Monday, November 19, 2007

Beyond the Belly

I am not a worrier by nature. I mean, I'm not completely oblivious to the world around me, but I am adept at sweeping my everyday apprehensions under the mental rug.

However, my natural inclinations are trumped by pregnancy. From the moment of conception through the fourth trimester, I am ridden with anxiety. About everything. I can't have a good time amongst family or friends without wondering who's going to drop dead before we get together again. I can't listen to the news without my imagination turning every typhoon, car accident and prediction by Ben Bernanke into a personal disaster. Each edition of NPR's All Things Considered convinces me that the Apocalypse is that much closer.

It's logical that pregnancy forces one's thoughts to turn inward. Worrying isn't the only manifestation--the introspection also engenders a greater understanding of parts of oneself not often recognized, and it heightens the bond with the developing fetus. So, it is logical, yes, and healthy, yes; but this constant inward gaze strikes me as supremely uncomfortable. I don't like to dwell in my subconscious, or my heart, or my gut. It's too consuming. I prefer to interact with other human beings in an engaging way. I like to be witty and responsive. I like to be fully functional at face level.

Still, it's only a few years in the grand scheme of things. So what if I feel like the friends I'm making in my new town aren't getting to know the real me. So what if, while my physical form takes on added dimensions, my personality loses some.

I know I'm not myself. I'm somebody deeper, where a completely new person is getting ready to emerge.

9 comments:

Boz said...

It's not just you. Husbands - at least this husband - get worrisome to the point of insanity as well. I know your husband worries just as much as I do, even if it is not always visible on the surface.

Mrs. Chicky said...

you never know what it is to really worry until you become a parent. and then you just want all the worrying to stop.

Lawyer Mama said...

Ack. Yes, I never worried more than when I was pregnant. And it just never really ends....

jen said...

hi sister,

i've read this three times today and keep wanting to risk saying (oh, the horrors of honesty in the comments sections) that i wonder how much we channel that worry into our babes when we do this...i wondered about this when i was pregnant and your post made me think of it again today. and then i think, sure, that's all she needs, someone talking smack about the worry.


alrighty then, carry on.

sarah said...

I think it is a way for us to balance our natural tendencies. While I still worry about stuff, I find that I am far less worried in general now than before. Everything is up to fate, so I just do the best I can!

baby gift baskets said...

Perhaps this is what they call maternal instincts, or motherhood. Another stage in the life of the human brain.

Amanda said...

You know I actually read the other day that a certain degree of stress and worry during pregnancy is a good thing for baby. I think everything is just heightened. I'd go easy on expecting yourself to swallow the "It's such a short time" bit, because really, when you are knee deep, or waist wide as it were, in an experience, it feels anything but brief.

Good luck.

adria said...

I have a tendency to turn inward during pregnancy too. I'm not sure why it is but it seems to help me focus on the task at hand.

Jenifer said...

I know what you mean about the worrying... I spotted for 2 days last week..... now I am not only worried, but paranoid too....

I can't wait to start feeling this little one... that always gives me some reassurance!