When I was a kid, I was the biggest weenie there is. Huge chicken. Giant scaredy-cat.
Let me give you a ridiculous example. Once, after watching a particularly dramatic episode of Rescue 911, I became convinced that my bedroom was the perfect target for a ‘cat burglar’ to strike. From then on, I did my very best to sleep with my eyes open facing the window next to the tree that the supposed cat burglar might supposedly try and climb two stories to enter through my window, watch me sleep, and then steal away my most precious naked Barbies. Even seeing the time 9:11 on the clock would cause me to freeze in terror.
I think it goes without saying that I needed a nightlight and teddy bear to be able to sleep…ok, and yes, I still sleep with the bear. Yes, I am almost 30. Leave me alone.
Roller blading downhill? No thanks! Play chicken on my bike? I’ll pass.
My sister on the other hand, was fearless, spontaneous, dare-devilish. I always wanted to be able to be more like her. Less chicken, more brave.
The deep end of the swimming pool was another one of those things that was so incredibly scary to me. Why could every one else dive in head-first without a thought of what might happen to them? My thoughts paralyzed me into skipping deep-end games like “Shark & Minnows”, pretending like I thought it was stupid. The fear of “What if?” gripped me and prevented me from ever joining in.
Time has passed and thankfully, somewhere along the road, I stopped being so scared all the time. Well, that is, until Callie died. And it got worse after finding out I was pregnant. Truthfully, after the initial euphoria of the positive pregnancy test wore off, I sank into a deep, dark, and scary place. I was terrified. Terrified of the “What if?” Desperately trying to think of every scenario that could possibly happen, everything that anyone could say that might miff me…I tried to plan out how I would handle each and every one of these situations. Sat up late thinking about it. Got furiously mad for a few weeks for ever being put in the place of having these fears. Let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty.
And then a few weeks ago, it happened. I had just finished telling my therapist all of my strategies (one of which included hiding in a cave and emerging in April on the other side of childbirth) when she asked me, “What are you scared of?” I looked at her like she was the most ignorant woman in the world. Um, duh! Isn’t it obvious!! How much does she get paid for this??
I opened my mouth to tell her how Callie’s passing made me scared to death to have another baby. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t say a word. And then, like a ton of bricks I realized that maybe it wasn’t so obvious. That wasn’t exactly it. Am I scared something bad will happen? YES. But, I’ve always been a little scared something bad will happen. Even before Callie was born. What I really am scared of is getting hurt. I had spent weeks trying to protect my already broken heart. I strategized and plotted, but the bottom line is… you can’t.
You can’t protect your heart. Not if you plan on living, that is.
So, with that. I decided to take the plunge. I’ve been given an opportunity. I can live in fear. I can try and think of everything. But the ugly truth is that it’s not possible. And not desirable either. If I came out of my cave in April with the worst possible outcome, another loss, what would I have to show for the months I held this child in my womb? Fearful fretting? Or living in the moment, savoring the small things, optimism in spite of it all?
I would choose the latter. No matter how many times something terrible happens to me. I would rather allow myself to be happy than to be miserable.
Does that mean I won’t be fearful? Baaaaahhahahahahahahah. Of course! But, will I let it control me? Give it power? NOPE. Not this girl. Not anymore at least.
A friend of ours recently sent us a congratulatory card, having no idea that this blog post has been brewing in my mind. She described a time that her brother had dared her to “grab the brass ring” that dangled just out of reach of their hometown merry-go-round. Well, she did it. She reached out and grabbed the ring while spinning perilously on the merry-go-round. She wrote, “I feel like that is what you both are doing as you wait for your Rainbow Baby to make a safe arrival…some of the greatest joys in life require risks that scare and delight us at the same time”. Enclosed, was the small brass ring.
I couldn’t have said it better.
So here I am. I’m diving into the deep end. Ok, maybe not diving… more like a ‘pencil’ jump, with goggles and nose plugs…but I’m in the deep end. I’m here.
Thanks for all your warm congratulations, support, and prayers. xoxo.