As pregnant women, we play a lot of the 'what if' game. What if something is wrong with the baby? What if I'm not prepared for motherhood? What if I can't handle the demands of a newborn? Stop. Trust me - I've gone through a lot of less-than-ideal 'what if' situations in the past couple months, and it's not helping anything. Know that your child has high odds of making it to term safely and without complication, and coming into the world happy and healthy. As a fellow hormone-fueled pregnant woman, I know how hard it is to believe these things, but look around you! Would there be THIS much traffic in Austin if the majority of women miscarried, or most babies were born with crippling disabilities? I think not. My advice? Have faith, pray if that's your thing (and even give it a try if it's not - you'll be surprised at the comfort you find!), and keep hoping for a positive outcome.
One 'what if' that I've been happy to indulge, however, is this: What if everything that has happened in my life up until now has been to get me to THIS moment, THIS pregnancy and, ultimately, THIS baby? Sure makes some of my weaker moments easier to bear, that's for sure! What if every job I've ever had or turned down, every loser I ever dated and the winners that slipped away, every choice I made along the road, both easy and incredibly difficult to live with, were to help me to get here? That time I drank so much Jager it's a wonder I'm alive? Yep - stupid in retrospect (and even as soon as the next morning!), but do I feel certain that my hard-partying ways are behind me, and I can look forward to motherhood without thinking of all the youth I'm giving up. Was living and working in NYC difficult for me, as a woman all alone trying to find my way, and so incredibly homesick for Austin I couldn't think straight? Absolutely. But I had always wanted to spend a year in NYC, and now I can't think of a single thing I will regret not doing before starting a family. How much easier to swallow does our past become when we learn to recognize where it has gotten us? So, yes, while there are things I am sorry for having done, and I regret my intention at the time, or the childish way I behaved toward a person, I am thankful for my life, from birth until now, and all of my mistakes, if THIS is what they were steering me towards.
So, the next time you start to play the 'what if' game, researching miscarriage rates and rates of Downs Syndrome and other chromosomal and congenital abnormalities (trust me - I'm THAT girl also!), take a deep breath and ask yourself instead, "What if every choice I've ever made has lead me to this moment and to the beautiful child growing inside me?"