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Trouble in Paradise

I think it’s in everyone’s best interests for people sailing off to Looks Like There’s Really Gonna Be a Baby After Infertility land to occasionally share the less blissful aspects of the experience. So while this is not exactly a complainy post, if you’re feeling particularly discouraged by infertility today you might prefer to just read the first item, and then go eat a cookie or something. Or just go straight to the cookie.

1. I got name book, and have been looking through it. I may have chosen a particularly stupid one, but I also think my training as a linguist makes it extra annoying to read such books. There are the cases where names are listed as being derived from, say, Latin, when they are clearly not. There are the cases where a name will be listed as derived from, say, Russian, but the Russian word means something entirely different than what’s given. But that’s just me being pedantic. Here’s one that illustrates a more serious problem:
Tapas (Indian): thunder.
Ignoring the fact that Indian is not a language, imagine some country couple with few global cuisine options in their little town. They chose this name ’cause it’s just so purrrrty, and fail to understand why the city cousins are constantly mocking their child, pelting him with olives and fried squid. Caveat lector, man. Which is a Swahili phrase meaning joyful lion.

2. Okay, the Trouble. Lately I’ve been subject to hormonal rages. At least, I think that’s what’s going on. Something minor will annoy me, and then I seem to fall into a cascade of increasing anger. Soon I’m fuming and snarling, which makes Mr. Bunny defensive and angry, which makes me angry and hurt, which results in us sullenly watching movies, waves of mutual annoyance emanating from us. Which fills my head with visions of myself in a cheap flowered housedress, frying bologna at the stove, virgina slim dangling from my lip, while a squalling, dirty-diapered infant sits in playpen, ignored by his father, who’s watching football on a big screen TV. Also there’s a dead refrigerator on the porch, and a truck up on blocks in the front yard.

Alarmist visions aside (dude, we don’t even have a porch), I have noticed that I’m starting to interpret everything through a lens of Anxiety About Parenting. If Mr. Bunny doesn’t do the dishes, I become convinced that there won’t be an equitable distribution of labor post Bun Bun, and I’ll be forced to choose between living in filth and running myself ragged trying to keep up. If there’s some task that needs doing and yet I keep not getting to it, I become convinced that my entire world will fall into chaos. The more anxious and distressed I become, the more I think of the correlation between IF and postpartum depression, and the more I envision myself as a shrill, neurotic, divorced parent.

It’s grey and freezing, my house is in disorder because of the renovation, I’m a control freak and don’t have childbirth planning to keep my mind occupied, work is tense, and anxiety about parenting is normal. Some of this is situational, some of it is hormonal, some of it is just part of the experience. But I resent this bullshit. I want to get back to my 24/7 schedule of lovin’ on my fetus.

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Chorizo Murphy, come in for your dinner! Your mammy wants yeh!Hrmm. Aren't names interesting, though? The way you can never break the association a perfectly nice name might have with a mean girl in school, the way they express the aspirations of the parents, or lack of them – fascinating. I am sure it's very natural to go through Some Stuff as BunBun's arrival becomes real and imminent. It's a big event, after all, and life-changing, but it WILL all be GOOD.

    January 26, 2011
  2. N #

    I hear ya! I have lots of anxiety lately. Lame-O

    January 26, 2011
  3. This sounds like normal shit to be worried about–especially coming from someone with IF. The worry, the letdown, the constant evaluation. I mean, it's what your brain's been TRAINED for for years now. This, too, will pass. At least it damn well better. Hang in there, Bunny.

    January 26, 2011
  4. Oh Bunny. Those things worry me too and I'm not even a whiff of pregnant. I think its probably common to feel anxiety about how things will be. It always pays to rememeber that things are rarely as shitty in reality compared with how we imagine they will be in our mind. Why does our mind do this to us? Well you're much better qualified to answer that than me!!Plus, like you said, you dont have a porch and thats a pivotal part of your nightmare vision. So the credibility of the rest of the vision is surely up for debate?But yeah, fear is real, anxiety is real. It just proves that you want whats best for bunbun. And you will find your own way to make that happen, for sure. And there will be no dead refridgerators.

    January 26, 2011
  5. our name book (60, 000 names! shouldn't there be one we like?) relies heavily on chumarro (sp? way too lazy to look it up) names. this is apparently the weirdest naming culture ever. maybe it's an evil eye thing, but most of the names have these really horrible meanings, like "very painful" (isn't that most children?) and "fish we should probably have eaten last week sometime." i hope for the sake of all the chumarro children that the book's editors were just really gullible and asked the island cut-up for the meanings. i'm easy on the rage, heavy on the hysterics. if sugar so much as blinks funny, i KNOW it is because she is leaving me. she's far too well-raised to leave a pregnant woman, though, so she's waiting until i'm in the postpartum ward. you wait and see.

    January 26, 2011
  6. Sounds like par for the course in the Egg household, too….this is a big deal, and when our partners show signs of letting us (or BunBun or Baby A and Baby B) the slightest bit down, emotions go crazy. I don't know if IF exacerbates it or if this is just part of building a family. But the little stuff that used to drive me nuts now feels profoundly prophetic of what life COULD be like. I totally hear you. xoxo

    January 27, 2011
  7. JB #

    I'll give it to you straight here: no matter how helpful Mr. Bunny is, you will do more work. It's the way it is. And he will possibly fail to fully appreciate that sometimes. Not on purpose, but nevertheless. You will find yourself saying things like, "Do you not even HEAR the baby crying?" or "Light sleeper, my ass — you don't even KNOW how many times I got up last night." Oddly specific examples (ha), yes, but you get my drift — being the mommy is hard work (no shit, Sherlock) and we carry at least a slightly bigger burden (aside from carrying the fetus around in our ute for 40-ish weeks). But I can also tell you that as long as you both are talking to each other about it, it will be okay. His feelings may get hurt if you remotely insinuate he's not pulling his weight, but he will also sympathize with your exhaustion ('cause there will be some) and dedication to taking care of your baby ('cause that's what will keep you going). Or, just start wearing your unwashed hair in a do-rag and serve him fried bologna sandwiches and see how he likes it.

