Monday, June 23, 2014

Lightning, Ebola, Sharks, and Twenty Weeks Pregnant

Today, I thought about:

1) Lightning strikes (Did you know you shouldn't lie flat on the ground if you are caught outside in a thunderstorm?)

2) The "out of control" Ebola epidemic in West Africa

3) The 7.9 earthquake near Alaska

4) Great white sharks off the Jersey Shore (video of great white near boat)

5) Sun exposure and the risk of developing melanoma (five major sunburns between the ages of 10 and 15 can increase a child's melanoma risk by 80%)

After worrying about all five of these threats, it occurred to me that none are the actual source of my anxiety. I'm now twenty plus weeks pregnant. The last time, this is when I developed leukemia, and it's when it killed our baby.

Next week, we have the body scan ultrasound, at which last time we first learned our baby had died. As I'm typing, I can feel Baby Bean kicking. Yet I still don't want to go to the appointment next week.

Cancer patients often suffer from something coined, "scan-xiety." They may have a fear of or don't like getting test results, because the results might be bad. I'd never dreaded my quarterly blood draws for my PCR remission test. Yet during this pregnancy, I've found myself wanting nothing to do with doctors. Don't get me wrong: I have great doctors. It's just hard to shake a traumatic medical past. It's hard not to walk into my OB/GYN's office and not revisit what happened in 2011.

After everything goes fine at the ultrasound appointment next Wednesday, I think we'll start to feel like we're actually going to have a baby, that I'm going to be okay. We might actually start tossing around a few baby names, and discussing what it will be like to be a family of four. Until now, Rob and I have had an unspoken pact not to go there, not to jinx ourselves.

In the meantime, I'll be doing my best to focus on Baby Bean's kicks instead of lightning, Ebola, earthquakes, sharks, melanoma, or a leukemia relapse. Thump. I just felt another one.