Anxiety

Anxiety

A Peculiar Thing

The below is an excerpt from Ramshackle Glam. I wanted to share it on the site because it explores a topic that I've touched upon a lot here - the anxiety that I felt during my pregnancy, and in the weeks after giving birth - but that I felt like I never really got to the bottom of until I wrote this essay.

(Read the full book on your Kindle here.)

Early on in my pregnancy, when I was busy tying myself up in knots about things like strollers and closets and finding room for bottle drying racks on our nonexistent countertop, one of the things I actually didn’t worry a ton about, oddly enough, was . . . the baby. I just kind of figured he’d be okay. I mean, of course I went to all my doctor’s appointments, ate decently well, and avoided the stuff you’re supposed to avoid, but mostly I just sort of got on with it and trusted that everything would turn out fine. He’d be born, and be loved and happy and ours, and our little family would roll on into wherever it was we were headed.

Anxiety

So Here’s What I’m Afraid Of

I mean, I'm afraid of lots of things surrounding the family expansion that's on the way. I'm afraid that I won't be able to find the time to do my work (which does not involve maternity leave). I'm afraid that I'll be so overtired and stressed out that I'll take it out on Kendrick, and that our baby's first months in the world will be full of yelling rather than joy. I'm afraid that I'll be so busy and worried about everything that I'll forget to notice what's really happening, which is that my daughter is right there in front of me, learning where her fingers are or how to reach for a toy, and then it'll be over, and I'll never have a baby again, and I'll spend ever day for the rest of my life wishing I had just stopped everything to be with my child and watch her watch the world.

I'm afraid of all of those things.

But right now, right this moment, what I'm afraid of is this: nearly every new parent I've spoken to has told me that part of how you make it through those first few months with a toddler and an infant is basically by dividing and conquering. I've heard from more than one new mom of two that - in the beginning, at least - her partner is generally the one "responsible" for the older child, the one taking him out, playing with him, feeding him, heading out to the park with him, while she stays home with the baby (because, of course, there are some things that Dads just can't do for a newborn; breastfeeding, for example). I've also heard that the moment your new baby arrives, something changes in the way you see your first child: they seem so big, all of a sudden. So capable. And that's wonderful, and also a loss: where did my baby go?

Anxiety

When Is The Right Time, Part Deux

A few days ago, shortly after I made our announcement, I got an email from someone who said that I was "crazy" for having another baby now, with a husband who's in business school in another state. And while I'm not sure the comment was especially well-intentioned...I still thought that it was interesting, because it brings up a question that everyone wonders about - worries about - when it comes to when to begin (or expand) their own family.

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Anxiety

“Good” Morning?

I wanted to show you exactly how fantastic I look this morning.

OK, so Kendrick was studying really late last night. And how late he stays up and why is none of my business, and besides: I'm excited for him and proud of him for being so hard-working and dedicated. But I have this thing - and I know I'm not alone here, because my friend told me it's the same for her when her husband falls asleep on the couch or whatever and she has to go out and wake him up and get him back into bed before she herself can pass out - where I cannot fall asleep until Kendrick is in bed too. I can sort of doze, but if he is in the house I do not actually fall asleep until he is laying there next to me.

I try to let him know that this is my problem, not his - just another fun byproduct of my decade-long argument with Sleep - and he can of course do whatever he wants and stay up until whenever he wants, but I'm certain it's still extremely annoying for him, feeling like he's keeping his wife awake just by virtue of not deciding to go to sleep at the exact same moment she does. I explain my restlessness when he's downstairs to myself as an anticipation of being woken back up when he comes into the room, but let's get real: I'm sure it's some kind of weird control thing.

Anxiety

The Way It Went

(Blogging & Lunch / 5 days old / October 26, 2011)

This is one of those posts that I was talking about when I said I needed a couple of weeks to let my emotions settle so that I'd be able to see straight. I'm not sure that they're settled entirely quite yet - so forgive me if I ramble, or if things aren't quite wrapped up with a neat little bow - but this is the best I can do for now. Mostly because man, I'm tired. Happy, but tired.

What I'm writing about today: my labor. It was not what I had expected. I was not what I had expected.


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