Crazy or not?

Thank the universe and medical science for Baby Man. I kiss him and hug him and tell him he’s the best thing ever a thousand times a day.

Here’s my crazy thought. We all know how often people tell us in subsequent pregnancies to “relax,” that our stress can affect the baby. I’ve read currently pregnant babyloss mama’s words as they struggle to “enjoy” their pregnancy for the baby’s sake.

Well we recently got Baby Man’s first “semester report” from daycare, which confirmed much of what I already knew. Guess who’s a very relaxed, easy-going baby? Guess who’s so cheerful and happy that random strangers comment on it? Yep, that’s right, the baby whose mama spent her pregnancy scared out of her mind, a nervous wreck, and freaking out in L&D every few weeks.

I can’t take credit. I didn’t do this to Baby Man. He came out this way.

But then, he’s also “exceptional” in his empathy. He’s 12 months old and crawls over to pat and comfort crying children. He watches people so carefully through the wisest, sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen. My Baby Man.

I’m sure this sounds just as crazy as the blame game and laying guilt on already-stressed women about their stress. But I like to think that maybe Baby Man absorbed a little love for other human beings as he lay in my uterus, because somehow, somewhere his system recognized what other people called “stress,” as a marker instead of the incredible love and desire I had, and his father had, and all of our friends, family, and every doctor and nurse who cared for us had, to bring him into this world alive, healthy and strong.

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5 responses to “Crazy or not?

  1. The Cub is also very sweet and mostly laid back. Unless he wants something, and we haven’t figured out what it is.

    More on point, I think people who tell us to relax FOR THE BABY can bite me. It’s not like we enjoy being scared out of our wits. It’s just that we are. Because we know. I said throughout my pregnancy with the Cub that my fear was love’s twin. I knew exactly what there was to lose, and so I was scared.

    Where I am driving is that telling people who can’t possibly not be scared to not be scared just adds to the worry. Cause now the person in question is also worried about being worried/scared. So: bite me.

  2. Ditto the bite me from Julia. And thanks for posting this. This has been an added worry of mine. I have even had people point out to me that I am harming this baby by worrying. And that just makes it worse.

  3. You know, I agree, there seems to be an inordinate number of studies that involve blaming pregnant women’s stress for problems with babies development later, but they all seem observational or anecdotal or whatever.

    They sure don’t seem to want to help us get less stresses by actually helping us with health care expenses or living expenses or opening the doors, or making it easier for us to be off work or work less. They just like blaming “mothers”.

  4. I’m so glad you are blogging again and that you got through the fall in one piece. And glad to hear that BabyMan is doing so well at one 🙂 Thank you for your kind comment on my blog — I will write a real response soon. And I look forward to catching up with you in person one of these days. Good luck with the job search!

  5. Hmm. Now, I could swear that I’ve read (read of and read) studies (decent ones) which have clearly determined that stress during pregnancy does not adversely affect the baby.

    But since it’s been ages since I’ve brought a pregnancy to term (6.8 years), and therefore am currently avoiding pondering the topics of conceptions and pregnancy in any sort of real-world way, and since I fled academia (screaming all the way) several months ago, I doubt I’ll be able to lay hands on them any time soon.

    Once upon a time I read your blog regularly, Beruriah, but I had to tuck away from all blog-reading for some while. Anyhoo, don’t know if there were any other Beths or if you’d remember me etc etc, but wanted to let you know I’m not a complete out of the blue ‘stranger.’ (New blog though).

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