    January 27, 2011
  8. I'm a (mostly) silent reader, but I have to comment to say that my husband and I (mostly) affectionately refer to my second trimester as a rage-a-thon. Previous losses made me an anxious mess, but I'm convinced my anger was driven by the 'mones. Acupuncture helped, but so did time: the last trimester was (mostly) nothing but expectant excitement. Good luck getting out of the Ugh.

    January 27, 2011
  9. I plan to pick a name from scrabble tiles, should I be so blessed. Jnywhoz would be quite a coup should my child ever become a noun. I can only hope. In a good way, not like McFly. Hmm, guess one only gets one wish on that front.Anyhoo, I expect that bun bun will enjoy his teenage years as he longs for the money from mowing lawns to let him get that 1970 Camero off of blocks and driven to his High School dance. I suspect, though, that without a porch, you will resort to a "lean to" made from tin sheets and questionable electronics to hold all the Pabst for your man and his unemployed friends. I also suspect that this is crazy GB stage and it will pass shortly enough for you to start checking that rage early enough with a solid, "fuck it, I got other shit to worry about." Which happens to be numero (also navajo for corn) one on the mantra of a Misfit Mrs(book will be published in eleventy twelveish). Anger is a choice missy, and it's easy to let yourself get worked up. Big, deep breaths.

    January 27, 2011
  10. Haha You have a bunch of funny commenters!I'm only 8 weeks but went through a pretty identical rage and fear-a-thon for a couple of weeks. I'm now feeling a little better and waiting to see what's next. The husband has survived this round, as well, and still likes me. I think. Every time I present an issue, any issue, and ache, pain, emotion, etc., to a nurse at my RE's office they say, "that's the progesterone". So. Baby needs that stuff…May it all pass quickly!

    January 27, 2011
  11. I do think the anxiety is normal, whatever the cause. I also think that I used to live next to the people you describe in #2 (ironically, in Ohio). But that's not you and Mr. Bunny. That's just the Wicked but Completely Inaccurate Ghost of Childrearing Future (he's a fu@ker, that one).

    January 27, 2011
  12. AL #

    I haven't hit that point yet of worrying what the division of housework will be like, but since I'm not working right now, it's totally different. I think I would have those freakouts if I was still stressed, working full time, etc. Obv there will be a huge adjustment when bub bub comes, but Mr Bunny isn't a football watching lazy ass dad-to-be (and you are certainly not a virginia slim smokin' bologna lovin' hick). If filth is what you worried about, have you guys talked about hiring a house cleaner to help you out? Esp in those early weeks?Hope the ragey hormones pass soon.

    January 27, 2011
  13. I hate to say it, but those hormones rear their ugly, sleep deprived heads every so often post baby too. Think of this as training for Mr. Bunny. May the rest of your pregnancy be 90% fetus-loving joy. And when you're really feeling miserable, just think of the nice soaks you can take in the new bathtub.

    January 27, 2011
  14. Bunny dear, the hormonal flux is so horribly normal – as is the anxiety. Not that knowing about its normality helps you in any way. (And yeah, finch nailed it – those rageys will rise again in your sleep-deprived pospartumness.) Maybe try taking a time out (a technique I always found completely useless on the Little Guy, but great for me) when you feel yourself boiling over.

    January 27, 2011
  15. Rage and anxiety! Sounds like you're having fun, Bunny. Hormonal fun, that is. Hang in there, woman. Your bathroom renos will come to an end; your fetus-lovin' bliss will return to its regularly scheduled programming; and Mr. & Mrs. Bunny will be awesome parents. That's just what my crystal ball says, and I've payed extra for the ultra-accurate model.

    January 28, 2011
  16. Ah, the hormonal rages or pregnancy. Such bliss! I've experience the same issue…where what used to be a minor annoyance suddenly turns into a huge issue that will affect the babies. My hubs is a workaholic, which didn't used to bother me that much, but now I feel like I'm on his case about it all the time because I worry that he'll be buried in work and miss time with our daughters. Anyway, I understand how these things play out, but I know you'll be awesome parents to bun-bun…dirty dishes or not.

    January 28, 2011
  17. You and Pumpkin push me to hit the dictionary. I love smart friends.Rage on. I told a woman at work in front of all the hospital CFOs that she was acting like a child when I was pregnant. How is that for professional? Goes with the territory and you get a lot of leeway with that belly. It is a powerful thing.

    January 29, 2011
  18. Now that you've described exactly what's going on and why, you're probably already well on your way to interrupting the pattern. I hope you're back to being blissed out most of the time and that Mr. B is washing those damned dishes already.

    January 29, 2011
  19. What? You mean I can't call my first born gambas al ajillo? But it is so exotic.

    January 30, 2011
  20. I totally feel you on the bitchiness. I am blaming it almost entirely on the hormones. I found myself fighting with the hubs yesterday over something totally stupid and irrelevant. Of course, it didn't matter much at the time that I could even recognize that… instead I just forge ahead in full bitch mode. Ah, well… this too shall pass.

    January 31, 2011
  21. I love your name discussions, Bunny. And I'm all for tapas. Hoping you'll be back to your fetus-loving state of mind soon.

    February 1, 2011

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