Saturday, January 12, 2013

Be Mindful What You Say...

Quite a few years ago, when I was pregnant with Josh, Jeremy and I went on a trip to see his grandparents in So. Cal. I had only seen them once since we had gotten married, so I was a little nervous.

Luckily for me, Jeremy's grandparents are super friendly, and keep an entire drawer of candy bars in the fridge for their visitors. They started going down memory lane, and told stories to entertain us. Blanche, Jeremy's grandma, ended up telling me about her grandbaby, Scott, who only lived a short time, due to an exceedingly rare birth defect (like there are only a handful of documented cases....in the WORLD). I wasn't bothered by her stories, and found it very sweet, actually, their love for Scott, and his short little life on earth that effected so many.

Apparently, though, Blanche was worried that her stories might make me nervous, what with me being pregnant and all, and told Harold, her hubby, to not let me see any pictures of Scott. Of course, that piqued my curiosity, and that curiosity was satisfied when I needed to use the bathroom and ended up seeing several  pictures of Scott in the hallway. I wasn't bothered at all, and wondered at Blanche's worry on my behalf.

Fast forward several babies and years....

Something happens as you gain experience...and as I gained some, I began to understand Blanche's distress.

I was profoundly oblivious during my pregnancy with Josh, but as I experienced more life, and met others who lost babies, or dealt with things like meningitis, or premature labor when their babies' lives hung in the balance, I developed an over-active sense of all-consuming terror during the final months of pregnancy. I would worry about my unborn child, and hoped and prayed that everything would be well with them, and that all would go well with delivery (I had also gained an appreciation of the possibility of my untimely death during labor).

Now, for those of you who don't know, or who haven't made the connection, the logical thought processes of a pregnant woman are about as stable as, say, a baking soda beach near a vinegar sea. And it seems to get worse each pregnancy (at least that's the case for yours truly).

So, a few days ago when someone I knew posted something about a woman who gave birth to a child with a severe health condition (and the article wasn't pretty...it was completely raw and gut-wrenching), I began to obsess about it, wondering if that would happen to me to. It got so bad, I couldn't get any sleep. I unloaded my mind to Jeremy, who reassured me that no matter what happened, it would be okay, and that we would love and care for our child no matter what happened. My brain acknowledged the truth of this, but my crazy pregnant body rejected anything except pure, unadulterated panic. I prayed for two days for peace so I could get some sleep and not be a stressed ball of hyper-paranoia.

My body fought what comfort God would give me, but eventually He seemed to prevail (though I have my moments where I'm on the brink of freaking out, because, you know, I don't know what's going to happen to the baby or me).

I was kinda mad at the person who posted the article, and thought (quite irrationally) that they should KNOW that I'm pregnant and that sort of thing, while entirely possible, and, with God's hand and help, completely handle-able, wasn't something that I needed to be thinking about, thank you very much. The little voice in the back of my head told me she didn't do it on purpose, and then the other, louder voice in the back of my head screamed that she should have thought about it before posting the stupid article, especially since she's a midwife and she spends 90% of her time with prego ladies and should know better. Panic is no way to start child labor. It squeezes the baby's head too much.

I had semi-gotten over it (I still have panic attacks when I'm tired), when another friend posted an article about how a three-year-old little girl was crushed by a dresser in her room because the furniture wasn't anchored to the wall. I sat at my computer reading the, again, completely raw and gut-wrenching account from the mother of what happened, and I ended up sobbing uncontrollably and couldn't finish the article. Again, the little voice in the back of my head told me that the person posted it to prevent other like accidents, and I did a quick mental scan of our furniture, and I weighed and measured the possibilities of my children all being crushed by different pieces of decor around the house. And then the louder voice in my head shouted that the person shouldn't have posted that when unstable people could potentially stumble across it and have  nervous breakdowns because of it. I nodded sagely to that voice, and considered saying something to the person, but then decided that that was probably a quick way to lose a friend.

So, I forced myself to go to Pinterest and look at pictures of puppies to stop myself from melting into a puddle of tears. It sorta worked. Kinda.

The moral of this very long story is: Think Before You Post Traumatizing Things, Because Some Crazy Pregnant Woman May End Up With High Blood Pressure And Go Into Pre-Term Labor Because Of It.

If nothing else, it has made me think about what I say to others. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have gone into elaborate detail about child labor with my sister-in-law who has yet to experience it. I think I freaked her out. Sorry, Jen. 

1 comment:

Trillium said...

The "let it all hang out" philosophy--saying everything that pops into one's mind-- is mindlessness glorified.

HOWEVER, "let YOUR speech be always with GRACE, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man [or person]" (Colossians 4:6)

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