by Jennifer S. Wilson
I feel really bad for the partners of pregnant women. With 40 weeks of unpredictable crying, whining and otherwise out-of-character behavior, it’s a tough job to have.
Over the past few years, I finally felt like I’d found what even keel looked like for me. Pre-pregnancy I’d like to think I’d become the most mellow version of myself to date. Somehow over these past months though, I’ve regressed into a much uglier version. What spins in my head and comes out of my mouth now can sometimes combine the worst of 1999’s insecurity with 2005’s depression. Add in an extra dose of the neediness I’d long fought to quell and I’m just a party in a purple maternity dress.
I really thought I’d be one of those total zen mamas doing prenatal yoga and feeling blissful about my goddess body, cheerfully washing onesies in Dreft and folding them up into little packages of cuteness. I am totally relaxed about the birth itself and generally coping well with the normal worries about my child’s development – but my relationship with myself has hit the skids, leaving me moody and full of the blahs.
What is it about pregnancy that can convince a woman she’s completely inadequate in so many ways? Are we projecting our insecurities about motherhood onto ourselves, as the only mechanism for dealing with all the unknowns to come? Why can’t we stop ourselves from taking it out on our loved ones?
The only things keeping me together are the maturity to recognize and rationalize these behaviors and a husband willing to laugh at me for them. Still, I know it isn’t easy for him. I can say mean things in one breath and in another complain that we don’t spend enough time together. All I can do is apologize for being a moody pregnant woman; but like everything these days, it feels insufficient.
How did you and your partner deal with mood swings during pregnancy?
Jennifer Wilson wants to thank her husband for always giving hugs, even when she is pushing him away. Jennifer writes 31 and Pregnant, a column about navigating first-time pregnancy in Champaign-Urbana.