The Path More Traveled
As I write this latest entry, I think about how pregnancy and birth are daunting. But my thoughts were interrupted by the news coverage about a guy on TV in a spacesuit freefalling! All in effort to break the sound barrier. Introducing Felix Baumgartner, who was the first person to jump from 24 miles up. There is very little air at that height. And no one to catch you. And who knows exactly where you will land after your tumble through the sky. Now that takes daunting to a whole new level.
But still, pregnancy and birth are daunting. Maybe because of all the unknowns. Before you’re pregnant, so much of life is predictable. When you leave for work, you know there’s a good chance that traffic will be a headache. And that when you get to work you’ll get the parking space furthest from the door, and before you get a cup of coffee you’ll learn the client that was not satisfied yesterday is just as miserable today. After work, while strolling down the snack aisle, it’s entirely possible that although there are eight Orville Redenbacher’s flavors, but the store will have run out of the kind you like.
After you get pregnant, suddenly life becomes unpredictable. Pregnancy symptoms come and go. Because pregnancy involves your body, you can get the feeling of being trapped by certain circumstances for the entire pregnancy. Nine months is a long time to feel nauseous. And to be growing. And to have bizarre food cravings. You start to wonder: Will you have a boy or a girl? How will the birth go? And don’t even start trying to predict what motherhood will be like!
But one way to be more calm when thinking about having a child is to look at how many people there are in the world. If pregnancy and birth were that difficult, no one would do it. Okay, maybe some people would do it once, but lots of people do it over and over. How bad could it be if they keep doing it?
Felix Baumgartner got from space to the ground in about six minutes. But he was in uncharted territory. Yes, you can expect to be pregnant for nine months, but at least you’ll be in the company of what, like six and a half billion other people? You won’t be in a stuffy spacesuit. No breaking the sound barrier. The only thing you have to break is your water. And you can get help with that.