11.13.2013

Being Real: My Hormonal, Pregnancy Stuggles

I've officially lost it. I realized last night that my pregnancy hormones have finally gotten the better of me when I found myself sitting on the floor in our baby boy's empty nursery crying inconsolably.

I'm not sure why I was crying. Maybe it was because while painting the nursery some of the paint sloppily ended up on the ceilings edges, or maybe it was because the holidays are approaching and I miss my family, or maybe it was because I know my very best friend in this world probably won't be able to meet my son until he's already a year old, but, more than likely, it was because I'm just tired, overwhelmed, anxious, and hormonal. Damn hormones.

This is definitely the hardest season of my life to date. I don't say that because things are going poorly. On the contrary, things are actually going really well. The baby and I are both healthy, my amazing family recently blessed us with a card shower to help me and Steven get the nursery underway --showering us with enough money to buy the crib, glider, and pack 'n play-- and I have an amazing husband by my side who has been so supportive and encouraging throughout my pregnancy. Yet things are also really, really tough for me right now...at least in my head and in my heart. That's where my struggle is. That's where my war is raging. 

I'm dealing with a lot of emotion, and until last night it had remained bottled up. I'm in a habit of doing that as I've explained to you once before. I thought it was something I was overcoming --laying the mask aside-- but obviously, it is still a struggle for me. 

I'm struggling with how quickly time is passing and how much is still left to be done, guilt that I have to return back to work after 12 weeks and jealousy towards those who get to stay home with their babies, and a surprisingly strong desire to protect my unborn child. A strong desire that I fear borders on selfishness. I've already decided that I want no one with me at the birthing center other than my husband. I don't even think I want anyone to visit me those first couple days at home... Is that normal? I don't want anyone to touch my baby, I don't want anyone to advise me on how to raise him unless I ask, and I don't want anyone to steal precious moments away from me those first 12 weeks of his life when he is able to have my undivided attention. I feel all this so strongly I find it frightening. Is this normal? Will these feelings change? Am I going to be one of those neurotic mothers everyone rolls their eyes at when her back is turned? 

I feel weighted down by these emotions.

But if I'm being transparent, I also know that there is hope. It's a heavy, hard time in my head and heart right now, but I know it's a short storm and I'll find myself on the other side in due time. But for today it is consuming. As I draw near to the Lord for comfort and direction I feel Him working on my heart and I pray He also works on the hearts of those around me --that they will be sensitive and understanding as I wade through the murky waters of motherhood for the first time, that they will give me space when I need it and respect my little family's privacy, and that they would bless us with continual prayer. It's hard to articulate what I'm going through (I've never experienced it before), but I think that maybe there is another mother out there who is going through or has already went through the same thing, and if so, I'd love to hear from you. But if not, I think for me this war is a spiritual one and by drawing near to Him I can overcome it --my fears can be assuaged and my heart lightened.  

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and weighed down with heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in spirit. Indeed, you will surely find rest in Me! My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." - Matthew 11:28-30

"I have told you these things so that you would find comfort in Me. In this world, you will suffer; but be courageous, for I have overcome the world!" - John 16:33 

12 comments:

Brittany Fry said...

Hang in there! I have yet to get to experience all of this that you are going through as I have not even gotten pregnant but I can relate with you in many ways as to the privacy part. I have the same desires for my little family when the time comes. I don't know if I even want my Mom in the delivery room with me before or immediately after, I just want it to be my husband and I. I will be praying for you and your husband.

Sidney said...

I have to say that it takes a lot of courage to be honest with yourself about your fears. I have not experienced being a mother yet, but I'm positive that you're not alone in your feelings. Protection is what a mother is there for and you're most likely feeling the weight of your responsibility. I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised at how those feelings will no longer frighten you in your future, but they will drive you to be the best mother possible (and who doesn't want to be that?!).

I also think that the paint on the ceiling definitely got the better of you - I've been there!

Ana said...

I understand you so much. My baby girl is almost 8 weeks and it's still difficult to let other people hold her, even her dad and i feel ashamed about that... I had to make big efforts when my mom, my dad or my sis came for a week from accross the country.
I'd like to spend every minute with her, i don't like when she sleeps too long, i secretly want to wake her up to hold her....
I don't know how to go back to work... I feel lucky because i have more than 12 weeks, but i don't know how i'll manage being far away from my girl, letting someone else be with her. What if she says her first word and i'm not there to hear it ? What about her first step ? All of this is so scary

Good luck with all those feelings, they're mother feelings and we have to deal with them for the rest of our lives :-)

Btw, i like your blog and don't leave a lot of comments, english is not my birth language...

Recently Roached said...

I can empathize with you all too well, friend. I try to remind myself of truth when my emotions seems to take the reins of my life. Thanks for your honesty and this reminder!

Natalie | Mrs. Janney | said...

I can DEFINITELY relate to how you are feeling. I told my husband long before I was pregnant that when we did have a baby, I would REALLY struggle with letting other people hold the baby. Even him. And it took me a while, but someone explained it really well to me that my baby NEEDS other people than just me. Sure he needs me. But he needs other people as well. He needs other people to love him and care about him. And one way that people build that love and bond with him is to hold him and love on him. I don't want to raise a Norman Bates kind of kid. I want him to be well adjusted, with a whole VILLAGE of people that love him almost as much (but never totally as much) as I love him.

