I consider myself a level headed and fairly laid back person, who doesn’t suffer mood swings or emotional ups and downs too much. I love a good cry at a sad movie (or happy movie) but I can normally keep my own emotions in check. When I found out I was pregnant my overriding emotion was denial. I have always wanted to be a mother and the news elated me, however I was scared about all the changes to my life it would bring. What about my first half marathon I’d planned next year, what about our travel plans next spring when the baby was due? What about my relationship with Mr Maternal, we’d only just got married for goodness sake. I went about my daily life as normal, so normal infact that I was still running and cycling up to 40km on a Tuesday morning and gymming it at least 3 times a week. Finally Mr Maternal took me aside and kindly said that I’d have to accept that things would be different now.
Once I’d learn to realise that there is life after childbirth and a child doesn’t have to change your relationship or plans too much I started to feel really excited. Then the nerves set in; what if I can’t cope with the tiredness, what about labour? What if I’m just totally clueless. Again, I reminded myself that nature takes it’s course and that we are all born with some level of instinct and we are lucky to live in an educated society. I have 5 nephews and I think I can safely say my 3 sisters would have no problem leaving their children with me, from any age. In fact, they have.
After announcing the news to friends and family and starting to show I have managed to get along with my pregnancy with ease. I hadn’t suffered any further nerves or worries and have channelled my emotions in reading, working (I work for an NGO that supports pregnant women and new born children in the slums) and now, writing my blog.
Last week however, my emotions took over! My goodness I don’t know what happened, but for nearly two weeks now I haven’t been able to control my tears. They come at the most embarrassing times (in the back of the car, in the bakery when they don’t have what I’m looking for, when I’m talking to a friend about something mundane!!) It’s so unlike me and it’s more frustrating than anything. Of course Mr Maternal gets the brunt of it, but luckily he is equally as laid back and just says “let it all out, just cry”, as I sob saying “nothings even wrong”!
I think it’s important to remember that no matter how strong or weak you were emotionally before you got pregnant your body is going through some crazy changes and we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves to pretend we’re feeling normal. For the most part everyone understands that we can be a bit temperamental and they don’t seem to mind. So if you feel low and tearful, let it out. If you feel tired, sleep. If you feel like eating that something that you shouldn’t, eat it. At least when you’re feeling good you can do all the good stuff then!