I have recently started feeling extremely emotional.  The pregnancy books made me think that these feelings are more or less normal early on in pregnancy, but I never had any problems.  These days though I often feel so overwhelmed, or so exhausted, or so.. just something.... that tears start streaming down my face and I can't even speak.  If you know me at all, you know this is SO uncharacteristic of me.

Is it all just related to hormones? Or is it something else?  The physical pains that I have been experiencing lately certainly seem to play a part.  For example, on Saturday morning I was trying to help get things set up for a baby shower.  I was having horribly painful cramps and Braxton Hicks contractions and really could not help so I went inside to lay down.  I felt incredibly guilty for not helping more, because I knew there was a lot that had to be done.  I also hadn't eaten anything for breakfast yet, and there wasn't really anything available other than things like chips and pretzels, and I wanted to avoid the salt.  DH was working hard outside and I didn't want to take him away from helping, especially since I was being so useless. So I allowed well over two hours to pass between the time I woke up and the time that I literally broke down in tears because I was so hungry and so uncomfortable that I couldn't take it anymore.  I was so emotional I was basically irrational and couldn't make decisions or respond to questions.  For the next couple of hours I felt like I was constantly on the verge of tears. 

I have also felt incredibly lonely lately.  I can be with a group of people and be carrying on a conversation and everything would appear completely normal on the outside.  But inside I feel so vacant and disconnected from everyone else, like I'm not really a part of what's going on around me. It's as if I go through the motions of what I think is probably expected of me in that situation without really being aware or even remembering that it ever happened at all, which is very unlike me. 

I realize that I am not the best self-advocator.  I have internal battles over whether or not I should speak up so that I am happy and comfortable, or if I should just keep my mouth shut and suck it up.  I usually don't say anything because I don't want to seem selfish.  But then I just start feeling even more disconnected and it snowballs until the issue is too big for me to deal with without breaking down.  Like in the situation above, I mentioned something once to DH about needing to eat, but didn't push it, nor did I take any action on my part, like just going somewhere myself.  I know that I am partly - if not mostly - to blame, but I also felt that pushing harder would have made me look incredibly selfish.  The internal debate went on for so long that I reached my breaking point.

I've also been having a lot of "last" and "never again" realizations.

"This is the last time that we'll be here with a child." 

"In a month and a half we will never again be able to go out to eat again without worrying about who is going to watch the baby, or whether or not he'll behave if he comes along." 

"The next time we see you, we'll have a son." 

I am an intense introvert.  I am an extremely internal person, and I tend to process things for an extended period of time before being able to clearly articulate my feelings on the topic.  Although I've had plenty of time to "process" the life changes that are about to take place, I am certain that there is still a lot of work to be done in that area before I can say with any sense of confident that I feel ready.  I think these "last" and "never again" realizations scare the living crap out of me. I don't know how to deal with them, or how to process through them.  I am no longer in control.

 I recognize that most new parents will never feel completely ready, but another aspect of my personality is that I like to plan ahead as much as possible - I do not enjoy "surprises."  (Gifts or birthday surprises don't count - I'm talking about change of plan surprises.)  But I don't know how to adequately prepare myself - or DH, for whom the changes will likely be even more significant since until the birth he won't really play an active role - for all of those unexpected surprises.  I know there will be hard times, but how I can prepare now for that?

I should also add that I'm not feeling this way all the time, so don't start worrying that I'm super depressed or anything like that.  That's not the case at all.  But the intensity of emotion and detachment that I feel at least a couple times a week is so unlike me, that I definitely feel it's worth mentioning.

Are these sorts of feelings normal?  Has anyone else ever felt this way?


Suzi said...

OMG - So normal. I could write forever. I almost wish I lived closer so I could take you for coffee. (A decaf one, of course!) My best advice is this: you need to learn to take care of yourself, and worry less about being selfish. You're going to be someone's MOM! When you get home at 5, and IMMEDIATELY have to feed a kid, but you need to pee SOOO bad, and Dave finally walks in the door, you need to say, "TAKE OVER RIGHT NOW!" Selfishness goes out the window. :) You'll notice that sometimes, on particularly stressful days, you and Dave will probably be playing "survival of the fittest" as you are each trying to do whatever is necessary to maintain your own sanity. On those days, be sure to get what you need, so that you can give both Critter - and Dave - what they need as well. :)

Lynette said...

So normal! Emotions run extremely high with pregnancy and sometimes even higher after you have the little one. Suzi is right, take time for yourself. Or if you are anything like me, MAKE time for yourself. I will turn 30 on Wednesday and for my birthday my mom pampered me all weekend. She started off with a foot reflex. massage on Friday and a "girls movie night" to follow with some of my closest friends. Then she schedule me a hair appoint for a highlight and color for Saturday morning and a mani/pedi to follow. Than a small party Sunday evening. It was EXACTLY what I needed, but would have NEVER MADE the time to do it myself. I have to admit, I did have somewhat of a nervous breakdown on my way home Friday night because I kept thinking of all the things I had to do that weekend to get ready for the baby...those plans got completely thrown out the window! But, to be honest, I feel, more than ever, ready to have this baby...today would be a good day for labor!!! No, everything is not perfectly awaiting her arrival at home, but I am ready...and thats all that really matters in the end.

You need to remember to breath. You are not in this alone! And yes, life will be completely different...with many "never agains" and "last times" but there is one NEVER that will always come back....You will NEVER how you felt complete without little Critter before he was born because he will be your whole world from the moment he blesses you with his arrival. Hang in there!

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