Saturday, August 01, 2009

Something So Right

It's been a few weeks. I turned 33, the spotting finally, mercifully stopped, my in-laws were in town and we went to my husband's family reunion in upstate New York together (note to self: next time you're pregnant, if there is a next time, don't go to the middle of nowhere at the end of the first trimester. Hungry – no, starving – every hour is not a good state to be when the only food to be found is greasy, made of refined flour or artificial meat products). I've been living my life, trying to go about my business and keep on top of the worry. I'd say I've done an adequate, if not respectable job.

I know I sound ridiculous – I even bore myself – still sounding alarms when I've finally crossed into the second trimester and nothing about this pregnancy, not even the spotting, has concerned my doctors (or anyone else). But there's a reason for the term "battle scars." A war – no matter if it's fought on a battlefield or in a doctor's office – doesn't simply disappear, even if the ultimate result is victory. You remember how it felt to fight so hard, all the sacrifices that were made along the way. All the things you lost. And freedom, the more you taste it, becomes that much more difficult to imagine giving up again. You think, What if I had to fight that war again?

I remember this one time, a few years ago, I was shopping with a good friend of mine at a thrift store when a shady looking man started edging toward us. He was making a strange gesture so I glanced down and saw that he was, quite unfortunately, flashing us. Seeing a penis in a public store seemed so out of place it took me more than a second to realize what it was. Naturally horror was my first and most intense emotion, but there was little time to be horrified. I suppose at some instinctive level I felt it was important to get him to back away rather than letting him intimidate us. "No!" I said to him, wagging my finger. "Stop – you stop that right now. Leave us alone." He immediately recoiled and left the store. My friend applauded my bravery. I just sprang into action, she said, where she would've freaked and ran. I told her I wasn't willing to forfeit the bargains I'd found for some pervert. Later, once it stopped being scary, we laughed so hard about it that tears ran down our faces.

You see, I'm good in a crisis. And I'd gotten really good at crisis management over the past couple of years. What I'm having a hard time figuring out is how to turn off all that adrenaline and just enjoy the fruits of my struggle, without questioning what can go wrong and when. As Paul Simon sang so true, I can't get used to something so right. But I'm trying, and I'm learning even though it's slow (the nurse who has seen me three times now for extra doppler heartbeat listens can attest to that). It's new territory that I couldn't be more grateful to be exploring.


Catherine said...

You're so right - I still work to slough off my PTSD sometimes. Will try to follow your good advice and example.

Anonymous said...

God yes. Thank you for writing this. I've been feeling like an honest-to-god crazy pregnant lady lately, no matter how much I try to remind myself that I'm merely an honest-to-god crazy lady who's ben through hell to get pregnant and can't believe her good luck can hold now that she is.

Good for your doc for giving you extra doppler sessions. Good for you for trying to find your way through the fear. Good for you for writing about it. Thank you.

Ashley said...

I've been missing you and waiting to celebrate with you that we have reached the 2nd trimester!! Your words are soooo true!! I don't think that we will ever get over how much we went through and we will always be afraid to lose this beautiful gift that we have be given. No one understands except those who have been through it!! I'm so glad you are back!! By the way you need to rent a doppler. Mine has made me feel 100 times better..even though my husband only lets me use it every other day;) I got it from it's worth it!! ((HUGS))

Michelle said...

I know it has to be so hard after everything and that is perfectly normal. I am so happy to hear that everything is going well. That is just so good to hear!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are good in a crisis! It is certainly hard to turn off that adrenaline. I find that many nights when I lay down to go to sleep, my heart is racing, for no good reason. I'm guessing that either I have a heart problem or I am letting myself stress and focus on the worry. It's probably the worry.

You are doing a really good job. Congratulations on the second trimester and for the end of spotting!

kirke said...

I love your story about standing up to your flasher :)

I also really felt like your words, "I know I sound ridiculous – I even bore myself – still sounding alarms when I've finally crossed into the second trimester..." spoke to me. I sound an alarm every single day. I'm hoping to move to every other day sometime soon... :) Thank you for posting, it makes me feel better knowing that there are others in the same frame of mind. It makes me feel a little less crazy.