"For God has not given us
the spirit of fear..."
Truthfully, I think MORE women take risks than men. I think of pregnancy and childbirth as a great example of this. Many would think skydiving, hunting, being in the military are more risky behaviors. But, and Dr. -L- might argue with me about this, I believe childbearing involves much greater risk-- both long and short term.
I will preface this with the caveat that my personal experience with childbearing was nowhere near picture perfect. In fact, I was never able to carry a baby beyond 35 weeks. From about week 20, my body wanted that foreign object OUT, and did everything in its power to expel it. I was in the hospital way too often, trying to keep my babies in-utero until they could be viable human beings. I remember, about 2 weeks following the birth of my daughter, driving past the hospital and feeling the strongest compulsion to GO INSIDE, get hooked to an IV, and be miserable. It was horrifying. But this has nothing to do with my original premise.
Looking at the physical aspects of pregnancy, I find it difficult to believe that anyone would voluntarily say, "Yeah, I think it would be an adrenalin rush to have something inside of me that would gradually stretch my abs to the point it looks as if there's a watermelon inside--and that should last about 40 weeks. I think it would really enhance that experience to not be able to eat without getting indigestion, or to throw up daily for about 5 weeks. Oh, and having to fight for breath during the final four weeks--that's a rush in and of itself." If one looks at the risks involved in the previous description, they are numerous. I get tired of hearing people talk about how amazing the female body is, as it endures those abuses. To be stretched from the inside out??? And it can't be good for the body to retch daily, not to mention the damage to tooth enamel and esophagus. People wonder why pregnant woment seem a bit insane? I believe it has to do with lack of oxygen due to decreased lung capacity.
Anyone can jump from a plane, get caught by a parachute, and land--hopefully without breaking an ankle. This takes a matter of minutes. Anyone can hang-glide, scuba-dive, drive recklessly, chase tornadoes. Again, over in a short period of time. Pregnancy is forever, because even after it's finished, there's a side-effect that never goes away--one that can bring incredible joy or break your heart. That's pure risk. Which is why, I suppose a male partner is necessary and good. Given the stress of the risky behavior necessary in pregnancy, it's nice to have someone in a supportive role--sort of like the guy with the extra parachute, just in case the first one doesn't open. Oh yeah, and since that guy helped start the whole process, it's good if he sticks around and sees it through to the end...and I'm not talking about the "nine months" ending, either. I'm talking about the real end, the one that requires staying around as the wrinkles form and the gray hair comes in.
Truthfully, all this is masking the true reason for this post. I've held snakes, chased spiders, jumped off roofs, ridden motorcycles, climbed trees, flown a plane, walked a tightrope, and swung upside-down on a trapeze. Oh, and riskiest of all, I've had three pregnancies.
But I'm afraid to go see my new therapist today. I'm afraid to talk, once again, about the things that really frighten me. The fear that maybe there's no help for me, that maybe I'll never be able to figure out how to get better. The fear that I'll be swallowed up in the agony inside me. The fear that the pain which stops me from eating will continue longer than I will live. I'm so terribly afraid. Really...really...scared...