Okay, confession time.
I am a people person who doesn't actually like being around people.
Let me elaborate...
I have always been a little OCD when it comes to germs. Okay, not totally true. I have always been A LOT OCD when it comes to germs, which is funny, and a bit ironic, considering the fact that I used to make my living in medical sales which was open doors-say hello-shake hands-make deal-shake hands again-open new doors-shake new hands- and on and on all day long. I kept (keep, I still keep, kept implies I have somehow moved past this phobia) hand sanitizer in my car to squirt between meetings, always opened public restroom doors with paper towels, never touched the faucets, wouldn't eat from public salad bars, take my shoes off before coming in the house, wash my groceries before putting them away and on. and on. and on.
So anyway, this fear of germs thing is nothing new, but somehow it is heightened, very heightened, TERROR ALERT ORANGE heightened, when I am out with the babies because no matter where we go, or what I am "trying" to do, without fail some icky person will come over wanting to touch them. Strangers. Wanting to touch them. After blowing their noses. Picking their eyes. Wiping their mouths. NOT WASHING THEIR HANDS! I have a sign on their car seats that reads "Please wash your hands before touching mine." What I wish it said was, "Don't Touch My Babies YOU FILTHY DISEASE MONGER!" which is ironic, because I used to think about how wonderful it would be to be that mom in the store, with the adorable LIVING baby, that people came over to check out.
So why not now?
I'll tell you...
I don't live in the normal universe.
I live in this corner of the universe where I know about babies, too many babies... too many beautiful and PERFECT and MUCH LOVED babies who have died from everything from the common cold, to a cold sore, and I hear those stories and they scare the hell out of me and leave me feeling on alert. People come near us and I find myself scanning them. Is their nose running? Are they coughing? Sneezing? Looking generally "unwell." And yet, even as careful (as ree-donk-u-lously careful) as I am, there is always that lady, the one who slips in when I have turned my head for a second to grab a package of eggs (in a plastic produce bag, of course, just in case some salmonella got on the outside of the container) off the shelf, and stuck her hands on their faces, or in one instance, her dirty finger in their mouth! No really, a stranger stuck her finger in Bubba's mouth. Who the hell does this?
So it leaves me in this ironic place where I want to be left alone when we are out and about, but I have babies, two smiling, cooing, adorable babies, which is practically like waving a sign that reads, "COME SEE THESE TWINS!"
It's a tough balance.
I don't want to be a smother mother. I really, really don't. I think it is a fear that anyone in the babyloss community has who parents living children, or plans to in the future. None of us want to transfer our fears and anxieties because of the things, the horrible, horrible things, that we have seen, onto our children, because that is just unfair to them, and they deserve to live with the naivete that we all used to live under, but I don't know how NOT to worry when the lady at the pediatrician's office has a cold sore and wants to weigh my babies. I don't know how NOT to worry when the guy who just grabbed steak out of the meat container, walks over and wants to grab their feet. I don't know how NOT to worry when that guy with a rash is rubbing up against their stroller.
So I guess that's my real question... how do you NOT worry, when you know too much?
P.S. I intended for this post to be a funny laugh-laugh look at my germophobic idiosyncrasies kind of thing. Yeah... ummm... #fail
P.S.P.S. Home sick today. Thought it was mastitis. Went to the doctor who proceeded to check my boobs without washing his hands. Just reached out and grabbed 'em before I could say anything. Yeah... like I won't be thinking about THAT all day.