|Baby Brooks, last sonogram at 11 weeks and 3 days|
But each time I face that dreaded ultrasound machine, the same machine that told us over a year ago that our first baby stopped growing at 6 weeks and 2 days, I think I’m going to hurl. I’m a nervous wreck. I pray, I plead with God, I squirm uncomfortably.
I should look forward to these appointments. I’m fascinated by seeing this baby-like thing swim and flip and make movements I can’t feel or physically realize yet. It makes me feel like a wonderful walking science experiment. But worry tends to take over and spoil this.
I’ve been listening intently to my body for over 12 weeks as if that’s going to give me some semblance of control over anything. Perhaps if I just would have paid better attention last time, I think to myself, I would have noticed something was off and wouldn’t have been so sock-you-in-the-face surprised. I keep fretting about not “feeling pregnant enough,” whatever that means. I feel queasy but am not throwing up. My boobs are sore off and on. It’s like I’m convinced I have to feel utterly miserable every moment of the day or else that means something’s wrong and it's all going to disappear. I keep thinking about all the women who’ve said they had two or even three miscarriages before they were able to carry a healthy baby. The idea haunts me, but not as badly as this question: will I ever enjoy being pregnant?
As Mother’s Day approaches, I think of the way my mother still worries about me at 28 years old and my older brothers at 34 and 36 years old. And I realize, this worry isn’t the result of a failed pregnancy experience – this is a result of motherhood. This is the result of loving something more than you can bear. No, this won’t go away. This is just part of the package. Maybe it's a responsibility given to mothers because we’re somehow magically equipped to handle it, even if there are moments we seriously doubt we can. Like when you want to scream in a sonogram room.
So for the next seven months, eighteen years, infinity and beyond, I have to accept that worry will be my resented companion, keeping me on my toes at every milestone. All I can do is breathe, and try to enjoy pregnancy regardless. What choice do I have, really?
How do you manage the worries of motherhood?
Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Stepmom, and Mom-to-be due in November.