Friday, April 27, 2007

Optimism and Realism.

Last night, for the first time, I dreamed about my baby. It probably had to do with an email correspondence with Mom In Israel who gave me some information about nursing. I was nursing my baby (a girl, in the dream), and I saw that she was drinking, but she wasn't getting much, so I had to keep feeding her and feeding her. I was surprised, in the dream, to see that it was already milk and not colostrum.

Suddenly, I was filled with love for this baby who I haven't even seen except on an ultrasound (and the ultrasounds become less and less clear as the baby gets bigger - at this point, you see parts of a hand or head, and it's all kinda mushy... When it was only 14 weeks along, you could see the whole face at once.)

Some people who mean very well keep telling me "don't count your chickens before they're hatched" and "don't get so attached" and other things of that nature.

So I was thinking about it. There is, of course, a chance that things can go bad. It's possible that the baby won't survive the birth. It's possible that I'll deliver early, although at this point, the baby weighs over 3 lbs (1.5 kilos) and has an excellent chance of survival with relatively little trouble outside of the womb. - I know of babies born at half that weight who did fine.

It's also possible that while I'm walking to the supermarket, an airplane will fall on my head. Will it help me to worry about it? I think about all the things that can happen, and there are things we can protect against. We can make sure that our brakes are in good condition. We can fasten our seat belt every time we get into the car. We can't, however, do anything to prevent the driver in the next lane from talking on the phone, being stung by a bee, or just falling asleep.

In life, there are no guarantees.

On the other hand, if we sit and worry about what could happen, then we can't enjoy what does happen.

I could worry and be hesitant to connect to this baby now because it might not be born ok. After it's born, I could worry and be hesitant because there's always a risk of crib death. After the baby is past that age, I could worry and not connect because the child might get hit by a car on his/her way to school, because the child might be killed in army service, in a bus bombing, in a car accident... or of meningitis or rheumatic fever from untreated strep...

On the one hand, we should never take a moment for granted, because we have no guarantee of how many more moments we get. On the other hand, if we spend our whole lives protecting ourselves from potential pain, how can we enjoy the moments we have?

So dream, and enjoy this Shabbat.
Shabbat Shalom.
t.c. Goodman


mother in israel said...

AN overactive imagination about bad things happening to the baby is normal for most mothers, I think.

RaggedyMom said...

B'ezrat Hashem, everything should just continue to go well for you.

If anything, I found that rather than tempt me not to attach, the worries (especially after they were born) just made me feel more fiercely close and protective.

Maybe it's my personality, but after my kids were born, I worried even more! RaggedyDad and I check on them constantly at night. Movies, tv, or books with storylines involving a child who is sick, hurt, etc. are not bearable.

But I temper that with (trying) to accept that I don't control the world, and that I do have to enjoy the moment, as much as I can.

Feel good!

frumhouse said...

Pregnancy dreams are so vivid! I think that Hashem makes a pregnant mom bond with her baby long before it arrives. That way, we can handle whatever tests we might face when the baby is born. Why fight it? Will holding back your feelings change anything? It's all in Hashem's hands. Fall in love!!

AbbaGav said...

BShaah Tovah. Sorry I haven't been keeping up with all the important events, I barely visit my own blog these days. Good luck with the asthma, too. I've had it all my life and it's pretty annoying (used to be pretty scary when I was little).