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Reality TV: Reality Pregnancy

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a blog by joy and jim

I just discovered a new TV show. “Deliver Me” is on Discovery Health every Tuesday. I found it while channel surfing during “The Hills” commercial break. (No, it’s not lost on me that I’m 37 and still watching vapid twenty-somethings attempt to cobble together a coherent thought.) I’ve only seen the show once. It’s about three OBs -- good friends and colleagues -- navigating their way through career, family, and treatment of all different kinds of patients. Last week’s episode focused on Dr. Bohn’s own pregnancy. I guess she’s had previous pregnancy complications and now she’s very pregnant and dealing with Placenta Previa. She’s very nervous about pre-term labor. One of the last things she says during the episode is “I’ve seen enough to know that there are no guarantees.”

So now it’s a week later and “Deliver Me” airs a new episode tonight. I can tell you that for the last week I have not been able to get her words out of my mind. She pretty much summed it up. “No guarantees” covers the last four years of my life with regards to fertility. And now that I’m pregnant (27 weeks), I’m still terrified every day that something will go wrong.

Before, when undergoing treatment, I operated in a world that was black and white: The test is positive or negative; my beta levels go up or down; I’m pregnant or I’m not. But now that I’m here, I know that my life exists totally in the gray.

Yes, I’m expecting a baby. But SO MUCH CAN GO WRONG.

When I’m lucid, I give myself some latitude. Emotionally speaking, I am damaged goods. How can I not be nervous all the time? After all I’ve been through I am all too aware of what could happen here. And it bums me out that I cannot fully enjoy this pregnancy because of my past experiences. And when I’m in the throes of my anxiety, nothing feels right. I’m conditioned to interpret discomfort as a harbinger of bad things to come. For example, when I was trying to get or to stay pregnant, cramps were bad. It meant things were taking a turn for the worse. Now, being pregnant, cramps are normal. My ever-expanding uterus only speaks one language: Cramp.

It’s all so confusing!

It may only be TV, but Dr. Bohn's words left me cold. If she hasn’t seen enough to believe everything is going to be okay, how can I?

I guess I’ll just have to tune in to tonight’s episode to see what happens . . .

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