Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Fear can be a very potent and powerful thing.

I want to say that the journey to this pregnancy was all roses, happiness and skipping. But it hasn't been. There was a lot of worry, fear and times when my husband muttered something about me being "out of my mind."

Fear and I have had a long relationship. My mother is convinced that I was born fearless. I started walking at 8 1/2 months old, curious to see the world, never worrying about falling or strangers. Then, my mother disappeared out of my life when I was 7, and I began to fear everything - the dark, strangers, being left alone. I couldn't even walk to the bathroom alone - I would have my little brother walk me to the bathroom (which was down the hall) and wait until I was done to walk me back.

As I got older, I feared the normal things kids fear - getting bad grades, disappointing your parents, paying for college, finding a boyfriend, not fitting in - the normal things.

It wasn't until around 5 years ago that I started feeling true fear, like nothing I had ever felt before. I didn't know I had Crohn's disease at that point, but I knew that my body had started acting funny, and was being extremely uncooperative. I started feeling little niggles of fear, and I did something very unusual for me: I went to the doctor. This terrible doctor proceeded to tell me that my symptoms were no big deal, that I was probably allergic to dairy, and that I needed to lower my stress. He would do some bloodwork, he said, and call me. He never called, and I never went back. To any doctor. For 3 more years, I suffered terrible symptoms that just got worse and worse, because I was afraid. Afraid that another doctor would tell me the same thing, afraid that I was imagining things, but mostly afraid of what these symptoms could mean. So I suffered in silence.

It wasn't until I moved to Chicago and fell in love with my husband that I realized I needed to figure this out - I was emotionally and physically drained, afraid all the time. I went to the ER, spent 3 days in the hospital, and got a diagnosis of Crohn's disease in 2010.

You would think that would have cured my fear - it didn't. It fueled it. In my mind, my body had "failed" me in the worst way. I would likely be on medications the rest of my life, and I wondered what kind of impact that would have on my already fragile immune system. I worried about the possibility of getting pregnant - my body had "failed" me already, would it fail me again?

When I got pregnant, I vowed to myself that this cycle of fear would end. I would stop worrying about if my body would fail me - I would have faith that my body would (finally) do it's job. And, so far, it has. I know every mother has worries and fears. But I needed to reign my fear in, and realize that just because my body doesn't have the most awesome intestines, doesn't mean it can't support and grow a baby.

I struggle with fear still - I have no morning sickness, so I wonder if the baby is okay and healthy. Will I miscarry? Will the baby be healthy? Will we have enough money for daycare? Will my baby suffer because we can't afford for me to stay home?

But this time, instead of letting fear rule me, I am taking control of myself. Because pretty soon, I'm going to be a mama. I want to teach my son or daughter that fear is unhealthy, that you can live life free of fear and worry. And the best way to teach them that? Live my life that way.

So from here on out, I am letting go of fear. Why do I hear Doris Day's voice in the background, "Que sera, sera...whatever will be will be....the future's not ours to see, que sera, sera."


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