This one is for a friend of mine who is pregnant right now with her first baby who recently mentioned the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy, and how hard it can be to handle. (Insert a big collective awwwwwww from all of the Mommy’s who have gone before you). For the record: We Mommys LOVE seeing pregnant women—because you are so CUTE! AND, because it is you and not us! Ha! One of my dearest friends said to me not too long ago, “You must love being pregnant.” I think I spit out my drink. Um, no. Definitely not. Nope. I like it during months 3 through 6–and that’s being generous. Puking, feeling like I constantly want to eat an entire chicken in one sitting, watching the scale go up and UP, crying over EVERYTHING, feeling like I live on the toilet and heartburn–oh the heartburn–I could go on and on…
I am not the skinny, no pregnancy symptoms and just DARLING preggers. I have always, and STILL to this day have to watch EVERYTHING I eat. Petite has never been, nor will it ever be an adjective used to describe me. I was 10 lbs. 6 oz. when I was born for heaven’s sake. And, if I can ever buy a size 4, it is because it is miss marked. In which case I will absolutely buy it.
I am thankful that we women get to become pregnant and carry these precious gifts INSIDE of ourselves. I love going to every ultrasound and seeing this little lima bean size baby grow into an alien-like looking thing, then into a baby—a real little person. I cry every time. With every baby; it never gets old.
BUT, I would like it if my husband could experience the hormones–just for a little while. Not to make him miserable, but just to understand. Like, really understand. Now, don’t get me wrong, he has always been very understanding and EXTREMELY patient with me. But, when I am sobbing and sobbing and trying to explain to him WHY I am crying—I probably sound like I am speaking in tongues—because there is no distinguishing what I am actually saying.
And then one time I saw it– the look in his eyes that screamed: “Ooooh my goodness she is a psycho…is it safe to say something…no, just remain silent and keep hugging her…are the children safe with her…should I call a doctor to see if this is normal…um, what? yes, uh-huh, I know Honey…yes, you are beautiful…yes, she has lost it completely…” But the worst part about it, was that I REALLY didn’t think I was that out of control—emotionally, until someone said to him, in FRONT of me, “how was she pregnant?” I will never forget the look on his face…his eyes went wide and he was motionless…knowing it really wouldn’t be wise to actually say something, buuuut wanting to let them know “She was CRAZY!!!! Yes, that girl right there—bona-fide loony!!”
I can laugh about it now, and I laughed about it then—because I was no longer pregnant. So, pregnant Mommy, it is normal, VERY normal to feel like a hormonal hot MESS! And, I want to prepare you too, for after birth. You will most likely be hormonal for a few months after…and it is ok, very ok. You will possibly feel isolated and alone. And though I never experienced full-blown postpartum depression, I was for sure very emotional and sad at times. Some days will be better than others.
This can be a great time for friends and family to pitch in–and not just physically with meals, laundry, etc. But emotionally. Call us, text us, write us a note offering kindness, concern and encouragement. Yes, we want you to ask about the baby, of course. But ask us about us, too. I am not sure I would have made it through five pregnancies with out the incredible support of friends and family that I am so blessed with. Because, more than ever, we need extra love, attention and help. It is amazing how the littlest of things can brighten our day. We promise we won’t always be so needy; but pregnant and post pregnancy seasons are hard. We are thankful for the season, but it is still hard. This is where honest to goodness agape love is required–because we won’t be able to give back equally. We want to, but for a season, we simply cannot.
So, enjoy the good days and know that the sun will come up tomorrow on the rougher days. Just don’t think you are alone–that you are the only one. You are not. Reach out. Pray, read His Word and be reminded of His goodness and faithfulness and that He cares about you, and your emotions. Don’t feel guilty that your older children are watching tv all the time or movie after movie because you are too tired to play, read or do anything that requires physical effort. It is just a season. They will be fine–and most likely nominate you for ‘Mother of the Year’ for allowing them to watch so much. It’s a win-win.
And give yourself time. Give your body time. It took 9 months to create this precious baby, it will take your body time to heal and return to normal. I tried to explain pregnancy hunger to my husband—but there’s just no explaining it. Starving. All. The. Time. I remember being pregnant with Hannah and becoming depressed about what the scale was showing and really struggling with it. I started to complain about it. Then The LORD gave me a spiritual spanking that I needed. He said, “Well, if this is just too much for you, and it is making you SO miserable, I can take all that away, you know.” His gentle, but pointed reprimand was just what I needed. How awful and vain of me. Here I had this precious gift of life inside me and all I could think about was my weight. Ugh. Never again.
Sure, I do my best to eat healthy and exercise while I am pregnant, but after that moment, I refused to dwell on the number. And with my last pregnancy I asked Petersen to hide the scale so I couldn’t obsess about it. Wow did I enjoy this pregnancy so much more and really embrace this beautiful season in my life. Because after all, I am not guaranteed another pregnancy.
So hang in there pregnant Momma!! And husbands, just love them. Hold them. Don’t try to “fix them.” There’s no fixing us. Just love us. We always say that when we are pregnant, it is a family sacrifice for a year. Because Mommy/Wife is only able to function at about 15%–and that’s being generous…But it is worth it, oh so worth it. Pregnancy after pregnancy, so VERY worth it.