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My 20 week ultrasound is tomorrow, and I’m doing my Anxiety Girl thing.

Back when I was in my Generalized Anxiety CBT group, they talked about how pathological worriers will often suffer from the superstitious belief that  their worrying is actually productive.

Then I raised my hand and told them my own personal theory of worrying, which stunned them for a moment, and then the leader said,

“That is the most COMPLEX rationalization of anxiety I have EVER heard.”

Wanna hear it?

Of course you do.

Okay, as you may know, one of the many bizarre and perplexing things suggested by Quantum Mechanics is that we could very well exist as one universe in a vast multiverse – that there are alternate universes created on a quantum level for every possible outcome. There could be thousands of YOUs out there, all living similar but slightly different realities.

And yet we only experience it as one lifetime, right? My particular consciousness is separate from the consciousnesses of all the other Carols out there – thousands of things could happen to various Carols throughout the multiverse but I will only experience one of those.

Maybe in another universe, my last pregnancy didn’t end in a miscarriage.

Maybe in another universe, I stayed with my first boyfriend and never married PH.

Maybe in another universe, I didn’t contract that weird disease (I went back to the internist the other day, by the way. The rash keeps coming back, so I spend half my time scratching off my own skin, and lately I’ve been hearing wooshes in my ears…).

Anyway, here is my theory: if I concentrated hard enough, maybe I can CHOOSE which reality my consciousness stays in. Maybe by WORRYING that a certain bad thing will happen, I can consciously AVOID it happening to THIS PARTICULAR iteration of my consciousness. Of course bad things still happen, but aren’t they always different bad things from what we expect? Aren’t we always blindsided by the one thing that DIDN’T worry us?

My GAD group used that as proof that worrying doesn’t help. I suggested that maybe it means that our worrying needs a broader spectrum.

Of course, it’s crazy, and the CBT stuff helped me drop a LOT of that. I don’t worry nearly as much as I used to and look what happened! I had a silent miscarriage and walked around with a dead baby inside me for weeks.

So, this time of course I was terrified of a bad outcome and my 8 week ultrasound was clear. The baby is still alive – I can feel little kicks and twitches at night and sometimes around noon. But all kinds of bad things could happen at tomorrow’s ultrasound. The baby could be hideously malformed. It could have soft markers indicating Down’s Syndrome, or worse, another Trisomy that is seriously deadly. Heart defects, spinal defects…

So far I have googled Trisomy 18, Trisomy 13, Anencephaly, and have read over 20 personal stories from people who had horrible news from their 20 week ultrasound and either ended up deciding to terminate or carrying to term and then taking photographs of their dead/deformed and dying baby. For some reason, ALL OF THESE people are deeply religious and use the word “sweet” and “angel” multiple times.

Not sure if seriously defective babies are some kind of Trojan that Jesus uses to infect people or if only religious people have the strength to document their experiences. Could be both.

I’m also wondering what we’re going to do with Owl if the news is bad. We haven’t out-and-out told him that I’m pregnant. He has noticed that my stomach is getting bigger and has asked several times if I have a baby in there. PH finally  told him that my body is TRYING to grow a baby but we don’t know if it has been successful yet. This prompted him to say loudly “You can’t be making a baby, Mommy! Daddy’s PENIS isn’t in you VAGINA!”

We were in Cost Co at the time. Several people looked around. Kids are great.

Anyway. We told him that tomorrow we will go see a special doctor who can look in my belly and tell us if there is a baby in there. In an ideal world we will be able to bring him in, tell him he is going to have a little brother/sister, and show him the baby on the screen.

But if it’s terrible news, how do we keep his infernal curiosity silent long enough to receive the bad news, discuss the options and digest it all? How do we explain to him that yes, there is a baby in there, but it may not be okay? What do we say to him when we’re told that it’s a boy/girl but it has a hole in the heart/no brain/appears to be an octopus?


I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

Now if you excuse me, I need to google more weird things that can be found on a 20 week ultrasound so I can ensure that our baby doesn’t have them.