Hormones. Oh my lord, the hormones. Admittedly I have been a hormonal mess for YEARS. Ever since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and PCOS I have been attempting to get my hormones in order. Disorders aside, I was really plagued with hormonally based emotions. I’ve never had bad PMS or noticed a change in my mood around my period and when I was pregnant with Lily, Andy actually commented how he never noticed me being “hormonal” like all of the baby books said. Even when I got really close to the end I never felt like my emotions were out of whack. I was anxious, excited and nervous but I don’t think any of that was out of the norm for someone whose entire life was about to change!
Fast forward to this pregnancy…. This baby dropped much sooner than Lily and the pre-labor symptoms are already in full force. I swear by the evening he dropped I was an emotional mess. Irrational, hyper-sensitive and approaching a mental breakdown. I cried while we were out at dinner when I thought about leaving Lily for the hospital and it has barely slowed down since. I lost it on Andy a few times for not doing “enough” to prepare for the baby leading to more tears. Then on Lily’s birthday I realized that he had used the one over-ripened banana I was saving for her cake and totally lost my mind. I was yelling and scolding him and then (I’m not joking) burst into tears…over a banana. I think I cried on and off for a full hour. It’s
The worst of it came this week when I, again, accused Andy of not helping me prepare for the baby. Let me just set the record straight: Andy is a fantastic dad. He split all the work with me before Lily, did all the research, showed up to every appointment he could make, took a 10-week birth class with me and read the baby books. This time around has been different mainly because he’s been injured, has a 2-year-old to spend time with and feels like he knows most of what’s to come. We’re also at this weird stage where we are living in a rental house we’re not sure how long we will be in. We both don’t want to spend a lot of money furnishing anything for a baby when we could move when he’s only a few months old. But the nesting bug is real. Along with the hormonal shift I became Martha Stewart wanting to make our temporary housing a baby haven. The day I got into it with him I literally had to go sit downstairs by myself for over an hour to be calm enough to walk upstairs. It probably took 3 hours after that to gather my thoughts enough to speak to him rationally. I realized that a lot of what was happening with my emotions was out of my control but what I could control is how I made up for it. I explained to him where I was at and told him we could meet half-way, I would go over some of the non-baby stuff he wants to do if he agrees to spend some of his time reading and preparing for the little guy. That method has been working for us since, thankfully.
After such a mild-mannered first pregnancy, I never in a million years thought I would have all these emotions and I certainly never thought I would have almost no control over them. I think I’ve found the way to tackle it, though. This is a time that you should be taking care of yourself and being mindful of what is happening in your body, heart, and brain. If you feel like you’re overwhelmed, hormonal or stressed it’s your job to communicate that with your partner, friends, and family. While there is never an “excuse” to lash out at the people you love, if you identify what’s going on and explain it to them they can meet you halfway. Your loved ones can work on being sensitive to your needs and you can understand that if you’re getting upset its time to let them know you need a minute before your emotions escalate. Just last night our interior designer was sending me tile samples for our house in California and I could feel myself getting overwhelmed by the decisions (or the lack of decisiveness for me). I let Andy know that I was feeling irrationally stressed by it and he was able to help me get Lily ready for bed so I could take a breather. Don’t ever feel like you should have to hide your emotions or the way you’re feeling. You are not in this alone and you DESERVE to honor what’s happening in your body and take care of yourself. YOU matter and these feelings won’t last forever. I promise.