So, I figured out what my problem is. When it comes to my body, I have a freakishly obsessive fear of the unknown. As a 20-year diabetic, my job has always been to be IN control of what is happening. And not just IN control, but under very tight surveillance of what enters, exits, and impacts my body. I’ve worked for 20 years to perfect this sense of bodily control. And, what larger wrench to throw into the mix than pregnancy, my friends?! We wouldn’t want life to get too easy now, would we?
As a pregnant woman at this stage in the game, I may as well throw all caution to the wind and eat chocolate cake with a constantly-running IV of insulin pumping into my system. That would be just as effective as my feeble, yet intentional, attempts at maintaining control. I’m going to grow back fat. I’m going to develop swollen ankles and stretch marks. My placenta is going to devour 90% of my insulin intake. And, I have no say in the matter. The question is, how am I supposed to cope with my fear of the unknown when I’ve been an “answer person” all my life?
This morning I had a(nother) visit with my OB and she always makes the mistake of asking me if I have any questions. This is when I pull out my sheet of note paper and read down my list of “urgent-answers-needed” inquiries that have come up in the past three days. “How will I know when I’m in labor? What is a birth plan? When will I get an epidural? What are the main differences between a natural birth and an unnatural birth? When should I start pushing? Who, what when, where, why, how!!??”
She tried to give a nice, patient stock answer of “it’s different for everyone” but I wasn’t buyin’ it. No. You’re a doctor. You figure ME out and I would like an individual-case scenario drawn out for me. I want to know when I should go, who I should expect to see, what will be poking me, what potential problems could arise…for ME. Not for the “general public.” Not for the “majority of woman.” No. It’s MY body and you’ve been researching it for as far back as I can remember, so I don’t think a quick timeline outlining my specific expectations is too much to ask for.
OK, maybe it is. Maybe I’m being high-demand. I’ve always been in the driver’s seat, and lately it seems that I’ve been demoted to the trunk, giving the good seats up to Doctor A, Doctor B, Doctor C, and Fetus (and let’s not forget his greedy friend, Placenta). When I sense that I’ve lost that control, I get anxious, and my fear rolls around long enough in my head to create very frightening (though highly unlikely) scenarios. I know my fears stem from stories I’ve heard or movies I’ve watched, but that doesn’t mean they COULDN’T happen to me (with the exception of Pet Cemetary or Poltergeist – hopefully). Then, when I actually SEE some of these horror stories happen to friends or family, I find myself begging to regain control – like if I could know every little detail, I could prevent disaster and prepare my emotions in advance. That’s not how it works. I get it. Wishful thinking is all.
My heart goes out to those who have lost babies, both pre- and post-birth. I can’t imagine working so hard for so long to simply watch something go that you’ve grown to love and nurture. Nothing pains my heart more. And, I know that this had nothing to do with their control.
So, maybe I just need to throw my hands up, get comfortable in the trunk, and sacrifice my body to a new team of experts – baby included. Everything happens for a reason, and whether mine goes in the direction of a Snow White Disney-esque delivery or comes straight out of “that scene” from Aliens, whatever will be will be. Que sera sera.