I like to think I’m a pretty easy going person. There are a few things that can set me off – bad drivers, Evangelical Christians, when America votes the wrong person off American Idol – but on a daily basis I am generally happy. I’ve never suffered from depression or mental illness or been to therapy or worried that what goes on inside my head is anything but normal. Even during tough emotional times I’ve always held on to the knowledge that those feelings will pass and eventually I’ll be OK again.
BUT. For the last 72 hours or so I have felt completely unbalanced. I am losing my appetite. I almost cried in the frozen food aisle at Stop & Shop for absolutely no reason. Today I screamed at the dog for looking at me. I can actually feel the change in my hormones as clearly as I can feel the baby punching me in the ribs. I don’t feel worried or scared or overwhelmed. I’m prepared for this baby, happy my pregnancy is almost over, looking forward to the changes going on in my life. I just feel…emotional in a way I’ve never experienced. I can identify and isolate my irrational, pregnancy related emotions from my regular emotions – even when my regular emotions are all worked up.
I think the fact that I noticed the change is a good thing. If I started crying over frozen waffles or lying on the floor at 2 in the afternoon staring blankly at the ceiling and couldn’t figure out why I would be very confused. I don’t want to be the woman who spends the first year of her baby’s life lost in post-partum depression because she doesn’t realize her sadness is abnormal. As long as I can recognize and talk about my feelings it will be easier to fix anything that isn’t just the regular old baby blues.
I’m going to mention my mood swings to the doctor on Thursday – along with my re-emerging morning sickness, the pain that feels like I’ve been kicked in the balls (pretend I have balls), my swollen hands, swollen ankles, swollen boobs, you get the picture – just so she can make a note to ask me how I’m feeling after the baby. Just thinking about it now makes me feel better already.