Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The gift of emotions and pregnancy hormone changes

Often in the US people view emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety and other mood swings as weaknesses. I now view this time of changing emotions during pregnancy as a gift. In my first pregnancy with Ella I was hit with these emotional ups and downs, it took me a while to really recognize the meaning of it all. At first I felt guilty for "acting like a crazy hormonal b#%*#" and really found myself apologizing to others for my "bad" behavior. Things from my childhood raised their ugly head, things I had forgotten- buried emotions burst to the surface and some days I would just cry. This happened only a few times before I realized, hey I need to listen to the message here! In the process of my pregnancy new boundaries were set with family members and friends that should have been done long before the pregnancy. People in my life that I "tolerated" before all of a sudden it was not a priority to have them a part of our lives. Like everyone else I have friends, family and acquaintances that have major problems, however they do not cross the line and bring it into our home and I do not become a part of it. I realized that everything that has happened to me throughout my childhood was a lesson~ I could do things differently as a mother. There was a time of deep sadness where I wondered how some of the things that happened to me as a child and a young woman could have happened, then I realized they did the best they could with the knowledge they had. I realized that I had learned from those experiences & I could do better! I learned to listen to my body even better than I had before. My empathy for others was increased when I felt the miracle of motherhood. All of this was such a gift, learning to view these subtle changes in my own emotions made me be a better mother and wife after Ella was born. Learning to be more in touch with my own emotions helped me to recognize subtle changes in Ella's emotions as an infant. This helped my marriage as well, 'nipping things in the bud' early on and talking about them helped to take care of frustrations before they got too out of hand resulting in an angry screaming blow out.
Now I am in the 14th week of my second pregnancy. I rest when I want to. I took a break from work & studies & I returns calls when I feel like it. Others think this is highly unusual for me, usually I tend to go full speed toward any goal, work, or project, ignore burnout and keep going, but hey- for once I am taking my own advise and listening to my body. I ask for help when I need it and take warm baths. The swinging emotions are back but not quite as strong because a lot of the BS from the past that needed to be resolved was dealt with during the last pregnancy. When problems do arise I deal with them to the best of my ability, however I have no problem with drawing the line. I have been taking time to really reflect, listen to my body and my baby, learn from the beautiful lessons of motherhood. New fears have came up with this pregnancy such as will I be a good mother of 2? How will Ella react? I have been journaling about this and really trying to reflect for the answers, and part of me knows that the answers will come as time passes and I will do just fine. Instead of feeling guilty about the intense feelings I have been experiencing, I let myself experience them, learn what I can and move on. I realize that not everyone is going to be in my "mode" and they may judge- I say let them think what they want, change is never comfortable for most people.
I also try to listen to my body in other ways as well and realize some of the symptoms I have may be due to lack of rest, diet deficiencies or food sensitivities. I have also been experiencing herbs in a new way with new symptoms & experiences in this second pregnancy. I am learning so much in this entire process and I feel so blessed!


Shamana Flora said...

what a wonderful time for you to explore and learn and love yourself! Huge hugs and many miracles on your blessing!

Anonymous said...

I found your post during a search to find out if my emotional 'craziness' during this, my first pregnancy, is going to have a terrible effect on my baby.
I have always been a somewhat angry person - good at 'hiding' it for the most part except for in intimate relationships. I tend to explode and then feel fine afterwards - the damage though is sometimes deeper for the recipient as I tend to use words to hurt viciously.
I too believe these things are left over from childhood - but I'm 34 and shouldn't I be past all that??
I am so confused by all of this - I read your post and think about boundaries in my life - with my husband....perhaps I am letting him cross some that I shouldn't (and so get angry in response) OR perhaps my boundaries are unrealistic.
All I know it it's a painful time for me - these days when I've been angry and am sitting alone afterwards looking for answers...