As for the crying and feeling overwhelmed, I really felt that too. Becoming a mother is REALLY hard. And I just now (almost 6 months after he was born) am starting to feeling like I am not drowning. But it does come. And it helps to talk to other people about it. And don't for a second feel guilty or ashamed about it. It's those stinkin' hormones!

And the desire to protect him is REALLY good. The love and fear you have for your baby is awesome and all-consuming. Just think of it as a sign of what an awesome mom you will be. And when it feels REALLY overwhelming, try talking to your mom about it. Because she feels the exact same way about you.

You're doing great!! Sorry for the novel. :)

Gail@Sophisticated Steps said...

Danielle, rest easy. You're very normal. ;) You're also very wise...because turning to Him is the best thing you could possibly do. Perfect scripture you included. Sorry I haven't kept up with your pregnancy journey much (my life is crazy busy - hello...three kids among other things...lol), but I just looked over and saw your have Instagram? Duh. Why didn't I think of that? Gonna go find you. ;)

Bailey@Lost&Found said...

All of this is TOTALLY NORMAL! If I remember correctly, I think i was feeling the same hormonal way during the same part of the second tri. It only lasted a week or so, and then I started feeling great hormonally, and crappy physically. No matter how you look at it, pregnancy is HARD. The whole process. And your feeling to want to keep baby just to yourself- also TOTALLY NORMAL. I felt the same exact way all throughout my pregnancy. It's my baby, after all. However, you never know how you'll feel after baby gets here. I had a really long labor and was so exhausted I honestly feel like it prevented my from bonding with baby entirely. That, and the postpartum blues- but I won't get into that. 10 days later, I am so thankful for all the help that I received and still receive should I need it. Basically, be selfish if that's what you need. It's your time and your baby. Until his arrival, enjoy this time (I know, easier said than done). I was so anxious to go into labor and meet my little man (again, a totally normal feeling), that I didn't fully enjoy those last day of just me and my fiance. Days that I will never have again until baby it all grown up. Also, sleep as much as possible. Just sleep sleep sleep (can you tell i miss my sleep, LOL). Last, you're not crazy. You are growing a small human, that's hard work.

Callie Nicole said...

I know exactly what you mean! I was extremely emotional with my first (thankfully the hormonal emotions have been much more manageable for the second and now third). I would cry for no reason, cry because I wanted to be a good mom, cry because I was afraid I wouldn't be. I wish I could say it got better right away after he was born, but breastfeeding hormones can almost be worse. But eventually you will start to feel normal again! Also, if your family is understanding about it, don't feel badly about wanting time to yourself. Be understanding that people want to meet your new baby, because the only reason they do is because they love YOU so much! But don't be afraid to say no to visitors (in a nice way) if you need a little more time. I know all the visitors in the beginning can be overwhelming, and I've often wished I could just be by myself with my baby for the first couple days, but that usually isn't an option, and I realize it's nice that people care. Because then it hurts your feelings if people don't want to come and meet the baby! Oh, hormones . . . pray alot. ;-)

Kenzie S said...

This is all so normal! I remember the last couple months when I was pregnant were really hard for me. Every morning when John left for work I would cry because I felt so lonely and sad that he wasn't home with me, even though most of the time I had friends coming over later. I also cried over just about everything, even just spilling something on the floor had me tearing up. It's just pregnancy hormones. Even now, after three years, I can get strangely emotional over the littlest things. But, it does get better so hang in there.

-Heather- said...

My husband and I have decided when we move in January, we would like to start a family. Therefore, I am not pregnant, yet have the same feelings as you. Let's get real, giving birth may be one of the most "disgusting" beautiful moments in my life. I'm not sure I even want my husband there, let alone anyone else (kidding.. kinda... I'll let him be there). Since we live so far away from family, I fear we won't just have visitors, but over night guest. This terrifies me. I love that our families are so involved, but I think I would prefer to bring a baby home without an audience. Does this make me a terrible person? So to answer your question, you are not alone. I am not even expecting and already going crazy with these thoughts. At least you have hormones as an excuse (but in my opinion, you don't need one, those thoughts are justified in my book!!!). If you are worried about not letting anyone else hold your new bundle of joy, just remember how proud you are going to be of your newest family member, show that baby off (after proper sanitizing!!!).

Beth W said...

From my extensive experience around new moms, that protective instinct is absolutely normal. One friend only let her 5 most trusted female friends hold her baby for the first 2 years of her life- if she needed a break, she'd hand her baby off to us, but no one else was allowed near. Paranoid? Maybe. But also...a mother's instincts are a powerful thing...and it wasn't detrimental to her baby to only be held by the five of us (or mom, dad, or grandparents).

As for the advice about raising, I'm sorry to say that total strangers often feel the right to ask intensely personal questions about your pregnancy and how you plan to raise your child. It's definitely OK to politely tell them to mind their own beeswax- I think most times they don't realize that your baby is your business, not community property. But I can almost guarantee you that at least one person you don't know is going to ask about breastfeeding/bottlefeeding (and offer their opinion), at the very least. Good luck.

Namrata said...

I guess it happens and it's usual too..though I can't say as I don't exactly how it feels to be pregnant..it still amazes me..but it's also an experience and you are gonna miss this hyper hormones...:)
Take care..:)