You can't compare pregnancy to anything else. Not even parenthood.
Yeah, sure, "It's easier to take care of them in there than out here!" Well, that depends on what you mean by "easier." Yes, "in there," I don't have to DO anything to feed Troy Emmitt; once he's "out here" feeding him will require action on my part, or the part of one of the many other people who will be caring for him once he is no longer part of my body.
But that's the problem.
EVERYTHING I eat, he gets. Once he's out, if I'm breastfeeding, he gets most of what I eat, but there are ways to get around that -- I can wait until the offending food is out of my system before feeding him again. If I formula feed, I don't have to worry about that at all. But now? Nope. I eat it, BOOM! immediately, he's eating it.
If I'm not eating enough, he's not eating enough. If I'm not drinking enough water, he's not getting enough water. If I have caffeine, he's having caffeine. And while it may be "fine" for an adult woman to have ONE caffeinated drink a day, it's not "fine" for a newborn to have that same amount of caffeine injected directly into his bloodstream. So imagine what that does to a fetus that's even younger and smaller than a newborn.
Same goes for any medicine I may need to take. Fun, huh?
Same goes for any involuntary actions and feelings.
If I'm stressed out, guess what! He feels it. Yeah, sure, tell me to "relax" and not worry about stuff. BECAUSE THAT'S GOING TO TAKE CARE OF IT.
I can make myself LOOK relaxed. I can take deep breaths and smile and sit quietly -- that's not going to make the stressful situation or feelings go away, it's just going to make those of you outside of me feel better about it.
I can refrain from talking about the stressful situation, but I can't stop my mind from thinking about it. Trust me, I try -- my mind's going to go there. I can try to focus on other things, but it's going to find a way to go back to it.
I can control the outward appearance of "stress," but I can't control my body's physiological responses to it. And the fetus feels the physiological responses, not my outward demeanor.
But, FUN AS THAT IS, it's not just that.
Right now, I'm the only person in the world who can feel Troy Emmitt.
Yeah, you can put your hand on my belly and feel that foot that just kicked me in the ribs. Or you can put your hand on my belly and feel the rhythmic thumping of his hiccups. (You, however, can remove your hand when you get bored, and stop feeling these things. I'm stuck with them 24/7. Yeah, it was cute at first. Exciting, and all that jazz. But after a while? I just want to sit, okay? I want my body to stop doing these weird things.)
But whose responsibility is it to check kick counts daily? Is he moving? Is he dead? When was the last time he moved? Is he moving enough? Has the frequency of his movement changed? Has it changed enough that I need to contact my doctor, let her know something may be wrong?
We found out about halfway(ish) through that we were at a higher risk than most for a stillbirth. That's nice. So, besides dealing with everything that life involves, I need to be constantly attuned to my uterus and its movements -- because a decrease may mean my fetus is dead. And the only person who can be in charge of this oh, so pleasant task is ME. No one can relieve me of this duty, or take over for an hour. Just me!
So far, I'm 37 and a half weeks and I haven't killed the kid yet. He's still moving around in there. So that's good.
But yesterday we found out he has a "prominent aorta." Which could mean there's something wrong with him, bad enough to require surgery once he comes out, or it could mean nothing at all.
I don't know if you noticed, but yesterday was Friday. Which means today's Saturday, and tomorrow's Sunday. Monday doesn't show up until AFTER that, so that's how long we have to wait until the other doctors can do yet another sonogram to look at this uppity aorta and decide if it's nothing, or if it could be something. If they say it could be something, then we get to go to yet another doctor to do yet another test to see what sort of something it could be.
(Remember that "stress" thing? Yeah.)
We've been having weekly sonograms for seven weeks now. Why did this aorta thing not show up in any of the other sonograms? Did it just grow from last Friday to this one?
That's what would make the most sense, right? This abnormality JUST NOW developed.
So... where did it come from?
What happened NOW that made this thing screw up?
I currently have two huge, red scratches on my left thigh from when one of the cats tried to get in my lap when I was sitting on the toilet. I also have several smaller scratches on my hands, from when I had to pick up the other cat to get him out of the bedroom, and he felt he should stay in there.
Throughout the last eight months I've accumulated quite a collection of bites and scratches from our four cats. Three of whom are known hunters. Who kill and eat wild game. (If suburban rats, mice, and birds are considered "wild game.")
You know why pregnant women aren't supposed to garden or change the cat litter? Because there are bugs in dirt and cat feces that can cause birth defects. These bugs are not just in cat feces, but in cat bodily fluids; the reason we focus on the cat poop is because that's how most people interact with bodily fluids or excretions.
These bugs come from cats eating raw meat. Like rats, mice, and birds (wild and suburban varieties).
Despite living with cats for pretty much all my life, at the start of this pregnancy I did not have the immunity to these little bugs, which means if I was exposed to them sometime during the pregnancy, I could make Troy Emmitt have some nasty, horrible birth defect.
I've been getting scratched and bitten by cats who kill and eat raw meat. And now my fetus has a "prominent aorta" -- a potential birth defect.
You do the math. What is any rational person going to assume?
They may be "easier" to take care of "in there" than "out here." But you know what would be nice? NOT being the one and only person to blame.