confessions of the scary kind

Something I’ve really been struggling with this time around in pregnancy is my emotions coupled with mood swings. I’ve been pregnant before, and I can tell you– this is NOT the same. Jesse would agree. In fact, I think we’d both be surprised if this baby turned out to be anything but a girl, due to the fact that I’ve had everything more severe this time around.

I say this here, on my blog, because I could use prayer. Not the “oh help her in her dire need!” type of prayer, but the constant kind, every morning plus a “quick prayer throughout the day” kind.

Basically, long and short, my emotions and hormones are SO bad this time around, I’ve developed a type of neurotic/bipolar disposition. I don’t think I’m exaggerating, seeing as Jesse was the one who (kindly and lovingly) brought it up. One minute I’ll be fine, the next, sobbing uncontrollably or shaking from anger. Rinse and repeat, many times a day (no joke). Once an emotion gets ahold of me, I feel powerless, almost like a spectator watching a 3D horror movie.

It’s incredibly disconcerting, I must say. I hate the feeling of not being in control (surprise!!). It’s the reason I willingly opted for only a local anesthetic when I got my wisdom teeth out a few years ago. The thought of being in a drug induced state was worse to me than the pain/discomfort. It’s also the reason I took one Vicodin pill after the surgery and said, “never again”, simply because I felt so loopy, so unlike myself. It’s ALSO the reason I don’t think I will ever opt for an epidural– I want to be “fully present”, and drugs don’t allow me to do that.

So to be living that “out of body” Β and “out of control” feeling on a day to day basis? It’s tough. And terribly discouraging.

I also live in fear. Fear of the next “trigger”, because once an emotion gets a hold of me, I can’t shake it! Oh, believe me, I try. I have my usual tricks– praying, going away for some space and quiet time, music, even retail therapy. But none of it helps. In fact, the more time passes, the worse I get.

My first reaction was to blame everyone around me, because in my world, it all made sense and nothing had changed. If I was furious with Jesse, it was all his fault for being so mean. And then, after Jesse lovingly stuck things out, blow by blow (figurative, here…), I would see the light of day and realize, with crippling shame, that I over-reacted. And not in a slight “oops” way. At least I’m good at apologies! But eventually, even those start to sound hollow.

Part of the reason I’ve gotten worse over the past couple weeks is because the nausea has been fading away, ever so slowly. I’m beginning to think that the nausea was a bit of a blessing (if we can call it that), because it “sedated” me. Also, I had a definite source to blame my feelings on and was able to convince myself that the extreme feelings would pass away once the nausea did.

But now that I am feeling so much better, I have more “fight” in me, I guess you could say. And that’s a bad thing, turns out.

We are working on a few things that Jesse thinks will help minimize the irritants. He thinks I need to start working out again, so yesterday he went with me to Kennedy Club Fitness to sign me up (they have an indoor pool for lap swimming! And free childcare, even though I don’t think I’ll ever need it. Hurray!). He thinks I need to “get out” more, so I am trying to make more play dates with friends (but who would want to be around me? i think despairingly). And I need to start getting a better night’s rest, so I’m going to try and find an adequate body pillow this time around (the cheap one I bought at Target last pregnancy just isn’t working, seeing as it does not bend).

Please, I beg for your prayers, mercy and encouragement on this one, friends. I HATE the way this feels, I HATE treating the ones I love with such relentless fury, and I HATE the aftermath of shame and regret. Most days, I feel lucky if I can get through the day without a meltdown.

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12 thoughts on “confessions of the scary kind

  1. I know this is probably not something you want to hear, but that sounds a lot like post-partum depression 😦

    It’s really normal to develop PPD at any time up to 2 years after the birth of a baby (and G isn’t even a year old yet). It’s also really normal for PPD to be triggered by big life changes or major physiological changes. In the past couple of months, you’ve moved across the country, changes church communities, left school, quit your job as a piano teacher, Jesse changed jobs, your income changed, your insurance changed, you moved to a home that’s not your own place (however amiable the roomates are ;), AND you stopped nursing G, AND you got pregnant. That is a lot of changes all at once Kelly, and a lot of stressful events for you and your body (even if the changes are good thing! They are still major life changes).

    PPD is a chemical imbalance in your brain, and that imbalance can be triggered by stress or hormonal changes (like quitting nursing or getting pregnant) and a hundred other things. It makes you feel crazy emotions that are not always appropriate for the situation. You ought to feel great right now, right? Jesse’s got a great job, you live close to your family, you’ve got a beautiful son, all the free babysitting you could wish for, and another blessing on the way!

    I say all this because I had PPD after James was born, and all I can say is I wish I had gotten help sooner. I felt like my feelings were totally out of control, I cried ALL the time, I would go into rages, it was so not fun 😦 And it was really not fair to James or Nate, because couldn’t be a good wife or mom to James when I was feeling that way.

    I don’t know if you have PPD – only you and your doctor can decide that, but I would really encourage you to make an appointment with your doctor to talk about it. There’s nothing shameful about PPD, and it’s not your fault. But if you do have it, you do need to take care of yourself, for the sake of your son, your unborn child, and your husband. There are lots of great treatment options available, and many of them are perfectly safe to use during pregnancy!

    In the meanwhile. I’ll be praying too!

  2. Thats so interesting because my pregnancy with Solomon fit the descriptions you just wrote to a “T” whereas with Sera I was way more stable (although still crazy…I will always be crazy I decided… πŸ˜‰ ) For me, at least, I think it was a very good and humbling experience–it prepared me for the even more difficult challenge and humbling experience of surviving my first 6 months with Solomon, haha. I don’t know if you are taking nutritional supplements but I definitely would recommend fish oil (particularly cod liver oil). Like GOBS of it! It does WONDERS for an unstable brain/emotional condition.

  3. Kelly, did you talk to your midwife? If not, I strongly encourage you to do so. I second everything Becks said: based on what you’ve written you are presenting all the right symptoms for either postpartum or antepartum depression. You are absolutely in my prayers, love. ❀

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