Panic and Bad Mothering

I haven’t posted very much lately because I was in the throes of a 4-week panic attack.  In the three weeks after my first official appointment where I saw the little yolk sac that was Fetusaurus on the monitor, my cervix or some such nonsense down there went into full-scale rebellion, bleeding gently and spotting multiple times every day.  Every time I went to the bathroom, I feared the worst, and for those of you who’ve been through this, you’ll know that you go to the bathroom frequently.  So essentially, every trip to the toilet was an opportunity for renewed panic. 

I was one hundred percent convinced that I had done something horribly wrong, and at any moment Fetusaurus was going to jump ship, that he/she was going to say, “Screw this; she drank three glasses of wine the night she took the pregnancy test, and now she’s LEAKING?  Who needs this?” and claw its way out.  I called the doctor’s office.  The nurse told me that basically unless I started to hemorrhage, it probably wasn’t a big deal.  “Lady,” I wanted to say, “listen.  When I get a headache, I become convinced that it’s a brain tumor turning my cerebral cortex into cheesecloth.  When my husband is super late and doesn’t call, I am convinced that someone is scraping him off of the freeway with a spatula.  I troll Google and Web MD for fun, just to see what things could potentially be wrong with me.  I watch other peoples’ children run up cement steps and have brief, heart-stopping visions of them tripping and falling and teeth flying everywhere.”  I didn’t say this.  I put on my grown up voice, my voice that says, “I am competent and calm,” and thanked her.  Then I sat down next to the bathroom and cried, having to pee but afraid to go in.  I was sure that any minute my body would evict Fetusaurus, kick him/her to the curb.

When that didn’t happen, I then resigned myself to the undeniable fact that while Fetusaurus still, to my knowledge, remained firmly planted, he/she was steadfastedly either refusing to grow, or committing him/herself to growing an absurd amount of legs, or a head shaped like a bottle, oblong and semi-pointy.  The bleeding stopped at about eight and a half weeks, but I was certain that this just meant that Fetusaurus’ abnormal head and octopus legs were absorbing all of it.

Finally the doctor’s appointment rolled around.  I’m not sure how I made it the whole four weeks without having a nervous breakdown.  At some point I realized that I needed to try to think the best for Fetusaurus, and really believe that he/she was okay in there, and just trust that I could find someone to special-manufacture onesies for babies with an inordinate amount of legs. 

But during the ultrasound, there was a baby in there.  The doctor pointed to the screen and said, “See?  There’s the head.  And there are two legs.  There’s an arm.”  Naturally, I fixated on the last sentence and began wondering if we should get Fetusaurus fitted for a hook or a light saber, but then she shifted the scope a bit and showed us the other arm. 

And then I could breathe again.


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