September 28, 2009

I knock on wood, I throw salt over my left shoulder when I spill some, and I try not to be too obviously happy when I’m happy.

I worry about the wrath of the gods, even though I doubt that, should they exist, they indulge in wrath.

And seriously, CDC, I understand that vaccines have come under a lot of fire and it must be driving doctors all over the world absolutely crazy, and I’m a get-vaccinated kind of girl myself, truly I am, and I’ve never considered Jenny McCarthy to be an expert on anything except maybe Jenny McCarthy, but can’t you hire someone who is good at PR so that articles like this, from the New York Times, don’t make me wish I could crawl inside a plastic bubble for the next five months and avoid both H1N1 and the vaccine for it?

Because first paragraphs like this are not fun to read when pregnant, especially when pregnant after a loss, and may not open the minds of pregnant readers in a way that makes them receptive to any good points the article may go on to make:

As soon as swine flu vaccinations start next month, some people getting them will drop dead of heart attacks or strokes, some children will have seizures and some pregnant women will miscarry.

Cheery, huh?

I realize it’s an attention-grabbing first paragraph, and is therefore doing its job, but as I try to read the article objectively and thoughtfully, I keep getting hung up on my own fears and superstitions.  Not that I want to be hospitalized with a distressed respiratory system and a hard-to-control fever.  And as I work in a public place with lots of contact with students, I’ll probably listen to my doctor, who has earned my trust, and get the damned shot.  I have already had the regular flu shot (like I said, I’m a get-vaccinated kind of girl), after all.  But in my current state of mind, the fact that the CDC is getting ready to defend itself before H1N1 vaccines are publicly available seems more worrisome than reassuring.

I keep hoping I’ll become saner, less afraid of outside forces I have no control over, less timid and less silly.  And maybe after Friday’s u/s I’ll breathe a bit easier, but maybe I won’t.  I wait for calm, for the ability to let happiness come without feeling as though happiness is just a kind of bait for disaster.  Some days I think I’m getting there.

But today isn’t one of them (thanks, New York Times), so if you’ll excuse me I’m going to knock on some wood, drink some orange juice, wash my hands, and run around my bottle of hand sanitizer, three times, widdershins.

Then I’m going to try to laugh at myself, which might be the only magic trick I know that really seems to work.



  1. Oh, dear. What a difficult article to read. And more difficult the worry it’s causing you. Thinking good thoughts, and throwing some salt over my shoulder on your behalf.

  2. Oh I have just lived through the flu season here, but I bypassed the vaccine (not quite ready yet anyway). Seems damned if you do, damned if you don’t. And yeah, not good for those of us who need things to be simple right now. I was already a mild pessimist, but babyloss really amplified that little problem!

  3. it is all so anxiety provoking…as if we all don’t have enough anxiety…

    i think i’ve let go of my superstitious nature. i guess i just feel like it all failed me before. i did all these things and look where that got me…

    wishing all good for your u/s

  4. I think I will end up getting both seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines too.

    Very irresponsible lead paragraph, and the article all in all is not well written or edited. Newspaper quality is going down…

  5. I’ve just commented on Sally’s blog that I wish I could sleep away the remainder of this pregnancy – maybe I need to do it in a hermetically sealed bubble! I’ve been pondering this too – no idea what I’m going to do yet either, although running widdershins does appeal.

    Hoping the u/s helps.

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