I’ve been very lucky in that I mostly have felt exactly like myself throughout this pregnancy. I have had no bouts of crying, very little anger (I mean, I’ll scream and yell obscenities at a car that almost hits me in a cross walk but I’m not a rage monster over here), and overall no wildly out of character behavior. Mostly I just feel like me. But pregnant. It doesn’t feel like the pregnancy is in my head so much as it is in my body, if that makes sense. My husband even said that if I wasn’t changing shape, he’d have no idea I was even pregnant. I’m going to put this in the win column. Pregnancy has not made me a crazy person.
That said, I’m aware that the hormones are there. Other people are aware that hormones are there. So throughout my day, when something makes me feel more than usual, I feel obligated to check in with myself to say “Is this how non-pregnant Nadine would react? Am I reacting because those feelings are warranted or are hormones making me over-react?”
This has been a challenge because I constantly worry that people discount my feelings because I’m pregnant or attribute my thoughts and actions to pregnancy and therefore take me less seriously. I second guess myself more.
Generally once I check in with myself I feel that I’m reacting to things the same way I always have. But again, it doesn’t mean that everyone in my life realizes this or are inclined to give me the benefit of the doubt. That it’s really been the hardest part of all of this. The constant worry that people are brushing aside my thoughts or feelings because I’m pregnant.
Luckily, I’ve got good people in my life to bounce these things off of. People who would tell me the truth (gently). I check in with my husband often about my reactions and behaviors. I run things by my best friend more often than I’d like to admit (or perhaps more than she’d like to hear). I’m quick to apologize when I think I’ve been sassier than usual (this gets multiplied with low blood sugar).
But I also need to trust myself. To trust who I am and to stand my ground and know that pregnant or not, sometimes it’s okay to be mad or sad. To know that I’m still me throughout this wonderful experience.