Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Great Big Unknown

Last night I woke up at 2 am and never got back to sleep. For whatever reason (rainy weather, large steak dinner, messy house) I just lay in bed and worried. My primary worry seems to involve Baby A, our little boy. I never feel Baby A - just Baby B. She's a little jumping bean (well, not so little any more), kicking and punching and very obvious. All that movement makes me feel like she is feisty and happy and healthy. I've mentioned that I can't feel Baby A to the doctor a couple of times and he doesn't say anything in response (some reassurance would be nice but as I've mentioned, his bedside manner sucks). Baby A does have a strong heartbeat and all ultrasounds look good but the worries continue.

Current worries about Baby A - what if he isn't active because (1) he has fetal alcohol syndrome. I didn't know I was pregnant (after 2 years of trying I sort of stopped being vigilant about not drinking after ovulation) - during Christmas, New Years and a really fun (way TOO fun if you get my drift) 5th wedding anniversary in Washington, D.C. (we were married between Christmas and New Year's Eve). At most I was probably 3-4 weeks before I found out. I know the risks are pretty slim since the brain doesn't start developing until week 5 but what can I say it was 2 am. I know that our parents/grandparents drank and smoked while pregnant but as a Type A person I think if anything is wrong with my babies it somehow my fault for not gestating them properly.

Worry (2) is that he isn't moving because he's going to be autistic. Sometime in the last 5 plus years autism became very common (possibly in part because our diagnostic testing increased and partly because I started thinking about having kids) and I read somewhere (warning: no real research here other than quick Google) that 1 in 150 kids have it. Anecdotally I hear about it more often among boys. The stories about additional help, lack of social skills, etc. that my 5th grade teacher friend H tells me are frightening.

These appear to be "concrete" things I can worry about so that is what I am fixated on. In truth I'm probably worrying about the great big unknown that is descending upon us. It is coming much sooner than I thought it would (drat those 38 weeks that seem to be flying by). Maybe work has been good because it has kept my mind off the worries of parenthood but with work at a slower pace and our to-do-lists starting to see some progress I think I might have lots of time soon on my hands to worry.


Sally said...

I think 2 am worrying is a really normal part of pregnancy, although I know thats not reassuring when you're not sleeping. Also, if it makes you feel better, I never felt my baby B move and he is now a big, healthy boy. Most of my twin mom friends say that they only ever felt one of the babies move, too. Now, our active in the womb babies are our active out of the womb babies, too. Weird how that happens.
I wasn't trying to get pregnant when these boys happened, so I definitely had a lot to drink before I found out. In fact, the night I took the pregnancy test I had just been out with a friend celebrating the end of a semester of grad school. I ordered a pina colada and when the waiter asked if I wanted it with alcohol I laughed and insisted. When I got it, there was definitely no booze in it, so I SENT IT BACK for more liquor. Why I did this when I suspected I might be pregnant, I have no idea. Maybe some part of me knew it would be my last drink for a while and I wanted to make it count. I kicked myself for that throughout my pregnancy, but of course it didn't matter in the end.

Nancy said...

Oh yes, sleepless nights of worry. Yup - those don't end when the kids arrive either! ;) Helps to write it all out though, doesn't it?

Honestly, the babies who end up with the fetal alcohol syndrome are the ones who had a mom who drank a *lot* daily...not the ones who had a mom drink a *lot* once (or twice), or even the mom who has a glass of wine every night. (My husband assured me of this each time I craved a glass of wine and he handed me one!)

SMNYC said...

The webbed toes will help them swim faster!

Anonymous said...

I think your worries are normal. Sad to say, the worrying doesn't stop after they are born, either. I always think of the quote, "To have a child is to decide to forever have your heart walking around outside your body." It's so true.

I don't think you did any harm with your hard partying in those first couple of weeks. The babies were barely even implanted at that point, and the placenta had not at all developed, so really there isn't a way for them to have been affected. {{{hug}}}

What A Card said...

Yes, this is very normal, all the worrying. I was very worried about autism, especially as my boys were late talkers. They're three now, and I've found other things to worry about... :)

My Baby A didn't move that much. I think it had to do with positioning...he was so low. Maybe that's your issue, too. I just found my kick count sheets, and our Baby B would reach his kick count each time in about 10 minutes, and Baby A would take an hour!

Tiff said...

HI! I understand your worries. I have 9 month old boy/girl twins. I noticed a big difference in activity when I was pregnant as well. The difference in movement may just be personality. My little girl was very active in the womb and she is still VERY active. My little boy is just very mellow. He is able to just sit and look at books and things for long periods of time. I am a teacher also, and Autism usually doesn't present itself until 18 months. I really would enjoy your pregnancy and try to worry about other things (like getting a good nights sleep).