Wondering why you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and unhappy, even when you’re experiencing the blessing of a new life? Don’t worry, girl, you aren’t alone.
Most days, I’m not so sure I’m ready to do this mom thing.
I’ve been wanting to have babies for a while now, and this baby boy has been cooking for 6 long months. So why is it that I feel like motherhood is being sprung on me all of a sudden?
Depression runs on both sides of my family, and its something that I’ve struggled with for a long time. I prepared myself for the possibility of postpartum depression, but I never expected to feel depressed while pregnant. For some reason, this depression was different than what I’ve experienced in the past. After a few days of feeling really down last month, I spoke to my sister, Ashley. And she described it perfectly. I had been experiencing what I’m calling the pre-baby blues.
The first few months of pregnancy were filled with overwhelming joy. But as my hormones shifted, I started going through a kind of mourning phase. That sounds dramatic, I know. That’s part of why I couldn’t put it into words myself. Mourning? Mourning what? And then Ashley hit the nail on the head. I’ve been mourning because I’m saying goodbye to who I used to be and am becoming someone totally different.
Sure, I’m still me in many ways. I don’t intend on letting go of my goals and dreams. I still get to be a wife to my awesome husband, and I’ll never stop being a lover of art and food. But all of a sudden, I’m not a kid anymore. In three months, it won’t just be Anthony & I in this little apartment. After 9 years of being together, and 5 years of marriage, that scares me. I don’t know how to share him with someone else. I don’t want to give up cuddling on Saturday mornings and going on dates whenever we want.
That sounds selfish. I know it does. But its the truth. I’m going to be somebody’s mother. Who told God that I’m fit to be a mother?! What happens when I accidentally say the F-word in front of my sweet innocent kid?! How do you raise a child without totally screwing them up with all your own personal issues?!
And while I’m being totally irrational, how long do I have to wait until I get my old body back?!
That body. That body that I was working so hard to ‘improve’. I would kill to have that body back! Because you know what – no matter how many people tell you that you’re beautiful and say “I can’t even tell you’re pregnant from behind!”, you still feel like a giant bowling ball. Just rolling around, bumping into crap and asking every 5 seconds where the bathroom is (which isn’t typical bowling ball behavior, but you get me).
Before now, I felt like I really knew myself. When Anthony and I moved away from home for three years, I had the chance to discover who I am without the influence of my typical environment.
But now, I’m having to re-learn. Discovering who you are and who you are going to be as a mom can be really scary. But I’m refusing to let myself feel guilty for going through this phase of being totally terrified. Funny enough, I’m not scared about giving birth. I’m actually excited about that part. But when it comes to being responsible for the personality and behavior of another human, I have no idea what I’m doing.
This is me now:
Thirty pounds heavier than I’ve ever been in my life. Not a clue as to how I’m supposed to raise a human being. And about two seconds away from crying over something really silly.
But as always, I have to end on a positive note.
Talking about the way I had been feeling was incredibly helpful. I finally understand why I was feeling so down, and its given me the chance to address those fears. When God created Anthony, I know he had me in mind. He was perfectly made to be my partner, and he has been like a super husband when it comes to pregnancy and parenthood. How awesome is it going to be to have a tiny human being that is a combination of both of us? God is forming this little guy to be some woman’s Anthony, and that is just too cool. What a crazy blessing that I get to see Anthony be a dad and watch him teach our son to be a man.
Its normal for me to feel these pre-baby blues, but I don’t have to let them stick around. I’m not going to feel positive every day. But the more that I train my brain to shift focus to the good stuff, the better my life is going to be.
Our brains are so powerful, why not use them to make life amazing?