Posted by: laughing4heir | October 13, 2009

Snug. Probably. Safe? Eh…

No guarantees.

No guarantees.

Since I’ve gone public with my pregnancy, I’ve had a few women – maybe two or three or four – say something to me along a common theme that I find very curious.  “Enjoy your pregnancy.  It’s the only time you know your baby is completely safe and taken care of.  It’s the only time you have total control over their safety.”


Granted, these women didn’t know about my previous history, and I can only assume that each of their pregnancies resulted in a live baby delivered at, or near term.  Otherwise, how could one so easily dispense that reason for enjoying pregnancy?  I find it hard to believe they’d hold me personally responsible and accountable for the losses of my previous five pregnancies.  (Though, there’s little doubt in my mind there are some wack-jobs out there who would.)

Of course, I smile and nod politely and respond with a shy, “Okay.”  But naturally I’m thinking:  “The only time I know it’s taken care of?  The only time I have control over its safety?  You have no idea what you’re talking about.”  The only thing I can say about my offspring, in this condition, is that I know where he is and under whose physical protection he is.  I can’t vouch for her safety, really.  I feel her kicking and moving, so I assume all is well, but I don’t know how she is reacting to her environment.  I don’t know if he is perilously close to kicking the snot out of the low-lying placenta which would endanger us both.  I don’t know if she has an organ condition unfolding that could lead to a prenatal fatality.  I don’t know if he’s having an allergic reaction to something I ate.  There are SO many ways I don’t know if this baby is safe; that I don’t have control over its safety.  Just because she’s inside me, doesn’t make her safety any more certain than if she was outside me, fully gestated.

And assuming I have complete control – or even a large portion of control – over the baby’s safety assumes a lot.  It assumes I have a large amount of control over my own safety.  We like to think – especially in this nation of self-determinism – that we have the majority, if not complete, control over our own safeties and destinies.  But really, we’re lucky if we have 50% control.  I drive in a car to work every morning.  I can only control my own safety so much.  I fly in in airplanes, where I have way far less control.  I breathe air, drink water and eat food polluted by generations of waste and chemical experimentation – even if I ate only locally grown, organic food this would be the case.  I climb staircases, step over and around obstacles and turn corners in a hurry.  Gravity is not, and has never been, my friend.  Trips, slips and falls happen.  Sure, my baby is protected by the finest suspension system nature has to offer a woman’s body, but it’s not fail-safe.

What I can say is that my baby is likely warm and hopefully cozy and comfortable.  It’s the only time in early parenthood when I can take my kid with me to a movie unsuitable for children.  It’s the only time in early parenthood when I can do fun stuff with my husband and not worry about a babysitter.  It’s the only time in early parenthood when I can do fun stuff without my husband and not worry that leaving him with the baby is overwhelming him.  It’s the only time I can be a parent and still be pursue my own interests more or less as I like, as far as I see it.  At least that’s how the experience unfolded so far.

There is really little I can say with certainty about the state of my baby as she is inside of me. He seems to respond to my laughter. She’s healthy, as far as we’ve been able to gleen. Can I rest assured that I control his sustained safety?  Of that I’m pretty certain:  no.



  1. Okay, whatever. I say, don’t enjoy your pregnancy. Pregnancy is not designed for enjoyment. It’s hard work, and you’ll be really glad when it’s over! And you know what? You’re justified in looking forward to having it be over. Know why? Cause you’ll have a baby then!

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