I pride myself on many things. I know pride isn’t the best of emotions, but I’m being honest here.
I’m proud that I try to focus on the positive.
I’m proud that I haven’t allowed Charlie’s disability to make me bitter.
I’m proud that I have been able to see that his challenges and my challenges are not the same.
I’m proud that I moved past the “why me?” phase where I look at Charlie’s birth and life as some sort of punishment for things I have done.
But yesterday the doctor’s office called to confirm that I have been exposed to Fifth’s Disease and by the end of the day I knew that I had gotten it NOW as opposed to when I was a kid. I was coughing and sniffling; my eyes were watering.
If you don’t know, Fifth’s Disease is one of handful of childhood viruses that pregnant women are to avoid. Considered a mild illness, it can cause severe anemia in fetuses and has been linked to fetal death and miscarriage. Other possible complications include rapid heart rate and swelling of the body known as hydrops fetalis. It’s these details that pushed me over the edge. I already had a baby with rapid heart rate and hyrops. These same things eventually led to heart failure and the big, bad machine that made his brain bleed. I’ve learned first-hand that anything is possible when you get pregnant, but I was hoping to avoid a repeat of that lesson this time around. I know logically that there is a very small chance that these things could happen, but there are some things in life that it’s hard to be logical about.
So I cried–big, ugly sobs, the kind I haven’t seen in years. I did the whole thing: the woe is me thing, the not again thing, the why me thing. I took my sweet time hating people on Facebook who have scads of healthy children, but still find plenty of time to complain about lousy service or having to go to work. I wondered how many of them know just how lucky they have it.
I cried. Cried til my nose was stuffy and my head hurt. Cried until I woke up my husband who stayed with me until there were no more tears.
And then I slept. I slept hard and delighted as the babies moved around inside of me.
Today I am better. Not one hundred percent, but better, and tomorrow I’ll a couple more points.