When I was in high-school I was really close with this guy who sometimes doubled as a boyfriend but was mostly just a good friend. He had this amazingly cool older sister (I was like 16 and she was probably 21 and as far as I could tell knew WAYY more about life than I did.  Plus, she was friendly, spunky and nice to me… it doesn’t get much cooler than that).

Anyway, I remember one day I went to visit and my knock on the door was answered by a muffled “Come in.” I walked in their house to find a very pregnant Carrie sitting in front of the TV, weeping uncontrollably. I rushed to her side, intent on comforting her and already feeling woefully inadequate to do so. Here was this girl I totally hero-worshipped and she seemed so upset, what the heck was I, a helplessly gauche teenage girl, going to know about fixing it? When I was finally able to get words out of her, I realized that it was the news that had upset her. They were broadcasting live coverage of what I THINK was a school shooting but I can’t be positive now that 13 plus years have passed. I just remember thinking that while the news WAS indeed sad, it didn’t exactly warrant full on sobbing. That’s when Carrie turned to me with big, sad eyes and said, “How can I bring my child into a world that does things like this?” That moment has always stuck with me, here was a woman who hadn’t even met her child yet and was already worrying about how to protect her and keep her safe. It was beautiful.

…and a little silly. I mean, school shootings are rare (well they were back then) and the chances of something like that happening to Carrie’s little baby were slim. I tried to console her with these facts but she wasn’t having any of it. I remember thinking that pregnancy makes people a little crazy on top of all the miracle stuff.

So you’d think with this moment crystal clear in my mind that I’d have been prepared for the hormonal roller coaster ride that is pregnancy. Not so. This morning as I went out to patrol my favorite news sites, I was devastated by the images and stories I saw of the earthquake in Haiti; thousands upon thousands dead in churches and schools and government buildings, dead bodies literally stacked up on the streets, women and children wandering aimlessly desperate to find family members.

I cried. And cried. At my desk. At work. And I still can’t tell you 100% why. I know part of it is just my normal sensitivity and (probably a large) part of it is hormones and part of it is… other stuff that I can’t even define.

But here I’ve been obsessed for months with getting my full daily allotments of water and taking my prenatal vitamins and getting the right amount of rest and exercise, trying to convince myself that if I do everything right this pregnancy will go well and Marcail will be born healthy and happy. And it doesn’t stop there.  I’ve read up on the benefits of breast-feeding and homemade, organic baby food. I’ve been researching child-proofing products and comparing and contrasting the different child-rearing techniques available in hopes that when she comes I’ll be able to provide the very best care for her to grow up healthy, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well (and yes, I recognize the neurotic-ness of this thinking and have long since accepted the fact that I’m going to be one of THOSE mothers.)

But this single, devastating world event has shattered the careful illusion I’ve created around myself.   All the vitamins, babyproofing and nurturing in the world aren’t enough to keep my baby safe. And THAT realization scares the hell out of me, depresses me and makes me wonder what the heck we’re doing bringing a baby into this world… and so I cried… and cried… and cried.

If I could, I’d go back and smack my 16-year-old self. Carrie wasn’t being silly at all. She was being a mom… and a good one at that.

w/ love
– Crystal

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