Okay, that’s a crappy title, but I don’t know how else to start this post…
Pregnancy is hard. It’s not all laughs and joyful smiles… it’s physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. It really changes who you are as a person. It’s hard to process. At least for me.
Last Friday morning I yelled at my husband. I yelled at him because, after waking up every half hour the night before to pee or to make room for the baby or because I felt a surge of pain in my back, he rolled over and tried to cuddle with me. My husband tried to hold me, despite having the body pillow as a barrier between us every night for the past two months, and I pushed him away.
I yelled at my husband, fell back asleep, and at 8:30 woke up and he wasn’t home. I called him and he didn’t answer. I figured he left for work without daring to wake the pregnant monster for the second time that morning.
But instead, five minutes later, he walked through the apartment door with coffee and egg sandwiches so I could have a relaxing morning. I yelled at my husband for trying to hold me, pushed him away from me, and he still came back to me, with my favorite breakfast.
What the hell is wrong with me.
But that’s the thing with pregnancy, a lot seems wrong with you. Your hormones are a mess, you’re uncomfortable and overtired, and by month 7 1/2, you’re just DONE. Also, you’re just sad a lot.
At least I am.
It’s hard to talk about, because there’s not exactly words to explain how I feel, but I always try to be honest with my writing and speak from my soul.
How can I feel so fortunate that my baby is healthy and that my pregnancy is going smoothly, and be sad? How can I feel so lucky to never struggle with infertility, yet be sad? How can I love my child so much, but still be sad? I can’t explain it. I’m just happy and sad all at the same time and it’s so weird.
Please don’t think, that even for a second, I could imagine not having my baby and showering him with love. I look forward to meeting him everyday and I can’t wait to hold him, but I still have so much anxiety and sadness. I think, and I’m just being honest, that a lot of it comes from the fact that we didn’t plan on getting pregnant. Actually, we were trying not to get pregnant.
And as much as I joke about it and try to believe in the plans that the universe or whatever higher power has for me, as much as I try to share all of the exciting, happy moments (and there are a lot!), I can’t help but feel so … off.
I struggled with telling my friends and family and with being the center of attention. I struggled with being touched all the time and with being told how big I’m getting. I struggled with making major life choices, like should I give up my career or hand my paycheck to someone while missing out on my little boy’s childhood. I’ve struggled with “not having enough time” to bond with my baby or to get used to the many ways our lives will change. And I’ve struggled with the guilt associated with all of this, and with feeling invalidated when I’m told that I should seem happier, or that I should just get used to it, despite trying to be candid about my anxiety.
As someone who truly believes in mindfulness and inner peace and that yoga lifestyle crap, I try to be aware that my happiness is, to a certain extent, up to me and only me. BUT, and I have learned this very well over the past few months, sometimes, as much as you try to focus on the good and the happy, it’s not black and white. You can’t just decide to be happy all the time.
I think you can decide to try. But I also think you can choose to be honest with yourself and accept how you’re feeling. And if I’m being completely honest, I float back and forth between being happy and excited and extremely anxious and sad and SCARED. And I really don’t think I’m the only one.
Something like half of pregnancies each year are unplanned, yet no one talks about it. And that’s just ONE potential situation that can add fear and stress and anxiety when you’re already a hormonal mess. Maybe it doesn’t even have to be the result of a specific, unexpected situation. Antepartum depression and anxiety are REAL. I worry everyday about postpartum depression. Despite knowing that I’m trying my hardest, I worry that I’m falling short, and will continue to after my baby is here.
That’s why there needs to be more of a discussion about the more difficult side of pregnancy and parenting in general, because it’s very, very real. We need to back off from touching people, asking personal questions, and telling expecting mothers what they should be feeling, because, believe me, they’re already doubting themselves. We need to not be so quick to judge people who don’t act how we might expect and offer compassion and kindness, because a lot of us are going through some really wacky emotional shit.
I’m so thankful that my husband offers me those things, even when I think I don’t deserve it. But I’m also going to try to not be so hard on myself, and to encourage other expecting mothers going through some tough times to do the same. Yes, try to focus on the good, try your hardest to think happy thoughts, to realize that you have a support system. But when it’s not so easy, be honest with yourself that you’re doing the best you can and give yourself a break.