Thursday, September 15, 2011

41 and Pregnant? Sections I, II and III.

I'm pregnant. I'm 41. I have four kids already -- all planned (weird, I know). Um. This one's of the non-planned variety.


FIRST, I would like to preemptively address some of my friends out there ...

To my zero population growth environmentalist friends: Listen, Republicans are out-populating us. I'm just doing my best to populate with some enviro-friendly Dems. So, back off.

To my friends who are like "Baggott pregnant again? Sarcastic gasp! (Yawn.)" -- It's cool. I get it. We can talk about other stuff. I won't baby-talk your heads off.

To my academic peeps who really live a life of the mind not the body -- I know I'm a reminder of our base animal nature. That's hard. It's actually very messy and growl-y. But, hate to tell you, you are an animal. We are all animals -- we just occasionally wear hats.

To many trying to get knocked up in your 40s -- maybe I'm a little ray of hope? Fertility is brutally unfair, and I've written some of you love letters along with this announcement. I want your babies to find you -- however that happens. (I feel like I have a greedy heart, and that it's on display.)

To those of you NOT trying to get knocked up at any age -- I offer myself as your cautionary whale.

To those of you who already know, who've been buoyant and generous and calm -- Thank you. I'll never forget those kindnesses.


FEARS. It's early. I've miscarried before. I've written about miscarriage, which is shrouded in silence. I wasn't going to announce the pregnancy early on because of that fear -- that I would have to announce a miscarriage. The truth is that I believe miscarriage -- if more openly aired -- might help with grief. Right now it operates as a secret society. Once you say you've miscarried, a network of women appears -- sometimes people you've known all your life but didn't know this ... To feel that so many had been there before me was very comforting. Also, I respect -- deeply -- those who choose not to announce early. But, also, I believe that if someone wants to share news of a pregnancy, they shouldn't have to whisper news of a loss. Loss is part of life.

I'm older. I've seen the charts. I know that my risks of having a child with health issues is much much higher than with my other pregnancies. I'm simply accepting the fact that we don't know -- day to day -- what any of our lives might bring, and soldiering on.

One thing about being a life-long hypochondriac is that there's some kind of weird zen hormone that's released into my system when I'm pregnant. I'm calmer, in general. Not laid back, no. There is no laid back version of Baggott. But I'm, you know, just on the hyper side of normal which is about seven notches down from where I normally exist. An upside.


I'm going to get to the insane hysteria of the weekend we found out here ... But my mother -- hyperphobic matriarch extraordinare -- is sending me Churchill quotes -- I kid you not -- stuff like "Here's Churchill's message to his people during WWII, 'KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.'"

(It makes you think -- do I sound a little shaken up in my phone calls? Like I'm calling from a bomb shelter?)

So, this is all I'm writing today, because I have to have time to CARRY ON. Don't we all.