Thursday, February 24, 2005

Existential angst

This is one of those two-pints-of-Hampshire posts, in which I write things I typically keep shuttered up in my head, away from public view. So consider yourself forewarned, and consider me overly dramatic and not in need of nearly so much therapy as the following words might indicate.

[Disclaimer over.]

So, this trying-to-get-pregnant thing is totally fucking with my head. I am an overachiever. A typical A student, almost effortlessly good at school. A veritable Girl Scout at work - hello, who claims a half-day on the timesheet when you go home sick at 3 pm? - and the Good Girl at home. I won't go into the details, but my parents -- who are fine and still together and actually quite wonderful -- had a tumultuous relationship for many, many, many years, and so much of my childhood was spent trying to make everything OK. And, in lots of ways, convincing myself that I'd succeeded.

When I've been bad at things, or not taken to them naturally, I tend to give them up. I'm a coward like that. If I can't master it instantly, then I don't want any part of it. I'd rather sit in the corner, read the New Yorker and feel intellectually superior to the cretins playing tennis or kayaking or whatever else than actually try to get better at something. (Needless to say, this attitude of mine causes quite a bit of frustration on the part of my jock husband, he who is effortlessly good at sports and games of all kinds.)

So do you see where this is going? Even though we've barely been trying at this pregnancy thing at all, even though this last month is the only one in which we know we timed everything correctly and failed nonetheless, I am pissed off and have decided that who wants a goddamn baby anyway? Wouldn't I just hate it, and resent it for spoiling my career? Or wouldn't I turn into one of those Judith Warner obsessive compulsive perfectionist mothers, and end up hating my husband and myself? Wouldn't I much rather hang out with the dogs, drink to excess and spend money on myself? Wouldn't I be a terrible mother?

This is not a healthy line of thinking. And yet I can see myself thinking it and know that it's stupid and premature and really, really negative and yet not stop. And I'm allowing this stupid negativity, this feeling that having a baby is something I must Achieve, to make me question the whole damn enterprise.

I spilled all this to Darren tonight. He didn't have much to say in response, other than that he knows how I feel, that he understands why I'm going in this direction but thinks I'd feel differently if we actually did have a kid. And then he swooped up Rocky and went to bed. I'm not sure what I wanted him to do -- maybe admit to a moment of doubt or uncertainty himself -- but he's riding high on his best friend's return from Iraq and feels certain that things will turn out OK for us. I wish I felt the same.

And, for anyone who has struggled with infertility who is reading this, I KNOW this is absurd and ridiculous and really nothing to worry about it. But that doesn't mean I can stop myself from doing so.