An anxious post about anxiety, futility, and not wanting to.

If I’ve written it once, I’ve written it a thousand times: tomorrow is our anatomy scan.

So far, I’d say I’ve been mostly good at not being anxious about this baby.

Now, though…now we’re almost halfway. 19.5 weeks. And suddenly, I am flooded with different anxieties, some of them founded and some utterly unfounded and/or irrelevant.

Things I have worried about: what if our kid is dumb? what if our kid hates reading (this would be a crisis in a home filled with shelves upon shelves upon shelves of books)? what if our kid has terrible food allergies? what if I never get to sleep and that makes me a huge bitch (I don’t do too well on extended sleep deprivation: this is my #1 fear about infancy)? what if the baby ruins my relationship with A? what if the baby is born and I think it’s boring/don’t bond with it for a while? what if the baby is born and A thinks its boring/doesn’t bond with it for a while? what if our neighbors are total assholes about a baby in the building (this is a real concern, not paranoia)? what if our kid is ugly (and we know it? or we don’t know it?)? what if we can’t keep on top of the housework (oh god, so many cats!)? what if having a baby and trying to write a dissertation is untenable/totally isolating/depressing/awful?

Most of these have been worked through. Some are real and have been recounted and discussed with A. Some will have to be sorted out when there’s an actual baby here. Some new ones will surely crop up between now and November.

Today, I am worried about the anatomy scan. We’ve been thinking about it as though it’s a peek at tiny genitals. But there’s all those other parts to check, too. What if there’s, like, a real problem? And if everything is fine, what if baby doesn’t cooperate and we don’t see the tiny genitals we’ve gotten so excited to see? (We weren’t going to find out — we really weren’t…but now we’ve caved so wholly.) OR what if we DO see them? This fills me with anxiety, too. I think because then it becomes somehow less abstract. Like an actual baby is going to be at the end of this. Who will be a person. With an identity. Once we know things about it, we’ll never un-know them.

This halfway thing is nerve-wracking! We’re so not ready in the house: boxes everywhere, a distinct lack of necessary furniture. And A leaves next Thursday for two weeks without me, and I meet her for a third week to visit her family. So we’re looking at August to sort out our home. God. Help. Us.

Perhaps most frustrating is my inability to just do it myself. This is the case for many reasons, including the lack of furniture, but also the prohibition against carrying heavy things, A’s insistence that I avoid carrying things up and down stairs as much as possible, A’s insistence that I cannot paint, and my own easily fatigued body. Also the fact that when I really wear myself out in a day, it takes all of the next day to recover. It’s like when I learned that after you’re 27, hangovers are way worse than they were when you were 22. All of this makes me feel like a hamster in a wheel: I feel like I’m doing (some) stuff, but it looks just as it did when I hadn’t done anything. I can’t do some of the things that need to be done.

The kicker? I just wrote this 650-word post to AVOID writing a 300-word research proposal for a grant due tomorrow. What an easy application, I just do not want to. I want the money. I do not want to think about work just yet.



2 thoughts on “An anxious post about anxiety, futility, and not wanting to.

  1. Procrastination always seems to require much more than just doing things (says the girl reading blogs during the workday). I think that most of your fears will not turn out to be as much of a problem as they seem from here. And your neighbors can stuff it–they were all babies once, and honestly, it’s more interesting to have one within hearing distance than annoying. We hear the one downstairs and comment mildly on how she’s having a bad day, but it doesn’t actually interfere with our lives to hear her once in a while.

  2. I certainly have/have had a lot of those same anxieties. I didn’t allow myself to think too much about the anatomy scan, mostly so as not to make myself crazy (sometimes I’m successful at that, mostly…) I keep thinking the anxiety is getting better, and then I’m unexpectedly seized by it. Hang in there! It’s all going to work out 🙂

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