Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Living in the Land of Maybe

I tend to like black and white. Bold lines. Yes and No. Gray areas are too confusing. I don't really think that there are "gray" areas in life. There is Truth and Not Truth. There is Right and Wrong. There is For and Against. Not a whole lot of gray in my world. There is waiting on God, of course, which is not so much gray, but just...waiting. Waiting for a yes or a no.

So I'm not sure if my Land of Maybe is a gray area or not. The Land of Maybe I am referring to is the land I live in while trying to have a baby. This is not meant to be a serious blog. Rather, it is meant to be a look at the fine line of scrutinizing every move I make.

The Land of Maybe is the land of "just in case." The Land of Maybe magnifies my lifestyle. It puts a grand mirror in front of me to show me "Do's" and "Don'ts". There are only about three or 400 things to freak out about when you are pregnant. The problem is those few weeks of "Am I or aren't I?"

When I have a headache, for example, I want to take the Excedrin because it is the only thing that works. But then I wonder if I should go the safe route with the Tylenol, as it is the only thing that is recommended as a painkiller when you are pregnant. And Tylenol is like eating cotton candy to me. There is no redeemable value to it.

I'm not a huge coffee drinker, but I have found it to be taking more precedence in my morning than it used to. I don't necessarily drink a cup every day, but at least every other day I enjoy a cup o' joe. My one cup is considered in the "safe zone" for what a pregnant woman could drink, but there have been several scientific studies (oh, those darned things) to show that if you have too much caffeine in your day, you have a higher risk of miscarriage. Now, usually it is two cups of coffee or six caffeinated sodas. But what if I have one cup of coffee, and then a Coke when I'm out to eat, or some sweet tea at McDonald's...what if it is just too much?

Then there are the times when we go to our friends' house to swim. And they have a hot tub. Ah, a hot tub. Which I would flat choose over a swim in the pool any day of the week. And then you read the books. And they say a possible "quick dip" in the hot tub may not cause any problems, but if your internal body temperature raises to 102 degrees, you are risking it. But then it says that most women get out of the hot tub before that point because they feel too hot. So do you take that chance that your body will know to get out of the hot tub at the right time, or forgo it altogether?

Then there is the cat's litter box. Crawling with toxoplasmosis. And I try so hard to tell Paul that well, I could be pregnant, and does he really want that on his conscience if our kid is born without ears or something because I changed the cat poop? He says show him the two pink lines on the test, and he'll take over. Until then, it's my job.

And there's lunch meat. Did you know you are not supposed to eat lunch meat if you are pregnant? It might have food-borne bacteria on it. Who knew?

And what about that spoonful of cookie dough I ate? Okay, six spoonfuls. I know it has raw egg in it, but it was calling my name with it's chocolate chips and doughy goodness. What person of moderate strength and resistance could turn that down. None.

Of course, let's not forget the daily vitamins. I am pretty good about taking my awesome vitamins every day, including my folic acid intake. But what if I forget a day? Especially at the most critical point of development which may just be before I know!

Here's the deal, folks. I could be pregnant. I could not be pregnant. So there may be a two to three week period each month when I am slightly insane. My friend April told me before I knew that I was pregnant with Abigail and I was afraid to take an Excedrin for a massive headache that lots of women smoke pot or do crack and have babies that are just fine. Well, maybe not just fine, but I think she was saying that there are worse things than taking one dose of Excedrin.

Don't worry. I'll let you know when we actually have news to share. Right now I am just describing my internal insanity and hoping you can have a laugh at my expense.

Because what if I laugh too much???? Have they done a scientific study on the effects of your abdomen shaking too much during those first weeks as a blastocyst? Oh man.


Lindsay said...

Your land of maybe sounds a whole lot like a land of legalism. A land of rules and regulations with very little grace or mercy. How about having faith that, as long as you are acting in wisdom, God has full control over your baby and his hand of protection never leaves you. The March of Dimes (a preeminent expert in prenatal health) approves 200-300 mg of caffeine per day for a pregnant woman. One cup of coffee plus one cup of Coke/tea is well within that range. Not only that, but many of the "precautions" that are recommended for pregnant women are on the most extreme edge of precaution.

You could be someone like me who follows all of the crazy tiny minuscule pregnancy rules and still end up with an incredibly difficult and dangerous pregnancy. I really believe that, as long as we're acting wisely instead of foolishly, God has the power and ability to cover our iniquties. The grace to bridge the gap. The mercy to fix what we may accidentally mess up.

Give yourself a really big break!! During those two weeks before you know if you're pregnant, you aren't even sharing a blood supply with the baby yet. The placenta is not formed, and the baby is living strictly off the yolk sac, which does not share a blood supply with you. Personally, I believe it's a safeguard that God created just for instances like this. So that we wouldn't live in fear and trembling during a time of maybe.

So...for those last two weeks before you're sure if you're with or without child, live it up! Have a cup of joe and a nice big cup of McD's sweet tea! (But I would still pass off the responsiblity of cleaning the cat litter! Even when you're sure you're not pregnant! Yuck!) :)

Here's hoping you'll have a rock-solid reason to be paranoid soon!!

nlamom said...

After having 3 miscarriages, and following all the rules, (and completely driving my husband crazy) I asked my doctor about all of that, and she said the same thing. There is nothing I did that could have caused it. It is just one of those things that happens, and only God knows why. You can't get yourself all worked up over it, until you know for sure. I followed the rules and had 2 very high risk pregnancies, and both babies are perfect. I think I even probably drank too much caffeine while pregnant with Noah. I know at the end of my pregancy with Liane I drank a lot of caffeine just so the doctors wouldn't freak out during my non-stress tests, and even then she wasn't moving like they wanted her to, and they ended up delivering her early.

I know it's hard not to worry about all those things. I did it to. But try not to, it's in God's hands.


MamaS said...

My dear Amy,
You were the little girl I "planned" to have in favorite month. Well guess what? God decided you would come in December...not even the January date that the Dr. had predicted. You know we always say that God's timing is seldom early but is never late. Just enjoy the end of August and it will happen when it happens and I give you permission to have coffee, a coke, and chocolate chip cookies all in the same day with my sweet little Abigail. MamaS

Amy said...

This blog was worth it just for my mom's comment. :)

twtharp said...

I tried the 2 pink line test - it came up negative - went to a wedding in Wisconsin with mom & aunt. We got in the hot tub & guess what - 2 weeks later the doc said I was pregnant! I contribute that hot tub dip to Jake's wild personality!! :)

meg said...

I hear you. While there are no health restrictions in my part of the Land of Maybe, I know the area pretty well and am happy to point all of the local points-of-interest...

Be well, My Friend.

Anonymous said...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Sooo....don't be a crazy woman!