So I’m going about this business of pregnancy, just doing what normal pregnant people do: Complaining about my weight, waddling to the diner for black and white milkshakes, scanning baby name books (and still not landing on anything…grrrrr), powdering the underside of my enormoboobs, and then, this morning, going through the utterly humiliating process of attempting to shave my bikini line in the shower–which, trust me, you want to know nothing about.
And of course, going to the OB.
“Just so you know,” she said, after a perfectly, delightfully routine visit,”after you give birth, I’m going to have to take a blood sample from the baby. You know…because of the toxo.”
Oh right. The toxo.
“Not that I think there will be an issue. But still, we have to test.”
You know…because of the toxo.
“I could probably just get it from the cord blood come to think of it. And I’ll have to send a sample of the placenta to the lab.”
“That’s cool,” I said, trying not to let on that my carefully constructed fantasy world of fetal health and perfection had just crashed around the examining table in a dusty black heap. “It’s not like I’m going to cook it for breakfast or anything.”
“Or bury it in the backyard.”
She laughed. I laughed.
Then she told me she wanted me to start going for non-stress tests once a week. You know…because of the toxo.
And then I left the office.
I forgot about the damn virus. Really forgot about it. Especially after the good amnio results back in December which indicate that pretty much all signs point to pfffft, don’t even give it another thought. But still, there’s always that teeny, tiny, minute little chance that…
Nearly four months of blissful denial, gone, in one fell swoop.
And now I can’t help but overanalyze my entire thought process since then. Have I avoided naming the baby because I’m scared something will go wrong? Have I not given her a cute little fetal nickname or washed her hand-me-down newborn clothes or avoided illegal cheeses as much as I probably should all because of this lurking anxiety–one that I refuse to articulate with much more clarity than what you’re seeing here.
I really want to go back to denial again. In fact, I am doing my best. And I’m getting fairly good at it, if I don’t say so myself. Too bad I can’t put “great denier” on my resume somewhere because I’m convinced that after this whole thing is over, I could teach classes in it. Maybe the 92nd Street Y.
I deny it by eating the bad cheese, by climbing up stepladders, by stealing sips of wine, by complaining about relatively insignificant pregnancy maladies, and especially by being terrible at taking my toxo medicine as regularly as I should.
What I can’t deny, I justify.
When I count the eight bazillion kicks that the squirmy girl makes during the non-stress test I think, good sign. Good sign. When people tell me I look small for eight months I try hard to accept it as a compliment and not an indicator that the baby’s not growing. When perfectly normal fears arise about loving that second child, I tell myself that all this drama will only make me love her more.
Thursday I have a comprehensive fetal anatomy scan that my doctor scheduled for some just-in-case 36 week measurements. If all is well, I know I can re-stamp my tourist visa for Happy Denial Land once again.
Until then I’ll be keeping busy visualizing all good things. Like a newborn who won’t stop crying. Bags under my eyes. Sore, cracked nipples. Twice the laundry. And three times the diapers.
All good things.