Is Anna Canzano pregnant

According to the statistics for my blog, that’s the number one search phrase in Google that brings you to this page: “is Anna Canzano pregnant.”

Kinda freaky.

It makes my stomach turn.

Not because I hate children or the idea of becoming a mother. Not at all. I love my stepdaughter and nephews and nieces. I like them better than most adults.

I’ve just always been deathly afraid of pregnancy. And by that I mean, everything in the 260 days between conception and birth.

It’s been that way since I first understood how babies come into the world. And when you really think about it, why wouldn’t I be terrified?

Once you get past the magical stork-myths of early childhood, movies and tv shows portray pregnancy and childbirth in some simile of one of the following:

1) woman throwing up due to morning sickness
2) waddling woman with sore back and arms bent behind her trying to provide self lumbar support
3) madwoman with tousled hair screaming bloody murder and cutting off circulation to husband’s hand during child bearing

Of course, there’s also the helpful “mother dies during childbirth” story arc or “husband faints in birthing room” comic relief.

It ain’t pretty.

My job doesn’t help. I did a story a few months ago about midwives and at-home births. As a concept, the idea of having your baby at home sounds amazing. Familiar surroundings. Nurturing, experienced women talking you through labor. A kiddie pool inside your home!

While there are numerous births like this that go off without a hitch, the woman I interviewed had what can only be described as a nightmare experience

She was in labor at home for eight days. Eight days. Her son was so overdue, he’d had his first bowel movement inside of her, effectively poisoning himself. The few pictures she had of him revealed tiny baby fingers discolored by the toxicity in the womb.

Devastating for her. Haunting for me.

(Not lost on me is the irony that I’m contributing to the negative media images of childbirth that scarred my own developing mind.)

So what am I supposed to believe?

Maybe my perception should rely more on the Surrogate Mom who “so loved being pregnant” she’d acted as a surrogate four times. Four. Times. She’s had ten children. Three of her own, then twins, triplets and two single babies for other people! A true baby making machine.

I found her delight in pregnancy puzzling. It’s confusing to me whenever I hear women extol the virtues of it. I’m at best, skeptical that the improved complexion, healthy hair and overall hormonal nirvana are for real. And I look at those women with those serene expressions, searching their faces for the truth.

Babies are on the mind, of course. In a newsroom, like most any workplace, any recently married woman is subject to “bump watch.” Unlike other workplaces, newsroom women sometimes factor in sweeps months as they plan pregnancies — the four months of the year that are an especially big deal for ratings. They’re all hands on deck months. No vacations allowed. Longer hours expected. And you know, if you could manage to take your maternity leave between those months, that might be helpful….

Being pregnant on television! That’s not even something I’ve actively cogitated. People would get to watch me…slowly…get…huge over the span of 40 weeks.

Again, freaky.

Pausing a moment here to bite my lip in apprehension as every part of me that is insecure and petty has a small panic attack.

…………..deep breathing…………..

Okay.

I will find a way to get past that.

But how do I grit my teeth through the countless horror stories I’ve heard from friends and relatives, including the ones that make their way into, of all places, baby shower conversations? Maybe you’ve been there?! That precious moment when women are gathered around an expectant mother who’s cooing as she opens another delicate onesie — and (insert name) launches into a detailed description of the child birth that came “this close” to killing her. Which prompts someone else to share a story that one-ups her. And so on and so on.

That scene is more like war veterans sitting around at the American Legion, swapping stories about the rocket-propelled grenades that tore their leg off, or the IED that exploded their Humvee and left them with a traumatic brain injury.

Leave the pastel colored gift bags at home. Cigarettes and smokies would be more appropriate.

I get it. It’s a big deal. It’s arguably the biggest deal a woman can experience in her life. I am deliriously happy for my friends and co-workers and family members who’ve been blessed with kids or who are excitedly preparing baby rooms right now. I have classmates from high school who have two, three, four, even five kids! Their Facebook photos are proof to me it can be done.

So, what advice can you offer me? Tell me what’s worked for you? I can’t be the only 34-year old woman who’s ever ruminated on these unknowns. What can you offer this feeble mind that will help me proceed with confidence toward something that has gripped me with fear for so long?

I welcome your thoughts.

Maybe someday the number one search term will instead be “Anna Canzano baby”.

Wouldn’t that be something.