31 and Pregnant: Can I Have a Hug? / Don’t Touch Me

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.

pregnant Champaign Urbana marriage depression

Some days I feel like my feet are the last remaining cute part of my body. Have you walked in my shoes?

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.

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Comments

  1. I just tried to cry in private. By the way… enjoy your feet while you can. Mine were so swollen for about four weeks that I could only wear my Uggs.

  2. I have enjoyed laughing, then crying without control or actual sadness. Well, I wouldn’t say enjoyed……but it is a new emotional state for me. :)

  3. I didn’t really have mood swings…I just came to believe that I would always be pregnant, I would never give birth, and the hideous discomfort would never end (this was with my 3rd baby when I was SO OVER pregnancy). So, no, not mood swings, just flat out insanity. I actually asked my OB how early a woman could be induced if she was afraid of going crazy from pregnancy. Mostly though, 2 things saved me: 1) my huband rubbed my whale-sized body every night for the last 2 months while we watched West Wing reruns, and 2) I had the world’s greatest doula: Tree of Life Doula Service’s Trish Wilkinson. You’ll make it!

  4. I am a female advocate for all females. I wished we were as loyal to other females as men are to each other. Men are not low down and dirty to each other. I look forward to the day when women will support each other during times of periods, pregnancy, menopause, and other girlie times. We should be able to cry, complain., be moody, grumpy, and expect to be spoiled by our mate. We should not put other women down during these times, but we should be compassionate. Men would support each other if they had serious maladies like women. We as women are a low down dirty gender and each woman who puts another woman down, needs to be punished. It’s serious. I am a female advocate. I am proud of all females, regardless of what situation they are in. I stand up against anyone who says women don’t deserve to complain during pregnancy. I understand!!!!