled across the blog of a young mom-to-be who lost her baby boy at 36 weeks. No warning. No signs. Just loss.

And now I am terrified.

So much about birth and pregnancy is a mystery. Why does it work for some and not for others? There is no rhyme or reason. Why do some mothers die in childbirth? Why do some babies die at 37 weeks? There is not one thing I can do to avoid these tragedies. If I could point to something these mothers did wrong, I would. But there is nothing.

My most recent issue of Mothering has an article about post-birth deaths. Apparently these women hemhoraged within three days of giving birth. To say it scared the shite out of me is to put it mildly. Even though I am more confident with this birth since I have been here before, it is also scarier in some ways. The stakes are much higher. If anything were to happen to me, I would leave this child and Sam both motherless, possibly the worst thing that can happen to a child. It makes me wonder if I am nuts to give birth again.

I know the worst can happen. It happened to me once before and I do not pretend to believe that I am immune to a second tragedy. Maybe it would be wiser to not even consider these possibilities, but for me that is not really feasible. I spend a lot of time thinking of the awful things that could happen, preparing myself even though I know there is nothing that can prepare a person for something like this. I know the risks are low, the statistics are staggeringly in my favor. All signs point to a healthy baby boy in August and a healthy pregnancy and birth for me. So, what else can I go on? My fears? My delusions and paranoia?

Most of the time I can push those fears aside, but when I am faced with the scary things that happen to real people in my life, even people I only "know" through blogs, I can't help but be scared. If it can happen to them, it can happen to me. I am not immune. And that scares me to death.


Kristi said...

I'm a blog lurker too, when I have the time (and that's been in ample supply the last few days). There are so many heartbreaking stories out there, but you have to focus on the fact that you have the odds on your side. I know I can't follow my own advice most of the time, but it's best to stay positive. It's better for you, and it's better for the little boy growing inside you.

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